Monthly Archives: October 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane!

I am headed to Florida tomorrow for a trade show for work…and with limited internet access and no laptop, I won’t be able to blog. But have no fear, I’ve got bridal magazines in hand and I’ll be back later in the week with more entries. Until then, have a great week!

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On Staying Organized, Part Two:

also known as The Guest List Post!

In part one of the staying organized series, we discussed what I’m doing to keep sane and coordinated for the wedding in general.  In part two, it’s time to show you how realllly type A I am…let’s talk about that guest list.

It’s no secret—we are having a large wedding.  We just have too many wonderful family and friends who we want to include in our day.  It sounds cheesy, but yes, there really are 275 or so people in our life that we want to spend time with on one of the most special days we will share as a couple.  We all know that managing (and affording!) a large wedding can be a big-time headache, so with that in mind (and much to Dr. Groomy’s dismay!), we started on our guest list EARLY.  Early as in, it was the very first thing we did. 

Each couple came up with their list—my parents, his parents, and us—which I then took and created one master list…that had over 350 names on it!  From there, each group whittled down their list to their must-invites and then their would-want-to-invite-but-don’t-have-to.  We are still in the process of finalizing, but I would say that we have the guest list at about 75% of where we want it to be. 

So how am I organizing it?  The guest list is being organized two ways.  The Master List is on my computer and is an excel file.  The guest list also gets it’s own separate binder, and a copy of the master list is stored in here as well:

Guest List 002 

The excel file I created is pretty straightforward…it contains cells for number of guests, first names and last names, children’s names, addresses, emails and phone numbers.  I am so proud to say that with a year left to go (353 days to be exact!), we have 95% of our guests addresses, phone numbers and emails collected.  How’s that for type A for you?!  We were lucky—our parents were smart and gave us their lists complete with that information.  As for our own list, I was a ruthless machine, sending out emails and calling people.  We still have a few addresses to collect, but it is SO NICE to know that that is pretty much done!  Ok, back to the binder…

Guest List 003 In the front are the original lists from all of us and a copy of the master list we just discussed.  After that comes the real gems of the folder:  guest list tracker sheets.  Loosely based off a template from the Russell & Hazel site, I created these myself:

Guest List 005

Each sheet has space for four guests (or couples, or families—I did a space for each INVITE).  The top part is blank to leave room for a label.  Excel files have this great feature called Mail Merge, where you can take the information on the sheet and turn it into an address label.  This is what I used to create a label for each guest/invite. 

Underneath each label is all the pertinent information for each guest.  The sheets will track:

Table Number
Entree Choice
Save-the-Date Card Mailed
Invite Mailed
Thank You Card Mailed
Attending (Yes or No)
Total # in Party
Arriving What Day
Staying Where
Which parties the guest is invited to:  Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, Post-Wedding Brunch (there’s also space to check off if a bridal shower thank you was sent)
And finally, there’s a place for notes.

Guest List 006

To top it all off, they’re arranged in alphabetical order and each sheet is protected by a sheet protector. 

So far, this has worked really great for me.  I am not a big fan of computer spreadsheets (I use them SO MUCH at work!) and this totally allows us to focus on each guest—when they’re coming, where they’re staying, what they like to eat, etc.  Sure, the day is about us, but I want to make sure they’re all taken care of too! 

How are you keeping yourself organized for the wedding planning process?

Oh, and check this out:  On our “Pre-Wedding Anniversary,” look what Dr. Groomy had sent to my office!

Guest List 001Ain’t he sweet?!  

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Filed under How-To, Organization

Dress Shopping: Who to Take and Why

Well, I’ve found another dress designer who’s after my heart!  Unfortunately, she’s couture, which means her gowns are ridiculously, menacingly out of my poor little dress budget’s reach…but that doesn’t mean I can’t ooh and aah  and try to find a knock-off, right?!

Ladies, meet the gowns of Romona Keveza.  Ramona, meet Little Miss Wedding Planner’s blog world!

RK1      RK2 

RK3     RK4
(Source)

So lovely, so simple, yet so luxurious and elegant.  I love all of these designs, but I especially love love love the one on the bottom right.  GORGEOUS.

However lovely, this post actually isn’t about Ramona’s dresses.  This post is about who to take gown shopping and why.

I have always been one of those people who, when picking an important outfit or dress, have been able to try something on and know it was the one.  First business suit?  Bang, I knew it as soon as I put it on.  Prom dress?  Bang, I knew it as soon as I put it on.  Bridesmaid Dress for my cousin’s wedding?  Same thing.  I have no doubts that it will be the same thing for my wedding gown—as soon as I put it on, I’ll know. 

I am lucky.  I have a loving and supportive family and a group of intelligent, wonderful, and supportive women as my friends.  I want to experience dress shopping with all of them—ideally, a trip with my mother, my mother-in-law, and my sister, and another trip with my go-to-gals (aka bridesmaids).  What’s a girl to do?  I’m afraid that if I go with my friends first, I will find a dress I love and then my mom will lose out on that experience.  At the same time, if I don’t go with my friends and I find a dress with my mom instead, they’ll lose out on the experience too.  A simple solution would be to take them all at once, but that’s too many people and I know I would get too overwhelmed with that—I’m not the best high-stress shopper, anyway.  And at the end of it all, this whole thing could be moot anyway—maybe I won’t find a dress right away, regardless!

So, kids, enlighten me:  what was your dress shopping experience like?  Who did you take and why?  Advice, please! 

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Filed under Dress & Attire

My Latest Must-Have

I’m just going to go ahead and say it…I’m not a shoe girl.  I’m not even a fashion girl, really.  Sure, I like fashion, I like fashion magazines, I like beautiful clothes and bags and all of that.  Heck, my love for Carrie Bradshaw is practically on the worshipful side.  But anyone who knows me will tell you that, as much as I might like to be, I’m just not that fashionista gal.  My day to day “uniform” is more t-shirts and jeans than heels and pencil skirts.  Which is why it is surprising then, that my latest wedding obsession is not a dress, or an invitation set, or even jewelry.  No, it’s a pair of shoes.

 

I want you, I need you, I have to have you.

And by you, I mean THESE:

SW 
(Source)

DIVINE.  Sigh.  They are Stuart Weitzman and they. are. LOVELY!

See how WONDERFUL they look as bridal shoes?

SW2  (Source)

I. MUST. HAVE. THEM. 

Problem:  They are expensive.  My thoughts on this, however, are that you only get married once and I can tell you that I would love—and wear!—these shoes forever. 
Bigger Problem:  They are POPULAR, which means they are only available from Zappo’s in sizes 5.5, 7.5, and 11.  What the?!

So, dear readers, tell me:  what are your tips for nailing down a must-have-but-it’s-in-high-demand piece of merchandise?  Anybody have any idea where else I can buy these shoes?

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The Kreativ Blogger Award

Em over at Burning River Bride awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award!  I’m so honored!  Thanks, Em!

Kreativ Blogger Award

To “accept” the award, the rules say I have to tell you 7 random things about myself, and then pass the award on to 7 other bloggers.  Here we go!

1.  I LOVE crappy weather.  Seriously, rain, snow, wind, sleet…bring it on.  I will take all that stuff over sunny weather any day!

2. I’ve been a dancer since I was 3…which means that collectively, I’ve been dancing for 23 years.  Everything from ballet, tap and jazz, to poms and modern.  I’ve done studio dance, team dance, and everything in between—and now I teach ballet to 3 year olds once a week and help coach a high school team.

3. I LOVE  to read.  I could probably do it for my full-time job, as I could easily finish 2-3 books a week if I had more time.  (Secretly, I’ve always thought it would be AWESOME to be a librarian!)  I read just about everything, but I love mysteries, political thrillers, and true crime.  My least favorites?  Chick lit…sorry Jane Green, but that just ain’t my thing!

4. I harbor a not-so-secret celebrity crush on Michael Douglas. Yeah, he’s old bones, but I think he is just divine in every movie he’s in!  I also secretly love Martin Sheen.  Gee, perhaps I have a thing for men who have played the President?

5. I get HIGHLY irritated with people who can select just ONE favorite tv show, movie or book, because I, my friends, have too  many favorites to name.   Seriously, how do you “one-love-wonders” do it?!  Some of my favorite
                  TV Shows:  Alias, Fringe, Law & Order SVU, Top Chef, The Office
                  Movies:  THIS CATEGORY PLAGUES ME.  Seriously, you cannot pick
                                     just one movie out of ALL THE MOVIES EVER MADE.  It is
                                     IMPOSSIBLE, so quit irritating me by doing it!  Some of my
                                     favorites are:  Pyscho, Silence of the Lambs, A Christmas
                                     Story, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins
                  Books:  Don’t even bother, there’s too many to list even a few.  See #3.

6. My favorite holiday is Christmas, and I take it to a whole ‘nother extreme.  Growing up, in the height of my mom’s equally large love for Christmas, my mom and I decorated our house with TEN (10!) Christmas trees…varying heights and sizes, but nonetheless, ten meticulously decorated and themed trees.  Since then, my mom has down-sized her tree collection a bit (I think she does one full-size tree now, and various smaller ones), but mine has only just begun.  (Last year, we had a 9-foot tree AND a 6-foot tree in our one bedroom apartment).

7. My biggest pet peeve?  STUPID DRIVERS.  Seriously people:  don’t stop at an intersection where you DON’T have a stop sign, don’t go straight from  a right-turn-only lane, and for godssake’s when you see a sign that clearly shows that your lane is ending, don’t wait til the last minute to get over.  Know why?  Because I WILL NOT LET YOU IN, you idiot—you should have gotten over sooner and it’s not my problem that you didn’t!  So there.

And now, the bloggers I’d like to award.  First, a note:  this was a lot harder than I thought because I read a lot of nationally known blogs and don’t comment that often, so I am trying to nominate blogs of people I actually know (in the real world OR in the blogging world!) or have commented with.  There are two exceptions to this rule in my nominations: This Casita—Mrs. Hydrangea from Weddingbee! and Unbridaled, a local Milwaukee bride who I always read but who has now become Miss French Fries on Weddingbee!

So, without further ado:

1. Sunshine Wellness (My little sister’s blog…check it out!)
2. Chandra’s Shenanigans
3. RhodeyGirl Tests
4. This Casita
5.  Ashley & Tim in Wisconsin
6.  Unbridaled
7. Runaway Sara (She’s my marathon running partner!)

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Filed under Just For Fun

365 Days From Now…

…I’ll be marrying my best friend!

Today is exactly one year until our wedding day.  I can’t believe it!  I remember when it was 22 months away…time is really flying!

Christmas Dinner 008

Love you, Dr. Groomy!  Can’t wait to be your wife!

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On Staying Organized

I don’t know if you guys are like me at all, but I loooooooove to be organized.  Seriously, anyone who knows me knows that I am type-A perfectionist to the max…so why would my wedding planning be any different, right?!  When we first got engaged, I went out the next day! and bought a big ol’ wedding planning organizer and a bajillion magazines. 

Soon, my house was filled with more magazines, website clippings, and bridal books than you could shake a stick at—and, you guessed it, my big ol’ cookie cutter bridal binder fell to the wayside.  I was carrying around contracts, guest lists, and vendor info in a little file folder, and in the meantime having nightmares about losing that important information. 

To the rescue came this post from Miss Cloud on Weddingbee.  Aha!  A lightbulb went off in my head.  It was time to get myself organized, and do it in a way that would work for ME, not the way some big ol’ binder had it laid out.  Off I went to the office supply store, purchasing binders and tab dividers, and then to the internets, where I downloaded list upon list and other great templates for my binder.  In the end, I came up with two binders…my main wedding planning binder and a separate, smaller binder that would be used solely for our guest list.

Miscellaneous 041

I’ll do a separate post on my guest list binder later, because it is an INTENSE display of my Type-A personality…so for now, feast your eyes on my main binder:

Miscellaneous 043

Each page of the binder is held within a page protector sheet—this way, the pages don’t get all worn and torn as the months roll on.  The first part of the binder has our color palette inspiration page and a few other inspiration pages.  I also toss the things I want to research or look into in the front pockets of the binder.

Miscellaneous 067

Then comes the wedding checklists.  I downloaded mine from the Russell & Hazel website…you can find them here.

Miscellaneous 068

They’re pretty basic, but you get the gist!

Miscellaneous 045

After that, the rest of the binder is divided by tabs for all of the different aspects of our wedding day.  I basically followed Miss Cloud’s advice, and created one tab each for…well, everything!  My tabs are:

Ceremony
Reception
Save-the-Dates
Invitations
Attendants
Rehearsal
Cake
Transportation
Floral
Dress
Accommodations
Favors
DJ
Hair & Makeup
Photography
Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous 070

Each tab then gets its own information page, again from the Russell & Hazel website. (My apologies for the blur on this picture—we really need a new camera!).  Each info page has space at the top for vendor contact information, and then a large space at the bottom for miscellaneous notes and activities pertaining to that specific tab.  If the vendors have a business card or brochure, I staple that in on this page as well. 

And that’s that!  Splitting the guest list from the main binder has really helped in my sanity (and you won’t believe how I’m organizing that guest list!).  Plus, having a binder set up the way I want it and with only the information I need has been really helpful in making me full less overwhelmed. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the “Getting Organized” series…

Hey, did you know I ran a marathon this past Sunday?! 

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