Big Wedding, Small Budget

Mini Bachelorette Weekend

I can’t lie; it’s been rough in wedding world lately. Although I’ve mostly enjoyed things, the process has just not been fun lately. In fact, I didn’t write a post at all last Thursday because I really couldn’t think of anything positive to say. As with any wedding, there is so much to do, and some things have been happening which definitely left me struggling a little bit emotionally. So, what better to do than have a mini-bachelorette celebration with two of my closest friends? This was a bright spot, for sure!

With so many of my close friends living out of state, it just became way too hard to plan a wedding related party that would take place over a weekend prior to the wedding. So the plan quickly changed to getting together the Friday night before the wedding. I am still super excited about this, and the chance to get all my friends together makes me almost happier than I can handle. But anyway, for now, my friends Mandy and Ali planned an amazing weekend for us.

Mandy and Ali kept the whole thing a total surprise for me, and truthfully, I did not even guess what we were going to do. This was a big stretch for me, not knowing anything, especially since I’m usually the organizer. So I practiced letting go; and maybe I grew a little as a person in the process? Actually, letting go of this was way easier than I ever expected, mostly because I completely trusted my friends to plan something awesome.

Ok, I’m sure at this point, you’re dying to know what we did, right? Or, if you’re on Facebook, you probably already know, but still…

We went drinking around the world at Epcot!

For those of you who are unfamiliar, half of Epcot Center consists of the World Showcase, where there are 11 different country pavilions. Drinking around the world traditionally means that you go in a circle, stopping at each country to have a drink there. Just to give you an idea, we drank glacier shots, schnapps, margaritas, sake, and much, much more. We had such a good time! We got silly with crazy ears, purple hair, tattoos, and a flashing bride-to-be pin. We stayed in an awesome hotel and went out for a great dinner afterwards. As a self-proclaimed Disney expert (having worked there and lived here for a long time), it was so cool to see the park from a different perspective and find all of these nooks and crannies that we never knew existed!

Seriously, guys, I have the best friends ever. It is a strange, but wonderful feeling, to have other people doing things just for me. This whole process has left me feeling really loved, and having a reminder of that, especially this weekend, was exactly what I needed. I leave you with a picture of the three of us, decked out in our bachelorette gear (please forgive the camera phone, nighttime quality).

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Pictures and Parties

As I mentioned earlier, this has been an exciting week in wedding world. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

First, last Friday, we took our engagement pictures. This was something that had been causing me no small measure of anxiety, mostly because Steve doesn’t really like getting his picture taken. In fact, that was basically the whole reason we had engagement pictures taken in the first place; they were included in our photography package, and I thought it would be a good chance for us to get to know our photographer a little more so that the process would go much more smoothly on our wedding day. Well, I was totally right, and I would recommend to anyone that they do engagement pictures for just that reason. We did them with Emily in downtown Orlando. The session was really fun, and our photographer was wonderful. She came armed with ideas to make everything more fun and natural, spent a lot of time just talking to us, and ended up having dinner with us afterwards. The experience was great, and I cannot wait to see what the photos look like!

Then, the very next day was my bridal shower. To tell the truth, I hadn’t thought that much about it beforehand, mostly because I was doing so much to get ready for the engagement pictures. But the minute those were over, I started getting really excited for the shower. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to sleep the night before! Anyway, the shower was everything I could have hoped for and more. Everything looked so nice and the food was amazing. The gift giving was even fine, something remarkable since I really hate opening presents in front of people. Mostly, I was just so touched that a group of people got together to put it on for me. They put so much work into it and I could really feel the love. To look around that room and realize that all of these people had come there just for me, and some from pretty far away, was incredible. The time went by really quickly as I tried to talk to and spend some time with everyone. I can only imagine that the wedding will feel like that times 100!

We’ve been taking care of some other wedding stuff this week, but mostly we’ve been hanging out with Emily and having lots of fun. It’s been a great winter break generally, and I’ve felt really productive wedding-wise as I’ve been checking more and more things off of my list. Next week, I’m back to work, hopefully, I’ll continue to get just as much stuff done!

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The Next Few Days

The next few days are going to be really exciting around here! Emily came in yesterday, so of course we’re thrilled. On Friday, we’ll be taking our engagement pictures. In preparation, I have gotten in touch with my inner girl. Fancy makeup, manicure, brows, getting my hair done…wow. It’s a lot! But it should a really fun afternoon. We’ll be headed to downtown Orlando, starting out in the same spot where we got engaged last year. It will give us a chance to get used to having our pictures taken and to build rapport with our photographer. So, it serves more of a purpose than just pretty pictures (although that would be great on its own).

Then on Saturday is my shower. This is the first big pre-wedding event. My first time as a bride, publicly, anyway. Sometimes I do get nervous about it; I don’t always like being the center of attention. But I know it’s going to be great, and I have absolute faith in those who have been planning it, so that has alleviated any anxiety. I’m so glad Emily will be here for it, and I just think it will be so much fun!

People have been calling me a bride for almost a year now, since we got engaged. But I haven’t really felt like a bride; I’ve just felt like me, but me as I’m planning a huge event. But the wedding is coming up in conversation a lot more now that it’s getting so close. And with the engagement pictures and the shower this week, well, I’m anticipating some kind of switch over to that bride feeling. What that feeling is, exactly, I don’t know. But I’m sure I’ll be working it out here. For now, I’m just excited to be able to enjoy the fun stops along the road to March 24th.

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Control Freak

Confession: I am a control freak. This is probably not much of a surprise for anyone who knows me. I don’t think I really try to control other people’s lives, but when it comes to my own, I like to be in charge. I like to plan things. I like to figure out all of the details ahead of time. I’m not a roll-with-the-punches kind of girl. Instead, I like to know just how everything is going to go.

That’s part of the reason why I’ve enjoyed planning the wedding so far. I’ve never been in charge of a project this big, and it’s great! It’s right up my alley.

The thing is, though, that I can’t be in charge of everything about the wedding. Specifically, when it comes to pre-wedding events like the shower and bachelorette party, I’m not in charge at all.

At first, I thought this would be extremely difficult. It did feel weird, I have to admit, to hand over a guest list for the shower and then…nothing. There was nothing to figure out, nothing to do. It was a strange feeling getting an invitation to my shower. I mean, the last time a party was thrown for me, without my involvement, was a surprise birthday party when I turned 17. And that was in 1996.

Plans are being made and I’m not a part of it. I’m expected to show up on the day and time, without having any idea what to expect. I don’t know who will be there, what we’ll be doing, or how the day will go.

And you know what? It feels great. I have not had a hard time letting go. It’s probably because there is still so much wedding planning to do. But seriously, I am super excited about the fact that I get to go to a party without having to do anything to plan it! Although it’s still a little bit of a crazy feeling to think that people are coming together to plan something just for me, that really has nothing to do with not having control. That’s more about me being used to doing things for other people.

The truth is, I just feel lucky. Lucky that I have people who want to throw me a shower at all. Lucky that they are people I trust plan an awesome and fun shindig. Lucky that I have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy what is sure to be a wonderful day. And the anticipation, the not-knowing, the loss of control is part of what is making it so much fun.

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