Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: February Update!

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February has been busy as usual and I'm surprised at how quickly it's flown by! In terms of the wedding planning, a lot was completed last month but there was still a bit to work through and do this month. Since my last update, here's what we've completed recently!


My Wedding Dress
I picked up my dress early in the month and I'm so in love with it. I've only shown a picture of it to my sister and a few girlfriends, but only my maid of honor, Melissa, has seen it in person. To provide some more detail without giving away a picture, it's an Oleg Cassini dress in ivory, which has cap sleeves, an illusion neckline, beaded lace appliques.and is going to be altered to hit just at the knee or even slightly below. There is no train and it has a vintage sophistication about it. My dress is currently hanging in our closet inside a garment bag, tucked away in a back corner. Even though I have my dress, I have not yet tried it on since I brought it home. The next time I will be trying it on will be in June, when I have my first fitting/alteration session. So until then, I'm not going to even look at it.... out of sight, out of mind lol. What I can say is that it's perfect and captures my style to a tee. I cannot wait!


Pre-Wedding Picnic
We are making a whole weekend of our wedding celebration and to kick things off, we're throwing a casual picnic the day before our wedding. It's going to be a fun time where we will actually have a chance to really connect, catch up, mingle and really spend quality time with family and friends. One of the first trips we took all together with Patrick's family was to Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, NC last year. We had such a wonderful time and it was fun to experience the south for the first time with them. That said, our wedding picnic will be a Southern theme as a nod to our first family trip together.


Pre-Wedding Picnic Invitations
I had picnic invitations created through an Etsy shop, Simply Smitten Designs. They did a beautiful job designing and printing the invites, which I've already received in the mail. Once I get a small venue map printed and attached to the back, they'll be ready to be included with our wedding invitations and mailed out in a couple of months.


Southern Picnic Menu
For the picnic, we're planning on having a casual spread of fried chicken, bbq ribs and a slew of classic southern inspired side dishes. I plan on preparing some of the picnic side dishes but a majority of the feast will be catered by a few vendors. My parents, who are currently overseas, will be flying in for the wedding. Knowing them, I'm pretty sure they will insist on catering our picnic themselves, but I'd rather have them sit back and enjoy the festivities of the moment.


Picnic Pie Buffet
It's not unusual for Patrick's family to celebrate birthdays with a pie instead of a cake, so we're highlighting pie as our main dessert for the picnic too. For dessert, we're going to set up a pie buffet (something we are both super excited about!). We started thinking about where to get our pies since I'm definitely not going to be making them myself. There were a few places we considered getting the pies from, but ultimately decided to get a good variety from Baker's Square. Aside from it being close to home and our picnic venue, I especially have fond childhood memories going to Baker's Square with my dad and siblings as a special Friday night treat. Right now, I'm scoping out second hand stores for cake or pedestal stands of all sizes, colors and heights. I think a collection of the stands would be a perfect way to display the pies. {Not to mention, finding more stands would only add to own personal collection of cake stands at home lol.}


Karaoke DJ
So with a venue and menu decided upon for the picnic, I knew I had to incorporate some fun entertainment. Among my friends, karaoke is a favorite pastime and we had to incorporate karaoke somehow in our wedding festivities. The best opportunity is going to be at our picnic since it's casual, fun and a time for folks to really belt out their favorite song. We've hired a karaoke DJ to come out and liven up the mood with some songs and a few microphones for friends and family to sing their hearts out. I personally can't wait to hear my friends sing and liven up the party!

To capture all the wedding weekend festivities, we've hired a few photographers to catch the special moments that we may not see amidst everything going on. Our engagement and pre-wedding picnic photographer will be my cousin of BJ Aguado Photography. He's an amazingly talented photographer and I'm super excited he is building his business in photography. Sadly, he is not available on our wedding day, but he's recommended another great colleague, Roland Gozun Photography. Come to find out, Roland's extended family have been friends of my parents for decades! It's great that he is going to be part of our special day and from his impressive portfolio, I know he will do an amazing job. We've also asked Roland to provide a photo booth for our guests to take part in and get some fun pictures during our luau celebration. But of course, having one photographer limits us from seeing different perspectives of all the festivities. As a result, we also have our very good friend, John, as a second shooter for both the picnic and wedding. John is also growing his photography business and is already friends with my cousin, so pairing them together would be easy. I'm excited to bring all three of these talented photogs together and really capture various perspectives of the weekend.


Excellence Playa Mujeres Honeymoon
We also booked and paid our honeymoon in full... but in doing so, we ended up changing the resort we'll be staying at. Originally we wanted to stay at the Excellence Riviera Maya, but decided to stay at the newer resort of Excellence Playa Mujeres. We also upgraded our stay to an 'Excellence Club' level which gives us some additional perks on top of the usual all-inclusive experience provided. We are really excited to get away and get a taste of the tropics... even more so in this frigid Chicago cold weather we've been having lately!


Wedding Bands
We also went to the jeweler together to check out some wedding bands. Both of us want simple bands and we're considering getting them engraved with the title of our wedding song and wedding date. We haven't purchased them yet but will probably do so in the next couple of months as we get closer. At least we've decided on which ones we wanted!


Wedding Song
Even though it's a second wedding for both of us, our first weddings were not that big nor did we really experience the wedding planning excitement with our significant other at the time. This time it's completely different. We often joke that our first marriages were really practice marriages because without them, we may not have truly realized who we are, our wants, our needs, our strengths and our weaknesses. We've both gone through our own set of challenges and despite everything, one thing is certain - we have chosen each other to spend the rest of our lives with because we've fallen in love with the person who grew from past experiences. Those experiences essentially made us better people - to ourselves and to each other. Sara Bareilles's song and lyrics of "I Choose You", really touched me... and Patrick could relate to it as well. That said, it was only fitting that this be our wedding song. Every time I hear this song on the radio, I can't help but tear up... so I'm going to have to find a way to hold back the tears for the wedding lol...

"I Choose You"

Let the bough break, let it come down crashing
Let the sun fade out to a dark sky
I can't say I'd even notice it was absent
Cause I could live by the light in your eyes

I'll unfold before you
What I've strung together
The very first words
Of a lifelong love letter

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you
(Yeah)

There was a time when I would have believed them
If they told me you could not come true
Just love's illusion
But then you found me and everything changed
And I believe in something again

My whole heart
Will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start
To a lifelong love letter

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you

We are not perfect
We'll learn from our mistakes
And as long as it takes
I will prove my love to you

I am not scared of the elements
I am under-prepared, but I am willing
And even better
I get to be the other half of you

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
Yeah
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you
I choose you

That's all the updates for this month... stay tuned for next month's update on how our wedding planning and preparations are coming along!

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