Tuesday, July 31, 2012

20 Hidden Wedding Costs

Wedding Dress Alterations

Hidden Wedding Cost: Even though your bridal salon took your measurements, they ordered the dress that was in the next closest size to you. Translation: It probably won't fit perfectly and you'll need to have some type of alterations once it comes in.

Avoid It: Ask what the store charges for alterations before you buy the gown. If it's too much, don't be afraid to take the dress to a less expensive seamstress for changes. Otherwise, reserve some of your dress budget money specifically for alterations; meaning you'll buy a less expensive dress and spend the few hundred that you have left over to alter it.

Rain-Plan Tent

Hidden Wedding Cost: Does your rain plan involve tenting a good portion of your outdoor wedding reception area? That could cost extra. Depending on the size and style of the tent, could be a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars extra. Often, you'll be required to make a decision a few weeks before the wedding about whether you want to have a tent on reserve. Even if you don't end up using the tent, you could lose the 50 percent deposit you were required to put down to reserve it. Of course, if you do use it, you'll simply pay the balance.

Avoid It: Go with a venue that has a built-in rain plan (read: they don't charge extra for the tent or they've got an indoor space where they can easily move your reception). And if the rain plan means moving you to another room, keep in mind the cost of any extra decor you may want to add there.

Non-Approved Vendors

Hidden Wedding Cost: Lots of venues have approved vendor lists -- companies they prefer working with -- for the major players, like caterers, florists and even photographers. If you're not bringing in someone on their list, they could charge an extra 20 percent or more.

Avoid It: Before you book, ask whether you'll be charged extra for using someone not from the vendor list. Otherwise, stick to their preferred vendors (remember: there's a reason they've kept these companies on the list). Or, if you've got a favorite caterer or florist, work backward and ask them about the venues they like most.

Breakdown and Cleanup Costs

Hidden Wedding Cost: At the end of the reception, you'll go off and enjoy your first night as newlyweds -- and someone else will clean up the party. Most venues require a fee for setup and breakdown that will usually happen the same day as your wedding. If your wedding goes into the early morning, cleanup may be time and a half for labor, meaning it can add on a several hundred dollars extra.

Avoid It: Ask about setup and breakdown costs in your initial quote and make sure that the labor charges are clearly spelled out so there's no surprise later.

Reception Band or DJ Equipment

Hidden Wedding Cost: Typically, your band fee includes paying for the musicians and a minimal amount of equipment. If your reception is in an extra-large space, you'll likely need more speakers, microphones and even an extra sound engineer to make sure everything sounds great. Those additional items could add on anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Avoid It: Before booking your band or DJ, clearly explain the layout of your venue (or better yet, offer them a floor plan with measurements or have them check it out in person) so they know exactly what they're up against. And if they're adding extras, remember that you should be asking extra questions. Have them explain why the equipment is necessary before you sign a contract or agree to pay for anything additional.

Postage Stamps

Hidden Wedding Cost: Sure those invites are gorgeous -- but that awkward square shape means you'll be paying extra postage per invitation. Even if it's just 62 cents per envelope, that can add up pretty quickly: It's an additional $96 for 150 invitations (and other invites can be as much as $2 each to mail!).

Avoid It: Know your standard mail sizes. (For instance, letters can't be more than a fourth of an inch thick or larger than 11.5 inches long by 6.125 inches high. You can get the complete list at USPS.com.) If you're looking to save, consider putting an odd-shaped invitation into a standard-size envelope, so you won't pay extra. Or skip boxed invitations and cards with multiple layers of paper, which can bulk up quickly and cost more than you have in your budget.


Hidden Wedding Cost: Don't assume that if there's valet parking, it's simply included in the venue quote, because it's almost always additional. The cost can be per car (if they're being parked in a paid lot) or simply by the hour for the entire venue parking lot.

Avoid It: Before you sign, ask about parking options and costs. If you're getting married in an area without public transportation options, check out the cost of hiring a shuttle bus to take guests back to their hotels (it may end up being cheaper than valet).

Officiant Fees

Hidden Wedding Cost: If you're hiring someone to help make it legal, you'll probably have to pay them. Even if you're getting married in a house of worship, you may be asked to make a donation. Expect to pay between $200 and $400.

Avoid It: Factor your officiant cost (or the amount you'd like to donate) into your overall ceremony budget.

Photo and Video Overtime

Hidden Wedding Cost: When you hire your videographer and photographer, you'll book them for a certain number of hours. If the wedding runs longer than you expected, or you just want them to stick around to the very end, they'll begin charging per hour, which can start at about $250.

Avoid It: As you're planning, factor in extra time for getting dressed and taking photos. Use this itinerary when booking your photographer and videographer to make sure everyone is on the same page. And don't be afraid to ask up front about overtime charges.

Welcome-Bag Delivery

Hidden Wedding Cost: Most hotels don't add in a welcome-bag delivery fee when you book your rooms. In fact, they may not even mention the rate unless you ask -- they'll simply just add it to the final bill, which can be up to $7 per bag.

Avoid It: As you’re checking out hotels, make sure you ask about their policy on receiving, holding and delivering welcome bags. You can also skip the charge altogether by handing out the bags at the rehearsal dinner.

Holiday Weekend Fees

Hidden Wedding Cost: Sure, it seems like a great idea at first to hold your wedding over a three-day holiday weekend because everyone already has the day off work. But what you don't know is that venues might raise the price of everything, since they have to pay their employees extra to work on a holiday.

Avoid It: Ask your venue to quote you for a few different weekends, and compare any price differences before committing to a wedding date.

Corkage Fees

Hidden Wedding Cost: Think you'll end up saving by picking up some cases of wine and liquor from a discount warehouse? Think again. Like the cake-cutting fee, your venue might charge you to bring in booze -- anywhere from $1.50 to $3 extra per bottle -- that isn't their own.

Avoid It: Unless you want a very specific type of champagne or top-shelf liquor, it's probably best to let your venue or caterer stock the bar. If you simply must have a particular vintage, ask the venue first they may be able to order it specifically for you so you can still avoid the corkage fee.

Bartender Fees

Hidden Wedding Cost: Maybe you paid for your open bar with your catering fee -- but that doesn't always mean a mixologist is included. Bartenders can run an additional $250 an hour.

Avoid It: If your caterer will be providing the booze and bartender, ask for the total cost -- including all waitstaff and bartenders -- in your initial quote. You should have one bartender for every 50 guests during the cocktail hour and one bartender for every 100 guests during the wedding -- anything less and you can expect long lines and annoyed friends.

Rental Transport

Hidden Wedding Cost: Just because there's a delivery fee doesn't mean that rental companies will be up-front about the number. Dropping off all of the chairs, tables, linens and other rental items can be $50 to over $500 of your overall rental fee.

Avoid It: Ask the rental company what its shipping and packaging fees are before you book. If the price is too high, don't be afraid to look around. You may end up picking a more expensive company that includes delivery at no extra charge.


Hidden Wedding Cost: Just about everything that you need for your wedding will have taxes added, so even though that may not be a hidden cost, it can definitely add on an extra couple hundred very quickly.

Avoid It: There's no getting around paying the taxes, so it's best to build this into your budget from the start with a little estimating. You can also try paying the entire bill in one lump sum, which can help lower the overall price.

Cake-Cutting Fee

Hidden Wedding Cost: Usually, reception sites offer you the choice of providing the cake themselves or going with an outside cake baker. The catch? An outside cake baker can often bring the venue price up $2 to $5 per slice, since now the staff is responsible for slicing and serving each piece. (And do the math: $5 for a wedding of 150 means an additional $750!)

Avoid It: If you can't live without having a certain cake baker, ask about cake-cutting fees before you sign your contract so it's built into your budget. Otherwise, go with your reception site's cake baker. They'll likely be able to work with the vision you have in mind.

Coat Check

Hidden Wedding Cost: When you book the venue in May, it's tough to remember just how cold December can be. Coat check for all of your guests can start at about $200, depending on the size of your guest list.

Avoid It: When booking your venue, have a good approximation of your guest list so you can factor in the cost of coat check.


Hidden Wedding Cost: While you might think the "service charge" is actually a tip for the event staff, it's really an additional fee that the catering hall charges to cover their own cost of hiring servers, typically 15 to 20 percent of the food and drink fee.

Avoid It: Once you get the proposed fee from your vendor, add in the service charge percentage so it's already accounted for and in your budget. For the less expensive fees (like your hairstylist or chauffeur), make sure you have cash (including smaller bills, like $5, $10 and $20 bills) handy on the day of the wedding.

Overtime Costs

Hidden Wedding Cost: Most of your vendors -- the venue and the bartender included -- are booked for a certain number of hours. If your wedding runs late or longer than you expected, they'll start charging per hour -- anywhere from $250 an hour and up.

Avoid It: Making a reasonable timeline and sticking to it is key. Not only can it prevent overtime costs, but it helps to keep everyone else (your caterer, officiant) on schedule as well. Once you've worked out a timeline, book your vendors for a realistic time frame and make sure you get any overtime costs in writing in your contract.

Building Fees

Hidden Wedding Cost: If you're getting hitched in a loft or a tented venue, you may have to pay extra for services like garbage removal (up to $250), security (up to $500), freight elevator use to get your decor and tables up there (up to $150) and other little things like fire permits and loading dock fees.

Avoid It: Most full-service venues don't charge for each individual item like this -- they'll just wrap it into your overall quote. If you're not going with a full-service venue, just make sure you get all of the costs carefully itemized in your quote so you know exactly what you're paying for.

Cheesecake and Cameron Cozy Coffees

Yesterday was National Cheesecake Day and in honor of that, Jacelyn and I went over to Cheesecake Factory to pick up Cheesecakes for us to celebrate:

L to R: Jacelyn's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, My Oreo Special Edition and Scott's Vanilla Bean

Now, nothing goes better with Cheesecake than Coffee so Scott and I decided to make our Cameron Cozy Coffee. The story behind that coffee is that we went to dinner one night and Scott, not being a coffee drinker, decided to have some coffee with Kahula and Bailey's in it, hence Cameron Cozy Coffee was born.

So we got the ingredients together:

And got a Coffee Maker care of a JcPenny's gift card my Aunt Bernie send me for my birthday this year (Thanks Auntie) and we got started:

Here is the finished product:

His and Hers Mugs of course....

And here is Scott's combo for the night:

A great way to finish off a Monday.... 88 days to go and good bye July!

Updated Check Off List

Road to Wedding Day

Sixteen to Nine Months Before

Start a wedding folder or binder. - DONE

Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration. - DONE

Work out your budget. Determine how much you have to spend, based on your families’ contributions and your own.- DONE

Pick your wedding party. As soon as you’re engaged, people will start wondering who’s in.- DONE

Start the guest list. Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process, with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information. (Want to keep costs low? It may be brutal, but the best way to do it is to reduce your guest list.)- STILL IN PROGRESS BUT COMING TOGETHER

Hire a planner, if desired. A planner will have relationships with—and insights about—vendors.- D.O.C TPEOPLES...YAY

Reserve your date and venues. Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception, factoring in travel time between the two places.- DONE AND IN ONE PLACES...YES

Book your officiant.- DONE...YAY DAY DAY!

Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers. Keep their contact information in your binder.- PHOTOGRAPHER DONE. FLORIST DONE. CATERERS AT THE HOTEL, DONE. STILL NEED A DJ...

Throw an engagement party, if you wish. But remember that your invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well. - DONE
Eight Months Before

Hire the photographer and the videographer (Budgeting for him…hoping to have him). No need to talk specifics yet, but be sure that the people you hire are open to doing the shots that you want.- PHOTOGRAPHER DONE..

Book the entertainment. Attend gigs of potential acts to see how they perform in front of audiences, then reserve your favorite.

Meet caterers. If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one now and hire the service this month or early next.

Purchase a dress. You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months. -

Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue. -

Register. Sign up at a minimum of three retailers

Launch a wedding website. Create your personal page through a free provider such as weddingchannel.com. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations.- DONE....www.weddingwire.com/jascottThen send the link to invitees.

Seven to Six Months Before

Select and purchase invitations. Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly.

Start planning a honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.- We will see if we will do something

Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.-

Meet with the officiant. Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).- DONE.. STILL NEED TO MAKE TIME TO GO OVER PROGRAM WITH DAY DAY
Send save-the-date cards.

Book a florist. Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, which is why you can wait a little longer to engage one. Plus, at this point, you’ll be firm on what your wedding palette will be

Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).-

Five to Four Months Before

Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues. Negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well.
Check on the wedding invitations. Ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs.
Select and order the cake. Some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker.- NEED TO DO THIS NEXT WEEK
Send your guest list to the host of your shower. Provided you, ahem, know about the shower.
Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings. Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown.- SHOES PURCHASED. DRESS NEXT WEEK!
Schedule hair and makeup artists. Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results.

Choose your music. What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want—and do not want—played.

Three Months Before

Finalize the menu and flowers. You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season. FOOD IS DONE: STILL WAITING ON FLOWERS
Order favors, if desired. Some safe bets: monogrammed cookies or a treat that represents your city or region. If you’re planning to have welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, plan those now too. - THIS MIGHT BE REMOVED FROM THE LIST.... TBD

Make a list of the people giving toasts. Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.- GOTTA GO OVER WITH SC

Finalize the readings. Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony—and whom you wish to do the readings.

Purchase your undergarments. And schedule your second fitting.

Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs. No need to go to a printer, if that’s not in your budget: You can easily create these on your computer.

Purchase the rings. This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
Send your event schedule to the vendors. Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.- TIMELINE WORKED OUT. STILL GOT SOME TWEEKS TO DO

Two Months Before

Touch base again with all the vendors. Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.

Meet with the photographer. Discuss specific shots, and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.

Review the playlist with the band or deejay. Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.

Send out the invitations. The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.

Submit a newspaper wedding announcement. If you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look.

Enjoy a bachelorette party. Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask—for scheduling purposes, of course!—if a celebration is in the works.

One Month Before

Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database. Phone people who have not yet responded.

Get your marriage license. The process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies.

Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.

Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting. For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.

Stock the bar. Now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly.

Send out as many final payments as you can.

Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.

E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles. This gives the chauffeurs ample time to navigate a route.

Assign seating. Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without resketching the entire setting.

Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts. You’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner.

Write vows, if necessary.

Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.

Work on Wedding gift for Groom- IDEAS ARE WORKING.....

Week of the Wedding

Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.

Delegate small wedding-day tasks. Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor.

Send a timeline to the bridal party. Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise.

Pick up your dress. Or make arrangements for a delivery.

Check in one last time with the photographer. Supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film.

Set aside checks for the vendors. And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.

Book a spa treatment. Make an appontment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)

Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events. Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance.

Break in your shoes.

Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets.

Pack for your honeymoon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How A Simple Groupon Led To A Big Proposal

If your boyfriend told you he had a Groupon for dinner on Saturday night, you'd probably believe him, right? So did Bita, not suspecting that instead, her boyfriend Emad had planned an elaborate scheme to propose to her during a private, multi-course dinner that included her favorite dishes, favorite music and even a serving tray that was custom-made with photos of their close family and friends.

I heard about this engagement from a colleague at a summer gathering in Manhattan. As usual, I was curious and wanted to know more. I interviewed the couple and the proposal planner who helped orchestrate the event, and now I bring you all the juicy details.
Read on, and enjoy!

Emad saw Bita in her scrubs, and thought she was absolutely beautiful. They were completing medical rotations at a hospital on Long Island when they ran into each other near the operating room. Emad was with a friend, and suggested they all meet for lunch the following day. "I really wanted to get to know her," Emad said. "I was interested for sure."

After a successful lunch, they went on their first real date at a Persian restaurant on Long Island. They didn't call it a date, though. Emad was shy, and he didn't want to seem pushy. He ate a Barg -- Persian-style barbecue -- and answered Bita's questions about his life in Iran and Canada, and about moving to the United States. Emad, who was one year ahead of her, gave Bita tips about working at the hospital. He told jokes, and made her laugh. "I knew she enjoyed my company, I could tell from her face she wasn't faking it," Emad said. That was in September 2009. For the next seven months, Emad and Bita continued to spend time together, sometimes alone, and sometimes with friends.
The entire time, Emad knew he loved her, but he wasn't sure if Bita was interested in him romantically. One day he'd think she was, but the next day he'd change his mind. Their friendship took a big step forward the day Bita went to Emad's apartment to watch a movie. From then on they began opening up more about their personal lives, and Emad thought it was a good sign that she was even willing to watch a movie she hated ("Inglorious Bastards") with him.

In March 2010, they spent the Persian New Year together with Bita's family. Her grandmother fell in love with Emad. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

But later that month, Emad was matched with a residency program in Buffalo, New York. "All I was thinking was, 'I've worked so hard to be with Bita and we're not even dating yet. It's not going to work long distance.'" When Bita congratulated him on his match, Emad took it badly and brushed her off. He didn't want her to be happy that he was moving away, but later he realized that he had been rude and hurt her feelings. When he went over to apologize, he had a hard time expressing himself. Afraid of being rejected, all he could muster was, "I used to really like you, and I really wanted us to be together." He was happy when she replied, "Do you still?" He knew then that the feelings were mutual. That evening they opened up about their feelings, discussed a long-distance relationship, and shared their first kiss.

After he moved to Buffalo, Emad and Bita saw each other about every six weeks, driving the seven hours that separated them. A year later, Bita started a one-year program in Buffalo, and they were together again. Not long after she arrived, Emad started planning the proposal.

Perhaps a restaurant close to Central Park, with a skyline view, would be a good option, he thought. After all, they both loved good food. But he didn't want it to be cheesy, and he didn't want to do something that would draw too much attention to them in a crowded restaurant. Emad spent countless hours doing Internet research. He read about proposals in Los Angeles. He considered taking her to Mexico. Or perhaps having a picnic. He discovered that some people hired proposal planners.
Eventually, Emad called Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner from Brilliant Event Planning in New York City. He told her their love story, and the planning began. "He wanted it to be perfect," Ms. Pease said. "It had to be thoughtful and meaningful, and he really wanted to make it about their love story." Ms. Pease quickly noticed that food played an important part in their lives. "He could recall the meal they had when they first met," she said.

On March 24, 2012, Emad and Bita drove into Manhattan for dinner. It was a Groupon deal, Emad had told her. They used Groupon frequently, so Bita thought it sounded plausible, even when Emad said this was a catering service trying out different dishes and soliciting feedback. There would be photographers, because they were shooting promotional materials.

They were looking for parking when Emad got pulled over by the police. They had 10 minutes till start time. Emad's heart sunk. "Your left stop light is not working," the officer told him. Emad couldn't find the car's registration. They had just returned from a road trip and he figured he had probably misplaced it along the way. Emad got out of the car to search for the documents in the trunk. When he was safely out of Bita's earshot, he asked the officer to look in his pocket. Emad hoped he'd see the ring and let them go. "Though I thought he might kill me," he said. He was almost crying. But the officer chuckled and said, "You're about to make a bigger mistake than this, so I'll let you go."

As they walked into Olivier Cheng Catering, the live music began. Bita was surprised they were the only couple there, but the waiter, playing along, welcomed them to the Groupon event. The photographer told Bita she could decline to appear in the promotional materials.

The musicians played some of her favorite songs (Emad had compiled a list of 60 of her favorites) and the main course was a Persian dish. "At that point, I was sure it was more than a Groupon," Bita said. But she had just spent two weeks thinking Emad would propose during their vacation, and he never did, so this time she was trying to keep her expectations low. Even though there were signs throughout the dinner, she brushed the notion aside. "I kind of had given up on that," Bita said. She had just had a birthday, so she figured this was a really nice birthday gift.

Yet every food and drink item had a personal connection to their love story. Drinks were inspired by their travels. French and Italian dishes resembled some of Bita's favorites, from restaurants they'd been to together. And the Persian main course -- her grandmother's favorite dish -- honored the woman who had been instrumental to their getting together. She had passed away shortly before the proposal, and had been a close friend to Bita. "This is a Groupon?" Bita insisted. Emad said he'd especially requested that dish ahead of time. When she went to the washroom she privately asked the waiter. He assured her it was a Groupon.

Yet Bita was certain there would be a ring inside Emad's chocolate dome dessert when the waiter poured a hot chocolate sauce over it to make it melt. Emad asked her why she was crying. When Bita saw there were raspberries, not a ring, she quickly dried her eyes. Next the waiter brought her a tray of macarons. It was no ordinary tray. It was lined with photographs Emad had assembled, and Bita was presented with the friends and family she loved most. She teared up again. "I was so overwhelmed with emotions, in a good way. I started crying, because I thought it was so beautiful," she said. She was so fixated on the tray that she didn't notice that her chocolate dessert had arrived. As this one melted, the ring was visible, but she missed it. Emad plucked out the ring and knelt next to her, his fingers stained with chocolate. That was when Bita noticed.

The Meanest Things Brides Can Do to Each Other

Brides have to stick together. After all, no one better understands why it's of the utmost importance that you have Vanda orchids and not Dendrobium orchids in your centerpieces. So let's not piss each other off, okay? See if you agree with me that these are the cruelest things women getting married can do to each other.

Book or buy something your bride-pal wants but can't afford.

An engaged friend, we'll call her Blossom, recently asked me for the name of the hall that our mutual friend, we'll call her Six, loved for her wedding. Six isn't getting married there because it's heartbreakingly out of her price range. Blossom, who has a big budget for her nuptials, decided she should get married there -- without having seen it. "Well, Six loved it so much, it must be great!" she enthused. If these gals were merely guests at each other's wedding, it'd suck for Six, but she'd get over it. But, as you know, Blossom and Six are best friends -- and they're bridesmaids in each other's weddings. Hosting your event in the dream hall your BFF discovered is the equivalent of saying, "Haha, I'm richer than you." The same goes for buying her ideal wedding dress or booking that amazing band she plucked from obscurity. With so many venues and vendors out there, there's zero reason to book places and people your pal found first.

Make it seem like another bride is invited to your wedding when she isn't.

Brides discuss weddings together, whether or not they plan on including each other on their guest lists. There's nothing wrong with that. But asking someone to keep your wedding date open or saying things like, "Can't wait for you to see the bouquets!" isn't cool if you're not 100 percent positive the lady with whom you're conversing is invited. All it does is make the other bride feel like she has to invite you -- and then hate herself for including you when you had no intention of welcoming her at your celebration.

Constantly compare weddings.

No two brides have the same budget and priorities. Gloating about your wedding decisions or judging a bride for hers is childish. You're each getting married to a guy you love and planning a party to celebrate that. You both win.

Dominate common bridesmaids' time and budgets.

Maybe you and another bride have bridesmaids in common. Or maybe one of your bridesmaids is getting married, herself. In either case, do as others do unto you. If your bride-friend is keeping her bachelorette party local because her funds are dedicated to her wedding, don't insist on a group trip to Vegas for your hen do. And if you've got a popular bridesmaid in your group, don't expect her to address your wedding invitations, assemble your ceremony programs and help with your seating chart because she'll need time left over to assist that other bride and, you know, have her own life.

Race to the altar.

Every engaged couple is on their own timeline. If you want two years to plan your wedding (hey, I did), take it. If you want to get married three months after the proposal, do it. Moving up your wedding so it comes before a pal's is silly (who cares if people don't know that the photo booth was your idea first?) and a lot more effort than it's worth.

Talk incessantly about your wedding at her party.

Of course you'll be thinking about your impending nuptials when you go to others' weddings. But remember why you're there: to celebrate THAT bride and groom. No need to tell guests that you'll be offering steak when the meal comes out, skipping the bouquet toss when that bride throws her flowers and giving out sparklers when the newlyweds exit through a barrage of bubbles. Care about the couple who deem you important enough to be with them on that huge day and be present in each moment.

Music Monday: Joe - No One Else Comes Close

Chartreuse, Bowl and Lemon Pepper

Hey Friends- Here is my weekend recap.

Friday Night was Celebration! We were celebrating our friend Ramone and Scott's new job! (Yay). The fellas got to cooking and the ladies had our Play Date at the table...LOL. Here are a few photos:

The guys in the Kitchen cooking up Turkey Burgers, Fries, Salad and Enchiladas

Brandi and her nephew Kobe Bryant McClain... So Cute!

Kobe and Jazz in a stare down.

The Sibs playing bones as usual

 The Chartreuse took Brandon down....LOL

Saturday started off with Panther Family Day with Jacelyn and the Cheerleaders getting to show off their stuff. I didn't get to take pictures because I was working the day away but it was a nice event.

Saturday Night Scott and I were invited by our dear friend Esther to the Hollywood Bowl to see The Producers:

Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leo Bloom, Richard Kind as Max Bialystock and Dane Cook as Franz Liebkind in the musical "The Producers" at the Hollywood Bowl.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It will be alright...

I have been an easy going Bride for the most part (Someone tell me if I am wrong) and I think the wedding is coming together beautifully but I know there are a few things I wish I could do but will do without for our wedding day. Here is a small list:

1. Videographer
2. Nice Pimped Out Honeymoon

This post is my way of letting these things go. I have been watching videos and looking at people's honeymoon pictures as if it will come true for Scott and I but the truth of the matter is at the end of the day, we will be together, married and happy. we can look at photos, plan a big trip for another time. I know that nothing materialistic like Videos and Honeymoon will substitute for the love that I have for Scott.

So Goodbye Videographer Dreams and Honeymoon wishes...

92 days until Mr and Mrs Cameron!

Friday Letters

Dear Body,

I know that it has been a long week but we will get some rest over the weekend, I will make sure of it.

Dear Wedding Plans,

I am so glad that things are getting finalized and done.

Dear Secret Project,

It going to be great! I cant wait to see what people think of it.

Dear Bachelorette Planning Team,

I am so excited for the event, I know you ladies will do it right and we will have a dam good time. Lets get it on...Bring on September!

Dear Scott,

Happy Systems Administrator Day! Today is the close of one chapter and the opening of a new one for you. I am SO PROUD of you, your accomplishment and to be Mrs. Cameron in 92 days! I Love You!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

10 Money Saving Wedding Ideas Your Guests Won’t Even Notice

Keeping to your budget for your big day isn’t always easy – so today I’ve put together some money saving wedding ideas for you, to help those pennies stretch that bit further.

Of course, you don’t want to seem mean and you want your guests to have a good time, without skimping on the food, drink and general ambience of the day. But the beauty of these ideas and tips is that your friends won’t even notice where you’ve cut your costs – although you’ll certainly appreciate the difference!

Subtle But Effective Ways To Cut Your Wedding Costs

    • Get married on a Wednesday or a Thursday. Venues tend to bump up their prices on a Friday or Saturday as weekends are the most popular times to get married. But if you can get married midweek you’ll reap the financial benefits – you’ll also find that more venues are available with less notice, so if you’re planning a last minute wedding you could get just the place you want.
      pink peonies and pink roses wedding bouquet
    • Choose large blooms for your bouquets and flower arrangements – think peonies, hydrangeas, even sunflowers. Your florist will use fewer stems. Also if you choose fewer types of flower, and just stick to three or four favourites there’ll be less wastage. Pad out your blooms with greenery, which is less expensive.winter wedding with bride and groom in snow
    • Get married in winter. The summer months attract a premium price, but if you hold your wedding in January or February you’ll be looking at lower costs for caterers and locations.
    • Use fruits and candles on your wedding tables instead of flowers. Arrange limes, oranges and lemons in large glass bowls and dot coloured or white tea lights around for a pretty DIY effect.
    • The Duchess of Cambridge did it and so can you. Have a make-up lesson and do your own make-up on your wedding day. You’ll be in charge of the way you look (and won’t risk turning up looking like a stranger to your groom) and you’ll be able to use your new skills in the future too.
              Vintage scoops ice cream van
  • Forget about having a formal sit-down lunch. Think about having a buffet, or if you’re marrying in summer have a hog roast, a fish and chip van and an ice cream van.
  • Get married early in the afternoon and instead of having a wedding breakfast, serve a delicious afternoon tea with scones, cakes, delicate sandwiches on pretty china. An easy DIY idea (and remember you can hire beautiful vintage tea services for the day and ask your baking friends to get busy!)
  • Buy your wedding dress in a sample sale. There are some amazing deals on offer and the designer will clean the dress and alter it to fit you like a glove.
  • If you’re having decorated chairs, then just decorate alternate chairs with ribbon – not every single one. This creates a sophisticated look and cuts your hire cost by half.
  • If you’d like a film of your wedding but can’t really afford a professional videographer, then investigate this app which lets your close friends film your big day on their smart phones, then edits the results to give you some slick footage to remember your big day.
If you’ve any money-saving tips you’d like to pass on to us, please leave a comment and share!
Photo credits: Top photograph by Stephen Mark wedding photography, Ice cream van via Vintage Scoops.

Awesome Groom's Cake Ideas

Stay Tuned.

I have been a fan of weddings and all things wedding for as long as I could remember. Its funny because I was never that girl that dreamed of her wedding day and now that it is all unfolding, I am kind of sad to see it go. So that made me wonder, how will I continue my love for weddings after mines is done........ Stay tuned to see what I have come up with.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shave The Date....

Reminder to save the date with clippers (via Imgur, http://aka.ms/savedate-shave)

This poor groom must have lost a "no shave November" bet with his fiance. Let's just hope she doesn't make him keep it like that until the big day.

7 Things Men Want From Wedding Night Sex

Believe it or not, many newlyweds don't seal the deal on the wedding night. This isn't due to a lazy libido, but rather exhaustion after a full day of smiling for photos, glad-handing your guests and chicken dancing your rear off. The temptation to crash after the reception is going to be strong, especially if you've already had sex with your partner prior to the wedding. However, I urge you to pull it together and focus on the amazing possibilities that wedding night sex has to offer. You've got the honeymoon and the rest of your lives to catch up on rest. You (hopefully) only get one crack at the wedding night. So make it count.

I recently read Charli Penn's post on what women really want from wedding night sex. To provide the other half of the picture, here's my list of what men want from the wedding night. Brides, take note...

Cutting Right to the Action
Forget the after party trend. Your friends and family will do just fine keeping the party going on their own. He wants to be alone with you, starting with the ride back to the hotel.

That Look in Your Eyes
If he's on his A-game, he's going to set the mood with champagne, rose petals and some sexy music. His goal: seeing that look in your eyes that tells him you can't resist him. Don't worry, it'll come naturally.

The only thing men love more than lingerie is watching a woman take off lingerie. And the more exotic, the better. Whether it's something you were given as a bridal shower gift or something new you picked up just for the occasion, surprise him with a show.

Don't stop at lingerie. Contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, guys do pay attention to your heels, jewelry and nail polish. We love how you look wearing these accessories... and only these accessories.

Don't assume he wants to jump right into the action. The perfect way to rev up his engine is to tease him, talk dirty to him and push him to the point of no return.

If you've already been having sex, he might feel that he's seen all of your tricks. Surprise him with a "what was that?" moment to let him know the rest of your lives in the bedroom are going to be even more exciting than he could imagine. Bonus: You'll likely inspire him to try some new moves of his own.

A Moment to Take it All In
After the ride (or rides) are over, take a moment to reflect on the day with him. This is the beginning of the rest of your lives. Tell him how special the day was and have one last toast to the start of something beautiful.

Photo of the Week

This Photo of the Week is of Scott and I in Oceanside this past weekend for Jonathan's Birthday. Classically I am the one smashing Scott's eye in photos but this time it was my turn... Love him still.

94 days....  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top 5 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

By The Married Chick

The other day, my friends over at The Nest had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, psychologist and author of the best-selling A Happy You. She’s got tons of really great tips for bringing more joy into a marriage.

Here’s what she shared:

1. Get rid of the “There is no time” mentality
Yes, life is busy -- but where there's a will, there's a way. The average American watches over four hours of TV a day or spends that same amount of time surfing the Internet. Swap out just one hour a day with together time, and that’s a whopping seven more hours to share with your hubby each week.

2. Surprise him
Life can sometimes feel like you're just going through the motions. So do something to spice things up. Consider sending him a text telling him about a fantasy or flashing some fun lingerie when he least expects it. You can even take a simpler route and leave a love note where only he will find it.

3. Remember (and be thankful!) that he can’t read your mind
Think your minds are in sync? Often, he’s not thinking what you’re thinking. Not because he doesn’t love you or doesn’t want to be helpful -- it’s simply because he has a different brain. Plus, we all know men are wired differently.

4. Remember the 5:1 rule
Research shows that happy couples have a 5:1 ratio when it comes to positive vs. negative interactions. This means for every time you have a less-than-positive interaction (conflict, disappointment), you want to have five expressions of positivity.

Positive interactions can include expressions of gratitude, such as:
• “I feel so lucky to have you in my life.”
• “I am so proud of what you've done at work.”
• “You look so handsome today.”
• “You are such a terrific father.”

5. Stop “shoulding”
When you feel like you should be doing something but you’re not, you tend to feel guilty or shameful. And when you “should” your spouse, you can feel angry and resentful.

Instead of resorting to what you feel he should be doing, think, I wish he would help more around the house. Thinking this way, you're more likely to be assertive and figure out together how you can divide up the chore. You're also more likely to be grateful when he does help out.

19 Problems Every Bride Deals With

Picky Eaters

Q. How do I accommodate all the vegans, diabetics, Kosher-keepers, people with food allergies or who are on Atkins or South Beach, and the just-don't-like-exotic-food types?

A. It's impossible to foresee every single wedding guest's dietary needs and preferences. Your best bet is to choose one or two basic meat entrees and one meat-free entree, which will make vegetarians, dieters and picky eaters alike happy. Or consider having a buffet- or family-style meal that includes a variety of foods that will please everyone's palate, and let guests choose what they would like to and are able to eat. And remember that most people with specific food requirements don't expect special treatment when they attend a wedding.

Sneaky Savings

Q. What are some ways to trim the budget without sacrificing the things I want?

A. There are so many ways to cut costs without affecting your overall vision for your wedding. Of course, the fastest way to slash prices is to cut your guest list. This will reduce your catering costs, invitations and even the number of centerpieces and amount of decor you'll need. You can also save a big chunk of change by booking an off-peak season wedding date or by having your wedding on any day of the week but Saturday. Some other sneaky ways to save? Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot -- it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour, along with transportation costs. Choose flowers that are in-season and swap out costly flowers, like peonies, for look-alikes, like garden roses. Offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar. Serve comfort foods like barbecued chicken, mac and cheese, and corn -- it's trendy and often cheaper. Order a small or two-tiered cake for the cutting and then supplement it with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen). And wherever possible, reuse ceremony decor at your reception.

Invitation Equality

Q. If I went to someone's wedding, am I obligated to invite them to mine?

A. It's your party -- if you don't want them there, don't feel guilted into sending an invite. Simply explain that your wedding is going to be very small, and with two families to accommodate, it's just impossible to invite everyone you want to. This might be a difficult conversation, but if they like and respect you enough to have invited you to their wedding, they should understand where you're coming from.

Engagement Party Etiquette

Q. Who is supposed to host our engagement party (and can we throw one ourselves)? And is it rude to have more than one?

A. Anyone can host an engagement party, although traditionally, the bride's parents host the first soiree. But more and more couples are opting to throw their own engagement parties these days, so go for it! Also, you don't have to stop at just one party. If you and your fiance want to have a party for your friends and family, your parents can have a separate one later. The more the merrier!

Footing the Bill

Q. Both my fiance's parents and my parents have agreed to help us pay for the wedding. Now how do we figure out who foots the bill for what?

A. In days of yore (okay, as recently as the 1980s), the rules about who pays for what were much more strict. The bride's family took care of the invitations, wedding consultant, gown and accessories, reception (including site, food, flowers, photographer, videographer and music) and transportation. The groom's family paid for the marriage license, officiant, bride's bouquet, boutonnieres, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. Today, the division of financial duties is far more fluid. Maybe one side feels strongly about the flowers, while the other side feels strongly about the band -- so go ahead and split it up that way. See what's on your agenda; then find ways to make it even.

Tradition Trade-Off

Q. My parents want us to have a traditional wedding, but we definitely don't. What should we do?

A. It's your wedding, and you should do it the way you want -- but keep in mind that it's a big day for your parents too. Take their opinions into consideration, especially if they're paying for -- or helping to pay for -- the wedding. If you're set on a city hall wedding and dinner, maybe you can do that and then have a church ceremony and reception with the works the next day. Or maybe you're willing to nix the judge and have a minister marry you, as long as you get the intimate reception. Sit down together and try to decide what's most important to everyone, then come up with a game plan that everyone can live with.

Tasteless Toasts

Q. At a friend's wedding, someone got ahold of the mic and delivered a drunken, inappropriate and unexpected toast. How can I stop this from happening at my wedding?

A. Make sure your event planner, day-of coordinator and/or emcee knows specifically who is delivering each wedding toast, in what order. And most important, lend specific instructions to the holder of the microphone (in most instances, your bandleader or DJ) that they are not, under any circumstances, to hand the mic over to any other guest.

Budgeting Bridesmaids

Q. A couple of my bridesmaids have complained about how expensive their dresses and other costs are adding up to be. How should I deal?

A. Be considerate. It's likely that your maids will only wear this dress for a few hours, so don't make them hock their car to be a part of your wedding. Choose a dress that's reasonably priced -- have them tell you what reasonable is -- or work together with your party to find a dress that's within both their style and budget. Brides aren't required to pay for the dresses, but if you want to spring for something pricey, consider adding it on to your own budget or paying for half. Try to mitigate expenses elsewhere too -- if they're buying the dresses, don't make them also buy jewelry and shoes.

Inviting the Boss

Q. I don't plan on inviting my boss or any of my coworkers, and I'm concerned they'll take it personally. Any advice?

A. You are under no obligation to invite your boss, or anyone for that matter, to your wedding. To avoid any false expectations or hurt feelings, make it known to your coworkers and boss that your wedding is going to be limited to family and close friends only. The fact that no one from work is being invited will help everyone, especially your boss, avoid feeling excluded. It would also probably be smart to keep wedding talk in the workplace to a minimum.

Giftless Guests

Q. Should we send thank-you cards to guests who came to our wedding but didn't give us cards or gifts?

A. All attendees deserve a handwritten thank-you—regardless of whether they gave you a gift. Now before you roll your eyes and ignore this advice, remember: Guests may have taken time off from work to be there. Keep it simple and say something like, "Thanks for coming! It meant so much that you could be there to celebrate with us." Try to include something personal too, like how you loved their dance moves or the joke they told in the receiving line. Just resist the temptation to throw in a "PS: We're registered at Macy's."

RSVP Radio Silence

Q. If some guests don't RSVP, should we call them to find out if they'll come? Or can we assume that they're not coming?

A. As far as final head count goes, you should never assume. Call to see if they're coming. You never know -- maybe they think they sent the response card, but it may be hiding under a pile of mail. If calling is a problem, assume that they're coming and make sure there's enough food and seats for them. It's better to have extra grub and room than it is to have neglected guests wondering where to sit!

The Date Debate

Q. I invited my friend and her boyfriend (by name on the invite), but they recently broke up. Now she wants to bring someone I don't like. Can I tell her no?

A. Because you worded the invitation correctly by having her boyfriend's name on the envelope (rather than "and guest"), you have every right to say no. As a rule, invitations are nontransferable when people are invited by name. Try explaining that you're not friendly with the guest and that you'd prefer that the guest list be limited to very good friends and family. If you invited all of your single friends sans dates, let her know she won't be the only one coming solo (in case that's her worry).

Bridal Shower Guest List

Q. Who should I invite and not invite to my bridal shower? I don't want it to seem like a ploy to get lots of gifts.

A. You don't have to invite every woman who's invited to your wedding (think of the expense for your bridesmaids if you did!). The guest list should include your closest female pals and relatives (and your fiance's mom, sis and other close female friends and family). As for far-flung guests, sending a shower invite is a nice gesture even if you know they can't attend -- it shows them that they're important to you and that you would've wanted them there.

Registry Rules

Q. What's the politest way to let people know where we've registered?

A. Word of mouth is the best way to loop everyone in on your registry. Make sure your wedding party and parents know so they can clue in guests who ask. It's okay to include the link to your wedding web page in your invites. And conveniently enough, that's where you can post info like your registries. And remember that if people ask you where you're registered -- or even what you would like as a gift -- it's okay for you to tell them the names of the stores. By and large, you shouldn't worry about it too much. People will ask and let others know.

Odd One Out

Q. Let's just say there's a black sheep in my family. Should I feel obligated to invite her to my wedding?

A. Though you shouldn't feel obligated, you should definitely give it some serious thought. Talk to your parents and any siblings about it and see what they think. If inviting her is going to cause you or your immediate family a lot of grief on your wedding day, then don't. On the other hand, if her presence isn't going to adversely affect you, and her not getting invited might create even more of a problem, then extend an invitation. Remember, just because you invite her doesn't mean she'll come.

Planning for No-Shows

Q. I've heard that typically 10 -- if not 20 -- percent of guests won't actually show up. Should I budget for the cost of how many people I think will actually show up, instead of the cost of my entire wedding guest list?

A. In a word: No. This is a case where you should definitely err on the side of caution. While it's true that chances are slim every last guest who RSVPs “yes” will definitely be able to make it to your wedding, it will be a huge headache for you to scrounge up seats and plates if more guests than you planned for show up. The solution? Cut down your guest list to a size your budget can manage, and until every last RSVP card has come in (and every last phone call to track down those errant replies has gone out), assume that they're all going to be there.

Plus-One Problems

Q. We're on a tight budget. Is it okay to invite single guests but not give them plus-ones?

A. Deal with this problem on a case-by-case basis. If you have unmarried friends and relatives in long-term relationships, consider inviting their partners. (Even though they're not married, they're committed.) Then, invite your more single friends and relatives without dates, rather than crossing them off your wedding guest list altogether. If anyone complains, simply explain your dilemma: It was important that they be there, but that you couldn't afford to invite dates. Then, carefully consider where to seat them at the wedding; they may not want to get stuck at a table full of couples.

Hungry Vendors

Q. My wedding photographer told me that she and her assistant expect meals during the wedding reception. Am I supposed to pay for their wedding meals, plus meals for other vendors, like the wedding band I hired?

A. It's nice to feed your wedding professionals if they're going to be working a four- to six-hour ceremony and reception. But if your photographer expects a meal, she should include that in her contract. Also remember that your caterer will make more food than is needed, "just in case," so there will likely be plenty for your wedding professionals to munch on. Or arrange for your caterer to put together a quick platter for the photographer, musicians and others -- simple sandwiches will do.

No Kids Allowed

Q. Is it okay to have an adults-only (18 and up) guest list? If so, how do we spread the news?

A. It's completely legitimate to want an adults-only reception, especially for an evening affair. And most parents of young children will jump at the chance for a night out without the kids. Even so, this is a sensitive topic, and putting "adult reception" on your invites is a little too in-your-face, so take a more subtle tack. First, tell your parents, wedding party and other close relatives and friends, so they can spread the word if any guests ask them. Second, the people whose names are on your invitations are the only people invited to the wedding ("Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" means just the couple; "The Doe Family" means little Suzie can come too). Most guests will take note of this and RSVP for just themselves. If they RSVP for kids too, call them and explain that because of "budget constraints" (always the best excuse, even if it's not true), you decided to invite only adults. Try to understand that some may be genuinely surprised or hurt, and be understanding, but don't give in -- if you say yes once, the requests will start pouring in.

Courtesy of: The Knot

I finally had it.....

I finally had the dream that all Brides talk...

The crazy wedding dream. There was so much going on in the dream that when I woke up, I had to laugh at myself... Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Everything on the wedding menu was fried... Right down to the cake
  2. The wedding was at 8pm in my Grandmothers backyard
  3. I had 2 random wedding guest from Amarillo Texas (Probably Wedding Crashers)
  4. My bridesmaids were off doing weird things leading up to the wedding like managing the Drag Queen Band, Cheer leading Coach, Island Hopping and Learning to be a Jedi
  5. Scott did my makeup... With an airbrush machine
  6. Jazz (Our Dog) was walking me through what was going on
  7. I didn't have a DJ but a band of Drag Queens playing some great music I must say! (WERK!)
  8. The officiants for the wedding were Prince and Barack Obama... Who's knows really why...
  9. My wedding crashers came in and made all the chairs for the guest to sit on out of soap
  10. Last but not least... I wore the horrible wedding dress from Bridesmaids (Before she fixed it)

The message I got from the dream was this... Everyone we needed to be there was there and that kind of made me happy in the confusion of all that was going on. All our team was there to help in one wacky way or another to make sure when it was all said and done, we were married.

The other message I got was no more 2 Buck Chuck for dinner before bed....LOL

95 days to Unwacky Wedding.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Robbins Brothers and Rebecca Crumley from The Knot Discuss Halo Engageme...

Music Monday: Toni Braxton - You Mean The World To Me


Today is my Sissy's Birthday and I think this is the 1st time ever we have been apart for her special day. She has started a life for herself in Houston and I know the family there will make sure that she enjoys every part of her day. Happy Birthday Tai! Love You!

The Ocreanside, Chops and Bubbles..

Hey Blog Buddies, Here is my Weekend Recap

Friday Night I got off of work and came home to prepare for Family Weekend. 

We had Lasagna for dinner

And Scott had some Champagne where the bubbles would not stop moving....

It was like a Wind Tunnel... You had to be there to see it.

Saturday morning after getting the kids up and making breakfast, I got Jace off to cheer practice and found out that her team was having a slumber party that night. So after dropping her off for the party, Scott, Isaiah and I hit the road for "The Oceanside".

Scott and I have been there before but this would be our 1st road trip with Isaiah for that length of time. For the most part he did well up until we were about 20 minutes away.. We found out it was because he needed to use the restroom but we fix that right away.....  :)

Upon arrival at the Murray's home, we chatted for a minute before heading out to dinner at Casa De Bandidi... Here are a few pictures from the restaurant.

The Birthday Boy....Day Day! (With his niece Jillian's fingers behind him)

Day Day and Miss Jenkins....LOL

3 the hard way

After some warming up, he became a ladies man...

HUGE Black Cherry Margarita... SO GOOD.

Scott's dinner... He could not understand why it was so much food... The dinner is called the Macho Grande.....LOL

After dinner we headed over to Jonathan's sister Allison house for dessert and hanging out before hitting the highway back home. Isaiah wanted to stay and play but we told him we would be back in a few weeks to hang out some more.

Sunday was mostly a chill day for us. We got up and had breakfast and chill out for the first part of the day.

We are super geeky sometimes but you got to love us!!

After that, I went and picked up Jacelyn from her Slumber Party (Which she had a blast at) and came home to cook dinner all by myself.

On the menu was Grilled Pork Chops with Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cornbread and Ice Tea... Such a great meal and a good time to spend with the family.

Here is whats on tap for this week:

1. Finalizing Details for the Bridal Shower with my Sissy
2. Checking in on Bachelorette Functions
3. Flowers... Yeah I know its a pain
4. Some things done around the house
5. Checking in with the Parents/Grandparents
6. Hopefully some time with JBJ and SC.

96 days to go.......  :)