Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Dress Has Arrived!

YAY! How exciting?!

I'm so lucky that it's perfectly on time with no hiccups AND that my bridesmaids will be here in 3 weeks to go to the official fitting with me - the one wedding related thing we can really all do together since 3 out of 4 are from out of town.

This will soon be my dress, hanging in the hotel suite with us all getting ready around it...

And this is SO going to be me right before heading out the door!

Both photos: source

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honest Life & Challenges

I will be honest, I have not been fully wedding-imersed this past week. The biggest things I've done are go to a bridal show this past Sunday (which was mostly just for something to do because I have all my vendors except hair and makeup) and selecting photos for the slideshow.

What's really been on my mind? Oh you know, that thing that happens when the wedding is over and you have a second ring on your finger...oh, right, marriage.

I've been nervous about posting this because I know this isn't a hot topic, at least when spoken about blatantly - the fact that we all have our ups and downs...that sometimes, it's not the fairytale, that us engaged couples, you know, the ones who are blissfully happy and smiley and sex crazy in the movies aren't actually living in that movie world.

Mr. P and I do not always live in that world. We've had excruciatingly hard times and truthfully, are still struggling even with getting married in 12 weeks. I know we are not the typical couple and that we've been through far more than the majority of other couples have at this point in their relationships. To give you a little insight without going into the nasty details (in chronological order):
  • Our relationship started out long distance
  • We found out his mother had stage 3 lung cancer
  • He quit his job, tried to start a business on his own and then could not move forward with it
  • After I graduated college, we moved to a new city without knowing anyone and moved in together
  • I began "real world" living during this time
  • We started having financial concerns
  • We got a puppy
  • He lost his job
  • We found out his father had stage 4 lung cancer
  • Within 3 days he moved to Atlanta and I quit my job
  • Within a month I joined him
  • We struggled more financially and emotionally while I waitressed and tried to figure out a different/new career path
  • I finally got a job
  • We started realizing our puppy had a food aggression problem
  • Our apartment got robbed and we lost everything valuable including family jewelry
  • We got engaged
  • His mother passed away
  • He took a second job and we finally started planning the wedding after being engaged for 5 months
  • We almost broke up
  • Our puppy bit both of us numerous times as his aggression problem became severe
  • Currently: His father has worsened and could pass soon, we're shelling out money for medication and training to give the puppy a proper chance and we still have some financial and personal struggles.

Wow, and that was without details or any of the little stuff along the way - I've never written that out before.

So why am I being so open with the intimate parts of my life?
Mr. P and I went to a Marriage Workshop 5 weeks ago. (I've been meaning to post a recap about it and will soon now after writing this.) But you know the one thing he said that I think helped him tremendously? That he realized it wasn't just us...that this very nice, quiet Jamaican guy with dreads and an accent who he probably had almost nothing in common with had similar problems with his fiance as he did with me. I wasn't offended about the problem that was mentioned, it wasn't a dealbreaker and was something I can work on. What was nice to hear was that he didn't feel completely alone, isolated, weird about having problems or issues within our relationship. It seemed like a relevation for him. Like, even though it seems obvious that we're all people and it happens, especially to people who have had to overcome so many hardships within only 2.5 years, it wasn't so apparent.

It's almost embarassing really to talk about these things, even with your family and friends sometimes. I think sometimes it's even harder to talk to those people who you care about most because you actually care what they think and value their opinions. Trust me, I know...and I haven't opened up to my own family and friends about every little thing.

Mr. P came across this article on MSN: 7 Scary Truths About Getting Engaged. Some of the truths are a little silly, as MSN articles can sometimes be, but Scary Truth #5 & #7 seemed to me like they'd really hit home with the majortiy of couples (and maybe #6 if you have not lived together yet.)

'Little Signs "We're Not Meant to Be" Start Cropping Up' - wow, somebody said it. I'd been thinking about it, call it 'pre-wedding jitters' whatever you want, but some people do think about it. Now, I don't personally believe the examples given in the article are particularly good ones, but the concept was there, out in the open. Wow. Okay...I'm not alone in this. The fact that Mr. P doesn't take the dogs out right when I ask him to and that he leaves the kitchen filthy are NOT dealbreakers. Chill out. It's funny how all the little things can ball up and make a really big thing. Now, I'm not discounting our past or current more serious issues...oops, I mean "challenges" as Mr. P likes to say ("issues" sounds bad he says lol,) but what if you did discount ALL of the little things...and I mean ALL??? Nothing could snowball. You would literally only be able to have attention on a challenge that actually was very important to you and your relationship and none of the other little items would be in your or his mind snowballing to create a seemingly worse off situation.

So, I've been thinking about life, marriage, the real world lately. Helping my relationship continue to grow and changing certain things for the better are things I've been trying to concentrate on. While I love practically everything wedding including all the planning (and of course it's still something that is there in the back of my mind,) I believe it needs to take a back seat if you know there are more important things for your mind to wander to and for yourself to take action to. And you know what? I've genuinely been significantly happier the past few days from doing this - the things I know I can easily do/not do to better our relationship which better prepares us for marriage which overall makes life happier for both of us, currently and for later on.

The purpose of this post: Well, let's be honest, sometimes the point of a personal blog is that you have a place to put your thoughts and your vents. And also, if I could reach anyone out there who has had similar feelings or situations in their relationships and engagements, then that's worth it. Knowing that there are other REAL people out there NOT in fairytale land, sex crazy and smiley 24/7 is SO refreshing and comforting. And I really realized that when Mr. P commented on the nice Jamaican whose fiance had a similar unlikeable trait as me and he realized he was not the ONLY one out there.

P.S. I know this post was a little all over the place, but I hope it did at least make sense overall.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Creative Overhaul Part 2

So I told the story. Now here are the inspiration images.
Last 3 images: Source

New Color Palette: Light/blush pink and black with white.
New Style: Modern vintage
New Details: Touches of damask, floral and pretty lettering
New Flowers: Anemones, peonies, ranunculuses, dendrobium orchids, spray roses, hydrangeas and dahlias (all white, ivory or light pink)

Big, different change, I know. Thoughts??

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ring a ling a ling

I'm such a bad blogger! No, it's just been crazy busy here - work, personal, wedding, etc. But there are obviously things to update on since it's been so long...

We finally went ring shopping this weekend! (I've been bugging Mr. P about it for a couple months!) It's so nice to cross things off the list...well, this is a half cross off since they're not actually bought yet. But some decisions were made and that is always nice. We decided on the width that looks right with my e-ring and also design elements that will make them look like
 they go together. For his ring, well...basically he decided that he'd get it off the internet for $30 last minute - his words, not mine. Haha oh well, it's on him - he's said he will take care of everything pertaining to the bands.

This is the sort of look we're going for, but with brilliant cut (round diamonds,) for my ring:

This is sort of the look we're going for, (I think,) for his ring:
And this is sort of how our rings will look together (minus the e-ring):

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creative Overhaul Part 1

According to my preview post, I think I'm doing ok...I've updated you on the honeymoon (Mr. P FINALLY applied for his passport yesterday! YES!) and given you some insight to a couple DIY projects: the slideshow and something or other in memory of Mr. P's mama.

BUT, I know the biggest thing has to be the redesign, redirection, creative overhaul of the wedding! Hello?! That's HUGE.

Here's what went down:
A couple of weeks ago I was having a minor panic attack to Mr. P about how I was now uncomfortable with what the florist and I came up with for the centerpieces and that I didn't know how to properly incorporate and execute this peacock theme. And then, my whole wedding world came shattering down: Mr. P gave an inkling to the fact that he wasn't a fan in the first place. Ugh! How could he have waited SO long to tell me?! My feeling were not hurt, I was just having trouble breathing wondering HOW in the world I would pull off a completely new idea having already had trouble deciding on one in the first place. He tried to cover it up by saying that he just didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew. I totally knew.

We spent an hour or two browsing through Knot photos and Google Image searches to see how we could pull it off to our liking. It wasn't working.

The next day, I talked to my mom about it, but I was still struggling and still bummed out. 4 months and we don't know what the wedding is going to look like now? AHH!

The day after that, I finally had an epiphany. I am almost embarassed to admit the simplicity of it all...but I will. I realized that instead of basing what the wedding would look like off of what we already had (dresses, venues, etc.) that I would think about what I truly LOVE and find a way to incorporate everything together.

*crickets*





DUH! How was I letting the items I had already chosen dictate EVERYTHING?? Ugh, the absurdity of it all. See, wasn't that ridiculously simple?


TO BE CONTINUED...

Blog Luv #2


This is long overdue...Thank you SO much Michelle for the Blog Luv Award! I'm so appreciative and I hope you've noticed I added your name to the 'thank you' line under the award on the right side of my blog a few days ago already. Unfortunately, I'm going to flake. :/ Ah, I know, I'm sorry. But I just received the award a little while ago from Sony and I'm not THAT connected in wedding blog world yet to name another 10 peeps! lol But do know this award is appreciated nonetheless! Thank you again!

P.S. Check out Michelle over at Weddingbee now! Congrats again Miss Duckling ;)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thank-You Card Etiquette

Since I started planning our wedding, I've learned so much about all the nooks & cranies of it all, especially things about wedding etiquette. I've only been to 3 weddings in my life...2 of them were within the past year and 2 of them were Mexican. So, long story short, I haven't had much experience in the wedding department and have been learning as I go with a lot of the elements for our own wedding. When we sent out our save-the-dates (dang it, reminder to self: post about std's!) we received two presents from one of our registries. The cards said something to the effect of "congratulations on your engagement." So, do you guys think/know if these gifts are 'engagement' gifts (even though we've been engaged for a long time now,) or are they the actual wedding gift?

I was puzzled and had already waited too long to send a thank-you note. So I sent just a normal one (the kind you keep in the house should you need one) and not one of the ones we'll be using for closer to/after the wedding (which we actually do already have.) I know it's not a huge deal regardless, but I guess I'm just more curious than anything...do you think it was ok sending a 'non-weddingish' thank-you card?
Speaking of thank-you cards...in spirit of the Wedding Paper Divas $500 giveaway I'm sure everyone's caught wind of by now...

All images from Wedding Paper Divas

Thursday, February 5, 2009

100 Days!


100 days till we get married!!!

We are about to be in double digits...wow.
P.S. Please take a look at my last post, the wheels have started turning, but I'd love some more ideas and opinions from you all. Thanks :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Introducing Mr. P's Mom


Has anyone seen this on Style Me Pretty 2 days ago? Wow, I was just so moved, I'm not sure why. Actually, that's a lie, I think I do know why...
Mr. P's mama passed from cancer just 7 months ago. I'm struggling with how to deal with this in relation to the wedding. I asked Mr. P if he wanted to dance with my mom for a mother-son dance, he said 'no.' I asked Mr. P if he wanted my mom to walk with him down the aisle, he said 'no.' I asked Mr. P if he wanted to mention his mom during the ceremony, he said 'no.' I asked Mr. P if he wanted a remembrance for his mom at the reception, he said 'no.' Seeing the pattern here?
But look at that moving image above...it's a simply-framed photo of a happy David with one of his loves, cigars. (Read the bride's words here.) This memory involves the guests of the wedding in such a classy way. This is exactly the type of subtle thing I would like to do for the reception on a table right outside the room where everyone would pass before they go in.
When Mr. P and I discussed the matter (well, not really discussed, they were simple question-answer moments and that's it) he did not seem too stern about it. He just said he didn't want to make a big deal out of it (which is how he's dealt with her passing as well.) So I definitely would never push my mom to dance with him for an official mother-son dance where I sneakily tell the DJ to play a prepared song. I definitely would never alter our ceremony to include words about his mom or light a candle. But...I am toying with doing something like this. It's been months since this things have been brought up. Now that a lot of time has passed and he's more stable about it, I think he would maybe be pleased with the fact that I did something small and nice since she cannot be with us. I definitely know her family would appreciate it and I know for sure her closest cousin will be coming (she had no siblings.)
So, two questions go out to you all:
  1. Should I frame a picture and put a small display together for Mr. P's mom in front of the reception?
  2. If so, what should the display or giveaway be to make it personal like the image above? (Some background to help: She was from Panama, the country, she was a Spanish high school teacher and loved her job and before that was a Pan Am flight attendant...she actually got hijacked TWICE! Can you believe?! Wow.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Honeymoon: Booked!

Where are we going you ask??

HERE:


We decided we were going to do Cancun because the flights were the cheapest compared to Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, etc. by hundreds of dollars. Then, it came down to choosing a Starwood property because our very good friend works at a new Westin in Orlando and can get us their "Star Hot Rate." I think I am his sister because of this because it's supposed to be for family only, lol. My cousin works for the JW Marriott in Mexico City and we were going to see who could get the better deals, but when we were told we could also get 50% off all our food at a Westin, we were SOLD!

We chose between Le Meridien, The Westin Resort & Spa and The Westin Lagunamar. Well, I chose haha because I'm the diligent one and looked into each property's website/photos and their reviews on Trip Advisor. I have to be honest, I've never used Trip Advisor before, but it was seriously fabulous and such a big help in choosing. If you set aside an hour to really dig in, look everything up and actually read the reviews (not skim,) it's so worth it; I learned so much. I jotted down restaurants mentioned (good ones and ones to avoid), places to go out and the name of markets for food and shopping.

Today, I booked the two plane tickets, roundtrip for $599.74! What an awesome price, huh?!

We were supposed to book the hotel tonight, but Mr. P forgot to call our friend back (he has to book it for us to get the Star Hot Rate.) So, it's technically not completely booked, but close enough since it'll be taken care of in the morning.

Let me be frank...we wanted to originally TRY to go to Europe, maybe 3 destinations. Once we realized we'd be spending about $2,000 just for the main flight roundtrip, we thought we'd rethink that rendezvous. I wanted so badly to go to a new country I'd never been before (hence the France, Greece, Costa Rica, and DR research,) but we all have to learn to let go a little and not be stubborn. For those of you who don't know, I'm half Mexican. My mother is from Mexico City, English is her second language, all my family is there, the whole shebang. So, needless to say Mexico was far down on my list. BUT, I have swallowed that sentiment and now am SO excited to have found such a fabulous resort as the Lagunamar. I mean, who couldn't be happy with that place, and to top it off add a discounted rate and 50% off food. Whoa mama.

Wooo we're going to Cancun!