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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

News and a Rant

Well folks, it's officially official! We're engaged!!

On Sunday, August 21, 2011 Tony proposed to me here:

 This is the "Royal Flower Gardens" at our local Renaissance Festival (located in West Newton, Pa). I will spare you the details leading up to it, but Tony and I had a really great time at the festival, like we always do. Then, Mr. Sneaky leads me up to the fountain, says, "hey I don't remember this from last year", and when I turn to look at the fountain, he gets down on one knee. Apparently, he's had this planned for at least six months. I told you he was sneaky. I only heard one person say "aww", so I assume we didn't have much of a crowd, which means we probably won't have any pictures of the actual proposal. But, I was there, and he was there. So, we'll remember it, and that's what matters.
  In case you forgot, here's a picture of the ring:
And yes, by the way, that IS the ring we found on eBay and I fell completely and totally in love with. The one that I dreamed about. I actually still chit chat back and forth with the seller, so I e-mailed him that night (before I even called my grandparents-which happened on Monday!) to tell him the good news. He was thrilled, though saddened about his own losses which lead to him selling the ring--but overall pleased that he sold it to the two of us.

So will all this joyfulness, you ask, how could there possibly be a rant involved? Well, let me tell you.

********WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD*****************

We walked into the house, and I showed his mom and grandma (who were very happy), and the first thing his dad says to us is, "October 6 won't work. Ryan [Tony's brother] won't be there, I might not be there. It's the first day of archery season, we'll be hunting. Change your date. Make it in September instead."

Obviously, I'm immediately ticked off because he didn't even congratulate us. He's more worried about his precious ONE DAY of hunting than his son's ONE AND ONLY wedding day. I shoot back, "We aren't changing the day. It's ONE DAY and if you want to choose hunting over your own son then that's fine with me. It's your choice."

Look, I UNDERSTAND that hunting season is important. I really do. My whole family has been deer crazed for as long as I can remember. But here's the thing: Hunting season does NOT happen for one day only. There are months and months of hunting to do. If you miss the first day, you don't just quit until next year. You go the next weekend, or if you're lucky, maybe even as soon as the Monday of the next week. I have missed plenty of things that I LOVE that actually do only happen once a year so that I could attend friend's and families weddings. I don't call them and tell them to change their wedding date because it means I will have to miss out on my favorite event. I suck it the fuck up, miss the event, plan to go next year if I can, and have a GREAT time at the wedding. In fact, the last TWO years, I have missed the same event in order to go to weddings. I never once thought of complaining to the bride and the groom that their day conflicted with something else I wanted to do, and I definitely NEVER thought of not going to their wedding.

You know, I might have considered changing our date if he had talked to us about it with the mindset that it's OUR wedding date and only WE have the power to change it. And only because we want to, not because we feel forced. I also would have appreciated it if he had been a little more polite about us announcing that we were officially engaged. I mean, his mom wasn't particularly nice about it: her words were, "Oh so he finally let you have it, huh?", but at least she seemed happy about it. [My parents, on the other hand gave congratulations and handshakes and hugs. Even my own grandparents didn't say congratulations, but at least my grandma said, "Oh I like Tony."] Maybe if Tony's dad had approached us in a different way, I would be less angry at his "request", which wasn't really a request at all, it was more of a demand.

That being said, Ryan doesn't even know that we are engaged yet. I'm assuming Larry had a chat with him and told him our plans and what day we were planning on getting married. Then I can only assume that Ryan got all wound up about it being the first day (he's a freaking NUT about hunting. Seriously. I have no idea how his wife can stand him.), which then in turn got Larry all wound up about it.

At the very root of all of this is the fact that I'm extremely PISSED and offended that Tony's own brother and FATHER would say that they would rather choose one singular day of hunting over Tony's wedding day. (DAY, not week, or month, or year. ONE FUCKING DAY). What that says to me is that the first day of archery season (that doesn't even count the first day of all the other types of hunting: rifle and doe, etc etc) is MORE IMPORTANT than being there to show your love and support for your own family member on the day they make a lifelong commitment to your future sister and daughter-in-law, respectively. How completely fucked up is that?

At the end of the day, if Tony's dad and brother don't show up, THEY are going to be the one's who will look like total assholes for choosing hunting over their son/brother. I'm not going to look like the shithead, and Tony won't look like the shithead, they will. So, if that's what they chose, then so be it. I'm fine with telling Angela (Ryan's wife), that she is MORE than welcome to come. And I also have no problem with telling Ryan that if he's going to be late, or dirty, or bloody or any combination of the above or otherwise not suitable for a wedding then he should just stay at home with his dead animal and not bother coming at all. And the same can go to Larry.

I have no idea how my side of the family will react. My grandfather, father, uncles and probably other relatives I haven't thought about hunt. So, it's their choice whether they are going to come or not. And truthfully, as long as my grandfather and dad show up, all will be well. And I know that my dad and grandpa will show up, there's little that would keep them from my wedding.

What it comes down to is this: If you have to really think hard and debate over whether going hunting, or coming to my wedding is more important, then you really shouldn't be there to begin with. You obviously don't love and support me in the way that I want to be loved and supported. And I really want to be surrounded by people who truly and honestly love and support me on my wedding day. If it's really that hard of a decision for you, then don't bother.

I think it's pretty obvious that I am still extremely pissed about this whole situation, and I actually get madder and madder every time I think about it. I really don't need this ridiculous stress added on top of the other things that I have to worry about. I really don't need to be worried and stressed about who will be AT my wedding on the day that I got engaged! It's ridiculous. And I can just imagine them not showing up and me being in tears on my wedding day because my own future family chose dead deer over me.

ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! Frustration!! I will keep you updated.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Can't Sleep!

Two of our friends are getting tomorrow! Congratulations about 10 hours early to Biggie and Bobbi!!

Anyway, it's natural that I have complete and utter wedding brain right now. I keep coming up with ideas, and running through our future wedding in my head. Awesome. But terribly annoying at the same time!! I WANT TO SLEEP.

So, here are some ideas that won't let me go to bed:

  • Have the ceremony outside. This was always that plan, however, I thought it would be awesome to take an idea from Jess's wedding and create a circus tent kind of thing around all the seats. This will keep the wedding party and my dad and I mostly hidden until it's time for us to walk down the aisle. The way I figured we could do this would be to make/find wooden frames, or something like that, and hang up white sheets. Kind of like Jess had. Then put them so they are in a semi circle around the seating area. There would be an area without any sheets in the back area where we would all walk through. Debating currently on whether there should be some type of covering for this as well. Maybe like those hippie beads, only with shredding sheet? Or something. Anyway, I realize that the possibility of this actually happening is probably pretty slim since it's pretty useless after the fact (unless we used it as double duty for a photo booth? Even though I couldn't care less if we had one? And it'll mean I'll have to add one more thing to my list: buy/collect props?) AND, it will probably cost a little bit. I mean, I can definitely pick up white sheets here and there at the quarter store, and I imagine we could find some wood. Eh. We'll talk about it, I guess. (This is why this is an IDEA only. Haha)
  • Remember how I wanted to string flowers on a garland and put them behind all the chairs? Well! I just thought of another way to incorporate everything together. Get the mini Styrofoam balls from the dollar store and decorate them with leftover cherry blossom cut outs and string them up, too. We can alternate between flower ball and artificial flower. The question is: do we want to decorate the chairs outside for the ceremony, too? Or do we just want to stick to the inside chairs? Obviously, this is another one that I'm not quite sure about, but I do know that we are definitely going to have lots of extra paper. So, that's another option for a way to use that for something else. 
  • I will want to make sure that our wedding party can hear the music so we can all hear our cues to come in. However, idea number one might get in the way of that slightly. Because while it will block our sight from our guests, it will also block our hearing. The fix to that is to make sure we have lots of speakers inside the tent area. I don't think we have speakers. I know we have a karaoke machine, but I also know from family reunions that it isn't very loud. So, that's probably out. The ultimate of excitement would be to get three or four speakers and place them all around the tent area. Then we'd be sure that everybody can hear everything from the start of the music, to our vows, to the exiting music. How to get this is the hard question. I think Tony has some speakers in the attic, but that doesn't answer the question of how to get those speakers and a microphone to work together. (Other unanswered questions: who is going to run our music for us? How will be get our music split up?)
  • Other thoughts that have been popping up include: How will be pass our rings around for the ring warming? I want them to be on or attached to something. Just because I don't particularly want to deal with the awkwardness of stopping mid ceremony to help look for the rings in the grass because somebody dropped them. I don't even want to consider the idea of a pillow. I personally think they're kind of silly. I do, however, really like the idea of putting them on, or in, a book. The question then, is: What book? Maybe a poem book? I don't really have a poem book. OH! Just thought of this now. How about our Seven Principles book? We're going through it right now as our pre-marital counciling book. Neither of us is religious, and we don't particularly have the cash to actually GO to pre-marital sessions, and we definitely don't have the time. So far, the book has been working perfectly for us. I think that if we see an improvement in ourselves and our relationship and the book actually comes to mean a lot to us, then that would be a PERFECT book to use for our wedding. We can have our speaker (who has yet to be found! [another worry-ish] to talk about why we chose that book and why it's important to us and how it relates to the wedding.
  • Will I wear a veil? Will I wear a birdcage? Will I wear a combination of the two?? I have yet to even make my test-veil, so as of now, I have no answers. 
  • My dress! I haven't gone shopping, and I don't quite plan on it. I already know kind of what I want; but what it really comes down to are two things: budget and my size. In the bridal world, I am "plus sized", meaning I'm not going to be able to save money by buying a sample size. But, because my budget for my dress is tiny (and rightfully so), I won't have the luxury of picking out whatever dress I want and ordering it in my size. I am going to have to go to clearance and blowout sales from stores like MB Bride and David's Bridal and look through what they have in my size. And then, pick from that selection. It doesn't make dress finding impossible, just a little harder. That's all. At the end of the day, I'm not particularly worried about what I am wearing, but it obviously needs to flatter me. 
  • Photographs! It's not so much of whether they will happen or not, because they definitely will. But, I've been trying to think of a timeline in my head of how we will be able to get the most "bang for our buck" so to speak. We found one photographer who isn't a shoe-in yet, because I haven't seen a lot of her work, but she does offer the best prices. Meaning, if we want any kind of professional photographer at all, she's our best bet. I'm not particularly worried about getting professional photos of things like the reception or first dance, but I do what the ceremony photographed, and I want our staged photos of family and whatnot. If I can find about three hundred dollars to allot for photography, then I think I can get ALL the shots that I want. Being really generous and giving the ceremony an hour, and being really generous and giving the posed shots an hour, that leaves us with one hour to take pictures at Linn Run. Which is where I REALLY want to get married, but an sacrificing because it's going to cause a lot of trouble with Sandi and grandma. The compromise is to have a lot of our pictures taken there. I would LOVE to get lucky and have somebody gift us some cash or something so I could afford an extra hour up in the Ligonier area. I want to take a picture at the diamond like my mom and dad did, and I also want to walk the streets a little bit, because they are gorgeous. However, who knows what will happen, and if we'll even like the woman's portfolio. And, if push comes to shove, I can always beg Aldona to accompany us to Linn Run for pictures. Also in compromise is the fact that we just aren't going to be able to get our whole wedding party up to that area afterwards. Which is fine, we'll just have pictures of the two of us taken. Apparently those types of shots are hard to get at a wedding because there's always somebody hanging out with the bride and groom. I've even heard some stories where people have looked at their photographer's pictures after the fact and realized that they didn't get ONE single shot of just the two of them together. I think it'll be much more intimate this way, anyway. So I'm totally okay with that idea. 
So, I think that's it "FOR NOW", and I am sure that when I go to lay down in bed and finally fall asleep, there will be something else to creep into my mind. I am not officially SORRY that I didn't take a sleeping pill tonight. That brain gets cranking and I just can't fall asleep. So, I am going to end this post, and try to relax and have a quick browse around the internet before I cuddle up with Tony and the cat and try to fall asleep. (I know the computer doesn't help in making me sleepy, but whatever. I'm desperately trying to get this awful sleep pattern turned around. I think I must be nocturnal. All my best thinking and progress has always happened at night. I wonder if there is a desire for nighttime psychologists??)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Helpful Tips

Here are some great tips and ideas for renewing, reusing and generally offering a new twist on some common household items. This list was originally used for weddings, but I think they transfer really well into the everyday.

*All ideas and tips listed here, and more can be found here.

Use cake stands (or make one using the tutorial from a few posts back) to create a centerpiece that is simple and elegant. This would be great for a coffee table or other table or counter. You get to use cake stands that would otherwise be gathering dust, and you can set out candles to create a nice, inexpensive focal point in your home. 

Before you add candles to any candle holders, spray some cooking spray into the  holders to make for easy cleanup. This is also great because it allows for the holders to be reused after the candle has been melted away. I wish I knew about this one years ago! You could probably use this tip and combine it with the cake stand tip above. Instead of spraying (which is messy!) just spray a paper towel and rub a circle a little bit wider than the candle. I would be extra cautious in case the spray + cake stand makes the candle prone to slipping off of the stand. Try this out before your guests arrive! 

Have some champagne that is a little flat? Drop in a raisin before pouring and it will liven  up your drink a little bit. Seems easy enough, and it will save your wallet a little bit because you won't be wasting money buying more champagne. 

This one is great for weddings, but is clearly awesome for all year round! Use a bare bulb (lamp without the shade) to use as a ribbon straightener. Obviously caution is recommended because some ribbons are made of fabrics that are not light bulb friendly. You also want to be careful not to leave the ribbon on the bulb for too long or you might have to call the fire department!  Be careful of your eyes, too. I can imagine if you had a lot of crinkly ribbon, you'd have some burning eyes after using this tip. 


We won't be using these, but I saved them because I thought it might be a possibility. However, even though now I know we won't be using them, I had to share them with you all. I'm not sure if anybody is even reading this blog, but if anybody is, I'd love some comments!!

Anyway, this is an easy idea of making matchbook favors. Look how awesome they are:

Tutorial here.

If you check out the tutorial, you'll see how completely simple they are! And, they solve the forever favor problem of appealing to both sexes. Not every man can appreciate a nice sugar scrub, but I assure you that everybody can find a use for matches at one time or another. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you could make these extra special by including a candle, and a little note that says something like, "You watched us get married today and we really appreciate you being here to share our love. Please take this candle and matches and take a moment or two for yourself. Relax and know that we love you dearly."

Okay, that's borderline mushy and sappy. But, I'm a total sucker for sappy, so it would totally work on me. But, whatever. I literally just wrote that off the top of my head, but I'm sure you clever people out there could think of something better. The point is that something even as simple as a matchbook can be used to create a favor that is truly thoughtful.