Archive for: Events

First Week of Wedded Bliss

It hardly seems an entire week has gone by since Zach and I walked down the aisle and said “I do” to forever together.  Despite there being little change to our daily lives, there is something inherently wonderful about being married and being a wife.  Something as simple as a smile is now different – it’s deeper and lingers longer (and makes me happier).  Spending time together has that much more meaning – it is truly sharing your life with your spouse and that is not something that can be compared.  Then, there’s being called “wife” – I’m telling you, that, I cannot hear enough (even when it’s in a teasing manner).

Tonight we “celebrated” our one-week “anniversary” by sitting outside and chatting while Duke hung out in the yard, getting into something or another, cooking a simple meal (spaghetti) and watching a movie we both have wanted to see (Trouble with the Curve).  It’s amazing to sit quietly and laugh with the one you love.  It’s even better when that someone is the person to whom you’ve committed to spend your life, and and it sure put a smile on my face.  The simple, everyday things that don’t cost a thing.  Talk about a perfect night and a wonderful first week of marriage.  Nothing crazy, or catastrophic or even anything out of the ordinary – and that’s why it was perfection.

As a side note, Trouble with the Curve was wonderful, we both liked it.  A little funny, a little sad and a wonderful ending.  Not to mention that I love Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood.  I’d call this a family movie and I recommend it 🙂



Save the Dates and Invitations

Oddly, save-the-date cards and invitations were a more simple part of the wedding planning process (and one of the least expensive).  I had narrowed down a few options and then drafted Zach to help finalize our decision.  We chose something simple and a little bit rustic.

The challenge to the save-the-dates and invitations was narrowing down the details – time, including website details, ensuring address information was correct, etc.  However, needing these details forced us to make decisions, which was a good thing!  Having an idea of time and other specifics helps in moving forward with planning.

Once in, the fun part began.  Addressing and stuffing.  In the interest of saving time, I utilized labels.  Instead of paying for a calligrapher to do work that would end up being thrown away, I chose an easy-to-read, rustic font and typed up address labels (which can be printed twice – once for save the dates and a second time for the invitations).  It was simple and it cut down on the time needed for getting everything out the door.  (Bonus:  we bought everything from Invitations by Dawn and were fortunate enough to get a 25% discount)!  I was very happy with the final product – it was affordable, simple and the invitations were a reflection of us and our wedding.

I personalized slightly by choosing fun stamps that had a rustic, country feel.  They “spiffed up” our envelopes and added a bit of color.

If you’re planning a wedding (or any large event) – I truly suggest choosing simple invitations – they will be more affordable and easier to work with.  Try typing labels with a nice font and find a fun, colorful stamp to finish off your envelopes!  Good luck 🙂



The Guest List

First – we are 87 days and counting ’til our big day!!!

Okay, now that my excitement is out of the way for the morning, I can continue.  The next step in wedding planning was determining our guest list – that was a bit stressful.  My biggest concern was that we might forget someone…well, turns out, that just can’t be avoided.  You should just know now that you will forget to invite someone to your wedding.  Can’t be helped.  If you’re the one forgotten, don’t take it personally.  Seriously, you can spend a lot of time thinking about who you’re going to invite to your big day, and when the time comes to put it all on paper, every last name will rush out of your head and you’ll be stuck.  That being said, we somehow ended up with 300 people on the guest list.  Zach has a large family, thankfully, because I love family, and we knew we wanted to invite everyone.  So our wedding will be somewhat of a reunion, too – which essentially means, it’s going to be one big party.  I could not ask for anything better.  🙂

The good news is:  if you start organized, you’ll stay organized (in theory, anyway – I’ll let you know in a few months if my theory is true in practice, too).  Here’s my tip(s) for starting and staying organized when it comes to the guest list…3 words:

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.

I merged some cells, added some basic formulas, threw in a few column headings, added a title in a pretty font and Voila!  I have me all my guest info in one place!  I made columns for:  Person, # of Invites, Address, Save the Date Sent, Invite Sent, RSVP, Names Attending, Gift Notes, and Thank You Note(s) Sent.  In the Person column, I gave one line for every individual we intended to invite.  Then I merged the rows in the following column, # of Invites, for each family or group to which I was planning on sending an invite – and I put the number 1 in each merged cell.  At the bottom of the Invite column, I used the Auto Sum button to tally up the number of invites I need to order – it makes quick work of adding everything up, instead of counting by hand.  Next column, same as the previous, I merged each row for each family/group, and started compiling addresses.  In the next two columns, I simply put “yes” when I sent out the corresponding save-the-date and invite.  Since I sent out over 100 of each, I did so in batches and it was a good way for me to keep track of where I was at in the process.  (Side NOTE:  You can print this thing, mark it up as you work, then go back and make edits on the computer later, and reprint a clean copy…Repeat as necessary).  As I receive RSVPs, I’ve been putting in the number attending in the next column.  As with the Invite # column, I just totaled this guy at the bottom, using the auto-sum feature, and I now have a running tally of the number attending (again, super convenient).  Finally, in the Gift Notes column, I can keep track of who sent us what, when (I’d include a date received so that you can be prompt in your thank you note writing) – and then if I’ve sent a thank you note in the last column.

Talk about convenient.  This spreadsheet has it all, and keeps you organized, with all guest information in one easy place!

I’ve loved learning more about Zach’s extended family, and it makes my day every time we get another RSVP in the mail!!!

I cannot WAIT to see everyone in July 🙂



Choosing a Wedding Venue

As previously mentioned, I’ve been waiting for a few years for the proposal to happen.  And in that time, I’ve given thought to our wedding – not in great detail, but I’d think of things here and there.  One of the ideas that popped into my head was to get married in the summertime at a big ski house up in the mountains.  I thought a weekend getaway with family and friends would work out wonderfully.  Not to mention that those ski houses rent for extreme discounts in the summer (or, most of them do).

As usual, my GREAT idea wasn’t such a great one after all…  Turns out that many of the houses actually don’t allow weddings.  As one agent told me, too many of the owners had bad past experiences with weddings and had since nixed the idea.  The few that I found that would allow large events and weddings just weren’t going to accommodate everyone we needed to accommodate.

So, I was back at square one.  In searching for venues that had an outdoor ceremony site with a rustic, mountainous setting, I found that they came with exorbitant prices tags, too.  I knew weddings were expensive.  I didn’t know just how expensive.  I had gotten pretty frustrated, trying to find the right location, especially with so many possibly coming in from out of town, with the right setting and the right price.

I asked my co-workers if they knew of any local areas that weren’t listed on all of the wedding websites (since I’d already exhausted all of those…twice).  I got lucky.  A co-worker told me about a local historic apple orchard that also does events.  After showing me all of the pictures on their Facebook page, I was in love.  It was perfect!!  Even better that he knows the owner – and, here’s the kicker, her name is Sharon, too!  He texted the owner and found out that cost for getting married on a Friday was half the price of anywhere else I’ve looked and she already had many of the tables and chairs we’d need.  She also didn’t have nearly the requirements that other sites did, so we could really make our wedding what we pictured.

We went out that weekend to tour the farm – I tell ya, the views are amazing!!  Longs Peak sets the backdrop, and the farm is set with old cottonwood trees, historic buildings, and fun animals.  There is even a lake at the back of the orchard!!  Zach loved it, too

🙂  I wrote the deposit check on the spot!!!  And all my stress disappeared!!!  Well, that is until we had to tackle the guest list……..

This is our dance floor the evening!!  I love those cafe lights!!  We'll have fire pits, lights, beautiful flowers and more!!

This is our dance floor the evening!! I love those cafe lights!! We’ll have fire pits, lights, beautiful flowers and more!!




After thoroughly enjoying the almost overwhelming joy of finally being engaged, I got right down to business with the planning of our wedding.  (Again, in case you missed it, five years comin’).  Wonderfully, we had the “down time” away from our daily lives being that we were out of town on holiday.  Step one was calling and telling ALL family members.  My uncle, seriously funny man that he is, asked me if I had gangrene between my toes, when I asked, GUESS WHAT!  (EEEEWWWW)  Notifications done, we had to choose a date – one date – preferably one that Zach would be able to remember, one that most people could attend, and one that would suit our preferences (outdoors, etc.).  Out of 365 days, we had to choose 1.  Hmmm….that was a challenge.  To make a long (and probably less-than-interesting) story short, we chose July 25.  Yes, that’s a Friday.  Since I’ve answered this many times already, I’ll save you the trouble of asking, “Why Friday?”  Well, because it’s cheaper than a Saturday in wedding world, and because it’d work out well to have the rest of the weekend for us, since we won’t be taking a honeymoon.  So, Friday, July 25, 2014 is the 1 in 365 choice we made 🙂  Let the countdown begin….

Then, I’m told by all of the those amazingly helpful (overwhelming), organized (messy) and “everything in one place” (ALL things you could ever want and NOT ever want) websites that my to-do list is in the range of 155 items long.  WHAT?!  Yikes.  Well, okay – here we go…plug in my wedding date and…AHHHHHH!!  25 of those 155 things just became overdue.  Huh?  You mean I’m supposed to take a year to plan?  No.  I’ve waited five.  One more is not an option.  So, Plan B it is.

Plan B consisted of deleting those tasks that do not apply, i.e. write an engagement/wedding announcement for your local paper and submit with a picture.  Right.  I’m excited for me, but I’m fairly certain that no one else will care.  One down, 154 to go.

Skip forward approximately 30 minutes and my to-do list is in the manageable range of 110 ish items.  Well, November to July – that’s eight months, totally do-able.  So, I began the joyous process of planning my wedding….next up, find a venue….



My First Wedding Post

Okay, confession:  I have all these great ideas, such as writing posts about our wedding, planning, etc. and then become too busy to actually put said ideas into action.  However, today is the first post about our upcoming nuptials!

First, a little about us.  Zach and I have been together for 5 (yes FIVE) years.  For approximately 4.78 of those years, I knew he was the “one” – cheesy as that sounds.  Sometimes, when you know, you know.  So, for the last 4.78 years, I’ve been patiently waiting for a proposal (that’s an exaggeration, I knew it was too early in those beginning years.)  However, I was beginning to wonder about the “when” come last year – time kept passing and I kept thinking, maybe now, maybe now.  Maybe not.  Not one to do things conventionally, Zach found a way to surprise, just when I had begun to give up hope —

Sitting at the airport gate, the empty airport gate, waiting for our flight back to Indiana for Thanksgiving last fall, is where he popped (literally) the question.  I, having traveled all of my life and having been through most any situation involving airports, flights and the like, was adamant about getting to the airport at least two and a half hours early – just in case we were going to be dealing with long security lines, lost reservations, double-booking for our seats, etc. etc. etc.  Surprisingly, Zach didn’t question me and cheerfully showed up on time ready to leave for the airport.  Generally, I’m at least told that I’m a nerd and too worried about things.  True to form, I was wrong about needing such a lead time and we were at the gate in less than 15 minutes from being dropped off.  Right.  Thank goodness Zach had the grace not to mention anything about my miscalculation during the extra two hours we had at the gate.  Whew.  Instead, he decided to start drilling me about my packing.  Did I remember everything?  Yes.  Did you pack clean underwear?  Mmmm hmmmm.  How about socks – have enough of those?  Yup.  Toothbrush?  Sure did – I made a list and crossed EVERYTHING off so I’m sure I packed everything.  You sure you didn’t forget anything?  I’m sure, butthead (my affectionate name for him.)  Pregnant pauseI  know what you forgot.  Now I’m trying to rack my brain to determine (a) what I forgot and (b) how he might possibly know about it.  By the time I realize what’s going on, Zach was already on one knee, pulling out a ring box from his vest, and asking me to marry him.  In all of my infinite ability to quickly adapt (right?), I said…….WHAT?!  (And covered by entire face behind my hands.)  Recovering, and realizing that this is what I’ve been waiting for, I said YES!  Smiling the best smile you’ve ever seen (no exaggeration, it’ll make you weak at the knees) Zach put the ring on my finger.


I proceeded to enjoy every minute of my new-found euphoria – for the next 14.29 hours or so until the planning began 🙂