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Archive for February, 2009

My vendors and me: A love story

One of the reasons I’m feeling so pleased with my wedding planning thus far is that we’ve chosen vendors who will all come through for us no matter what. We can say with utmost confidence that if anything were to happen: flat tire, sudden case of the flu, etc., any one of these people would do whatever necessary to make my wedding day go smoothly. I’m not just part of some assembly line to them, and while it was hard to find them, I’m glad I searched so thoroughly.

Dorothy Gotlib Photography

Young yet skillful, Dorothy Gotlib’s photos are beautiful and classic. We were willing to splurge on photos knowing that they’d be the piece of our wedding day we could hold onto forever.

The moment I knew it was love: When I found out that she had taken all the photos on display in the event coordinator’s office at the Michigan Union – photos I had admired during my meetings with said coordinator.

First Class Entertainment

Roger Hinchcliff is everything we could want in a DJ. Actually, we’d considered getting a band because the thought of some dude MCing our wedding seemed tacky and lame. Skits and inflatable instruments are most certainly not our style. He is professional and thorough in his planning, and his website allows you to actually create playlists for your big night. He even through in a lighting package.

The moment I knew it was love: When he told me that he refuses to use a fog machine in any of his events for fear of tarnishing his reputation.

Gwen’s Cake Decorating

Gwen is exactly what I was looking for in a cake baker. She has more than 25 years of experience as a cake decorator, and it shines in the beauty of her cakes. Not to mention our cake tasting was the closest I’ve ever been to heaven. Her reasonable prices were also a plus!

The moment I knew it was love: When I tasted her secret-recipe-made-fresh-daily-from-scratch butter cream frosting. Um, YES PLEASE!

I LOVE wedding planning!

Whitney

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Wedding planning marathon

Our trip was a success!

Ceremony venue: Check!

Reception venue: Check!

Photographer: Check!

Cake baker: Check!

DJ: Check!

Date: GASP! [Drum roll please] CHECK!

MAY 22, 2010. 464 days to go. :)

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For being something that is so personal involving Patrick and me, it is certainly surprising how many people we’ve got to include in this production that is our late spring wedding. It’s as though we’re two choreographers and have to make sure each of our players is on board for his or her specific number.

We’ve had our hearts set on a specific date since the beginning of our engagement, which was perfect for all of our vendors the first day we went looking for venues. When we found the ballroom of our dreams, we were given a quote just slightly out of our budget and decided we’d  have to think it over. The good news is it turns out we were just misquoted, and the ballroom is much cheaper than we had originally thought. The bad news is that our date was tentatively on hold when we went back to book it the following day.

We figured we would snatch the following weekend just in case, so we did. This, of course, causes confusion for the photographer and cake baker we found – both of whom had reserved our date for the earlier weekend. So it’s not just about finding vendors that are perfect for our big day, it’s about finding vendors who are perfect for our big day AND have their schedules clear on the same day.

Needless to say, I can understand why people complain of the tediousness of the small details that go into planning a wedding. (Not to mention the fit my grandmother would throw if I dare plan a wedding for a holiday weekend!)

I can’t say that our experience has been stressful or even frustrating. I’m a bit annoyed that the price was misquoted in the first place, but at least we found a place we really love. I think this production is going to be everything we’ve ever dreamed of, and now I’m more excited than ever for opening night!

(Yeah, I know – I took that analogy a bit too far.)

When everything is finally set in stone, we’ll announce the date!

Whitney

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My take on the Ann Arbor trip

Whitney and I made the long awaited trek upward to Ann Arbor. It is here that we are going to be married and this February trip is the beginning of our planning.

We arrived Saturday afternoon after an absurdly early plane flight from Orlando (our pleasantly humid home) and were quickly swept away by my father to the Middleastern Grocery store. A dozen stuffed grape leaves later we finally made it home to the aging house up in which I grew in which I grew up. My saintly mother’s arms awaited us with hugs.

The only thing that seemed to change in my parents’ home was some new artwork of my father’s adorning the walls and his dent in the far left side of the couch seemed deeper.

The following night Whitney’s mama Terry arrived from a long, snowy and salty drive from Bloomington, IN. She was brave enough to come stay for a couple of days and visit the many vendors and venues we had planned out. I say brave because few make it out of my father’s presence without significant emotional scarring. I’ll say now, she held her own and actually thought he was funny. That’s a first.

Over the course of the next two days Whitney, her mother, my mother and I drove around Ann Arbor visiting several ballrooms, ceremony sites, photographers and (our favorite) cake makers. My greatest fear was not that I wouldn’t find something to suit our ceremony and reception (I’m relatively impartial) but that Whitney wouldn’t find that dream location. I was so proud of her though – even after several misfires she remained happy and calm. Successfully trusting in the process of life (thank you Louise Hay).

The only bad part of our whole journey was the 80 degree temperature difference from Orlando to Ann Arbor, but judging by our Facebook profile pictures we even had some fun with that.

I think we pretty much got what we came for: a ceremony venue, a reception venue, a photographer, a cake baker, a candle stick maker, a good dose of my father’s harsh humor, a tuna fish sandwich from my mom, frostbite, a cold, a reminder of why we moved to Florida and three pairs of really cool shoes that I had left behind.

Patrick

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