Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Need A Doctor

"I'm about to lose my mind, 
You've been gone for so long, I'm running out of time
I need a doctor, Call me a doctor, 
I need a doctor, doctor to bring me back to life" - Dr. Dre, Eminem, Skylar Grey

Image of Dr. Hibbert by Matt Groening via

I thought I was handling all of the wedding planning stress pretty well.  Most of the projects are done and packed and ready to be dropped off at the venue the week of the wedding.  I have had nightmares about the wedding, but who doesn't have them? I guess my subconscious was trying to clue me into the fact that everything wasn't as stress free as I thought it was.

Add on the stress from major work projects due tomorrow and the week we get back from our minimoon, and the fact that Aunt Flo will be visiting me this weekend and only time would tell when something would set me off.  That something was getting the news that I was once again getting shifted to another team with a new boss (in the 3 years that I have worked here I have had 4 different bosses and 4 or 5 different teams).  Don't get me wrong, of course I'm happy to still have a job, but this news wasn't something that I saw coming and wasn't something that I really wanted to deal with 23 days to go.  But you know what they say.  Life doesn't stop moving just because you're planning a wedding.

All of this stress compounded and resulted in a minor panic attack.  I got off the "reorganization" call with my boss and lost it. I couldn't breath.  My hands started to tingle and then I couldn't move them.  My eyes were twitching in between the tears.  I called Mr. E who was in class. I called Mama E who was on a national conference call and left her cell in her office.  I ended up calling Brother E to get in touch with mom because I could barley move my hand to hit dial much less send a text.

I can't thank Mr. E and Mama E enough!  They both rushed home where they found me frozen in my seat still in front of the work laptop. They calmed me down, rubbed feeling back into my arms and hands and had me drink some water through a straw.  We headed to the doctor who confirmed it was a minor panic attack and that it is pretty common to deal with higher levels of anxiety while planning a wedding. He wrote a prescription to help with my anxiety and also for my sleepless nights.  For those that are not into medication, he did mention that there is a herbal remedy called Kava that can help with short term anxiety.

It totally sucks that I got to that stressful point, but I am happy that it happened now and not the week of the wedding when our friends and family are in town.

Have you dealt with higher levels of anxiety or stress in other aspects of your life during your planning period?  How have you been able to push through?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Personalizing Bouquets

Before I get to the latest DIY project I just wanted to take a moment to remember that 2 years ago today Mr. E had me in tears.  That is a night I will never forget, and can not believe that we are finally this close to the big day!

OK, back from my trip down memory lane.  Inspired by Miss Lioness' post on bouquet charms, I decided to add another DIY project to the list!

I won't repeat the directions outlined by Miss Lioness, but I will say this was one of the easiest projects I completed.  And this late in the game, I don't think I need to be taking on any big projects. I need to just cut myself off from all new projects, but you know what they say about idle hands.

After ordering the kit from Annie Howes, I thought it would be cute to personalize the bridesmaid's bouquets with their nicknames used on Weddingbee.  A little clip art and resizing later and they were ready to print out.

Following the online steps I was doing good until my cheap cuticle scissors broke in the middle of trimming BM Philly's charm.  Thankfully I had another pair to forge on with.

I'm so excited about the final product and can't wait to see them on their bouquets in less than a month!!!

Do you (or did you) have trouble cutting yourself off from projects as the wedding day nears?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Table Assignments Made Easier

Not gonna lie, assigning tables was not something that I looked forward to doing.  Making sure people sat with people that they knew as well as filling in all of the extra spots was a little daunting. The hardest guests were the ones that knew no one else (other than my parents). As the RSVPs came rolling in, I started to work on the escort cards and visualize how our groupings of 10 would go.

Perfect Table Plan made the task a little easier as I was able to import my excel guest list and play around with table groups.  When Mama Elephant wanted to make some changes (and there was more then a couple), it was a simple drag and drop to switch up the seating.

I found it so easy that I also used it to plan out how we wanted our rehearsal dinner room to be set up.

The team at Blue Mesa took the layout, said no problem and will have our room set up before we arrive!  I'll probably still get there a little early so I can set up the escort cards, fingerprint tree and wedding quilt.

How will you do seating at your wedding? Open, assigned table or assigned seat?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Is It So Hard To Respond?

We all go through it.  We send out our invites and then patiently wait everyday to check the mail and see those RSVPs come in.  At first it's exciting because you get several cards a day from guests that are so excited to share the day with you.  Then the responses go from a flow to a trickle, some days not receiving even one card.

The due date comes and goes, and there are still some slackers that you have yet to hear from.  You and your family start making calls, sending emails, texting & facebook messages.  Anything just to get a response.  Is it really that hard to put a self addresses and stamped card back in the mail??

The No and Yes piles

We did get to whip out the black light pen for 2 postcards that were left blank.

We also had a joker or two try and add more guests then their card allowed for.

Love you BM Cali!

I'm a numbers person, so I always love seeing the guest list break down on the Bee.  Our total includes the 18 additional guests that we invited after we started getting more no responses.  The RSVP date for the second set was March 12.

Total guests invited: 222
Total guests from out of town: 143 (64%)
Total guests RSVP by date: 198 (89%)
Total Yes: 123 (55.4%), of which 47.2% are out of town, 52.8% in town
Total No: 101 (45.5%)

What's that you say?  My math is off?  Well, that is no fault of mine.  After I was all happy that we had received all of the RSVPs, I was informed that there are two "surprise" guests that will be coming to the wedding that were not actually sent an invite (they were invited by another couple that is coming to the wedding). This was after I finished the table assignments which left only single seats here and there. Was I upset about this? Just a tad.  I didn't understand why they were never included in the original invite list since they are pretty amazing friends of my parents (the guy was a groomsman in my parents' wedding and the couple was along for the ride to the hospital as Mama E was going into labor with me), but it all worked out and I know Daddy E is going to be so surprised when they show up from Canada.

Honestly, I was pretty stressed about how many invites we were sending out.  We ideally wanted 150 people, but with such a high out of town percentage (which I identified as anyone more then 2 hours away) we knew we would have a higher no percentage than average.  

As always, there were people that we thought would be a yes, but are not able to come.  Similarly there were "oh they won't come" family invites that will actually be making the trip from the East Coast.  Mama E thinks this may be because I am the last niece on that side of the family to get married (mom is the second youngest of 7 girls, so all of my first cousins are much older).  I know our RSVP by date percentage would have been  WAY lower if we didn't start nudging guests for responses the week of the due date.

So there you have it, the Elephant wedding will be a loving, celebratory crowd of 125 (including the bride and groom) and we're so excited to get this party started!

How was your RSVP situation?  Did you have to follow up with numerous guests that did not respond?  What was your final head count compared to the number you were hoping for? Did you have any "surprise" guests?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Saw The Sign

And it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign. Life is demanding without understanding...

I hope I'm not the only one thinking about that classic Ace of Base song right now ;)

Some of the easiest DIY projects have been the signs for our various decor elements.  Being able to cross anything off of the to-do list puts a huge smile on my face!

We now have signs for our photo booth,

flip flop baskets,

bar menus,

chair signs,

and sparkler send off.

While I was at Michael's picking up scrapbook paper and spray adhesive for the signs, I also found  plate stands to display our table names.

Are there any easy DIY projects you're looking forward to checking off your list?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help Wanted - Rehearsal Jewelry

Hey hive, I could really use some help with the jewelry for my rehearsal dress!  I picked up a blue strapless dress (I'll be wearing the same dress in purple for BM Philly's wedding in August!) and now need to figure out how to accessorize  it.

Sample dress when shopping with BM Philly 

Since I will be borrowing Mrs. Champagne's earrings for the wedding, I thought about wearing the original earrings I purchased for the rehearsal dinner (Thanks for the suggestion hive member Lindsay12.31.2010!).

With that dress, and those earrings would you suggest wearing a simple necklace (most likely the one that I wear everyday given to me by Mr. E for Christmas a while back)?

Or should I skip the dangling earrings and wear a bolder necklace?

Source (But a less expensive version)

What do you think?  Bolder necklace and stud earrings, or the blue earrings and a simple necklace?  I'm also open to any other necklace suggestions you may have!  Thank you in advance! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A BEEutiful Something Borrowed

Can I just say I LOVE Weddingbee???

After Mama Elephant purchased the amazing necklace that she later gave me at my shower, I had a feeling that my original earrings wouldn't work.

So the hunt began!  The first stop was Swarovski where Mama Elephant and I picked out the necklace.  They had matching earrings, but they were not drop earrings and didn't really do anything for me.  I did search online, but was in no rush to select something because I thought I had a lot of time.  I browsed around until a golden opportunity presented itself.

Enter Weddingbee, and in particular Mrs. Champagne.  She was so kind to send her wedding day earrings so I could see if they would work with my necklace.

Yay for a package with weddingbee icons.

How sweet of Mrs. Champagne to wrap up the earrings in blue and green tissue paper that match our wedding colors! A little detail a bride would notice :) She also included a touching card with that famous wedding saying on the front.

A little unwrapping and we have the gorgeous earrings!

 And a quick shot of the earrings next to my necklace.

LOVE them!  The teardrop shapes go so well together and I am so honored to be able to include my something borrowed from a bee!  Thank you so much Mrs. Champagne!!

Do you have something borrowed?  What is it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Everyone Loves Ricardo!

It's time for the bachelorette PAR-TAY!!

Since 3 out of 4 of my BMs are from out of town, we decided to do the shower and bachelorette party in the same weekend.  After the beautiful shower, we changed and headed out for a night on the town.

Note - Some images in this post may not be suitable for work

The group out at dinner

The first stop was to Color Me Mine which is one of those places where you get to select a ceramic object to paint/decorate. They fire and glaze it and you get to keep your one of a kind creation.

BM Philly and I both selected the chip and dip bowl

MOH Navy breaking out the wine and chips

Everyone getting their paint on

My finished product.  

Colors after it was glazed

We received some coupons after the party, so I'm excited to go back and make another piece!

After our painting party we headed to the hotel room for a couple of BM Cali's famous cookies, other snacks, drinks and some lingerie.

Lovin' my Bride cup

Once we finished up the snacks we headed out to dinner and then drinks and dancing.  The original plan was to go to Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, but the line was out the building with a 45 min wait.  It wasn't worth it, so we headed to Black Fin where we were able to complete all of the item on the bachelorette party treasure hunt.  I had to carry a male blow up doll with me, which we named Ricardo.  Everyone in the bar loved Ricardo!  I think the sash, veil, bachelorette tiara and group of gorgeous girls helped.  Just walking through the crowd involved some high fives, and pats on the butt for Ricardo.  Some of the items on the treasure hunt list included getting various members of the bar to sign Ricardo and we didn't have a single person say no!

 Some of the tasks on the list included:
- Get someone to buy you a drink
- Get a bald guy to sign your man
- Take a blowjob shot
- Dance like a fool to a crazy song
- Find another Bachelorette and get her to sign your man
- Get a free drink from the bartender
- Sign your name on a drunk guy's arm
- Find a married guy and ask him for advice about being married
- Get a cherry from the server station

The task that I never thought we would check off was to get a drunk guy to give you his boxers.  I mean really, who would do that?  Give your underwear to complete strangers?  Well one guy was wasted nice enough to help us out.

We had a blast completing all of the tasks, but I realize that I am no longer the all night partier that I once was back in college.  Around 1 am we called it a night and crashed at the hotel.

What type of things do you like to do for a bachelorette party?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Showered With Love

I love how a bridal shower can make you feel so blessed!  My friends and family are absolutely amazing and I can not thank them enough for their generosity!

BM Philly, MOH Navy, Miss E, BM Cali (with her baby bump), BM Aggie

My Matron of Honor & bridesmaids went above and beyond with everything from the delicious food spread, fun, interactive games and amazing gifts.  A big shout out to MOH Navy's mom for opening up her gorgeous house for the shower, and to Mama E for the cakes & favors!

Some of the tasty spread.  We also had yummy quiche!  

Everyone loved the chocolate cake - I stuck with the lemon raspberry cheesecake

The drinks, and there are some of our personalized water bottles!

After chowing down, we started the games/gifts portion.  BM Philly handled the bridal bingo (a great way to involve the guests in the gift opening).  BM Aggie had every guest write down a memory they had with me and I had to guess which guest wrote it.  This was a wonderful way for the group to hear stories throughout my childhood, college, work and beyond.  BM Cali was stealthy and pulled off the interview with Mr. E via Skype.

Trying not to cry on some of Mr. E's sweet responses

Even if I did do a little bit of registry stalking, I was still surprised and thankful for every gift we received

Opening our toasting flutes

I am so glad that we can finally get replace the pots and pans that I've had since college!

My parents went above and beyond, but the most touching gift I received from them was a Swarovski necklace.  To be honest, my mom told me a head of time she wanted to gift me a necklace, so one weekend while shopping we swung by the Swarovski store.  Mom and I spotted this blue tear drop necklace at the same time and knew it would be perfect for the wedding!

MOH Navy & Me.  Just a few of months ago our roles were reversed at her shower! 

The afternoon was capped off with the priceless gift of photos. All of my bridesmaids contributed to create an amazing scrapbook with so many of of the wonderful memories I share with each of them.  I LOVE it!  I can't wait to get it back after the wedding once MOH Navy has completed it with pictures from all of the pre-wedding activities.

I can't thank my bridal party enough.  You are truly amazing women and I am so grateful to be able to call you my friends :)  I'm also happy to say that all of the thank you notes are completed and on their way to my wonderful guests!

What was your shower like?  Did you play any games or get any awesome non-registry gifts?