We met with our venue recently for the first time in about six months. We booked the place really, really early on in our engagement when most people thought we were insane, mainly so I wouldn’t have to compete with people for my date. (Apparently several people have asked about the date at the venue, so ha! I’m not insane!) I figured we could wait until closer to the date to get the nitty gritty details down. It was really nice to see the space again, and remember all of the reasons we fell in love with the place. I still love it so very much.
|Source: Tyra Bleek Photography|
Either way, we were there to try to hammer out the big logistical questions, like when will the ceremony start, when will guests arriving, how long is cocktail hour, what hor d’oeuvres will we serve, who our vendors are, etc, etc, etc.
Mr. A and I got engaged over a year ago (February 15, 2009 to be exact). For the average bride, picking a wedding date would have involved a one-year engagement, which if we had gone that route, would have us getting married about now. But, I’ve always wanted a fall wedding, for a few reasons. Mostly because fall in the Midwest is G-ORGEOUS. The colors are fantastic (see: engagement photos).
Images courtesy of Lisa Hessel Photography
While we could have gotten married in Fall 2009, a 9 to 10 month engagement was too short for me.
I’ve always been a list maker. I make a list and I check it twice. Call me Santa. However, this list making thing has become ridiculous ever since I got engaged. My to-do lists have morphed. This is the evolution:
1. A single to-do list: One list with a single column of bullets
Although this list started off nice and crisp, I’d put it in my purse and go on my pursuit to cross things off of the list. However, as soon as it was folded in half and put into my purse, it began to wrinkle and fold. I’d whip it out after buying all the necessities (and then some) at Target and cross it off my list. As I was trying to load all my items onto the conveyor belt, the list would get folded again and again, stuffed in my pocket or held in my mouth. By the time I got home, this list was in pretty poor shape. I’d proceed to rewrite it, eliminating all the things I already completed.
2. Two to-do lists: Two lists with a single column of bullets
I began making two to-do lists when I became a teacher. Being an elementary school teacher is a lot more work than most people imagine. You are teacher, counselor, problem-solver, conflict mediator, nurse, mentor and even mommy sometimes. This is when I began making two to-do lists. One work list. One personal list.
Now that we’re less than 4 months away from w-day, I find myself getting things done left and right! Ceremony music selected? You betcha. Candy for our centerpieces selected? Dunzo. Mr. FF’s wedding suit picked out? Yep! Invitations? Printed and cut! Side note: more on the invites later, but in the meantime check out Mr. FF wielding the corner-rounder like a pro:
While it feels good to be getting so much done, I was thinking today about how it feels to be staring down the barrel of the gigantic “to-do list” at the beginning of planning.
Holy moly… let’s take a deep breath here…
My lovely little wedding countdown has just informed me that we have 100, yes one hundred, days left until the wedding!
Wow… this means that as of tomorrow, we are officially in the double digits of our countdown to the big day. OMG! When we originally started our planning, it seemed like that ticker was at an impossibly high number, but now it seems like we are getting down to the home stretch!
This all-wedding-all-the-time thing kinda sucks. Every moment I’m not working, I’m painting or sewing or haphazardly throwing things on a long to-do list that has long since taken a vacation from organization. “Paint bathroom ceiling” sits right below “decide on importance of wedding programs”. Little things mix with big things. I’m prioritizing via this little trick called memory – if I remember it, it must be important. If not, meh.
I’m totally sick of it and it’s only been this way for a few weeks.
With less than 20 days to go (ARGH!!! ohcrapohcrapohcrap), we are plugging through a thousand things, and luckily, they’re not strictly wedding-ish… or I’d probably say screw it, and not do them. But emptying random stuff from the guest suite can’t be avoided. Picking up and laundering the ever-growing piles of clothes must be done. Slipcovering the stupid couch — because we’re suckers and let the dogs sleep (and wrestle, argh) on the other slipcover, which now looks completely disgusting — has gotta happen.
And then there’s the list of real wedding tasks: finish writing ceremony, meet with preacher, send road closure paperwork to city, invite neighbors, plan ceremony situation, finish song list, pick a first dance song, etc, etc, ETCETERA. *deep breaths*
Edit: Thanks for the enthusiastic response! As promised, here is a sample of our wedding weekend packet, tailored just for the hive!
I wanted to add that after my original post, several people who had helped out with our wedding called me to let me know that, indeed, the packet had been extremely helpful and was really key to our uber smooth wedding day…which made me super happy to hear of course! And above is a pic to prove it! So hopefully, this (or something similar) will come in handy on your wedding day too!
Thanks for your patience as I made all the edits. Happy planning!
After much hard work and critical thinking, our preliminary timeline went out via email to our vendors yesterday. Soon we’ll be scheduling our first meetings with the vendors since our initial booking, so it’s important that they all see where they fit in the mess of everything. This way no one steps on anyone else’s toes – they’ll hopefully be able to address any issues ahead of time.
My timeline was created with a wonderful piece of software that I purchased at the immediate onset of the wedding planning. iDo ($29.95) has allowed me to organize to the nth degree with all of its tools including contact management; invitations and RSVP tracking; gift and thank you tracking; checklists; vendor lists; event management; widgets for vows, songlists and more; menu options; and most importantly – a timeline builder!
Since we’re not having our ceremony in a church, the timing of all the events for our wedding day are pretty much up for grabs. In renting the area by the lake, we have it for the entire day… same goes for the reception tent. I really like the freedom of being able to schedule things however we want, but having the whole day open gives us a lot of freedom. We had to narrow it down so decided to work backwards.
The reception has to end at midnight, which I think is a good time for the party to end anyway. If we figure dinner will take a little over an hour and we want around three hours of dancing and drunken merriment, that means dinner needs to start around 7:30PM. Mr. Sundae and I have always liked the idea of a sunset ceremony, so we followed Miss Lovebird’s handy advice and checked out Sunrisesunset.com. According to the site, the sun will set at approximately 6:55PM on our wedding day. That would obviously be cutting it pretty close to dinner, so we figured if we start the ceremony around 6PM, the sun will be on it’s way to setting while we say “I do.”