Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Woot woot!! The seamstress sent me post production pictures of my dress and they are sending it out tomorrow!! She did an amazing job and I love it just as much as the original!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Warning: Long Blog!

      I'm sure by March each and every one of you three people reading my blog will be sick of hearing about anything that even resembles my wedding. You may even start to skip right over my blog posts to read about the lives of more interesting people who are NOT obsessed over their wedding plans. I certainly couldn't fault you for that and I do realize that as I agonize over every last detail, this world is continuing to spin. I wouldn't call any of this agonizing, actually. It's more of a compulsive addiction that is very, very, fun. 
That being said. . .  here I go! 

I found out that the Sandals "professional" photographers are a little less than stellar, and lean more towards the "cheese" factor than the "oh!" factor. Unfortunately, you can't have any third party vendor (including photog's) on resort property. So basically, they have no competition hence their lackluster appeal. 

Here is an example of their work: 

I stressed out for a day or two wondering what we were going to do. Would it really be worth it to pay them for THAT kind of work? Even though our photography package is a generous gift from my soon to be mother in law, there is no way we were comfortable forking over a big chunk of change to have those generic, posed photographs. Their photo+video package start at $2500! On the other hand, if we didn't use them we wouldn't have pictures of our wedding!!

Suddenly, I had an "Aha!" moment. It would be cheaper to fly down Philip and pay for him to stay at an all inclusive resort for 3 days. We could then have him as a guest at our wedding, and get him a full day pass from 9am till 2am. He can bring mom and dad's multi lens, high def camera and take creative shots of us all day long... pre ceremony, wedding,  reception and sunset pictures to boot! Philip is a tech junkie, and loves basically anything to with computers. His editing skill are pretty great, and he has been known to capture an amazing shot. 

The following are examples of Philip's shots

As soon as I thought of this brilliant plan, I immediately called him. It was close to midnight, but time couldn't contain this bride's excitement! I didn't think he would turn down a free trip to Jamaica, but I had to fill him in so that he could immediately start perfecting his skills. Or it was perhaps because I was just too impatient to wait 8 hours. Either way, he immediately said yes and the egg was hatched. 

As I was emailing my agent and confirming the booking of Philip's flight, I get a somewhat intelligible phone call from Philip.  Rushed: "Have you booked my flight? Change it for that Friday, the 8th. Call Wayne. He's coming!" Since I had already received Philip's itinerary, I got off the phone with him quickly without asking questions and emailed my agent to make the changes. Philip had called just in time, so they were changed without a hitch. I called Wayne, to make sure he was in fact coming and that Philip wasn't jumping the gun. I wouldn't want Philip in Jamaica without a place to stay on Friday! 

The phone call to Wayne went something like this:  

Wayne: "Hello?"
Me: (in an excited ramble) So, I just got off the phone with Philip. You guys are going to be in Jamaica in March. . .yay . . . blah blah blah! 

Wayne: (hesitantly and quizzically) "Yeahhhh. . ? We are? What." mumble.

  Me:  . . . long pause. "This is Connie. . ."  

Wayne: Ohhhhh. . !! I didn't know who this was. (still a little hesitant). 

*all of a sudden I'm not sure if I've called the right person  

Me: "Oh I'm sorry. Is this Wayne?" ... 

You get the picture :}

It's quite hilarious and a little bit tragic that brother and sister haven't spoken on the phone for so long that not only do we not have each other's phone number's programmed in our phones, we also don't really recognize each other's voices on the telly. I remember when I was little I was shocked that my mom didn't know how old her brother's or sister's were off the top of her head, or how she could forget their birthday's unless they were written down. I remember thinking "I'll always remember, Of course!!" But the fact is when you get older and have so much going on in your own lives, those things happen. 
Anyway, I confirmed with Wayne that he and Sheena did in fact intend on coming to our wedding ceremony, which completely made my night! 

Here's the thing with destination weddings, at least for me. I would never want my wedding to be some dreaded financial obligation for anybody attending. Inviting people to my wedding is like saying "Hey, do you want to spend $4000 to see me get married?" I already feel bad enough that Chris's brother and his girlfriend are stretching their budget to come. I hate that my wedding would be a financial strain to anybody! I feel that I would be not only putting people who don't have money on the spot, but also people who do. If somebody does have money, I wouldn't want them thinking that I'd think any less of them for not choosing to come whether they could afford it or not. In an ideal world we'd be able to fly everybody out and pay for their stay.  With our own wedding expenses and since we"ll be coming off the tail end of our brutal North Dakota winters, which can be cruel to the construction/home building industries, we just can't be certain what our own finances are going to be like.  Although I would love nothing more than for everybody I love to fly out and attend,  the last thing I would want is for people to think they "have" to come. For those reasons I haven't formally invited anybody to come

Now that I get to have both my brothers, my sister inlaw and my niece, in addition to my future brother/sister in law, my wedding gets even MORE perfect than before! So of course, in my wedding minded fashion, I thought, "Well, since I'm going to have my beautiful little niece at my wedding, who better than to walk us the rings.?!"  I realize she might still need some adult supervision to keep her on her path, but that will make it even more adorable. I am not one who needs everything "just so", so a little flower girl meltdown or a runaway flower girl would by no means damper my time, just add to the candid moments and make it that much more special.  So of course, my next step was to look for little "mini me" dresses for her to wear. I ordered Patsy (Chris's brother's g/f} a lilac colored dress to compliment the flowers, and am having Ryan wear a similar colored button down shirt and tan linen pants and Chris will wear a white button down and tan linen's. Now, I get to add Penelope in all her cuteness with a dress?! I'm on cloud nine!!

Now I need some opinion's. I will put up the picture's of my dresses to refresh your memory, before you help me choose P's dress. Yes, I said dresses plural. 

When I was looking through photography albums brides had posted I noticed these amazing TTD pictures. In case you are unfamiliar with them, it stands for "Trash the dress". They are pictures where the bride just does whatever in her dress and doesn't care if it gets wet, dirty, ect. However, my mom absolutely hated the concept of a beautiful dress dragging in the dirty sand, and I intend on wearing my dress again for a little sand ceremony here that Tucker and Ryker can be at.  So I decided to get a second TTD dress. Since I'm already getting a great deal on my dress, and I've been in contact with the Chinese seamstress who has been great, I decided to get a second, slightly different one for the TTD pictures. 

Here is an example of TTD photo's; I want to do something similar

I think they are beautiful, and I can't wait to try to get some good shots with Dress No. 2. 

Here are my dresses:


Above is my TTD dress. The only difference is it's pure white and I may change the neckline to sweetheart. Unlike my first dress, this has a chapel train. I thought that would look neat to have spread out on the beach, ect. 

 This is my original dress that I plan on wearing for the ceremony. You never know, though. I might ending up liking the other one more in person, and switch it out. 

Now, for the fun part! Here are my top choices for a Penelope dress. Remember, my "colors" are white and lilac purple. 

Dress 1

This is definitely in the running for being little P's mini me dress. I love how it looks like mine, and incorporates the lilac color of patsy's dress perfectly. . . 
I think she would look just like a doll! 

Dress 2

But. . .If I end up using the other dress instead, this one would be absolutely perfect!! Very beachy, to boot. 

Dress 3

This one is a gorgeous little one!

Dress 4

This would really add a nice vibrant color twist, since everything else will be white and lilac. 

 So. . . voting opens now! Which pretty little number should it be?

Side note: I haven't actually told Wayne and Sheena that I'm turning their child into my flower child.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Once upon a time. . .

      Do you ever feel like your life is a fairy tale? That is exactly how I feel. Except this princess spends her time up to her ears in children, while her prince is away working to build her the palace and buy her the crown. A little backwards, perhaps. But still lovely and perfect in it's own right.

More like this kind of "princess"

     For the last 5 weeks Chris has been out of town building a house. It really messes up my routine,  not having him home. Even my sleeping schedule has changed. . . our Californian king bed feels massively huge without my 6'7 hubby by my side. I toss and turn, lay sideways, upside down. . .it's just not the same. Supper schedule has changed as well, because making a big hearty homemade supper for Tucker, Ryker and myself just means that about 3/4 of it gets discarded. I am not one who likes to waste a meal. I just hate to see food go to waste. I think of it as selfish disgrace. Luckily, Chris likes to eat, so we don't usually have that problem. So we've been eating simple things. . . like grilled cheese. (how creative!)

 Speaking of creative. . .wowzers. Eggs and rice never looked so darn cute!
However, all this time without my other half means I stay up much later planning our wedding. In the last week I have actually arranged basically everything. Lucky for me, we are both on the exact same wavelength as far as wedding planning goes. I have never been that girl who dreams of a huge, elaborate wedding with tons of flowers and extravagant center pieces. So when I brought up taking a vacation and getting married there, Chris was very relieved. Weddings are beautiful, don't get me wrong. I admire women who spent every waking minute for a year planning every last detail. That  takes a lot of effort.  But. . .that just isn't me. If I did do that, I think I would be depressed once the wedding was over. At the end of the day the flowers wilt, centerpieces get thrown away, dinners get eaten, and booze get drank but what is really important is the marriage itself. That's what my union is about. Us. Plain and simple.
We have decided to get married in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the Sandals Royal Caribbean resort on March 11, 2013 at 3:00p.m. I have booked the vacation, scheduled the wedding, paid the government marriage doc fees, and consulted the Sandals wedding planner. My wedding planning is Done with a capital 'D'. When you stay at a Sandals resort they throw in a wedding package for free. Getting married on the ocean while I'm taking a luxurious vacation is about the least stressful way possible. With the free wedding package, I will also receive a free sparkling wine & chilled hors d'oeuvres cocktail reception, a Honeymoon dinner at a resort specialty restaurant with white-glove service and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, and a mimosa breakfast-in-bed any morning of my choice.
This is the gazebo at the resort that I will be getting married under
This is my free wedding cake
And this is the little reception table set up. . .
Who needs more? Not this girl!!!
With Chris being gone I have also had ample amount of time to surf the web for dresses. I have decided to do a very "ballsy" perhaps stupid thing. I am buying my dress straight from a Chinese factory. From China. They make them custom made, so all I submit my measurements, wait about 30 days and Voila! My dress that I have never seen in person or tried on will arrive in the mail. Why am I not more worried about this?! I really am not worried in the slightest. I was deciding between 3 dresses, so when I sent my dear mother the pictures. JoAnna and her both chose the same dress, and that solidified my choice. I know that a lot of the dresses in Bridal shops (even the "brand name" ones) are made in China, exactly like mine will be. However, my dress will cost me a whopping $150, compared to $1500. Added bonus, I don't have to deal with overly chirpy, pushy, saleswomen. This is a risk I am more than happy to take, call me crazy.  
This is the dress I am getting
This was one I was considering . . . it is only $135!!
I think I will have to give in and hire a fairly expensive wedding photographer, though. Pictures last a lifetime, though. So that'll be an expense well worth it.
All in all, I couldn't be more excited with our decision to do a destination wedding. It might sound rude, but I honestly don't care who (or if anybody) can make it. This day and our marriage is simply about us and our commitment to each other. It isn't about anybody else, nor should it be. If it ends up just being Chris and I, looking into each other eyes as and saying our vows to the sounds of the ocean, that would make me just as happy as if the world were watching. I feel blessed to have a partner who feels exactly the same way. I am confident I will feel the same as I do now when we are old, and gray in our rocking chairs.
And they lived happily ever after. . .THE END.