RSVP Reactions...

I may have mentioned this already, but with our invitations, we only sent RSVPs to our out of town guests. With a big wedding in my hometown, we expect 90% of the hometown folks to be at the reception, so we didn't feel it was neccessary to send RSVPs to them.

The OOT RSVPs have been trickling in, most with the responses we expected--some yes, some no. A few though, have really struck me. Some of the people we didn't expect to come will be in attendance and we will be dearly missing some very important people who will not be able to make our special day.

The responses have really got me thinking about who I really want and need to be there...

Family... I expect most of mine to be in attendance because of proximity, but I already know my cousin Tommy & his new wife, Amy will not be making the trip from North Carolina and my grandfather will not be coming due to complications with Parkinsons. CityBoy's on the other hand, is really hard to predict.

CityBoy's parents are divorced and his mom & step-dad and grandmother live in suburban Detroit and his dad & step-mom (along with all of his dad's family) live in Daytona, Florida. CityMom & Step-Dad are planning on making the trip into a Texan vacation along with a cousin and her husband, but CityGrandma will not be coming. The Florida family is still a mystery. Plane tickets aren't cheap and because this is CityBoy's 2nd wedding, we aren't sure who will be making the trip. We would love to see all of them since I've only met them once almost 2 years ago, which is the last time CityBoy has seen them as well.

Friends... Its strange how friendships rise and fall like the tide. Over time, some friendships strengthen and others fail, and I found myself banging my head on the table when drafting our guest list. Do I want the toxic ex-friend I used to count among the best friends I've had in my life at the celebration of the relationship she fought so hard against when it was new? Should I include new friends I've known for what feels like moments? What about the friends I haven't spoken to in years?

In the end, I included some people I'm sure won't come because of various immature reasons. A little soul searching led me to the conclusion that at one point they were important to me and out of respect for that, I included them.

Coworkers... CityBoy and I have been in the Big D for just over a year now and neither of us will be inviting our coworkers to the festivities. Although I have formed a good bond with several of my fellow auditors, I don't want to cause any issues. It was all or nothing and we went the way of nothing.

HOWEVER, we will be inviting former coworkers from when we lived and worked in Lubbock. Many of our mutual friends are former coworkers and they were all there from the start of CityBoy and I and gladly, they will all be in attendance to help us celebrate.

Who are the important guests on your list?


And the countdown begins!

With just about one month left, my brain has officially entered countdown mode. This morning at our biweekly Audit department meeting, I couldn't help but stare down at my copy of the schedule, realizing only 2 401(k) plans and one of my favorite clients stand in the way of me and my upcoming nuptials!!

The one annoying part of being so close to the wedding is that everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, including partners at my firm, has been asking the same question--"How's the wedding planning coming along?"

I always struggle to find an answer, but it usually ends up being something along the lines of--"Good, just little details left!" Do 60-year old CPAs really want to know that my list consists of things like dance lessons, rolling napkins, and calling the members of my house party?

Another question I've gotten alot is "Are you nervous?" And I can honestly answer "No." I'm really not nervous at all, I'm ready to marry CityBoy and start our life together and be done with lists upon lists of things to do for the wedding. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying planning my wedding, but I'm ready to enjoy actually being married!

This weekend I did get one good laugh at a wedding related response. My cousin/Usher Marshall took the opportunity to tell me it wasn't too late to call the whole thing off and stay free and single! He's been married for almost 2 years and I'm sure his wife, a friend of mine from HS, doesn't enjoy his shenanagins, but I sure did!

So, how's the wedding planning coming?


The Perfect Head Table...

At small town weddings, there typically isn't assigned seating and I prefer it that way. The locals have their own way of segregating and finding people of interest to sit with. At most weddings back home, we find ourselves sitting with the same gang and having an absolute blast.

There is one table (or group of tables) that is assigned, however, and its usually for a large group of people--the bridal party!

At our venue, I've seen the "head table" done many ways--a U-shaped arrangement on the dance floor, round tables on the dance floor, rectangular tables on the dance floor--but it is almost always ON THE DANCE FLOOR. This means that after the meal, the head table is cleared and removed, leaving the Bridal Party without a table to call their own.

At our wedding, we will be placing our head table just off the dance floor. It will be made up of 8 rectangular tables in a 4x2 arrangement to form a BIG rectangle. My BFF/Bridesmaid Sara had a head table like this at her wedding and since it did not have to be moved for the dance portion of the evening, we were able to stay sitting at our table with the other members of the bridal party.


Since we had figured out the configuration of the head table, I sat down one afternoon back in April or May and made our seating chart including the following people:

SmallTownBride & City Boy
BestMan Mikey
Groomsman Bryce
Groomsman/Brother of Bride Jared
MOH/Sister of Bride Cara
Bridesmaid Shelby
Bridesmaid Sara & Hubby Freddy
Bridesmaid Bekah & Hubby Edgar
Bridesmaid Whitney
ST Mama & Daddy
City Mom & StepDad
City Dad & StepMom
Pastor & Wife
Usher Aaron
Usher Marshall & Wife Courtney
Reader Jennifer

That's 24 people...perfect for our table.

So, I set about arranging everyone so that they'd have a good group to talk to; I put Shelby next to Bryce because we'd worked with both of them back in Lubbock, I put ST Mama & Daddy between the City parents to avoid any awkwardness, etc.


Fast Forward to Today...

Best Man Mikey & Bridesmaid Shelby are now in serious relationships and will be bringing significant others to the wedding and no matter how I rearrange my perfect head table, I can't seem to fit everyone in a logical way!!

Any ideas?

I'd really like them to be included at the head table since I've been in weddings where CityBoy has not been able to sit with me and its just not fun...

I've considered bumping the Ushers & Reader to an adjacent reserved table, but I don't want them to feel like they aren't included, what to do????


Thoughts on a Honeymoon...

Sometime before we were even formally engaged, CityBoy and I started dreaming about where we would go on our honeymoon. Immediately we dismissed the popular all-inclusive Mexican beachy resort...then we debated on if we wanted to go out of the country or stay here...evenutally one night while watching Breakfast at Tiffany on HBO, we decided on New York.

And, we were set on NYC as our honeymoon destination until the last week or two.

About a month and half ago, my beloved 2001 Ford F-150 (yep, I drove a truck in true Small Town style) kicked the bucket. I was driving back from a client in Plano and my temperature light came on, so I did what any girl would do--I called my daddy! He told me to pull over at a gas station and put some coolant or distilled water in the radiator and at least make it home. I did and made it home in one piece despite ruining a white shirt by leaning over my dirty dirty truck.

The next day, I took it in for a check-up and discovered I had a leak in my lower intake to the manifold (greek to me!) and the estimate to repair it was over $2k...and my heart sank. I drove my sweet little pickup back to the apartment and there she sat while CityBoy and I struggled to share his truck for the week.

Friday rolled around and we'd had enough, so we took the day off, went shopping, and bought me a Jetta. Our small joint nest-egg went into a down payment and I was back on wheels.

Fast-Forward to the last few days and we've found that the added car payment, insurance payment, and wedding expenses have left us sitting in a rough place. We are by no means struggling, but we sat down and really evaluated if we were in a place to spend a few grand on a trip to NYC right now. We went back and forth a few times and decided NYC was still on.

We plugged numbers in true Accountant style--if we dropped HBO & Showtime from the cable bill, if we take sandwiches for lunch everyday, if we pay the minimum on the credit card--and we could have made it work, but decided it wasn't worth it for the trip.

We both have an entire week off of work following the wedding and we don't just want to come back to Dallas and sit in the apartment all week, so we're looking at places in Texas with no plane tickets to worry about. We're giving ourselves a $1,000 budget including our wedding night at a hotel in Austin.

Right now our options are: San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas or just staying in Austin.

More to come on what each of these options holds for us...

Are you going on a full-blown Honeymoon or settling for a Mini-Moon?


Rehearsal Dinner/Birthday Party...

CityBoy and I are getting married 8 days after his birthday and 1 day after mine, so our rehearsal dinner is going to be held on my 25th birthday. According to my sister, I am selfish for wanting the rehearsal invites to say "/Meagan's Birthday Party" but c'mon, 25 is a big year!! I may not be able to talk her into putting it on the invitation, but there is NO WAY I am going without a birthday cake!

We will be rehearsing at the church around 5:00 then heading over to my Aunt Rachel's house for dinner. She graciously offered her house for the rehearsal--we think its so she could talk her husband into doing yard work--but we're in charge of picking out the menu.

If you remember, we'll be serving BBQ at the wedding, so we thought it might be a good idea to serve Tex-Mex at the rehearsal to give all of our Michigander and Floridian guests another Taste of Texas.

Tacos? Burritos? (I could finish a funny a funny chant we used to do in Swim Team here, but I won't...) Enchiladas? Fajitas? TOO MANY CHOICES!

I think the winner right now is a Fajita Bar!! We'll throw some Beef & Chicken on the grill along with some Peppers & Onions, pick up some tortillas from one of my favorite Lubbock restaurants (which now has a location in College Station) and my aunt volunteered to make her AWESOME salsa.

Now for drinks... I love a good Margarita, but a nice Sangria or Dos Equis sounds pretty dang good too. I'm not sure which route we'll take here, but I can whip up a mean Strawberry Margarita in my Magic Bullet Blender, I had LOTS of practice in college--Margarita Mondays!! Here's my recipe:

Meagan's Margarita Madness
(For the Individual Bullet Cups)

Frozen Strawberries (or fruit of your choice, I love to mix Strawberry & Pineapple)
1 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec/Grand Marnier/Cointreau
Margarita Mix

Fill the cup with Strawberries, add Tequila & TripleSec to your tasting...I rarely measure! Then top off the cup with a splash of sprite and margarita mix, I prefer On The Border's mix.

Put on the lid and blend until smooth. If you use whole strawberries, you may end up with funny strawberry balls, but they're tasty! I like to use sliced strawberries, but sometimes they are hard to find.

The frozen strawberries take the place of the ice, so it tastes more fruity AND you get a serving of fruit, bonus!


What will she do after September...

Sometime back in April or May, my sister sent a picture of a fabric flower to my mom and me. This picture (which I can't find now) started the wheels turning in my mom's head and one night when my dad was out of town, she got out some silk and tulle and started playing. After a little tweaking, she came up with a design to make gorgeous silk & tulle flowers.

She starts with squares of Silk & Tulle. The silk here is left over from my bridesmaid dresses and we bought red tulle.

She cuts the shape of a flower with rounded petals out of the silk & tulle.

Then she wired each layer together to create a flower and fluffed it out.

To keep the metal wires from poking out, she wrapped the wires with floral tape.

And voila! A flower!

She made about 20 of these, which we'll be using as corsages for my house party. Yesterday, my dad had to go check on some things for work near Dallas, so mom rode back with me and worked on attaching Orangy-Pink ribbon to the flowers (I forgot to take picture).

Maybe my favorite application of the flower was on my shoes!! I was having trouble picking a color for my shoes and the bridal shop said they could match pretty much anything, so we gave them the swatch of my bridesmaid dresses...little did we know we'd be attaching a pink silk flower!
Talk about luck...the shoes were free with my dress, the silk was leftover and the tulle was super cheap, but I ended up with gorgeous custom wedding shoes.

Mom worked on the silk flowers at night when she was home alone...I'm starting to wonder what she's going to work on after the wedding? I keep telling her she needs to start an Etsy Shop, what do y'all think?

Just Say No to Flourescent Lights...

Our venue is lighted mainly by fluorescent tube lights on the ceiling with the exception of can lights in one area and 9 hanging lights over the dance floor. I am NOT a fan of fluorescent lighting if it can be avoided and the hall with only the can lights and dance floor lights is a little dark, so I requested additional lighting from my handy-dandy parents.

We originally wanted to criss-cross light strands with round lanterns across the entire hall, but that idea was quickly dissolved when we discovered we would not be able to hang anything from the ceiling at our venue. Our next idea was to create stands to hold a group of differently sized lanterns and place those around the hall.

My Engineer-In-Training brother and my parents started brainstorming designs for the structure to hold the lights and bought torch lamps from IKEA (Not Floor Lamp $6.99) to serve as the basis for the stands.

We had ALMOST nailed down a final design when I stumbled across this picture via Martha Stewart:
I immediately fell in love with the simple, yet elegant look of the towers of lanterns. I emailed the picture to my “wedding planners,” AKA my mom and sister and they too fell in love. My sister even did a web search and came across the Holy Grail—a How-To posted right there on Martha’s site!

My parents adapted their design and were still able to use the torch-style lamps they purchased at IKEA. To make the light stands, we wrapped each lamp base with several strands of Christmas Lights (bought 75% off in January from Wal-Mart) and purchased new light socket adapters which have 2 electric sockets along with the socket for the bulb. We will be leaving a 60 watt bulb in the top of the lamp to give a more intense light at the top of the tower.

The only thing left to do to the light stands is add the lanterns. We ordered 3 sizes of white paper lanterns online and will be randomly stacking the lanterns rather than using a single size like our inspiration photo. I believe the sizes we ordered were 12”, 14” and 16”, but I’m not 100% sure.

The plan is to have 6 of these light towers placed around the hall to create ambient lighting and draw the attention away from the drab interior of our venue. Following the wedding, my sister and I have already called dibs on one for each of us to put in our living rooms, and my mom plans on keeping the remaining 4 and renting them out for future weddings at our reception venue.