Saturday, December 17, 2011

Time Out

Not that I've been around much anyway, but in the hope that not ALL of my readers will leave me, I wanted to let you know that I will be out of town for the next two weeks and will probably be unable to write.

Happy Holidays!  And I'll see you all in the new year (in which we hopefully will not all die)!


Monday, December 5, 2011

How to DIY Flowers

If there was one problem I wish we could have thrown money at, it's flowers.  DIYing flowers is hard, all the more stressful because you cannot do it more than a couple of days in advance.  If you can afford to have someone do your flowers, you should.  If you don't care that much about flowers, use something else as centerpieces.  However, if like us you want flowers but cannot afford to have someone else do them, this should help you get through it.

Step 1:  Find a florist

Personal Photo

This was much more difficult than I had anticipated.  First, I searched for wholesale florists, but there were not many in my area, and those that were here did not sell to individuals.  Then, I went to grocery stores and the like, but the quality of their flowers was seriously lacking as was selection, and no one really knew what was going on.  I found our florist at a farmer's market, but they were the only ones there who had any kind of selection.  Honestly, if you can, I would recommend ordering your flowers from a regular florist (i.e. flower shop) and just doing the arrangements yourselves.  It might be a little more expensive, but based on the prices we paid, I doubt it would be much more, and the quality of the flowers, service, and selection will be much higher than anywhere else.  Though if you can find a wholesale market that will let you buy from them, I've heard that's the best option.  Just make sure you can order your flowers, so you're not stuck with what they have that day.

Step 2:  Appointment Someone in Charge of Flowers

We were very lucky to have Julia who already knew about arrangements.  You need to have someone who can make themselves knowledgeable about flowers beforehand, and it cannot be the bride or groom.  You guys have too much to do right before the wedding already to be worrying about flowers dying while you're getting your dress or tux on.  Julia was working on the flowers right up until she left for the ceremony because a bunch of our flowers died.  Not saying that will happen to you, but something will.  If you can, send your appointed person to a class on flower arrangements or at least have them look at DIY tutorials online.  Also, talk to your florist about how to keep the flowers fresh and how to transport them and such.  They can be helpful in keeping your flowers alive and pretty.

Step 3:  Pick Your Flowers

Personal Photo

Actually, you should have an idea of what flowers you want before you pick your florist to make sure they can provide what you want.  Look up what flowers are in season.  Local flowers will always be cheapest.  Find flowers that are easy to work with and hardy.  You don't want any fragile flowers, especially if your refrigeration space is limited.  Try to pick a color scheme that will work with local, in season flowers.  We had a Hell of a time finding blue flowers that would work with my vision, and though I spent a lot of time trying to avoid hydrangeas, they ended up being a good choice because they were easy to arrange.  If you want a wide variety of flowers, you probably want a spring wedding.  Talk to your florist (or any florist) about flower choices.  If you can describe what you want, they should be able to help find it.  But always make sure you can see what they pick before ordering it, so you know it's what you're looking for.  If you can't see it in person, look it up online.

Step 4:  Create and Communicate a Vision for Arrangements

sources:  left, middle, right

If you're reading this, I'm sure you know the wonders of the internet when it comes to (and I quote Offbeat Bride) wedding porn.  Use it.  Someone will give you inspiration or have had the same image as you.  Find them.  Copy them.  Pictures are the most effective way to communicate your vision to others.  Find something simple for your centerpieces.  When it comes down to it, no one cares about them, and there are better things to spend your time and money on.  Try to keep the variety of flowers you need to a minimum.  It will be cheaper and easier that way.  And if you can afford it and you care about it, hire someone to do your bouquet.  It will turn out better if a professional does it.

Step 5:  Order Your Flowers

You honestly don't need to do this very far in advance.  Most places only place the order a week ahead of time.  I'd recommend doing it a month ahead of time just to be sure.  Try to be realistic about how many flowers you need.  Try to get your florist to give you an idea of how big their bunches are.  You definitely want extras, but you don't want a ton of extras.  Allow for errors and screw ups, and if the budget is nagging you, make a list of what matters most to you and cut off the excess.  Remember, no one but you is going to remember your flowers, so if they're not perfect, it's not a big deal.

Step 6:  Get a Flower Arranging Team

Personal Photo

You're going to need help.  Get everyone you can to help you with the flowers, and make sure you give them plenty of notice because many will have to take off work.  The more the merrier with flowers, and if it means you get done quickly, that is just fine.  I would recommend doing the flowers two days before the wedding.  That way, they should be fresh enough, but you won't literally be doing them at the last minute.

Step 7:  Pick up and Prepare Your Flowers

Before you pick up your flowers, have on hand:

Flower Food
Trash Cans
Pins for bouquets
Ribbons for tying bouquets

Here is what you need to do with your flowers when you get them home:

Put all the stems in water (but not the flowers; petals and water do not mix well)
Cut at least 1/4 in. off all the stems (1/2 in. is better)
Immediately return to water
Strip all the roses (dethorners are about $5 each, so I'd get two if you have a lot of flowers)
Strip other flowers as necessary
Prepare vases (fill with water, flower food if you're using it, anything extra like pebbles, sand, or aqua beads)
Cut stems to appropriate sizes

Step 8:  Make Flower Arrangements
Start with the centerpieces.  There are a lot of them, and no one cares about them, so they will be good practice for bouquets and such.  Plus, once you figure out how you want them, it's easy to teach others how to make them, leaving the hard stuff to those who know what they're doing.  The easiest way to make a centerpieces is to buy Oasis or foam of some sort to stick the flowers into.  However, you don't need it.  Pebbles, gems, or aqua beads work too.

Bouquets and boutonnieres are trickier.  If you don't take a class, find some good online tutorials, and practice ahead of time if you can.
Step 9:  Store Flowers

One of the hardest parts of DIYing flowers is figuring out where to put them once the arrangements are done.  Many flowers need to be kept cool, and when you have 20 arrangements, it can be hard to fit them all.  Put as much as you can in the refrigerator, then go find other people's refrigerators that you can use.  We had our flowers spread over at least four hotel rooms and our venue at one point.  One way to avoid this problem is to get flowers that are hardy enough to deal with heat for a few days.  But whatever you do, don't fill a cooler with ice and put your arrangements in it like we did.  They will freeze.  But that's a story for next time.

Step 10:  Enjoy

One of the nice things about DIYing your flowers is that you can be that much more proud of them when your wedding day arrives.  When you look out over your guests enjoying their tables, know that you built that joy, and you made your day extra special by truly putting yourself into it.

Advice or experiences you had with DIYing flowers?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where do we go from here?

Hi Everyone,

I know I've been an awful blogger lately (lately being the last, oh, five months or so).  In my defense, I've been sick for the last week and was working feverishly to finish our parents' wedding albums in the weeks before that (my Shutterfly coupons were due to expire).  But that's not really a good enough excuse.  Still, I'm trying to do better, and we are oh so close to the real recaps.

I've also been thinking about the future.  Assuming I can overcome my current state of apathy/writer's block, our wedding will soon be fully explored, and it will be time to move on to other things.  I have big plans for my post-wedding blogging, but I need your help.

You see, I want to continue writing, but not here.  This blog is for wedding stuff, and since I do not intend to continue writing about weddings after recapping mine, I need a whole new blog.  I like Blogger, but it has come to my attention that other sites can provide respectable blogging interfaces as well.  I know a lot of people use WordPress among other sites.

And so I come to you for advice, my blogging companions.  Do you like Blogger?  Do you like writing on other sites better?  What server do you like reading on the best?  What do you feel are the pros and cons of each?

If you could help me decide where to go after this, I would be much obliged.  Hopefully, this will make your reading experience better as well if you decide to come with me.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Final Countdown: Thursday, or DIY Flowers

On Thursday morning, I awoke early after dealing with our stupid escort/place cards, utterly exhausted and still with the damn Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.  It was time for our biggest and scariest DIY task:  the flowers.

Early in the morning, we drove down to Watsonville (near Monterey) to pick up our flowers from Country Essences Flowers.  When I saw what she had prepared for us, my first thought was, "Seriously?"  The reason we had picked this vendor was that she had her own ranch and grew her own flowers.  The reason I was willing to drive an hour two days before our wedding to get them is that I thought they would be fresh.  And yet the roses were already browning.  And I'm not just talking about a few; they all looked like they were dying already.  The other flowers were OK, but they were still not as expected.  The orchids were MASSIVE compared to most, honestly bigger than I wanted for our cake, and the solidago which was supposed to be little yellow flowers was in fact little green buds.  It was supposed to open up.  It never did.  Overall, I was disappointed with Country Essences and wish I had gone with someone else.

But it was too late to do anything about it, so we loaded up the flowers, reminded the florist that she owed us boutonnieres, waited while she made them, and headed back to San Jose.

Photos by My Dad

Originally, we had told the wedding party they all needed to help us with flowers on Thursday.  Most of them said they couldn't come.  Actually, most of them didn't say anything, and I had to pry their "no"s from them with my bare hands (aka massive amounts of emailing).  However, it worked out for the best because both of our families showed up to help, and thanks to them, we were done with most of the prep work in about an hour.  We would have been done with the centerpieces soon after if our flower expert, Julia, had not insisted on doing the arranging herself.

Thursday wast the first day that I could take a step back and let other people be in charge of the main activity.  Julia, bless her, did the vast majority of the work on the flowers, leaving me time to go over plans for the next two days with Nicole and the other key wedding helpers.  I feel bad about how much Julia did alone though we did all offer to help a lot more than she would allow.  Though she works for a florist, she had never done a wedding before, and she was really stressed out.  I tried to assure her that it was all great, but I still felt really bad about how much she stressed herself out.

Julia Making the Centerpieces

Teaching My Brother to Arrange Flowers (Was Hilarious)

 Nicoles Planning the Wedding Day
Photos by My Mom

The centerpieces didn't take too long, but then it was time for the bouquets.  We did mine first.  It was a pain in the ass.  Because our roses sucked, we had a tough time making it look big enough.  We had to strip the outer petals, leaving the roses small and hard to work with.  Julia spent ages trying to get them into the right position.  Finally, we worked out something suitable and then added in some leaves and solidago.  Then it was time for the fun part.

For months, I had been looking for the right blue flowers to stick in my bouquet, and I always came back to the same ones.  You see, there are these little blue flowers that grow beside the freeway on my way home, and they were perfect.  I had no idea what they were called, so I couldn't order them, but I decided to just go collect some myself.

And so it was that my dad and I found ourselves on the side of the freeway collecting flowers for my bouquet.

The first time, we underestimated how many we would need, so we had to go back for more which made the whole thing even funnier.

Photos by My Mom

It was quite the adventure.  Fortunately, we did not get run over or fall off the road though I did get a bunch of stickers in my fingers.  Woops.

We weren't sure how long these flowers would last, but they actually held up better than the store-bought ones.  I guess they have to be tough to survive next to all those cars.

Once my bouquet was done, all we had left were the bridesmaid's bouquets which were also a pain in the ass, but we got it done.  I really cannot thank Julia enough for all the help she gave us, especially since she did it for free and doesn't even know us that well being my brother's girlfriend.  She did an amazing job, and we have told her many time since that we are forever in her debt.

Everyone who helped us out that day means so much to us.  It was a shit job, and we could not have done it without their help.  Friends and family, we love you.  Thank you for saving us from a flowerless wedding!

Photo by My Mom

Was there anything in your wedding that you could not have done without your friends and family?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Break from Wedding Posts

We're going to take a quick break from weddings to talk about the Occupy movement.  If you'd rather stick with wedding stuff, you'll want to skip this post.

I won't bore you with my non-committal opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but since the protesting hit Berkeley, I have been feeling a little nostalgic.  When I was at Cal (aka University of California, Berkeley), I was fascinated by its history of protests.  One of the first papers I wrote there was on the Free Speech Movement (FSM), and I always wanted to take part in a protest like that while I was at school.

But I was saddened to learn that that part of Cal's history had really fallen by the wayside.  I went to a few protests while I was there, but none of them had that feeling of solidarity and historical significance that came with the FSM.  And there were very few protests held for things I felt strongly about.  I'm sure there were still far more protests at Cal than at most schools, but I just wasn't getting the vibe I imagined should come with them.

Not that this is all bad.  I'm glad we didn't have the civil rights and Vietnam War issues that fueled most of the protests at Cal in the sixties and seventies.  But there were still things worth protesting (the Iraq War being the big one for me).

Of course, as soon as I left, a group of students took over Wheeler Hall in protest of the 60+% tuition increases that were scheduled for that year.  I watched from Chicago, wishing it had happened a few months earlier (but still happier that I avoided the crazy fee hikes).

And now the Occupy movement has come to Cal, and there have been major protests for the last few weeks over even more tuition hikes (80%, yikes!), and while I am very glad that I am done with my degree and don't have to worry about the financial implications of this shit, I do almost wish that I was there and could take part in these protests that finally matter, to me and to the country (or at least the major news networks).

At the same time, I am glad I avoided this:

And I'm glad that I wasn't in Haas when someone decided to start waving a gun around on Tuesday (though apparently that was not related to the protests).

Still, I think I would enjoy the atmosphere, watching people fight for what they believe in.  That to me is the real spirit of democracy in this country, and it is quite a sight.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


And now, a pause from our regularly scheduled recapping to bring you this awesomeness:

Harry Potter Engagement

BEST ENGAGEMENT EVER!  Daniel, time to step up.

Major thanks to Dana for pointing this out to me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Final Countdown: Wednesday, or Meanwhile...

While everyone else was working on our table name signs, I was working on ridding myself of the Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.  By Wednesday, I was getting really worried that my headache was not going away.  I had never had a headache that lasted more than 24 hours before, and entering the fourth day was pretty scary.  Something was wrong.  This couldn't just be from stress.

And so it was that I went to the doctor, and we figured out (with some help from Daniel's aunt who is also a doctor) that I had a menstrual headache.  Let me explain.  Ever since I had surgery to treat endometriosis, my period has been a little complicated.  The doctor wanted me to have as few periods as possible, so instead of having my period every month, I take birth control back to back so that I should have my period every three months.

But it doesn't really work out that way.  Thus far, it's been more like every one-and-a-half to two months before my body revolts and has a period anyway.  It's been pretty unreliable, but based on the length between periods I'd had thus far, it looked like I was going to start right around our wedding day and go through the first part of the honeymoon.

Obviously, I was not very happy about this, so I decided to do something about it.  I would just force my period to come the week before the wedding instead.  It had been so irregular that I figured this wouldn't be much of a problem.  What's a week out of two months when it's been jumping around anyway?

Yeah, I really didn't think there were going to be side effects, but apparently that's what caused my headache.  Both doctors were appalled that I would do something like this (which I still think is kind of weird.  Who wants to have their period on their wedding day?  Or honeymoon?), but even with the splitting headache that lasted for a week, I still don't regret it.  My period was so not something I wanted to deal with on my wedding day.

Anyway, I left the doctor with two choices:  one was an intense prescription that would get rid of the headache while trashing the rest of my body for days, the other was Excedrin Migraine.  You can probably guess which one I went for.  The Excedrin knocked out the headache, and while it continued to come back for the next few days, taking that was much better than facing the vomiting and fatigue that the other medication promised.

By Saturday, my headache was pretty much gone.  I took an Excedrin before the wedding just in case, but I didn't have any problems the day of.  Thank God!  I was pretty scared in the days before though.

Did you have any unexpected personal problems right before the wedding?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Final Countdown: Wednesday, or the Day of Table Names

It was on Wednesday that everyone started arriving.  Becca was already spending the day with us, but my mom and our officiant trickled in on Wednesday as well.  Upon arrival, we immediately sent them to work.

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what to do for our table names.  We knew we wanted to use the names of all of the streets we'd lived on together, so naturally we wanted to make them look like street signs.  But how to do it?

I searched and searched for something that would work.  In my head, I saw one of those photo holder things with a cardstock sign atop it.

This kind of photo holder but bigger and more street-signy.

Alas, I could not find anything that would work.  About a week-and-a-half before the wedding, I told Daniel I was out of ideas, and as usual, he immediately figured out a plan.

Thus, we made street signs out of actual wood.

And when I say "we," I mean Daniel, Becca, and my mom.

Actually, come to think of it, this is where my missing Sunday afternoon went.  Yay!  I'm not losing my mind!

First, Daniel bought some wooden planks and doweling, cut them to size, and drilled a hole to stick the doweling into the wood.

The Drilled Hole
Personal Photo

Sawing the Wooden Pieces to Size
Personal Photo

That worked fine, but there was still the matter of the sign itself.  Originally, we thought we would just cut slits in the doweling and stick in strong card stock for the sign.

Slit in the Doweling
Personal Photo

Possibility #1
Personal Photo

But the cardstock really wasn't strong enough to hold itself up.  Solution?  We would make the slit a bit bigger and find very thin sheets of wood to use instead, making actual wooden signs.

This meant that instead of printing out the street names, they would have to be painted.  And so it was that I spent a Sunday afternoon picking out the right shades of white and blue for the signs, and that Becca and my mom spent a large portion of Wednesday carefully painting in stenciled letters.

It took hours, and even still, the look is more homespun than professional, but I really, really like the way they turned out.  What can I say?  My husband should be a professional idea giver (or saver in my case).

The Day's Labor
Photo by My Mom

Sign in Action
Photo by Laura

We really owe Becca and my mom for doing the lettering all by themselves.  We never could have found time for it, and it looked so much better the way they did it than it would have if we had had to throw it together quickly.  Thanks!

Did you do anything last minute that turned out great?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Final Countdown: Sunday through Tuesday

The week before the wedding is largely a blur to me.  I'm pretty sure I was out of my mind for most of it (as I'm sure our helpers can affirm).  Nonetheless, I am going to try to recap it as best I can, counting down to that most coveted of series:  the actual recaps!

Sunday:  I truly do not remember what happened the Sunday before the wedding.  I'm pretty sure I was at work most of the day, but I'm also pretty sure something important happened and that I had the afternoon off.  But try as I might, I cannot get this day clear in my head.  This may be because the one thing I do remember about Sunday is that it was the first day of the Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.  On Sunday, it was but a little thing, a headache I assumed was caused by stress and lack of sleep that would go away by Monday.  It didn't.  And as the week progressed, I became increasingly concerned that the pounding would ruin the wedding day.  It was strange because headaches are one of the few common ailments I've never had a problem with, but by the end of the week, I was downing migraine medicine like candy.  But at this point, it was just a nuisance, another thing to deal with the week before the wedding.

Monday:  My recollection of Monday is slightly clearer.  I worked in the morning then headed over to Staples to have our escort/place cards printed, was momentarily seized with fear that they would not be done in time, and left with a later pick-up date than I was comfortable with and a gnawing terror that something would go horribly wrong as it in fact did.

But it was Monday night that our savior arrived.  We owe groomslady Becca more than anyone else who helped us with the wedding, except possibly our officiant, Nicole.  Becca was there for us the whole week before the wedding, having headed down to San Jose early to spend some time with her family and boyfriend (when in fact we stole her for the vast majority of her visit), and I truly do not think we would have gotten through it all without her.

As I feverishly wrote out thank you notes for the people who were planning to or already had helped us greatly with the wedding preparations, Becca made reserved signs for our ceremony, directions and maps from the ceremony to the reception, and helped us with a few other signs that were needed at the reception.  You think signs are a small thing until you have no time to make them, and I am so glad that someone else could save me from this simple task.

Becca also helped us start (yes, start) on our music playlist and contributed a fair amount of material to it.  I think listening to her music was the first time I relaxed since coming back from Catalina.  Even though it only lasted about 15 minutes, I was grateful to be working on a wedding task that was actually fun for the first time in too long.  Then, it was off to bed in the hopes of ridding myself of Day Two of the Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.

Tuesday:  By Tuesday morning, my headache had gotten so bad that I couldn't lower my head without having to sit down for a minute.  And when your job is teaching gymnastics, this can be quite limiting.  I stopped demonstrating for the kids, stopped chasing them around, pretty much stopped moving unless I had to.  Thankfully, my last day at work ending at 1pm, and I was free to devote all of my time to the wedding (and to keeping my head as still as possible).  Most of what I remember about Tuesday is going through every type of painkiller in the house, trying to find something that would quiet the pounding in my head and finally giving up and making a doctor's appointment for the next day.

I think I confirmed all of our vendors and appointments this day too.  There was a momentary scare when our make-up people messed up our appointment time, but we got it sorted out (or so I thought).  I debated whether or not to steam my dress (because I soooo did not trust Elegant Lace Bridal by this point), decided it wasn't necessary, and got the flower girl's dress steamed instead.  And most importantly, I printed out our ceremony and stuck it into a book for the officiant, readers, and us to use during the wedding.

Becca came back over and continued to save our asses by performing whatever small tasks were needed.

It was on Wednesday that things truly began to get crazy.

Do you remember the week before your wedding, or is it blurry to you too?  What tasks did you leave to the last minute or forget about?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Hey there, Mrs. F--! How's married life?"

Even now, almost three months after the wedding, everyone I see asks me the same question:  "What's it like to be married?"  "How does it feel being married?"  "How's married life?"

And even now, I have only one answer:  "I wouldn't know."

Strange as it may seem, it still hasn't hit me yet.  I know we're married and that we've been married for a decent amount of time now, but I still don't think of myself as a wife or of Daniel as a husband.  In fact, whenever I refer to Daniel, my thought process still goes something like this:  "my...(boyfriend, no, fiance, no) husband..."

And anyone who calls me "Mrs. Hislastnameeventhoughitisminenowtoo" has a decent chance of being punched...or at least glared at.

I just don't think of us as a married couple, even among other married couples.

I'm not exactly sure why this is so hard for me to process.  I think my age is one factor; I still sort of think I'm too young to be married, and that makes it hard to think of myself as married.  But I think the main thing is that nothing has changed.  Really, nothing in our relationship is different.  I thought changing my name might help jolt my brain into realizing we're married, but I guess I don't talk about myself in the third person enough for it to process.

Anyway, I think it's interesting.  I do wonder if my fear that being married would change things (not a big fear, but still something I thought about) has put me in denial.  But I think really, it just doesn't matter that much.  "Married" like "husband" or "wife" is a just a title.  It doesn't mean anything.

Much as I hate how often people quote Shakespeare's "What's in a name" monologue (Names are important.  Deal with it), it does seem to apply here.  Calling our relationship a marriage doesn't actually change it.

Thoughts?  Did it take you a while to think of yourself as "married"?  Do you still not really think of yourselves that way?  Did being married change your relationship?

Monday, October 31, 2011


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo Summary of our Wedding

OK, so I know I've utterly failed as a blogger lately.  What can I say?  It's been busy.

So as repentance and because recap time is drawing near, I give you our photographer's recap of our wedding.

Enjoy.  I swear I will return soon with the good stuff.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hey Mr. DJ

Music is most definitely the area in which we procrastinated most.  And by "we," I mean Daniel.  This was his big job, and though I offered to take more of a leading role after what happened with his mom, he wanted to do it himself.

And so it was that we were still working on it on the drive up to Tiburon the day before the wedding.

But we got it done, and it actually worked out quite well.

We didn't want to waste money on a DJ and knew we couldn't afford a band, so we decided to do the music ourselves, iPod-style.  This was one of the easiest ways to save money, and I definitely think it was worth it.

To put our dancing music together, we basically went through my iTunes and threw songs that we liked and would be good for dancing into a folder.  We consulted a few friends as well and added their contributions, and we bought a few songs that we knew we wanted.  After all of that, we had seven hours of dancing music.

We only had two-and-a-half hours of dancing time to fill, so the hard part became narrowing down the list.  Some songs were easy to throw out, mostly the ones that I had put in because I think they're funny and not because they are good for dancing.  Or listening to.  Especially for people who don't get the joke (for instance, Skullcrusher Mountain).

However, once we got down to four hours, it became harder to get rid of songs.  We tried to keep the ones that we both really liked or were good for dancing or one of us REALLY wanted to keep.  Still, we had to let go of some gems, like Once upon a Dream (what can I say, I'm Disney-obsessed), Do You Believe in Magic?, and Thriller (that was a tough one for me, especially since my dad promised to dance to it).

We tried to group songs into categories like fun songs, slow songs, contemporary songs (of which there were, like, three), older songs, and songs beloved by all.  We distributed as evenly as we could, taking into account lulls for cake cutting and serving dessert and such.

Finally, after many sacrifices and much redistributing, we got our list down to the bare minimum and in a good order.

And despite the fact that Daniel hadn't even started on the list until six days before the wedding, the music actually worked out really well.  Lots of people told us that they liked our list, and there was literally no time when the dance floor was empty.  I know because I danced to every single song we played.

I know it can be tough to think of songs sometimes, so I've posted our list below for your stealing pleasure.  This is the list we had before the night started mind you, and not all of these songs got played due to circumstances beyond our control.  But that's a story for another time.

Our Dancing Playlist:

At Last by Etta James (our first dance)
I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
Hava Nagila (aka The Hora for us gentile folk)
Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Proud Mary by Tina Turner
Don't Stop Believing by Journey
When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole
Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle (father/daughter dance)
Y.M.C.A. by The Village People (I had to fight for this one.  It was awesome.)
Just Like Heaven by The Cure
Mambo #5 by Lou Bega
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
I Can't Help Myself by Four Tops
A Whole New World from Aladdin (I had to)
Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
California Gurls by Katy Perry
Say "Shava Shava" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Bollywood song, will explain later)
Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
I Melt with You by Modern English
Anyone Else but You by The Moldy Peaches (very glad I fought for this one)
Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte
Macarena by Los Del Rio (Shut up!  Everyone danced to it!)
I Love Rock and Roll by AC DC
Pon de Replay by Rihanna
I'm a Soul Man by James Brown
Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley
I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger
Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C (had to fight for this too, and it was awesome as expected)
Lady Marmalade from Moulin Rouge
Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down) by Chumbawamba
My Girl by The Temptations
Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (while people left...or were supposed to)

As you can probably tell, I did a lot more fighting for my songs, songs that some might consider lame...because THEY are lame...*sticks tongue out*, than Daniel did, but I'm really glad we had some of those classic group dancing songs (like YMCA) because a ton of people danced to them.  AND a ton of older people danced to them.  I'm glad they were able to have fun too.

The only thing I would have done differently with our playlist is cut some of the longer songs.  "The Macarena" is a prime example of a song that was fun but did not need to be six minutes long.  This would have allowed us to keep more songs that we wanted but had to cut without sacrificing the long songs entirely.  Alas, we ran out of time.

Overall, this was one of the things that turned out well with limited effort.

How did you pick your music?  If you did a iPod wedding, did it work out for you?  Would you dance to the Macarena or YMCA?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cards of Doom

Of all the things that I really should have spent less time on, our escort and place cards top the list.  These babies gave me nothing but trouble.

I knew for a long time that I wanted to use the clothes line approach to escort cards.  You know, this guy:

Photo by Laura

It's practically a wedding cliche here in blogworld, but no one at the wedding had ever seen one before.  That part worked out pretty well.

Then there were the cards themselves.  It took me a long time to decide how to do them.  You see, early on, I had this idea that we could use the backs of the cards for people to write us a note.  I hate traditional guest books.  They're like middle school yearbooks; no one knows what to say besides, "Congratulations!  May you have many happy years together" (and HAGS).  I knew I wanted our guests to be able to write something thoughtful and to have a prompt in case they couldn't think of something to say.  We wrote questions for them to answer and slapped them on the backs of the place cards so that they could write in their seats, giving them time to think.  We told them they could write whatever they wanted, but the questions ensured we wouldn't just be getting, "Congratulations" over and over again.

I also thought early on that it would be fun to do a Danicole quiz and have a prize for whoever could answer all of our trivia questions correctly.  It would give people something to do while they were at the tables and might even spark conversations between people who didn't know each other.  So why not do that on the backs of the escort cards?  I thought this would be a great way to save time and money.

Then there was the tricky part:  picking out escort/place cards.  I put WAY too much thought into this.  The trouble was, they had to be big enough for people to write on them but small enough to not dominate the place settings.  We had to be able to put them in a scrapbook afterward, and of course, we didn't want to spend a lot of money or time on them.  We ended up going with a design we had rejected for our invites and printing them on postcards from  Cheap, easy, all we had to do was print everyone's names and table numbers on them.  What could go wrong?

Our Danicole Quiz

Our Guest Book Cards

So, when I ordered these cards, there were two things I did not take into account and should have:  size and glossiness.  You see, it had never occurred to me that they would be too small for printers to print on.  I also did not realize that since I was ordering postcards, the fronts would be glossy, and that would be hard to print on too.  But when I started looking for someone to print our guests' names on them, all of the printers I found were quick to point out these problems to me.  No one would touch them.  One person even told me I might want to scrap them and start anew.

This was 2-3 weeks before the wedding.  I was so scared I wouldn't be able to get them done.  Finally, I gave up, went to Staples, bought labels, and was about to just print all of the names out on them when I realized Staples did printing.  I was already there.  I figured I'd ask them if they could print on the cards.

And finally, someone said, "yes."  I owe Estella, the printing person I talked to, quite a bit for working with me to not only print them but to edit my word documents so that they would print in the right place.  Relieved, I went home to make 170 precisely-spaced word documents.

So, the week of the wedding rolled around, and I still hadn't had the cards printed.  I knew I was pushing it, but because of our coordinator issues, we hadn't been able to finalize the seating charts yet.  Finally, the Monday before, I took them to Staples to be printed.

I had hoped to speak with Estella again, but she wasn't there, and the replacement person was not as helpful.  She did not seem to know what she was doing.  I wrote out instructions and made her put them with my cards.  When I said I needed them the next day, she practically laughed at me.  I said Estella said it wouldn't be a problem.  She said they needed more time.  We agreed on Wednesday night as a pick up time which left about 36 hours before I had to leave for Tiburon.  No time for screw ups.  Then, we had a minor crisis when half of the files on my flash drive seemed to disappear, but after 15 highly tense minutes, I figured out what had happened and left my babies with the printer.  To say I was apprehensive would be a major understatement.  Better to say I was convinced they would be done wrong.  Alas, at that point, I had no choice.

Pick up time came on Wednesday.  I called to see if they were ready.  The response was highly worrisome.  Turns out, they had fucked up as expected.  I gave them a few hours to fix it and then went over there myself.  It wasn't as bad as it could have been.  They had managed to copy the design pretty effectively and were making replacements.  At first, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task of figuring out what exactly was wrong, but then I realized that for the most part, the fronts had been printed correctly, but they had switched the backs of the place cards and escort cards so that the former had the quiz and the latter had the questions.  Not a big deal.  Still, it took me hours to sort out which ones had been done like that and which had the wrong fronts or were missing.  In the end, we were able to get the fronts and backs to match, but it took hours.

This was three days before the wedding.  I so did not need this kind of trouble at that point.

In the end, everyone had a place card...

and an escort card...

and though it took way too fucking long to get them done, it looked like they were going to be OK.

I should have known better than to leave the unwanted cards (i.e. the fucked up ones) in the same box as the good ones when I dropped them off at Guayma's.  They were in totally separate piles, and I certainly thought it looked like the correct place cards were the ones that were supposed to be used.  There were so many more of them after all.  They were all together.  The unwanted ones were just a small pile in the corner.  Separated.  Pushed aside.  We had already put up the escort cards.  Surely, no one would mistake the bad ones for good.

Thankfully, I didn't realize that the venue had screwed up with the place cards until after the wedding when we were looking through the notes people had left us.  I think everyone got the right name and back at least, but the venue used some place cards with just people's names on them (correct) and some with the name and the name of the table (which I had just worked so hard to fix, damn them!).

I know it's not a big thing, but after all the work I put into these, especially right before the wedding when I had better things to do, I was pissed.  This is one of the Three Things That Went Wrong the day of the wedding that still makes me angry when I think about it.  I've tried to let it go, but...argh!

Nonetheless, I am glad we did the quiz and questions on the cards.  The quiz was fun, especially since no one got all five questions right, and we got some great responses for our guest book.  Way better than a regular guest book.  I just wish we had found an easier way to do them.

Was there something at your wedding that took wayyyyyy longer than it should have?  Major (or minor) fuck-ups that you can't let go of?  Care to try your hand at our quiz?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seating Arrangements: Not So Hellish After All

Seating arrangements:  the planning moment that everyone dreads, always difficult, always looming, waiting to destroy your wedding at moment's lack of notice!  Doom!

Yeah, ours weren't that bad.  I know this is hard for a lot of people who have big families or family feuds, but the one person who could have made this difficult for us refused to come, so it worked out nicely for us.  One of the benefits of having a small wedding in which a lot of people know each other or at least know someone.

All of our tables had different sizes, so it was pretty easy to split people into my family, his paternal family, his maternal family, my friends, and his friends (yeah, my one family table was smaller than one of his family tables).  Sure, there were a few people who had to be stuck in strange places, but things worked out pretty well, and everyone had someone to talk to.  In fact, our tables even fostered a few new friendships.

The only real difficulty we had was getting things set when our coordinator could not figure out how to arrange our tables or how many guests could fit at each one.  We didn't have it set until a week before the wedding which caused problems with our place/escort cards, but the seating chart itself was blessedly simple.

As for the tables themselves, we knew we didn't want to do just numbers.  I mean, how boring is that?  I had seen some cool ideas like these:

Yay Nerd Table Numbers!
Confession:  I am intimately familiar with seven of these places.

And while I was definitely down for some fantasy-themed table names, I couldn't beat Daniel's name idea.  We had five tables, and we have lived five places together, so he thought we should use the five street names we had lived on as table numbers.

It was perfect.

I had my dearly helpful friend Laura who I totally owe after this wedding make us some table numbers for the escort cards with the street sign theme in mind:

I was pretty happy with them and thankful to have something be easy in the final weeks before the wedding.

Did you have trouble with seating arrangements?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Preferred Blog Server?

So I've been thinking about the future of my blogging after the recaps and wedding stuff is done, and I need your advice.  I'd like to continue blogging, but I think I'm going to start a new blog about non-wedding stuff.  After all, the "princess bride" doesn't really lend itself to non-wedding talk.  This opens up some options, particularly about where to blog.  I like Blogger, but I know there are other sites out there like WordPress that people like a lot too.  And so I come to you with this question:  what is your favorite blogging site?  How do you feel about the options out there?  If you could remake your blog, would you stick with Blogger?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Things Start to Go Wrong

One of our biggest challenges in the weeks leading up to the wedding was issues with our venue.  Specifically, with the event coordinator.

I am all for booking your wedding somewhere cheap that doesn't do a lot of weddings to save money, but I learned via our event coordinators that there are consequences.  Places that don't do many weddings tend to not really know what they're doing.  They don't put as much effort into it.

They also apparently cannot keep an event coordinator.  At least, ours couldn't.  We had four different coordinators in the 9 months leading up to our wedding.  The person we originally talked to was gone before we even booked.  The next one we had for most of the planning stage.  When she left, no one even told us, and we just happened to stop by the venue and ask for her one day and found out they had just hired someone new.  That person we never even spoke to, for she was quickly replaced by a fourth coordinator who our coordinator for the day of the wedding.

This was the only real problem we had with Guayma's.  The lack of consistency was ridiculous.  The fact that they didn't inform us of the changes was, frankly, unacceptable.

So we were pretty nervous when we met with the final coordinator for the first time a mere two weeks before our wedding.  But what seemed like a disaster turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Rachel was great, wayyyyy better than the person we had been working with before.  She was organized, efficient, knowledgeable, and most importantly, she understood how important this day was to us, something we had not gotten from anyone else at Guayma's.

We were glad to have her, but we really wish we had gotten to speak with her sooner (too bad she hadn't started working there until about three weeks before the wedding) because a bunch of things changed once we did.  We had to redo the seating chart and couldn't finalize it until a week before the wedding because they weren't sure how many tables would fit how many people.  We didn't know what time we could come to set up until the day before the wedding.  And we couldn't go over things with her as much as we wanted because she was gone for three days right before the wedding.  We literally only had the day before to go over everything, and there were definitely things I forgot about at that point that were done wrong.  I really wish we had been able to get it all done sooner.  Some of the things that went wrong that wouldn't have if we had had more time still bug the crap out of me.

Even though things mostly worked out, they would have gone much, much smoother if we had been able to plan with the coordinator farther in advance.  Though your venue probably won't have as high of turn-over as ours, experience is definitely something you should think about when booking a venue.  Because if we had had one of the other coordinators, things definitely would not have gone as smoothly even if we had had months to plan.

We wouldn't have picked a different venue.  We didn't have the money, and doing the venue cheaply allowed us to do so much more.  But if we had had the money, it would have been nice to perhaps hire a wedding coordinator or something to make sure everything got done right.

Did you have bad experiences with any of your vendors?  Was your venue everything you thought it would be?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Scheduling Nightmares or Why I Do Not Want to Run a Business Myself

For me, the worst part of the two months before the wedding was scheduling.  Scheduling bridesmaids, scheduling groomsmen, scheduling parents, scheduling vendors, scheduling other random people helping us, and above all else, scheduling ourselves.  I feel like I spent half of my days in July emailing people (and I swear I did spend 4+ hours a day doing this on wayyyyyyy more days than I and the people I was emailing would have liked).

This is what would have made having a wedding planner worth it to me.  Having someone else worry about how the flowers were going to get to the ceremony and who would put them up and letting said person know when and how to put them up would have been so worth the money if we had had it.  But we didn't, and I was the only person who knew everything that needed to happen, when it needed to be done, and who was going to do it.

It was maddening.  I couldn't sleep without first going over a million details in my head.  In fact, I didn't have a full night's sleep for almost two months before the wedding, and this was the biggest reason why.  I let it get to me way, way more than I should have.

Also, I should have put more on Daniel's plate so that I didn't feel the need to do everything myself.  Or maybe delegated some of the figuring out of stuff to our parents or something.  It didn't really occur to me.  Of course, I wasn't all too happy with how behind on his stuff Daniel was at the time or with the "it'll work itself out" attitude he had toward this kind of stuff (it totally DID NOT work itself out, btw), and he was soon dealing with his own personal Hell, so I would have had to do it in the end anyway.  But it was bad.  Really, really bad.  And not just for me but for the wedding party as well.  I sometimes emailed them 3+ times a day and felt horrible about it, but it was necessary because things STILL went wrong when the day finally came.

This is the one thing that really sucked but I don't think I could have done much differently anyway, apart from trying to figure out scheduling farther in advance.  Somebody had to know everything, and it was me.  Our coordinator probably could have helped, but, well, we'll get to that soon.  For now, let's just say circumstances beyond our control were involved.

If I learned anything from all of this though, it's that I never want to do it again.  Thus the not wanting to run my own business.  Scheduling is a nightmare.  When there are more than a few people involved, all with different schedules and priorities, it's even more of a nightmare.  And if you can get someone else to do all this for you, do it.  Seriously.  It's worth it.

Did you/will you have to schedule everything for your wedding yourself?  Was it a nightmare for you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Actual Getting Married Part

Through all of the planning for the wedding, it can sometimes be easy to forget about the actual getting married part of getting married.  And so it was a month or so before the wedding that we realized that we actually needed to get a marriage certificate.

It was not hard.  The only kind of weird thing was that we had to go in to the county clerk together to do it.  We brought our check for $79 and our application for a marriage license and left with this:

Personal Photo - Why Yes, I Am an Expert of Taking Photos of Myself (who needs tripods when you have short walls?)

A real, genuine marriage certificate.  All we had to do now was have a ceremony, get some signatures, and send it back to be officially married.

This is the sort of thing that I would expect to take forever, like a DMV line, but we were in and out pretty quick.  I think the key is to go in the morning right after everyone's gotten to work (between 9:30 and 10:30 ideally).

Also, if you're having a friend officiate, we found the Universal Life Church to be the easiest way to get them ordained.  You can do the whole thing online, and it's super fast.

Getting the actual marriage certificate was definitely a little weird.  It was around this point when I started thinking, "Do I really want to do this?"  To me, it's the legal aspect of marriage that makes it real.  But when the day came, I had no lingering doubts, thankfully.  But we'll get to that.  For now, we had done nothing more than check a small but important thing off the list.

What made marriage real for you?  Did you get cold feet at any point?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Nom Monster (A Tutorial)

I never did get to tell you guys about my pride and joy, my favorite wedding detail, the one, the only (um, or not) NOM MONSTER (nom, nom, nom, nom, nom)!

 Personal Photo

I love him.  I love him so much.

I got the idea for him from the infamous Nom Monster of OffbeatBride:

 At first, I was planning on doing mine very similar to this one.  However, I'd also seen card boxes like this:

I couldn't quite get the idea of doing a book with a "secret" compartment for cards out of my head, especially since reading is such a big part of Daniel's and my relationship, and it hadn't been reflected in our wedding much.  At first, I thought I'd combine the two by slapping some book covers on a mailbox, but then it occurred to me:  why not make a nom monster out of a book?

I've always wanted a book with a secret compartment (and while we're on the subject, I've always wanted one of those book cases where you pull out a book, and the wall turns to reveal a secret room.  Why yes, I do spend too much time reading fantasy novels, how did you know?), so I sat down to make one.

In retrospect, this is one of the wedding details I probably should have let go, or at least done differently.  I could easily have bought a book with a secret compartment instead of making one, and it would have saved me hours and hours of work.  Nonetheless, I do enjoy having it, and I've always wanted to make one myself.  At least I got to cross something off the bucket list.  Besides, it's way cooler if it's a real book.

For the most part, I followed this tutorial to make the secret compartment book.  The only thing I would suggest you do differently is not to bother with drilling holes.  They really did not help.

The hardest part of that was cutting in a straight line so that you don't end up with bits of page that don't get cut off.  If you're going to do this, push down on the pages that you're cutting to help keep them still, and try hard to cut along the previous line you cut.  Going slow can save you a lot of time in the long run.  Also, if you mess up, don't worry too much about it.  No one's actually going to notice.

Once the pages were cut, I had to monsterify the book.  This took some thinking.  I knew I wanted to cover it with felt so that it would look kind of like the Monster Book of Monsters, but how to attach it?  I could glue it, but trying to get it to cover the edges and stay seemed problematic.  Plus, I kind of wanted to be able to use the book as a normal-looking book after the wedding, the kind you can actually hide stuff in.  And then it hit me.  You know those book covers you had to make in middle school?  No, your teachers didn't make you do them?  Lucky.  Well, I had to, and that's what I did for my nom monster.

I took a large piece of black felt and folded down the edges so that the felt was just taller than the book.

Personal Photo

That didn't stay at all, so I ironed it down.

Personal Photo, Again

Be careful ironing felt.  You're not really supposed to, I think.  Do it quick, just a little pat will keep it down well enough.

Then I slipped the folded-over edges over the edges of the covers and pulled them down so that the cover was tight while the book was closed.  I also glued the top flap of fabric to the flap attached to the book so that it would stay better.

And voila, a book cover!

Then, I got some googly eyes and glued them to the cover.

Yep, You Guessed It, Personal Photo

And I got a piece of red felt and cut out a tongue and glued it to the underside of the front cover.

What Do You Think?

I used a stiff piece of white felt for the teeth, so they would stay straight.  I cut out triangles and glued them to the front edges of the covers.

I Think We All Know By Now This Is a Personal Photo

I got large, furry pipe cleaners for the arms and glued them to the space between the felt flaps on the front cover.  Then, I printed out the "Give me your cards!  Nom nom nom!" sign on card stock, cut it out, and glued it to a popsicle stick and curled one of the arms around it so that the nom monster would be holding the sign.

And then my beautiful nom monster had grown into a fully grown terror of cuteness!

Personal Photos, Blah Blah Blah

He was a ton of work, but I love him, so it was worth it.

Ain't he cute?  What project are you proudest of for your wedding?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Really Bad Stuff

Well, now that it's over I can FINALLY tell you about what happened 3 weeks before the wedding.

Daniel's mom has been having trouble for a long time.  She got laid off about a year-and-a-half ago and has barely worked since.  As her financial situation deteriorated, so did her mental state.  This wasn't exactly the start of it.  She's been a hoarder, the kind you see on Oprah and reality shows, for years, and it is my understanding that ever since she and Daniel's dad split up, she's had difficulty coping with, well, life.

But of course without any money, things became much worse.  Frankly, we have no idea how she's survived for so long without income, but suffice it to say that she's borrowed from everyone she knows, and everyone has given up on her except for Daniel.

When she told him that she was not coming to the wedding in early July, things began to change between them.  For the most part, Daniel has tried to placate her whenever they talk, trying to make her feel better about her situation, carefully choosing his words so as not to upset her.  It's exhausting and painful for me to watch; he's always upset after they talk.  But after hearing that his own mother did not want to attend his wedding, Daniel stopped trying to be nice to her and started actively trying to help her situation even though she fought him every step of the way.  He desperately wanted to get her in a mental position where she could come to the wedding, and failing that, wanted to at least get her on the road to recovery.

I was in Catalina, ready to be all relaxed and not thinking about the wedding or the other crap that was going on, when I got a phone call from Daniel.  His aunt had just received a call herself from the police department, saying that they had received an email from Daniel's mom saying that they would find a dead body in her house.  When they investigated (complete with SWAT team and helicopter), they found no one home.

Fortunately, her suicide attempt failed, and she had gone to stay with a friend.  When the police found her, they put her in the hospital.

Daniel immediately flew down to San Diego to help, and he and his aunt were able to keep his mom in the hospital for the weeks leading up to the wedding.  There was a lot more to it than that, but you don't really need to know about that.

Daniel didn't go back to work again until after we got back from our honeymoon.  Between trying to keep his mother alive, safe, and housed until we got back, trying to get things done for the wedding, and studying for the ethics exam he had to take a week before the wedding to get his BAR license, he didn't have time for his job.

It's hard to describe what this was like for me.  It was a million times worse for Daniel of course, and that was my main concern.  Above all, way above the wedding, I wanted to do what I could to be there for him.  But at the same time, I had already moved beyond stress and into the early stages of insanity about the wedding at this point.  It was really good that I was on vacation and didn't have so much as a computer with me when this happened, or I think my head would literally have exploded.  I'm also glad he did not take me up on coming down to help because I would not have gotten through the next 2 weeks without that break.

Daniel handled the situation extremely well.  His dad and I were both worried at first--Daniel often doesn't handle stress well--but we were both very impressive by how calm and focused he remained through it all.  At the end of the day, he was relieved that his mom was finally receiving help, and the relief overshadowed all of the other emotions he should have been feeling.  I'm amazed at how much he was able to do in such a short amount of time and that he did not let his mother's absence ruin the wedding.

For the most part, I think I handled it pretty well too.  There is no doubt that I had to shoulder an even greater part of the wedding planning burden because of it, and I made several comments I shouldn't have while trying to get through that, but on the whole, I think I was pretty supportive.  Though I must admit I'm very glad he didn't take me up on the offers I made to postpone the wedding.

But I will never forgive her for what she did to him.  Or me.  But mostly him.  I am far angrier with her than Daniel is.

I understand how much her situation sucks and why she would want to take her life as a result.  To be perfectly honest, the attempt did not surprise me though the timing did.  And if it had been after the wedding, I think I could have forgiven her eventually.  I would be sad that she did it and much sadder for how awful her death would be for Daniel, and I'm sure I would still be angry at her for doing that to him.  But in the end, I would understand why.

But the selfishness of doing it 3 weeks before her son's wedding I can never forgive.  I don't know if she thought about what her death would do to him, and I don't care.  If she was too stupid not to see how much that would affect him, then I cannot forgive the stupidity, and if she did think about it and did it anyway...I cannot describe the anger that boils inside me just thinking about it.  Daniel was already devastated that she wasn't coming to the wedding, and she knew that (or should have given the number of times he told her).  To think that she would upset her son that much more so close to his wedding is beyond my comprehension.

It's sad.  We could have had a good relationship once.  The thing about her is that she really is fun to be around when she's not freaking out.  I liked her for a long time.  Seeing what their conversations did to Daniel and trying to help the fallout pass when he got off the phone had already caused my opinion of her to plummet.  Still, there was hope for a good mother/daughter-in-law relationship before this.  Now, I can't see that happening, not unless she makes some really big changes in her life and sincerely repents everything that she put him through.  But even then, I'm not sure I could forgive her.  You don't mess with my Daniel and get away with it.

If nothing else, I think my insane stress level the last few weeks before the wedding was warranted.

I know we're not the only ones out there with these kinds of problems, so if you know someone whose mental state has deteriorated without substance abuse or a diagnosed mental illness, talk to us, and we'll try to help you.  We know how hard it is to find help or even a place to start in these situations, and we'd like to do whatever we can for you.

Classy Wedding by the Sea