Miss Fairy and Fiance – A Quick Intro

Hi hive!  Just like Miss Toadstool, I started singing I’m a B once I saw the official weddingbee email come through.  I’m so excited to be sharing our wedding experiences with you and hope you enjoy reading about them just as much as I enjoy writing about them. 🙂

You may be wondering – why Miss Fairy? I actually had a really hard time choosing a character!  I am sometime very indecisive, but I continuously went back to her because I thought she was so darn cute.  So Fairy it is.

Now on to who we are and where it all started…

Fiance and I met in 2006.  We both disagree on where we actually met and who asked who out (he asked me… twice).  We started dating in late 2007, and moved in together in 2008.. along with Fiance’s brother (kind of like ‘You, Me and Dupree’).  I learned a lot from living with Fiance and his brother for so long.  While Fiance’s brother has since moved out, I’m happy to report that I think of him as my own brother and we still get along great.  Finally in 2011 Fiance proposed, and we’ve been busy ever since planning for our September 2012 wedding.

Our first New Year’s Eve together!

Fiance is my better half and makes me laugh daily (which is a major plus).  We don’t take ourselves too seriously and are enjoying the wedding planning process…for the most part.  While I’ve planned a majority of the smaller details, Fiance gives me his input on everything, and I love having him involved, even if he does come up with some crazy ideas (more on that at another time).

Celebrating the Christmas tree lighting!

I can’t wait to marry my best friend in just a few months!

At a family dinner

*All pictures are personal

Weekend of weddings!

Fiance and I have a busy weekend ahead.  Saturday my best friend is getting married and I’m honored to serve as her maid of honor.  Sunday we travel out of town for a wedding that Fiance is in.  I’m beyond excited to see two weddings of our closest friends!!

I was telling one of my coworkers about it and she made a comment that I thought was odd.  ‘Aren’t you just going to look at those weddings and think mine is way better?’  I looked at her for a moment surprised that someone would say that.  While I can see where she would say that (I’ll be honest, I think it’s common for brides to want to think their wedding is going to be the beyond fabulous, and one of the best their guests have ever been to), I am happy to say that I feel the complete opposite.  I think KNOW that both of the weddings we will be attending this weekend will be absolutely beautiful.  They may be similar, they may be different, but bottom line is that two really great couples we know are getting married, and that’s all that matters.

I’ll admit, I’m excited to see all of their details!  I know Fiance and I will definitely notice all the little details that may go unnoticed by other guests.  For example, I am excited to see what their table numbers will look like, what readings they choose, the order of the reception (will the first dance be before or after dinner?), if they decided to get chair covers, etc.

But in the grand scheme of things, all those details don’t matter. The weddings that have stood out the most to me weren’t because the couple had great details or an awesome menu.  I usually remember how I felt during the wedding, how the bride and groom looked at each other, and if they radiated happiness.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the details, the stress, making sure everything goes perfectly.  But in the end – if the couple is having a great time on their wedding day, so will the guests.

It’s something that I strive to remind myself as I find myself in the middle of the planning process.  Have you been to any weddings while in the midst of planning your own?

Favorite Fitness Apps

I realize this is mostly a wedding blog – however I think most brides will attest that they want to look their absolute best on their wedding day – I know I do.  Like some brides, I have tried to be more diligent about what I’ve been eating lately and how often I make it to the gym or exercise.

I’m content with my weight right now – but I’m not happy with it.  A couple years ago I switched jobs (only to come back to my previous employer a year and a half later).  During that time I put on about fifteen pounds – blame it on working too many hours, not enough sleep, lack of willpower to all the food the office, sheer laziness, no time for fitness and a lot of stress.

With the wedding right around the corner, I know I could be a little more diligent about getting back to the weight I used to be at.  Not only is it a healthier weight for me, but working out and watching what I eat just makes me feel better.  And I know that will be very helpful to my morale the last couple months before the wedding!

With that said, I’ve turned to my iPhone for an extra boost to eat right and work out.  There are so many great wellness apps out there, and I’ve included a few of my favorites.

RunKeeper

Image via RunKeeper 

This app is great for all the runners (or wannabe runners) out there.  The app will track your distance, pace and overall time.  I love that while I’m listening to my ipod I will also get updates on my progress every five minutes during my run.  It also tracks all of your runs, so you can go back and see how often you run, any improvements, and notes about your run.  It’s a much cheaper alternative to a garmin (which I would love someday).

Nike Training Club

Image via iTunes Nike Training Club

This is a great app that gives you full body workouts on the go.  Simply select what kind of workout you want or what body area you want to focus on.  There are also workouts based on how much time you have.  The app includes demonstrations so you know how to do the move correctly, and it will keep track of how much time you have left in the workout.  If you workout enough you get rewards points to unlock new workouts.  Perfect for someone who travels or can’t always make it to the gym.

Lose It!

Image via Lose It!

This is a great app to track your food intake.  You can enter in your weight and height and goal weight and then how soon you want hit your goal weight.  It will provide with the number of calories you should eat each day to make your goal.  When I did this it gave me a small amount of calories (I had an ambitious goal), however when you add in physical activity, it gives you extra food calories to consume.  I don’t use this app religiously, but it’s a great indicator of where you are at, and helps track how many calories are in the different meals you eat.  You can also set up reminders throughout the day to log in your meals.

GymPact

Image via GymPact

This app keeps you accountable for going to the gym.  You sign up (with a credit card number) and make a pact to workout at the gym x amount of days per week.  You then set a penalty for how much money per day you will lose if you don’t make it to the gym x amount of days per week.  To give you an example of how it works, I have set my pact for three days a week with $5 at stake per workout.  Each time I go to the gym I ‘check in’ on the app and workout.  As long as I workout for at least thirty minutes, it counts.  Once I’m done I ‘check out’ (if you drive away without doing so, the app will automatically log you out of your workout, but it still counts if you worked out long enough).  At the end of every week you earn money based off of other people’s pacts.  Translation:  I made it to the gym for at least thirty minutes three times a week (because that was my pact) I don’t owe anything and I make money (usually $2 a week) based off of other’s not making their pacts.  If I workout less than three times during the week I don’t make any money and my credit card is charged $5 per day I didn’t make it (after happing once I didn’t let it happen again).  I’ve had this app now for about three months and have only been penalized once.  One thing to keep in mind – you can only count a workout at a gym (running outside doesn’t count).  It will verify the address based on location – but good news, yoga studios and other fitness studios count.

Pandora

Image via Pandora

And lastly, I had to add in Pandora.  While not a fitness app, it always provides me great music to get through my workouts.

Have you used any fitness/wellness apps to get in shape?  If so, which ones?

Food Tasting Part 2

So you may remember when we met with our catering manager to discuss our menu.  Fiance and I were hopeful to try out the food during this meeting, but came away with only a discussion of what our menu would entail.

After that meeting I scheduled an actual food tasting with our caterer.  We were going to meet her in three weeks on a Sunday afternoon.  With that meeting set up, we also scheduled a meeting with a potential organist for the ceremony.  Everything was all set.  Or so I thought.

The Friday before our scheduled tasting I received an email from the catering manager confirming that we were not meeting and that the scheduled time must not have worked out for us.  I was so confused – we were definitely still planning on meeting, and I immediately wrote her back to tell her so.

And then I waited.  Waited to receive an email back from her saying that of course we were still meeting.  The work day went on.  And I waited.  Fiance called the venue to see if he could get a hold of the catering manager.

Turns out she couldn’t meet with us.  I was so disappointed.  We were counting on this appointment so we could order the invitations the following week.  I was disappointed that even with email correspondence back and forth she didn’t remember we were planning on our tasting. I couldn’t figure out the disconnect and was so discouraged.

Fiance and I still traveled the three hours round trip to meet with our organist since that meeting was also scheduled for the same day (which was a success – yay!) But we left without our scheduled food tasting, and confused about why it didn’t work out.

The day after our scheduled tasting I received a voicemail from the caterer apologizing for the mix up (she had confused us with another couple who also wanted to meet on our time) and offered to make it up to us by making the one and a half hour drive to our home for a tasting.  I was so relieved.  Fiancé called the caterer and set up dinner for the following evening after work (yay  – not only would we meet our invitation deadline after all, we also got to have our reception meal for dinner).

The next day our caterer came by at 6:00 p.m. with a tray of food – filet mignon, two pieces of the chicken, manicotti and salad.

She told us to put the meats and pasta in the oven for fifteen minutes and to heat up the sauces, and we were ready to go.  She said her goodbyes (and another apology) and she was on her way.  Fiance and I both had anticipated her staying for our tasting, but once she left we were both excited to have a nice, relaxing meal together just the two of us.

We set up the table in the dining room (a rare occurrence in our home), lit some candles and popped two bottles of wine (because we had to try white and red with our meal).  I heated up all the food and prepared the salad, and we were good to go.

Fiance happy to try the menu

Getting all the sauces ready

This is how our menu ended up:

Appetizers – We didn’t try these, but on our day we will be serving the standard cheese/crackers/crudités/dip along with California rolls, brie cheese bites with raspberry filling and bacon wrapped scallops.

For the dinner:

  • Orchard Salad – Mixed greens, pears, feta, walnuts, craisins and a pear vinaigrette

Verdict – So good!  I loved it and was craving it the next day – even Fiance loved it (he was a little skeptical about mixing fruit in his salad).

Dinner Choices

  • Cheese Manicotti with a tomato sauce for our vegetarian option

Verdict – Unimpressive – Fiance and I both agreed it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t our favorite.  We will be switching the vegetarian option to the vegetable lasagna (we won’t be trying it first, so hopefully it’s a winner)

  • Chicken stuffed with prosciutto, basil, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella served with a Chardonnay Sauce

Verdict – It was really good – it had a lot of flavor and we are sticking with this menu choice

  • Filet Mignon – our caterer provided us with two sauces to try out on top of the steak.  The first was a port wine sauce and the second was a gorgonzola butter sauce.  Both completely different from each other.

Verdict – We went with the Filet Mignon topped with gorgonzola butter cream sauce.  It enhanced the flavor of steak without being overbearing.  The port wine sauce was good – but reminded me of eating a beef stew instead of a nice filet.

We are very happy with our final dinner selection, and even more happy with the outcome of our cancelled tasting – even though it didn’t work out as originally planned, the caterer made it up to us and we had a fantastic date night at home, enjoying the meal we will be eating on our wedding day.

Did any vendors go out of their way to help you plan your day?  What did (or will) you include on your menu?

Sneak Peak at the Flowers

This past weekend I traveled to my hometown to celebrate Mother’s Day with my family.  I made sure to pack three of the vases that I had acquired through my many trips to TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Michaels and AC Moore (while I’ve enjoyed going in all the stores, I must admit I’m excited for the day I can go in and leisurely browse, instead of scooping up my 40% off item at the time and running to the next store).

Mom was nice enough to order my a large pink orchid to test out in the face (which was a pleasant surprise since we hadn’t coordinated our my bringing home a vase with her ordering the flowers).

If you recall from my previous post I wanted each table to have one large cylinder vase filled with an orchid, and two smaller cylinder vases on each side with a floating candle.  We would also be filling the tables with votive candles to add lots of candlelight throughout the room.

When we first put the orchid in with a little bit of water at the bottom it looked a little plain (I know that is the look I was obviously going for, but I still felt like it was missing something).  Mom suggested marbles or stones in the bottom, and brought out a mix of clear and white colored stones – the perks of putting it together in her florist shop.

  • Helpful Tip #1 – When putting in stones in large cylinder vases, you need to very carefully drop them in as close to the bottom as possible.  We dropped the first ones in too high and cracked the bottom of the vase (oops!)  The vase still worked for our purpose, but I’m afraid the crack might get bigger, and unfortunately won’t be able to use it for the wedding.
  • Helpful  Tip #2 – Which brings me to my next tip –always have a couple spare vases – if one breaks on the wedding date I want to make sure there is a spare.
  • Helpful Tip #3 – Do not transport vases with marbles or stones.  Instead, transport everything separately to the reception site and place stones in the vases at place setting to ensure the vase doesn’t crack in the moving process. 

With the stones at the bottom, I was happier with the overall look.

Still I wanted something a little more.

I asked Momma Florist if I could submerge the entire orchid in water.  She said yes, and Fiance got to work filling the entire vase with water.

  • Helpful Tip #4 – When putting water in a bigger vase, it is much easier to use a watering can or pitcher and fill with the vase already on the table.  It may seem a little tedious (especially if the vase isn’t close to a sink), however it prevents dropping the vase filled to the brim with water.

The arrangement ended up turning out exactly how I wanted it – I loved that it was simple but would provide a great backdrop to our reception.  The orchid was a perfect choice since it’s easy to transport, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated overnight (both are crucial since Momma Florist will have to transport the flowers a day before the wedding and we are having the reception out of town, with very little cooler space to store the flowers).

We will be adding one more element to the flowers on the wedding day – a submersible light that will be placed inside the vase and add an extra element of light, similar to the vase below (ours will be clear – I’m hoping it blend well with all the candlelight!)

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I’m so happy I finally got to see what the centerpiece would look like, and can’t wait to see it on the wedding day!

Food Tasting Part 1

So you may remember when we met with our catering manager to discuss our menu.  Fiance and I were hopeful to try out the food during this meeting, but came away with only a discussion of what our menu would entail.

After that meeting I scheduled an actual food tasting with our caterer.  We were going to meet her in three weeks on a Sunday afternoon.  With that meeting set up, we also scheduled a meeting with a potential organist.  Everything was all set.  Or so I thought.

The Friday before our scheduled tasting I received an email from the catering manager confirming that we were NOT meeting and that the scheduled time must not have worked out for us.  I was so confused – we were definitely still planning on meeting, and I immediately wrote her back to tell her so.

And then I waited.  Waited to receive an email back from her saying that of course we were still meeting.  The work day went on.  Still waiting.  Fiance offered to call the venue to speak see if he could get a hold of the catering manager.

Success!  If only.  Fiance spoke to the catering manager who couldn’t recall our email conversation confirming our appointment.  Furthermore, she couldn’t accommodate us last minute since she would have to order the food a week in advance.  I was so disappointed.  We were counting on this appointment so we could order the invitations the following week.  I was disappointed that even with email correspondence back and forth she didn’t remember we were planning on our tasting.  Disappointed that it took a week to order food – what?  Our menu consisted of a salad (yes we asked to try the salad), chicken, pasta and filet.  All of which could be purchased from a local grocery store (and also might be available to a caterer who probably serves those dishes every weekend).

I couldn’t figure out the disconnect, but was so discouraged.  In a few months we would be paying this venue thousands of dollars for our reception.  The lack of customer service made me question our decision to host our wedding there.

Fiance and I still traveled the three hours round trip to meet with our organist (which was a success – yay!) But we left without our scheduled food tasting, and confused about why it didn’t work out.

The next day we did hear back from the catering manager… (to be continued in Part 2).

To Look or Not to Look

One debate Fiance and I have had recently – to look or not to look?  Would it be worth it to see each other before the wedding, or did we want to wait until I walked down the aisle?

I can see the pro’s and con’s of each.

If we saw each other before we would have the opportunity to have a special moment (caught on film of course) just the two of us.  It would help calm any day of nerves and allow us to get some pictures out of the way earlier to enjoy the rest of our day.

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On the flip side – we have a block of time in between the ceremony and reception, so we don’t need to get pictures out of the way in order to enjoy our reception.  The traditional part of me loves the emotion of seeing each other for the first time at the end of the aisle.

Fiance was against the idea of seeing each other before the wedding.  So we came up with a compromise – the ‘non’ first look – where we will be photographed together before the wedding – without seeing each other first.

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 Even though we won’t see each other before the wedding, it will be so nice to be able to hold Fiance’s hand in anticipation of seeing him at the end of the aisle.  Hopefully he’ll be filled with happiness and emotion when I do get to see him.

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I must share that the couple in the last picture did do a first look – and still had such emotion during the walk down the aisle as well.  Goes to show you there is no right or wrong way to go when it comes to the first look!

What are your thoughts on the first look?