The Great Tent Debate

Scott and I are getting married in a beautiful stone church built in 1889.

The Church

Our reception will be at a gorgeous mansion just down the street.

The Reception Locale

I’m thrilled with both locations.  Here’s the dilemma.  We can eat inside the mansion in five different rooms on the first floor.  The main, largest room will have a huge table for us and our immediate family members – about 22 of us.  The four other rooms will have tables for all our other guests.  After eating, we could either go outside to a tent for dancing, toasts, cake, etc.  Or we could have the Music Room inside turned around very quickly after dinner and make that the dancing room.

The benefits of the tent include:

– It would look amazing! I’m picturing round tables, cocktail hi-top tables, couches, end tables, ottomans, candles, round paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, pretty uplighting, etc.

Decor Idea 1

Decor Idea 2

Decor Idea 3

You get the picture.
– Guests not into the music and dancing could stay inside the house and relax.

– The weather in May should be nice so we’d be outside enjoying the evening.


The down side of the tent includes:

– cost

-cost

-cost!

– It will cost over $5000 by the time we rent the tent, the sidewalls (in case of rain), the dance floor, the tables, the chairs, the lounge furniture, the linens, and pay the site’s $500 tent fee!  (Everything inside the mansion is included in my site fee – the tables, chairs linens, china, glassware, etc.)

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...

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I would LOVE to have the tent but $5000 is a LOT of money.  We could use that towards a down payment on a house after the wedding!  The rational part of my brain says it’s insane to spend this on something that’s not necessary to have a great wedding.  The irrational, “bride” part of my brain says it’s my wedding day!  I want it to be perfect, amazing and wonderful!

Will the guests seated in the Music Room be put off that they have to rush through dinner and leave so we can turn it into the dance floor?  Will the dancers be crowded in there with the DJ table and equipment?  Will it be too loud for those not into the dancing?

So please help me here.  What would you do?

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Engagement Party Success!

Last evening was our engagement party, hosted by my dad and step-mom, and organized mostly by my Matron of Honor/sister, Heather.  Warning, this will be a photo-heavy post!

When we arrived we were greeted by the buntings I made for our engagement pics.  Don’t they look nice?

You can see the date bunting in the background.

The dining room credenza was home to some framed e-pics, balloons, the photo book I made for Scott on our first date anniversary, and some delicious desserts.

Look at those cupcakes! That icing color is so pretty.

My mom, along with my step-dad, made these cute little M&M favors for each guest.  The colors match my wedding day colors! Some say Kim & Scott (luckily we have short names) and some have wedding bells printed on them.  I was in love!

These M&Ms had our names and wedding bells on them.

Adorableness!

The party started in the finished basement with drinks and appetizers in abundance!  There were Fiesta Roll-Ups, Buffalo Chicken Dip, hummus and veggies, crackers and cheese, you name it!  Scott decided he needed to be the focus of this pic below.

Appetizer Time

My brother-in-law, Clint, took control of the grilling duties and I was so glad because he can grill like no one I know!

The Grill Chef at Work

Some people went to the backyard for yard games.  There was Ladder Ball, Quoits, and a beanbag toss.  We also had giant Jenga which I really wanted to play and never found the time to!

Yard Games Galore

My future mother-in-law seemed to enjoy getting to know my family and I was so glad they could finally meet her.  I think we’ll all have a great time together on the big day!  Here she is helping her youngest granddaughter, Faith, who’s going to be our adorable Flower Girl.

Dottie and Faith

Other family members were mingling outside.  Here’s my mom and step-dad talking to Scott’s two brothers, his sister-in-law and his brother-in-law.  Faith makes another appearance here.

Family Mingling on the Deck

At one point in the night my sister knocked the toilet paper holder off the wall and my dad had to fix it! My sis is kind of a klutz.  She once knocked over a full-size decorated Christmas tree in a store.  So really this was not surprising, just amusing!

The Toilet Paper Incident of 2011

My step-sister gave us these at the end of the night.  She had found them in the grocery store that morning.  Who knew Scott and I had a pretzel company?

Nice Name!

As the night drew to a close, Scott’s cousin Karlyn decided to shove Scott’s sister’s face into a chocolate pudding pie.  Yes this really did happen at our engagement party!  I was shocked but it seemed to be something that has happened before in this family so everyone thought it was hilarious.  I was just glad it wasn’t MY face that ended up with pudding all over it!

This is what a pudding pie to the face looks like.

The night was filled with family, fun, food and so much love that we both were really humbled and grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make the party happen.  We know a lot of work, time, expense and stress went into the night and we just want to thank everyone for making this a party we will never forget!

I was so humbled that this was all done for us.

It was great that both families could meet, mingle, get to know each other and spend time together, which should make the wedding day so much more fun.  What a great night.  We left there exhausted but so happy.  Now on to the next thing, Save The Date magnets!

Meet the Folks

Today is our engagement party!

This photo shows a bouquet of six latex and on...

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I’m so excited because it’s been 4 months since we got engaged and many of our family members have yet to meet.  So tonight, that will all change.  I’m hoping everyone shows up, has a good time, and gets along.  My mom and Scott’s mom are pretty different, personality-wise, but I think they’ll like each other.  I mean how could they not?  They are both pretty amazing ladies in their own right.  It’ll be so good for everyone to have faces to put with the names.  Plus the food promises to be plentiful and awesome!  I’ll post pics later this week and update you on how it went.  Now, it’s time to start getting ready.

Weight Loss Struggles

Weightloss pyramid.

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I’ve been overweight ever since I packed on the “freshman 15” during college.  That 15 turned into a lot more by the time I was out of school and I’ve just never been able/had the motivation to take it off.  I have recently started seriously trying to lose weight by going to the gym 3-6 times per week and changing my eating habits.  I track everything I eat using an app called “Lose It!” on my iPhone, try to stay under 1500 calories (net), have given up soda completely and most sweets, and never eat 3 hours before bedtime.  I’m also drinking lots of water.  And in 2 months I have lost a total of…..drumroll please….6 pounds.  I’m so frustrated I could cry.  Besides starving myself, which I’m not willing to do, I don’t know how to take this weight off.  Sorry for the pity party but I am at a complete loss for what else to try.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Matron of Honor Dress Has Been Ordered

My sister, my mom and I went to Alfred Angelo this evening to pick up my dress and to shop for my sister’s.  We pulled about 8 dresses and off she went to the dressing room.  A few were definite no’s – the ones with the high/low hems, the ones that were very tailored.  Some made the first cut.  After looking at each of the finalists next to me in my dress, we decided on this one:

This looks funny because I cropped myself out of it. I'm not quite ready to show you my dress!

The color is off in the photo.  It’s actually more of a jade green.  But we loved the way both dresses were flowy and how the ruffle on Heather’s dress echoed the ruffles on mine.  (hint hint)   Hers will fit better on the top and cups will be sewn in for convenience.  We ordered it in her size, bagged up my dress and we were done!  One more task checked off the list!  I love getting each new thing done as the weeks go by.

The Proposal

As Maria in The Sound of Music says, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start”.  Yes, I know, I am a dork.  I already told you that.

Anyway, I’m going to tell you about Scott’s proposal.  We had been dating for about a year and 4 months.  It was April 2011, around my birthday.  Scott insisted we should go away for the weekend so we decided on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  He had never been there and I loved the place.  Done!

Scott would make a nice snack for this monster!

We both took Friday off of work and headed down.  We walked around the amazing aquarium for a few hours then headed to the hotel to check in.  After seeing all the fish and aquatic life there, we decided to board the Water Taxi (such a cute name for the little boat that shuttles you around the harbor) and have dinner at The Rusty Skupper.  Dinner proceeded with no proposal but that was okay.  We were having fun!

I'm not going to lie. I really thought this was going to be the moment he would pop the question.

Saturday dawned gloomy and rainy.  Actually, rainy is an understatement.  It poured all day!  But we made the most of it and visited the Maryland Science Center.  For hours we walked around, played with the  neat hands-on exhibits, and had a great time together.  We decided to head to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for dinner, even though it was still pouring, and let me tell you, the food and service there was amazing!   We ate till we were ready to burst, but at the end of the evening we paid the check and left without Scott getting down on one knee.

I woke up Sunday morning disappointed and a bit sad.  Then I got mad at myself for letting my expectations get in the way of a fun getaway weekend and vowed to put all thoughts of rings and proposals out of my mind.  We packed our bags, took them to the car and decided to do one last tourist-y thing….check out the USS Constellation, a civil war ship docked in the harbor.  We boarded the ship and started to walk around reading the signs and taking pictures.   At the back of the ship (the stern?) Scott was acting a little strange.  He was leaning on the rail and staring off into space.

I asked him what was wrong and he said he was just thinking.  Hmmmm.  This should have been a clue but I just thought he was acting weird and brushed it off.  The next thing I knew, Scott took my hand and led me to the center of the deck under a gigantic mast, got down on one knee, held a sparkly ring up to me and said, “In the old Navy tradition, will you marry me?”  (I will explain this “tradition” in a sec.)  I was completely and utterly gobsmacked!  Just shocked!  I had decided that I had been wrong about this being the weekend and had put the idea so far out of my mind that I could hardly believe what I was seeing and hearing.  I asked him if he was serious, he said yes, and then I said yes!  Scott stood up, put the ring on my finger and just like that, we were engaged!  It was truly a moment I will never forget.

It didn’t take long for us to start planning our wedding, and I’ll write about some of those details in upcoming posts.  Thanks for following along on our exciting journey!

He asked!

PS – When Scott asked me to marry him, he mentioned a Navy tradition.  Afterwards I asked him about this and he explained that sailors in the Navy would often invite girlfriends on board after returning from a long tour at sea, then propose on deck.  So being the Navy man he is, he did the same, even though he’s been out of the service for years.  I still appreciate the gesture and love that our proposal site is so unique!

Hello, blogosphere!

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for months and finally decided today was the day.  Why, you ask?  Well you see, I’m in the early stages of planning what could be considered the most important day and the biggest party of my 40+ years so far….my wedding day!    And I could use some opinions on things, as well as a place to vent and throw out ideas without making my family and my fiance want to shoot me.  I do understand there’s only so much wedding talk non-brides can take.

So here I am!  I expect I’ll be writing to myself mostly, but that’s ok.  I’m also not sure how often I’ll update, and I’m telling myself that’s ok too.  As a perfectionist, I can be pretty tough on myself sometimes.  Hopefully this blog will not be another reason to beat myself up, but will be an emotional outlet and a fun way to make some decisions about my big day!

So welcome to my blog.  Please be patient with me as I learn how to navigate this new world and I promise to give you my best.

And thanks!