Save the Dates

Check it out!!!!




Since most, well, all of the subjects of my wedding blog (so far) revolve around what we’re buying for the wedding, the next one will be a little different. I fussed about not wanting to succumb to what I will label the conspicuous consumerism type wedding, so with this next post I will switch gears.
What’s the conspicuous consumerism wedding you ask?
In my eyes it’s a wedding that is more reception heavy than ceremony heavy. And what I mean by that is that the emphasis, all of the effort, or the endgame of all of the wedding fuss is the reception. I understand that the reception is what I have been talking about in most of my posts however the wedding is about the ceremony. The wedding is about family. Specifically blessing and recognizing a family made by choice, that is to say a family created by two individuals choosing one another.
So even though the reception is eating up my time, and money it’s not where my heart is (and that may be reflected in obvious lack of wealth being thrown at it, my apologies guests).
So what will my next post (or 2) be about?
The Orthodox Ceremony! A heads-up of sorts for those who will not know what to expect, and who may be surprised by the lack of certain more commercially known traditions. For example, some questions I will answer will be: why is nobody giving me (the bride) away? Why is there no big “reveal” of the bride? Why are there no traditional vows?

Until next time!

Food & Lodging

I met my 2 planning goals this week, but I’m behind on another project I started last week.

Good news first. I have booked a caterer and blocked off some rooms at a hotel for travelers!

On Tuesday I called some hotels near Holy Cross. To start I have blocked off 10 rooms at Best Western, if we need more rooms we can increase that a little later. The rate is $89 per night under the Merrell-Brenner Wedding Block (May 17-May 19). This hotel is located right on the beach and only 3.5 miles from the church! I’ll include contact information under the “Wedding Information” tab of the blog. Reserve no later than May 3rd!!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been researching and talking with different caterers in Ormond and Daytona. This part is the most stressful because food is such a large expense. We chose to go with a company called Carefree Catering. Daniel and I did a phone consultation with them today to pick the following menu:


  • Mini Chicken Egg Rolls 
  •  Vegetable stuffed Mushrooms
  • Bruschetta


  • Homestyle Chicken Marsala with mushrooms
  • Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Crème


  • Wild mushroom rice pilaf
  • Green beans with slivered almonds

The meal also will have a garden salad, warm rolls, and water, tea, and coffee. Kids will be served chicken fingers and macaroni!  

Now for the bad news: I am so behind on my Save the Dates because of the special wedding postage I ordered from the post office is taking FOREVER to get here (the “forever” in forever stamp is just the length of time it takes the USPS to process and deliver mail). So this means I will be sending out my invitations nearly on top of the Save the Dates. Oh well!

Save the Dates & Tuxes & Goals

Daniel and I have been busy this weekend with a few things.

I started making Save the Dates on Saturday. I designed the template on my computer a few weeks ago using Paint and Word (yes, I’m that lame) and have printed that on to some beige colored card stock (4 cards per page). And to jazz up the rather plain black ink on beige, I used a few rubber stamps. One stamp is a bride and groom which I’m stamping onto the card itself with metallic gold ink.

Since my envelopes were 1/2 inch short of the minimum size envelope to fit my printer, I have to hand write all the addresses. I considered using those white peel-and-stick labels, but I thought it might look a little tacky. And the hand-writing adds a personal touch, I suppose. The negative part is it takes much more time to write it than print.

On the envelope I’m using two stamps. On the corner of the address side I have a flowery/swirly kind of stamp in a wine red kind of color. On the other side of the envelope I’ve used the same color ink with a stamp that says “First comes Love.” And to seal the deal (literally) I got some pink glitter tape on clearance from Michael’s on the lip of the envelope.

I also bought some special wedding postage. Image

Today Daniel and I took a trip to Men’s Warehouse to get him fitted for a tux. Though I had much-to-be-desired experience at David’s Bridal, Men’s Warehouse (they are connected somehow) was a different story. Mark, the fabulous older gentleman who fitted Daniel, was a riot and full of little tips. One of which was to have the guys go with silk pocket squares so that we can skip out on elaborate boutineers. The idea is that the silk pocket pops so you only have to get a small, simple flower for them. Mark even suggested we find a field with some wild flowers and pick those–and he was dead serious. And I’m considering it.

This week my goal is to pick and book our caterer–there are a couple in the mix that I’ve spoken with last week. And I’d also like to find a hotel or two and get block rates for the out-of-towners.

Wedding Date!

Yesterday Daniel and I got an email from Fr. Michael letting us know which weekends in May the church (and Fr.) will be available. We picked the weekend of May 18th for our wedding! This info is also now listed under the Wedding Information tab. As I get together a registry, hotel block reservations, and such all this info will also be under that tab. I guess we could have complete strangers crash our wedding due to the information available on this blog! Hope to see ya’ll there… (I think).

Dress Alterations

On Friday I brought my wedding dress into Sunshine Alterations, a family-owned tailor’s shop. The woman who greeted me and helped me into my dress was a sassy curly-haired lady in a leopard print button-up–my kind of lady.

She laced me up and had me step in front of the mirror. The dress I bought is 4 sizes too big because I bought a sample dress right off the rack. So the seamstress will have to take off a few inches off the sides from the bust all the way down below the hips–its a mermaid silhouette.

We talked a little about the bustle, but we will wait to finalize that during a later fitting. Because there is beading and lace around the bottom of the scalloped style train, the seamstress and recommended a pick-up bustle so that the detail would show. I prefer the French style bustle, but I will most likely go with the recommendation of the seamstress.

So far I have had great experiences at Absolute Haven Bridal and Sunshine Alterations. I’m so glad found these little gems shops that are family owned businesses. They both are forgiving of budgetary restraints, friendly, and treat their customers like humans and not just another consumer, or number to count up.

Dress Shopping

This past weekend my Maid of Honor, Irene, and one of my bridesmaids, Lauren, visited Tallahassee. So we decided to do some wedding dress shopping! Irene came into town early in the afternoon on Friday so we went to David’s Bridal first. It was my first time trying on wedding dresses (and my first time ever even in a Bridal shop).

At David’s Bridal (which I do not recommend to anyone) the first thing that happened was the attendant fishing for as much information as they could get out of me. Some of it was necessary for the appointment like the styles I was interested in and budget. The other info they wanted was my bridesmaid, flower girl, and ring bearer’s email addresses and phone numbers. I felt disinclined to give them any such info because I didn’t want to commit to David’s Bridal, nor did I want them harassing my girls.

I thought the first part of this experience was a little uncomfortable, I felt pushed to give more information than I was prepared to (or wanted to) give. For example, they asked about a ring bearer and flower girl. Neither of which I have even considered because I am completely new to everything wedding–I have never been one to watch Bridal shows, nor have I even been to a wedding. So when I responded “I don’t know. I hadn’t thought of that.” The attendant gave me a weird look. A second, maybe more uncomfortable request for info was what color wedding dress I wanted. I kind of laughed and said “White,” because I honestly thought he was asking whether I wanted white or a non-traditional color like blue or something. But he clarified asking what type of white I wanted white white or ivory. I didn’t know the difference–but I do now! Needless to say the gave me another funny look.

I tried on dresses for about 2 and a half hours. At first it was frustrating because I wanted to see how various styles looked and that meant hit-or-miss. It was fun but I was over-all unimpressed with the quality of the dresses for the price they were asking. Either the beading was too dramatic. Or the sequins were falling off in the dressing room. The lace didn’t go all the way around the dress but was more draped as Irene said like a “table cloth” over the layers of tulle underneath.

Saturday morning Lauren, Irene, and I went to a beautiful little boutique in Midtown (Tallahassee) called Vocelles. It was definitely a more upscale place, but they still had dresses within my limited budget. The consultants were very sweet and the dresses were absolutely stunning. I fell in love with a dress that was over my budget and had to leave it behind. My practical mind kicked in, and I just couldn’t justify spending that much on a one-time dress.

Our final stop was a cute boutique called Absolute Haven Bridal run by a mother and daughter. They were so welcoming with hugs and congratulations and deep considerations of my budget. They had me try on dresses that were less than half my budget to start and I quickly found a dress that I loved with an amazing price to boot. I kept trying on a couple of dresses after just to see how I would feel, but they seriously kept asking me “Are you sure?” and telling me very clearly before taking each dress off the hanger what the price was.

I walked away with a sample dress right off the rack for only $448! I absolutely would recommend this little shop to anyone whether on a strict budget or not. They were so sweet, I didn’t feel pressured to buy, and they were upfront about the price of each dress.

Here is a picture of Irene (left), me (middle), and Lauren (right) at Absolute Haven Bridal!

final dress front

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