Monthly Archives: December 2009

What Budget?

Most people set a budget when they begin planning a wedding. We did not.

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We both agreed on what kind of wedding we wanted, small and intimate and far away on a tropical island. That was about all the planning we did before consulting with our families and booking/buying things. We were planning on paying for all of the wedding expenses ourselves from the beginning – ceremony, 2 week all-inclusive trip, home party, attire, invitations, decorations, you name it – basically everything minus our guests’ trips. We DEFINITELY don’t have money coming out of our ears, but we make enough to pay the bills and we always have a little left over. Our budgeting method: we knew when we saw a dollar amount on things if said amount was too much or actually do-able. In the last 2 years, I’ve been trying to be a better saver. I paid off $10,000 in credit card debt and once that debt was gone, the money I had been putting towards it went straight into savings. I’ve been trying to sock away about $500 a month, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I’ve tried to be really good about it. Tried is the key word. When we first started planning, I had a conversation with my dad about getting all of our guests out to St. Thomas. The intended plan was to have everyone pay their own way, but that wasn’t completely realistic given the economy, various employment situations among family members, etc. So I came up with a plan. I sat in front of my computer and created, yes, you guessed it, another spreadsheet. I swear, I don’t know what I’d do without Excel! Anywho, I tallied up how much money I could save. Let’s see…..

$500 per month for 11 months= $5,500

Christmas bonus= last year it was $1,600, so I rounded down to $1,000 to account for the economy

Tax return (first time I’m getting a return in 4 years)= I estimated $1,000

Free rent in October (something they did for us when we renewed the lease)=$1800

Grand total: $9,300

Holy schnikies!!!!!! That could totally help out the family members and pay for wedding stuff! Oh, how I had such good intentions. The first few months, on every 15th of the month, I paid my bills and transferred $500 to savings. It seemed so easy!

Then my car needed new tires. And my dog got sick. And Christmas came. And I dipped into savings. And I bought a second wedding dress that was twice as much as the first. And I bought $400 shoes. And I decided to make centerpieces. And my bonus was smaller. Seriously, it never happens the way you plan which is why I’m not usually a planner and prefer spontaneity. It really is the spice of life but makes it kind of difficult to plan for a wedding.

So here’s the reality of my good intentions to date:

$500 per month, should have been $3,500 by now, turned into only a current $2,100 in savings

Christmas bonus: $650 (which I am absolutely grateful for, but apparently I didn’t account enough for the economy and I’ve already spent $100 of it)

Grand total to date: $2,650

Yep. About 1/3rd of what I had planned on saving.

Granted, we’re still 4 months out, which could be another $2,000 in savings, provided life doesn’t get in the way. Considering we’ve paid for almost everything for the wedding except the $5,000 for the after party, and we haven’t put anything on credit cards, I’d say we’re doing pretty well. Wedding stuff is in fact where most of my planned money has gone. Which is really not a bad thing considering I was saving for the wedding in the first place. My parents helped out tremendously towards my other family members’ trips, and we also have Scott’s mom to thank due to a wonderful early wedding gift that has totally helped us out regarding expenses, I’m just a little bummed that I don’t have more saved at this point. I still have 4 months to set aside the $500, and my tax return is still not going to be coming for another 2 months or so.

So if my car doesn’t break down, the ceiling doesn’t cave in, I don’t end up in the hospital, my fish doesn’t kick the bucket, and it doesn’t rain…

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…I shall have plenty of money put aside by April 🙂 Ok, maybe not $9,300, but I promise, I’m trying!

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Ode to the Exes

At 32 years old, I’ve had let’s just say, a few boyfriends. And every single butthead ex of mine (I know, real mature, hehe) makes me appreciate Scott so so so much more. It actually makes me really happy that I’m getting married to my dream guy a little later in life than originally expected because I had a chance to sort through a swarm of Mr. Wrongs to get to Mr. Right. And it was quite the learning experience! (I’m by no means saying there is anything wrong with getting married younger or marrying your first boyfriend, it just didn’t work out that way for me). Looking back, I now understand why my mom didn’t get the warm fuzzies around any guy that I introduced her to before Scott came back into my life. Oh yeah, I dated some winners! So here’s a tribute to the past for making me appreciate the present and future….

To the high school rich boy that always had your nose up in the air:

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Enjoy your pool, your jaguar from your mummy and daddy, and your snooty friends and family that never made me feel welcome. I hope you find someone that can put up with your condescending attitude and call you “lovey” a la Mr. Howell from Gilligan’s Island. You make me appreciate Scott so much more for his warm heart and generosity, his social skills, and his wonderful family that I’m becoming a part of.

To the bad boy who thought the world was out to get you:

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Your dirty jeans, long hair, and not so nice attitude towards my friends, family and life in general were too negative for this happy-go-lucky gal. You help me appreciate Scott for his ability to show people his true self without putting up a front, his belief that life will only keep getting better, and for the way he loves my family and friends. It’s really refreshing being with someone that likes your friends even before he meets them simply because he knows that if you picked them, they’re good peeps.

To the college pretty boy who was in love with himself:

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No one cares if you have a hair out of place, your satin sheets don’t match the duvet, or your socks don’t perfectly match your popped collar. Sneaking off at a party to take a hit so you could tell everyone that you did does not change you into a bad boy (see description above). You, pretty boy, have helped me appreciate Scott’s quirks, his casual style, the fact that he stays true to who he really is and is never fake, and his ability to laugh at himself. To me, nothing is sexier than someone that can trip over their own feet and giggle.

To the musician, you poor tortured soul, you:

(source – yeah, I know he’s not a musician but what a picture)

Singing in a local unknown band to a bunch of pub crawling drunk guys does not make you a celebrity. I hope you find a girl that will do your laundry, clean up after you, and put up with cheating. You, musician, make me appreciate Scott for his love of 80’s metal without feeling it necessary to look glam, his ability to be self-sufficient, and his loyalty and devotion to me. I have never feared that Scott was anything less than a faithful trustworthy guy and security in a relationship is a great feeling.

So in my weird way, I thank you all, jerky boys, for being morons and not treating me the way you should have, because it taught me what not to put up with. It also showed me that Scott is my knight in shining armor and I’m glad I held out this long for him.

So a toast to you exes who taught me what love shouldn’t be –

To the rich boy, for your sake, may your trust account never go dry,

To the bad boy, for your sake, may the man keep you down,

To the pretty boy, for your sake, may your hair never start to thin,

And to the musician, for your sake, may the groupies always find you attractive.

Salud!

(Disclaimer: this was in no way a knock against men with bags of money, trust funds, jaguars, pessimists, depressed males, beautiful men, or any guy who plays an instrument, sings, or is in a band in any way, this was specifically about guys that have come and go in my life. And they definitely didn’t deserve to get compared to the pictures I inserted, but I couldn’t exactly use their real pictures, now could I?)

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A Little Wyndham Eye Candy

Now that it’s frickin freezing out and I haven’t been on a vacation in 4 years, I thought I’d share with you a little eye candy. These pictures are truly what is making this winter bearable cause in less than 4 months, we’ll be saying ‘I do’ here!!!!!!…..

Ahhhhhhhh, just 4 more months. I CAN get through this winter.

(all photos courtesy of the Wyndham Sugar Bay website)

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The Mane Event

I’ve been thinking here and there about how I want my hair styled for the wedding. Let me try to explain what I see in my head so we’re all on the same page…

Close your eyes and picture this (ok, don’t close your eyes or you won’t be able to follow along, hehe)…

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…family and friends sitting in their sun dresses, khakis and sandals, the sun is setting over the water, pings from the steel pan float through the air, mixed softly with the sounds of waves in the background, and a warm salty breeze is brushing lightly across everyone’s cheeks. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Now picture me walking down the aisle with my dad, holding in the tears so I don’t bawl like a baby as I am well-known for, wearing my gorgeous light-as-air dress and white flippy floppies, tropical bouquet in hand, fingertip veil blowing softly behind me.

K, got all that? I know, I want to be there now!!

Now, what do you picture my hair to look like peeking out from under the light layer of tulle fastened to my noggin?

These are some of the pictures I’ve saved for some inspiration over the last 6 months. And remember I’m wearing my veil on top.

I really like this one a lot…

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I like this next one because the flower is closer in size to the 2 that I have and I generally wear my hair in a low messy bun….

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This next one is similar to the top pics, but I have long side-swept bangs that I would have sweeping across my forehead. And I like how the veil looks underneath the hair but I’m still thinking I’m wearing it above, which would be do-able with this style set a little lower…

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This next one is so soft looking and screams beach wedding hair to me. I’d be doing a side part though and I think it’d be easy to tuck my flowers in the side….

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I’ve also thrown around the idea of doing a half-up style…

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…but my hair is naturally wavy/curly/frizzy in humidity, so I’m not sure if it would cooperate in the tropics. I’d hate to get to the end of the aisle and look like a frizzy poodle 🙂

Aside from me being a stylist, my sister and friend that will both be with me for the wedding are also stylists, so I’m thinking we’ll be able to figure it out. I plan on doing a hair trial or 2 in the next month or so with them, so I guess we’ll see what works best. I’m leaning towards the second group of pics, but which do you all see in my,  er, your vision?

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Best Present Ever – A Wedding Planning Scrapbook

I received the greatest Christmas gift from my sister this year! She put so much time and thought and love into this and it totally touches my heart that she went to this much trouble for me.

I present to you her gift to me – a wedding planning scrapbook complete with all of my blog entries!!!….

I love love love the paisley cover

The pictures from top left going across: Scott’s house, our houses together, my house, eggs (cause I used to borrow them from him), 2 still shots from the home movies, the heart I drew in my old closet when I was 14, more home movies, another heart I drew, and more home movies. How frickin awesome and thoughtful is that?!?

She took a ton of pics off of Facebook of the 2 of us

And all of the entries from my blog thus far! She cut out the text and pics and added awesome little scrapbooking items and stickers.

The top left entry above is from when I got picked to be a Bee 🙂

She also picked out the background paper for each page.

She was sad cause it wasn’t completely finished, but I don’t care one bit. I am so in love with this book and I’m so happy I’ll have this forever!

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Pachelbel – Oh How I Love Thee

The Chicago radio station, 93.9 LITE FM, plays Christmas music every year before any other station that I know of. I start listening to the station the day Christmas music takes over. And this season, they played the most gorgeous version of Pachelbel Canon in D with a children’s choir singing. How is this wedding related, you ask? The song in any version gives me chills every time I hear it, and hearing this version almost everyday on my way home from work for the last 2 months has me swaying my decision from a tropical song to walk down the aisle to, to Canon in D. It is just the most beautiful song and I had a total moment of peace and clarity in my car today when I was driving to Scott’s mom’s house for Christmas breakfast. The song came on, the sun came out, I closed the car windows, and turned the volume all the way up. I seriously almost cried at how beautiful it was. Here is the version I’ve been hearing for the past few months (I can’t embed the video because of copyright issues). It is by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it’s called “Christmas Canon”. I hope you love it as much as I do (the link will take you to the video on You Tube)…..

Christmas Canon

I think this song has so much meaning for me because it has been played at almost every wedding and every Christmas mass I’ve been to, and it was one of the first songs I learned on the piano. For the last 2 years my office building has had a children’s orchestra play violins in the lobby, and both years I stood and listened in awe as these children were playing one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, echoing through to the high ceilings, filling me with happiness. I would absolutely love to have Canon in D played at my wedding, and I think it might sound good on the steel pan. Not as awesome as violins, but it can work.

Here are a few examples I found….

They don’t have the same effect on me as violins do, but I still love it. Now the question is, does the steel pan player actually know how to play the song? Another option for our musician is a violinist, but I don’t know that the song would sound right as a violin solo although this kid is really good IMHO….

So I’m reaching out to you here…should I change to a violinist just to accompany the one song that I really want, or should I stick with the steel pan player?

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A Special Holi-Bee Gift

I received a great big package in the mail today from our very own Miss Guinea Pig….

It’s a scuba-diving bee!!!!! How perfect for a DW Bee! I absolutely love it and Mr. N hung him on our tree the second I pulled him out of the box. I also found these in the box….

…homemade goodness and a cute pair of Christmas socks! I absolutely loved my present and Miss GP definitely took the time to put her heart into this gift. And those brownies are obnoxiously delicious, I tore that tupperware open the second I saw the word brownies. Mr. Nachos was also a happy camper when he took his first bite of one of those chocolate chip covered pieces of heaven.

I can tell you right now, my junk food junkiness is not going away any time soon.

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