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Wednesday, October 22nd

The Wednesday before my wedding I took a half day from work. Which basically means I did my best to finish up my work week while simultaneously thinking omigod…wedding, wedding, wedding!

I headed off to the pedicure you all recommended and let me just tell you, I was 99% in heaven the whole time. Bubbles, wine, a thrown in parafin wax treatment just for being a bride. I may have even texted a few of you saying yessss, you were right!

Until the lady slipped while pumicing my heel and scratched my ankle. Like, really scratched my ankle. As in, I still have a really ugly scab on it.

Meh.

Afterwards, I ran home to finish last minute things and wait for the arrival of two wonderful bridesmaids.

Thursday, October 23rd

I woke up bright and early and rolled over to face Michael. This is the last morning we’ll see each other before we’re husband and wife, I thought. Just then he opened his eyes and smiled at me. “Good morning, my almost wife,” he said.

Love.

Unfortunately, there was no time to swoon, as I had to wake my poor, jet lagged, west-coast bridesmaid and load up the car with 800 pounds of votives, votive holders, pillar candles, hurricane glasses, rose petals, and more odds and ends. We arrived at the venue for 9 a.m. and while it was a beautiful day, it was COLD.

(OK this was actually taken the morning OF the wedding, but it looked the same the day before!)

We walked into the venue, arms full of stuff — and walked into a construction zone. Boards and paint cans filled the lobby, a table saw whirred somewhere in the background and my heart? Officially jumped out of my chest, ran across the street and threw itself into the ocean.

As I stood there, momentarily paralyzed, the venue coordinator assured me that they were just doing some work on the outside of the building and it would be perfect by the next day. Deep breath. OK.

More bridesmaids began to arrive and we headed off for our manicures before heading back to the hotel to get ready. I walked into the hotel room, saw my dress hanging on the closet and realized that the wedding had really arrived.

Wow.

At four on the dot, we arrived at the church to begin the rehearsal. Even as we walked our way through, it didn’t feel real. Like oh yeah, we’re doing this wedding thing. Some day. What DID feel real was the fact that we still had no music. Still, you ask? Yes, still. You see, on Tuesday I had received a call from the Reverend saying that when they went to practice playing the CD of our music, it had somehow slipped off the tray and fell INTO the CD player.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

I had supplied them with a backup CD in case something happened, but as of the time of our rehearsal, they still weren’t sure if the CD player would work. They actually had a tech guy there during our rehearsal pulling apart the system and saying that he would return by 6:30 a.m. the DAY OF OUR WEDDING to keep working on it.

I wish I had a picture of my face when he said that.

Pretty bridesmaids at the church.

We left the church and headed to dinner, which was one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend. The food was delicious, the company was outstanding, and the speeches? They were so heartfelt and moving. I made it through all of mine without a tear (mostly laughs!) until I got to the ones I had written for my parents.

Then I started to choke up.

By far my favorite part of the rehearsal was during my dad’s speech. He began to talk about how when my sister and I were little, we used to sing songs in harmony. One song in particular: Going to the Chapel of Love. Suddenly, my dad pulled out a little harmonica, hummed the first bar, and began to sing.

“Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…”

And everyone — all 45 guests — joined in. Suddenly the room was full of song and as my sister and I joined in for the harmony, I felt so very loved.

As we said our goodbyes to everyone at the end, I headed over to Michael for one last embrace as an engaged couple.

“Are you ready?” he asked me?

“Absolutely,” I replied.

That night, I lay in the hotel bed next to my sister and tossed and turned, unable to sleep. It wasn’t really the idea of getting married that was keeping me awake. It was one nagging question.

Would we have music at the ceremony?

Well hello there! I’m back and I’m married and as cliche as it sounds, it absolutely was the best day of our lives. At least five times a day we talk about how we wish we could do it all over again because it was just so fun!

I’m planning on doing a full recap for you over the next few days, starting with the rehearsal and working my way to the end. But I have about 600 emails to get through first and that whole easing back into work thing meeehhhh.

I’ll leave you with two of my favorite candids from the day. I hate having to wait weeks for the professional ones, but at least I have friends that are snap happy. Thank you to Anna for both of these!

The last guest post is from Darci, the first wedding blogger I ever read. She has an amazing sense of style and design and her wedding was sigh-worthy. I’ll be back tomorrow so see you then!

First off, huge congratulations to Molly and Michael! I hope that you’re wedding day was all that you wanted and that you’re enjoying some much needed relaxation and cocktails on your “mini-moon.” Molly asked me to try and entertain you while she is away, so here is my feeble attempt…

I write a blog called With This Ring, which is how I have come to know Molly over the past several months. I started the blog when I got engaged last July and it became a place for me to chronicle our planning process, share pictures of things that inspired me, and basically write about all the wedding thoughts that consumed my head for over a year. Now that I’ve made it to the other side of the wedding gauntlet, hopefully some of you can benefit from my experiences! I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect wedding, but there are definitely things that went really right with ours and things I would suggest based on lessons I learned the hard way. Ahhh, the beauty of hindsight.

Things I would recommend…

Negotiate. No matter how much you’re working with, we all have budgets. I was afraid to negotiate with vendors at first but I quickly realized that if you’re honest and respectful, they’re more than happy to work with you. Saying things like “Our budget for flowers is only X amount of dollars, can you work with us to accommodate that price range?” definitely saved us money in the long run.

Prioritize. Outline what is the most important to you and cut back on other things to make it work. We wanted to have our reception at a nice resort where everyone could just walk back to their hotel rooms, so that meant cutting back on the flower budget (read: that negotiation was a real example).

Communicate over email whenever possible (and save them all). The coordinator for our venue left halfway through our planning process and had I not saved some of our emails, some of the promises she made would not have been honored. Vendors are dealing with so many weddings at a time it’s easy for things to get confusing!

If you can wait to pay certain vendors, wait. It’s a lot easier to withhold money for broken contracts than to fight and try to get it back. See: lessons I learned the hard way.

Things that I am glad we did…

Hired a great band. Our first band actually cancelled on us two months before the wedding (which as you can imagine was a blast to deal with) but we wound up with an amazing alternative. If you’re hosting the kind of reception where people dancing like maniacs is a priority, put some thought into the music. Whether it’s making some excellent play lists for your ipod, being really specific with a DJ or hiring a great band, pictures like this make it work the effort:

Saw each other before the ceremony. I know this is a really personal choice so I won’t say a lot about it, but it was the right decision for us. I was feeling a little jittery the morning of the wedding and once we were able to spend some quiet moments together I was completely calm. We took all the pictures beforehand so we were able to hang out all day, then go straight to the cocktail hour to spend time with our guests.

Had a Photo Booth. Instead of favors, we put the money towards a photo booth and it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the day. Everyone had so much fun with it and the resulting pictures are priceless!

Found a great photographer. You don’t have to limit your search to photographers in your area. Since we live in a large city, it was more cost effective to find someone in another state who was willing to travel & cover their travel expenses. And they were completely wonderful.

This has turned out to be the longest post ever! If you made it this far and haven’t slipped into a coma, thanks for reading. And if you’re in the midst of wedding planning, congrats! It will all go by in a flash so breathe it in and enjoy.

Today’s guest post comes from That Bride, whose LDS wedding was an entire event. I have loved reading her through her planning (she put me to SHAME) and she made the most stunning bride.

Her post can be found here.

The first guest post is brought to you by the lovely Jessica Lynn. I followed her wedding prep on her planning blog and the results were beautiful.

Remember back when you were in grade school and you got picked first by one of the captains to be on their team? That’s what it felt like when Molly asked me to guest blog here on her little blog while she is having a wonderful time on her mini-moon with her husband!!!

I am a newlywed myself, but I don’t want to bore you with the details of my little wedding (you can read about it here, if your little heart desires). Instead, I’d like to chit chat about one of my favorite aspects surrounding the whole engagement to marriage process…..the bling!

Who doesn’t love looking at rings?! I do it all the time….the lady at the table next to me at the Cheesecake Factory, the receptionist at the dentist office, and the woman in the pedicure chair next to mine have all been victims of my inconspicuous attempt to check out their ring bling. I found the best place to do such browsing is on the blogs of wedding photographers. Check out some of my favorite ring shots, ever.

For example, “Nice rock“:

Who doesn’t love a cheeseburger? And the rings on the blue coral and the flower stems might just be my all time favorites.

Photo credits: http://www.jeffersontodd.com/blog/, via http://thebridescafe.typepad.com  , via http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog  , http://www.bobbiandmike.com/blog  , http://amycarrollphoto.blogspot.com  , http://www.evokephotography.com/blog

Tough decision: Which one do you like more, the shoes or the ring?

http://www.skogasinvogue.com

For the love of my love of pretty rings, I looove this shot.

 

http://www.fredegan.com/blog/weddings/chenidu-and-evana/

And now, my friends a little ring bling of our rings that our photographer captured on our wedding day. We call it bling on bling. Love.

http://nicolegreenphoto.blogspot.com/2008/10/jessica-chris.html

Now we all know that Molly has some serious bling, I cannot wait to see how her ring shot turns out!

Well friends, that’s all I’ve got for today. I’d love for you to pop over to my little blog, Tying the Knot sometime. Blog stalkers/lurkers are always welcome.

Molly, I have been as excited for your wedding as I have been for my own. Breathe, take it all in, smile pretty and tie the knot!

xo jessica lynn

Just a little teaser to tide you over.

Tomorrow begins the wedding weekend. Tomorrow, we will rehearse our ceremony, eat good food with good people, and toast those who matter the most to us.

And then, on Friday, I will marry the man I have loved for six and a half years.

I cannot believe we’re here.

Thank you all so much for your kind words, congratulations, and talking me off the ledge when I freaked out over silly things. (Envelopes? Did I really worry about envelopes?) And to those that have been reading since long before the day he asked me to be his wife, thank you for sharing the wisdom that I couldn’t yet see — it was going to happen.

Friday I become a wife. Friday he becomes my husband. Everything is how it should be.

We don’t leave for our mini-moon (big honeymoon in St. Lucia this winter woo hoo!) until Sunday, so you bet I’ll be back with a teaser picture before we leave.

I have also left you with three recently married wedding bloggers to keep you busy next week.

Off I go! See you as a Mrs.!

I haven’t shared too much of my DIY stuff with you, but I thought last night’s project was worth sharing.

Michael’s grandmother came over last night to help me assemble our favors — leaf-shaped maple sugar candies. At first I asked her just to give her a project to do, since she had been asking to help for so long. But in the end, I’m so glad she came over, because even with two people this took two hours!

Two packages of baggies, one hole punch, a spool of ribbon, favor tags and 22 boxes (11 pounds) of maple sugar leaves.

Which resulted in 133 baggies in a box…

…and on the table when the box got full.

It was a lot of work, but oh, do I love them. (That stain on the table is from me at a very young age. It’s ink. Sorry, mom.)

Front of the tag:

Back of the tag:

I ran out ribbon with 12 to go so it looks like I’m running errands during the day. Which is fine because I need new textured stockings for the rehearsal dinner, now that it’s FREEZING.

Three days, people. Three. Days.

Hi there. It’s Monday the 20th. As in, the week of my wedding. As in, four days from now I will be leaving at this very moment to head to the salon. On my wedding day.

Everyone keeps asking me, “are you ready? Are you excited?”

Well, yes. I’m basically ready. It’s just tying up lose ends right now. And YES, I’m excited, although it really still feels like I’m planning for a wedding still months away. How did we get to four days? So what’s left?

Tonight: assembling favors with Michael’s grandmother.

Tuesday: Pre-wedding massage (on the house because our massage therapist ROCKS.)

Wednesday: Leave work at noon, get a PEDICURE (oh yes, you convinced me), finish any last minute cleaning around the house and start to greet some of my bridesmaids, as two arrive!

Thursday: Drop off stuff at venue, drop off welcome packets at hotels, manicures with even more bridesmaids, family arrives, rehearse, eat, go back to the hotel and freak out to my sister that OMIGOD I’m getting married TOMORROW.

I also have to convince my brain to do some actual work in the 2.5 days I’m here, although that will be very, very hard.

So, my rehearsal dinner dress? The super cute black and white one I wore to Clink’s wedding? The one that I paid a lot for and was excited I’d have another place to wear it? Does. Not. Fit.

Sure, it’s a blessing (because what they say about losing weight without even trying right before your wedding is totally true), but it’s also a curse. Because that is the dress I planned on wearing. And I cannot go spend money on another dress, nor do I have the time to go shop for one. So I’m going to have to play around with is and see if with a cute red sweater and adjusting the belt I can make it work. Tim Gunn will be proud. I hope.

Also, randomly, as you know I’m a big fan of drug store hair products. They’ve never done me wrong and I prefer to spend my extra dollars on shoes and grande soy chais. I had to go return the ion hair dryer (that WAS making my hair flat), so I decided to stop in CVS and see if they had any new mousse.

I picked up the Weightless Body Extra Hold Mousse from TRESemme. Yesterday I decided to give it a try and let me just tell you, I’m hooked. My hair? Is BIG. And this is rare.

OK, done with my product placement now.

Off to make tea, as my office is FREEZING.

I have a confession:

I’ve never had a pedicure.

Manicures, yes, but the tootsies? Not once.

I used to have a thing about feet. I didn’t want to talk about them, look at them, hear about them. Perhaps this is why I have chosen to cover mine up in the cutest adornments possible, so they’re no longer feet, but works of art.

(OK, that might be a little bit of a stretch.)

I still don’t love feet, but I’m much more tolerant of them now. However, the idea of someone with their face eye-level with them kind of give me the willies.

And also, since I’ve  never had a pedicure, I’m nervous that my feet are not nice enough to be in someone’s face! Do I have to self-pedi before I can professionally pedi? Do you see the vicious circle here? Am I completely insane?

(Don’t answer that.)

My wedding shoes are open toe. I kind of want a bazillion pictures of the shoes alone, the shoes on my feet, the shoes on my feet standing next the girls with shoes on their feet (duh) and on and on. But hi, they’re OPEN TOE. So, um, my toes will be exposed and captured on film for eternity. Gah.

Help me. Help me get over this pedicure panic. Is there a protocal? Foot pampering etiquette? Should I bring flip flops? Do I need to prep?

Gee, I’m college educated. You think I could find something more productive to worry about, like the state of this country.

Or how I am ever going to avoid dairy for the entire week.

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