Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's "almost completely" official!!

It just took one phone call and then...

We have a date!

Yes, we officially have a date on hold at the place we recently found.  We talked with someone after hours today to get the details and they were able to hold the date.  We were excited, and began calling friends and family.

And then, it just took one phone call to potentially change the date.  Turns out that my mom's job has 7 days in the middle of October where absolutely no one is allowed to take a day off.  Our originally planned date falls on the first of those 7 days. So, she will be going to work on Monday to do some begging to have the day off, or at least a half day.  If that doesn't work out, we may have to talk about changing the date.  There are very, very few people we would change a date for, but a mom absolutely ranks on that list.  We thought briefly about doing it on November 11th, but Kandi's mom was worried about flying out in November Ohio weather.  So we went back to our original October plans.  Mom's are important.  And, being that less than 10 people have heard the date so far, it wouldn't throw too much off if we had to change it now as long as we know very very soon.  Of course we hope that they will be accommodating at her job - but if not we know that we will have to be. 

Now, on to better news.

On Saturday we had a bit of an adventure.  We took Kandi's Aunt Patti, my mom and brother to go see the reception site.  Neither of them had seen it before so it was fun to see it through their eyes for the first time.  And while we knew it was awesome, it was still a bit of a relief to see that they all liked it too!  And, in the week since we were last there they are building a new structure outside.  It will be ready in the next week or two so we'll have lots of time to think about how we might use it in our grand plans!  While we were there we got to see Emily, who we spoke with at the desk the first day, and she was excited for us to have secured a date too.

We then rushed off from there to a wedding dress shopping trip!  My brother went home, and Kandi came in to watch us get all set up, and get a tour of the huge facility at Azteca Bridal, but walked outside for the actual search and try on parts.  :)  We're so traditional that way.  We figured we'd be about 45 minutes.

We walked out of there two and a half hours later.  We had no idea it had been that long.  Kandi just about killed her phone's battery playing Angry Birds, but at least she had that to keep her busy. Well, that and the handy restaurant bar in the same plaza.  Seriously, the bridal place should give all the future spouses a discount card. When we walked out there were 6-8 guys sitting there staring at the traffic as it went by for lack of anything else to do.

There were some great dresses and I found a few that I was surprised I liked.  One in particular seemed really nice.  The girl trying on dresses next to me said that another shop had it for even less - and conveniently I have an appointment there this week!

On Sunday, we had a wonderful development.  Kandi's mom and Grandma called specifically to ask what colors we were using so they could work on finding color coordinating outfits.  Both of them.  This is kinda huge.  Kandi's Grandma wasn't exactly hot on the idea of any non boy-girl wedding based on her religious beliefs.  Early on, she expressed her doubts that she would be willing to attend.  But more recently, she's talked with Kandi about what she's going to be wearing and even sent her a few catalogs.  And now - she wants to pick out an outfit.  That's the power of positive prayer right there!  :)

So - we know we have a church.  We know we have a reception spot.  We know we'll have our family around us.  Now everything else will fall into place, right?


I hear the laughter already from all the bridal websites I've read before.

Ok, it won't fall into place.  There will be a huge amount of work and a huge amount of money that we still don't know where it will all come from and yet - we know that we have the important pieces.  The rest is just details.


Many.  Many details.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did someone just flip a switch?

We had the most amazing weekend. We did the annual Art Detour, which is always amazing. It sort of had a wedding theme as several of the places we went, in addition to art galleries, were possible reception spots. Our friend Karen joined us and it was great to spend time with her. When we went to lunch we ran into our friend Brian. Running into friends is not something that happens easily in Phoenix. We are a huge city and folks can be so spread out around town you are quite unlikely to be in similar places. Running into a friend is an awesome treat! And as a bonus - these are both friends that if we were doing a wedding party they would be in it. Wedding planning, friends AND art. Heaven.

After dropping off Karen, we decided to stop by a location that we had contemplated once as a reception site back before there was a ring and we were "officially" looking for anything. After looking around and talking about how cool it could be - we decided to ask if they rented the space. Turns out they do. They have only had 2 other weddings there. We got excited. She didn't have the full pricing details, but she gave us what she did know and let me just say - we were excited! And that is exactly why I'm not giving the name of the place! :) Let me just say - it really is amazing. It's a place that is very us, but isn't a place we've been with anyone else, or that anyone else would even know is very us. So - we've emailed someone there to get more details and will be holding our fingers very, very tightly until we hear back from them.

After all that, we were feeling more positive about the idea of actually having the ceremony this year than we have in a long, long time. We decided to go get some ice cream and hang out in our nearby park to enjoy the amazing weather. Looking around there we talked about how beautiful that spot is, and that we'll need to plan some kind of family picnic there when all the family is in town. We've talked about it before, but this time just felt more "real". Like it wasn't just an idea - but that it was really going to happen.

We met another friend that night in another downtown spot. From there, I went home to spend the next few hours updating our Ceremony spread sheet and trying to get equipment rental prices for some new ideas we had. Kandi spent the last few hours of the night at the casino trying to add to the wedding funds. No such luck that night - but she still had a great time!

Sunday after church we went to a family picnic where I saw some 2nd and 3rd level cousins I haven't seen in a good 15 to 25 years. We had a good time and enjoyed seeing family.

Really great weekend. It was so focused on friends, family and ceremony stuff woven into it all. But what's even better is that it didn't END with the weekend!

Tonight after work we had a questionable dinner - we went to a cake tasting! We planned to eat something great when we got home, but were both too full of cake! We came up with some amazing ideas that we are really excited about too!

Tomorrow I go try on dresses. Maybe I should have planned that before the cake tasting? :) It's at David's Bridal and I'll be honest that my hopes are NOT high! I've heard some really horrible experiences from brides over a size 12. If you can't try on a dress that even sort of fits - it's hard to really make that non-refundable hundreds of dollars custom dress kind of decision. But - I'm willing to give it a go!

Thursday we have our very first caterer tasting with Magic Touch Catering. Their appetizers were SO good at the vendor showcase at Bentley Projects that we've been talking about them since then. We knew we had to make the appointment!

Whew! So much in such a short period of time! Did I mention how excited we are? We're so excited to see where some of the updates from this weekend take us! It's definitely proving to be a fabulous adventure!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby steps forward

We haven't won the lottery yet - but I did get a full time job! Woo hoo!

My part time job became a full time job and I really do enjoy it. The money is a little well under what I said would be my absolute minimum to pay the bills - but it's a job. I'm starting to look at options for a part time gig now, as is Kandi. And hey - I always thought it could be fun to work at Starbucks. Or maybe Target - I look great in red and I'd love the discount! Either way we're happy to have what we have.

Last week was a small bridal show put on by some of the same folks who did the show where we won the photo shoot. Knowing we were going to attend it, the photographer brought some sample pictures from our shoot. They were very cute. She also was organizing which couples would be participating in some of their "fun" events - and chose us to participate. Some were silly little things like doing a couples dance or trying to catch a bouquet. Those were all to win things, and we didn't, but it was still fun. Another thing that gave no prize except for the experience itself was ... well... I don't remember what it's called but here's how it went down. Kandi was handed a 4 inch round cake covered in icing. I was handed a 4 inch round cake similarly frosted. And then - we were to shove it in the other person's face.

We both had cake everywhere. It was kinda awesome. Wouldn't ever want something that messy, sticky and "make up ruining" like that on the day of - but it was fun to do for the event. Both the main photographer and her assistant were busy snapping away while we were doing it and I'm hoping we can get some great shots out of it.

Another great thing about this event was that my mom was able to join us. It was her first bridal show and a really great introduction to it all. She got to enjoy chatting with all the vendors, trying all the fun appetizers and sampling the desserts. And of course, it was nice to just spend the time together!

The show was at an amazing venue, Bentley Projects. In all honesty, it was one of the first places I thought about when we started picturing reception locations. I didn't even know they would do it - but then once I saw the pictures my next concern was if we could afford it. Sadly, we likely can't afford it - but I'm still requesting a pricing sheet.

Next week we have an appointment for a private cake tasting with a new company we found at the big bridal show called the Lovely Little Cake Shop. And then the next day we both have an appointment at David's Bridal to try on dresses. Yes, I said both of us. At the bridal show you got a $50 gift certificate for each person that made an appointment - so we each did. I haven't convinced her to actually try on any but I REALLY really am hoping I can convince her. I think it could be so much fun.

We also need to sit down and have the conversation we've been putting off a bit. So - now that I have a job - what can we really spend? It's a tough call. Because if we decide based on just the job I have and not any part time jobs we hope to get we might not like the answer we get. We've talked about the idea of putting it off until Spring, or even next year - but neither of us love that idea. So, we'll see. For now - fingers crossed on us or a family member winning the lottery! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The shortest month flew by!

We won an engagement shoot! Well, actually we didn't. And yet we did.

We generally both fall into the "we never win anything" category so when they called my name at the bridal show while we were chatting with the photographer we were both shocked. I walked up and found out I'd won a $25 gift certificate for the bakery that was there. It was really yummy too! So we kept chatting with the photographer and generally getting to know her. Then someone who had won an engagement shoot walked over to talk to the photographer. Not only did she already have an engagement shoot planned for the next day, but she was getting all of her photography for free. The photographer turned around and gave it to us!

Our shoot was the Friday before Valentine's day and it included professional make up - which was fun for us to try. Yes - I said US! :) The photographer is hoping to have the proofs available for us to check out this week, but in the mean time we have this photo that our friend Brian snapped when we stopped by after dinner so he could get a picture of us in all of our cuteness.

And we are cute, aren't we?

I had gigantic fake eyelashes and a bit more blush than I would do again.

Kandi, while not a fan of the stuff all over her face, commented that she really liked her eye make up. Not that she's going to do it again when we go to the movies, but she might be open for trying something like that, though a bit more subtle, for the ceremony.

Ah, the ceremony. The realization that if I want a dress in October I'd have to order it in 2 weeks is very much not lost on me. Even if I got a job tomorrow, is that where we'd want to put our money right now? It's tough. We talked a bit about pushing out the date until next spring. neither of us want to do it, but if we want to have even 40% of the things we've talked about over the last 10 years we're likely going to need to push the date or win the lottery.

You can't win if you don't play, right?

I did take that part time job and I started on Monday. The week before that I had an interview for a position I'd be amazing at and would love to have - and I'm supposed to hear something by end of this week. No pressure, right? Ok, lots of pressure. But I know that I've done everything I can and now it's all in their hands so I can't obsess over it. It will or it wont happen.

Eating healthy hasn't been so good. I made my goals for about 3 weeks but certain "times" have made us really want convenience food and hours spent curled up on the couch. We haven't been at our dietary best to be sure. I'm hoping to bounce back shortly before I we go right back to where we were.

We also went to another big bridal show where we got to take lots of pictures together in photo booths. Our printer/scanner is being icky right now, but I'll post those and share our quickie reviews as soon as we can make it all work! We looked SO cute! But of course, right? :)