87 Days and Counting...

With the help of my wonderful fiancé and his fantastic wedding planning skills, we have everything finished for our big day! We just have little details and some day-of stuff to straighten out now.

Near the end of June, my mom and I met with Wanda at To Know a Veil and purchased a custom made veil for a fraction of the big bridal shop prices. (You know I love a deal!) We went with a very simple look since there is a lot of beautiful detail on the dress. Wanda will also make some modifications to my tiara to help my hairdresser fasten the tiara to my hair. So far, I would highly recommend Wanda based on her honest opinions and great prices!

A few days after that appointment, Randy and I met with Cathy of Cathy’s Sweet Creations to taste some cakes and plan/order our wedding cake. Cathy was very professional and knowledgeable about everything and served us some wonderful cake samples. I had a vision in my mind about how I wanted the cake to look and found something very, very similar in Cathy’s photo books. She worked with my vision and the photo and we planned out a very simple yellow cake with chocolate mousse filling. We are planning to coordinate with our florist and use flowers for the cake topper. Like To Know a Veil, I would highly recommend Cathy’s Sweet Creations based on our experience with Cathy so far!

After leaving the bakery, we headed out to the mall to get Randy measured for his tux. Randy went in with an idea about how he wanted the men to look on the big day and we easily found the color and vest style that would complete his idea.

Yesterday, I took my dress and shoes back to David’s Bridal for my first alterations appointment. The process was painless and easy and I left even more in love with my dress than I was before! The dress is gorgeous and very comfortable. I cannot wait to see it with the tiara & veil and show it off to the world! I am pleased at my progress with my arm toning and my tan looked good with the dress. The plan for the bustle looks good and will allow the detail on the back of the dress to be displayed. My fabulous shoes need to be broken in a bit, but that is easy enough! I have planned to pick it up on September 18th. (Side note: That is the day before my bachelorette party!)

We have been working on getting our invitations ready. Labels have been made and stamps have been purchased. Just need to put everything together and get them in the mail!

Next upcoming event: OUR SHOWER! (Don’t forget to RSVP!) I am really looking forward to this…I feel like it will really kick off our wedding events!



We received our first wedding gifts today!

Very exciting and fun! Looking forward to using our new cookware and knives!

Thank you to Kim & Joe!


No Break on the Planning Front!

I was on Spring Break this past week and took advantage of the time off to check off some wedding to-dos.

At the beginning of the week, Randy and I decided to head out to Target & Bed, Bath and Beyond to add to our registries in person. We already had quite a few items on each registry after starting them online in January, but knew that we needed to see certain things in person to make a decision. We had good luck at Target, but found Bed, Bath and Beyond to be too crowded with merchandise. I don't even remember if we ended up adding anything new from BBB.

I must share with you a few things that I am really hoping are bought off of our registries...

The Fat Trapper: I will no longer pour fat down the drain of the sink. In my defense, I didn't realize that fat down the drain could be damaging.

Spoon Rest: How cool is this spoon rest? It is vertical, not horizontal!

Spice Rack: Never again will I have to rage when trying to find the spice(s) I need!

On Tuesday, I officially made my trial appointment for both my makeup and hair. I am fully trusting my stylist, Stefanie, to make the tiara and veil work with all of these curls! I know she will make it look fabulous!

Later in the week, we meet with Barb at Labo's to make floral arrangements. I put together a few inspirational photos for her to get an idea of what we liked, but really didn't have any specific requests. I don't know the names of any flowers and have no clue about what will be available in October or what will go with what! Here is what she will use as inspiration for my bouquet and the boutonnieres. The bridesmaids will have a smaller version of mine.

I spent time today getting supplies for the card box that we will use at the reception. I originally found the card box below on ebay, but refused to order one for $80+. I showed it to my dad and, of course, we determined that we could easily make something similar.

I also went to Things Remembered today and got the rest of the charms that we will use in memory of Randy's friend and groomsman, Matt McGraw. They will be attached to the boutonnieres of Randy and his groomsmen as a way to have Matt's presence at the wedding.

We have 196 more days to go...which is a far cry from when we had 400+ days to go! Thanks for reading and keeping up with us! We are really looking forward to the big day!


So Many Activities

We have covered so much ground lately and I am very behind on blogging...
I'll use the list format (in no particular order) today to make sure I cover everything that we have done since my last post.

1. We booked a trolley that has a wheelchair lift. It was completely by chance that we found The Trolley Car and Bus Company. We had been searching and searching for some type of transportation company that could accommodate Randy and his wheelchair. We weren't having much luck. However, our luck changed one day after getting a postcard in the mail from The Trolley Car and Bus Company. I looked over the postcard while waiting for the elevator and was prepared to throw it away since I get so much wedding junk mail. To my surprise, I noticed that it said wheelchair lift. I was thrilled and nearly ran up the stairs to show Randy! Later that week, Randy called and booked them. I am so happy to know that we have the appropriate transportation...and it is different/fun, too! Check out pics at http://www.trolleycar.net/.

2. We ordered our invitations. Over the summer, I found invitations at http://www.invitationsbydawn.com/. They are seal-n-send invitations and drastically reduce the cost of the invitations and the postage needed to send them. They are tri-fold invitations and the response card tears off at the bottom. I'm pleased with the low cost...especially since they will just be thrown away by our guests!

3. We also ordered thank you cards from http://www.invitationsbydawn.com/. However, I didn't read the description close enough, so we now have 150 thank you cards without envelopes! I have found another site, though, where I can order just envelopes. Phew.

4. My sister (via my parents) and one of my bridesmaids, Heather, are in the process of planning our bridal shower. It will be held on 8.8.09 at The Department in downtown Joliet. It is a beautiful restaurant and I am really looking forward to it! After the fact, I realized that the date has some significance...we were engaged on 4.4.08, will have our shower on 8.8.09 and will be married on 10.10.09. Cool, huh?

5. My dad found and ordered a tiara for me on ebay. It came in last week and it is perfect. I am contemplating wearing it on a more regular basis after the wedding.

6. One of Randy's groomsmen, Matt McGraw, passed away in October of last year. Randy has made the decision not to replace him and has been thinking of ways to honor him and have him present at the wedding. He originally thought about having lapel pins made in his honor, but the cost was a bit much. I suggested that we find a charm of some sort and attach it to the
boutonnieres of the guys. I looked at Hobby Lobby, but just couldn't find the right thing. My dad suggested looking at Things Remembered. Good suggestion...we found a simple silver charm and had it engraved with MM. Before the wedding, we will have 3 more made.

7. As mentioned before, I have spent many a weekend afternoon/evening at http://www.theknot.com/. While on there, I came across a different way to display seating at the reception. Instead of having 160-200 placecards, we purchased four 8x10 frames and will list the table assignments alphabetically.

8. To the best of my knowledge, all four of my bridesmaids have ordered their dresses. I was becoming a bit of a bridezilla about this...

9. We had a cake tasting scheduled with Milano, but it was canceled. We rescheduled for April. Hopefully it will work out to book them for the reception.

10. We had a chance to try out one of the photobooths that we booked. So much fun! I can't wait to see the pictures of our friends & families!

11. Part of the gifts for my bridesmaids have been delivered. They are just as I imagined and for the right price, too!

12. We have put my father in charge of finding a hotel for that weekend. If you know him, you know that he is loving it.

Alright...I think that might be all for now.

P.S. If you saw Stepbrothers, you laughed at my title. :-)


What Do You Think?

Should we scratch some of our plans and throw a Duggar wedding?

For those of you who didn't see any of the wedding episode, a Duggar wedding serves NO alcohol and prohibits dancing.



Planning, Planning and Wanting it to be Here Already!

Nothing more has officially planned, but Randy & I did print out a "to-do" list from theknot.com. It will hopefully help us focus on what needs to be done in the next 272 days...

We have tickets to a bridal show at the Rialto on January 18th and we are hoping to find a florist & cake company. We have heard great things about the bridal show at the Rialto, so I'm looking forward to it!

I have recently discovered the message boards on theknot.com and am slowly becoming addicted. I have learned that most of the brides on there are REALLY (read: obsessively) into planning and also use many, many abbreviations I don't know! I have posted some questions about curly haired brides (are there any who have hairstyle suggestions??) and have asked for some suggestions about some wheelchair accessible services.

After reading a post by one "knottie," I suggested to Randy that we open and start our registry. We did that this morning and have a few items on our lists. It is fun, but we have decided that we will have to do certain things in the store. I am imagining that as a very time-consuming and exhausting excursion! Anyone have an "must-register-for" suggestions?

We also will need to put a lot of time into creating our invitations. We have already chosen them, but need to spend time entering the correct wording and also need to determine an appropriate date for the RSVP deadline. Any suggestions from you all?

Our planning should pick up now that it is 2009, so I'll keep you all posted!


300 Days and Counting...

Many of my fans have been encouraging me to post again. And when I say fans, I mean my parents and Shannon McCarthy-Antinori. And when I say encouraging, I mean harassing and/or begging. So, here I am...posting for my fans...

Our wedding is exactly 300 days away. To be more exact, our wedding is 9 months, 3 weeks and 5 days away. It seems like forever, but I remember when the count down was at 400+ days! After the start of the new year, we will work on getting more of the "little" things done. We still need to find a florist and order a cake. We need to book a limo service that will be wheelchair accessible. We need to also find a hotel near White Eagle. Then registering, planning a rehearsal dinner, getting invitations, choosing music...I guess we have more than I realized...

As you know, I have my dress already and found out that I need to get in for my first fitting 3-4 months prior to the big day. I have not wanted to be one of those crazy brides that works out like a fool, but I have decided that I need to do something since I generally don't like how I have been looking in recent pictures. I'll start off with working out on the equipment in our building and using the Wii Fit again. This will all begin over Christmas break. I'll keep you posted...

The bridesmaids' dresses have been chosen...officially. I had an idea of one that my sister tried on in August, but I recently began thinking that it wasn't fancy enough. My sister graciously agreed to try some different dresses on when she was home over Thanksgiving break and we found a beautiful dress that should be flattering on everyone!

The dress I am holding up shows the color, truffle. My sister is modeling the dress itself. Doesn't it look great on her? And doesn't she look thrilled?

I'll write more as more developments are made...happy holidays to all!