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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Friday, June 02, 2006

The Wedding Plans Thus Far: Sept. 15th, 2007

I thought it was time that I put together our wedding plans thus far. As of June 15th, Brian and I will have exactly 15 months to plan the wedding, although we might put it off yet another year if things don't begin to come together soon. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me - I just want to marry the man. In fact, I'd be happy to go down to the court house or county building on Monday, but that's another story. Here's the funny thing: If we get married in 2007, it will be almost exactly 30 years after my parents' wedding (August 13th, 1977). If we get married in 2008, it will be almost exactly 30 years after Brian's parents' wedding (also at St. Stan's - May 13th, 1978). Go figure... I'm comfortable either way.

If we get married in 2008, we can stick with tradition and get married on Sept. 13th!

Well, here it goes:

The Church:

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church

Brian has attended this church his entire life (even though he and his family aren't really religious) and his Great-Grandparents gave money to build the church and the school (incidentally, Brian attended the school as a child). It is well over 100 years old and is simply beautiful. Even though I'm not Catholic, I have no qualms about getting married there. We are going to modify the ceremony as neither of us really want a traditional Catholic Mass. My Grandma Reid doesn't believe that this can be done, but it can. Funny, I feel as though I'm half United Methodist and half Catholic (long story going back to childhood - more later).

Anyway, Brian did some research tonight and it will cost $700 to get married there - and 6 months notice. That seems incredibly reasonable to me. If all goes well this summer, I'd love to secure the site by Sept. 15th of this year (if we don't decide to get married in 2008).

Huge bonus: It is literally a block from where we live now! If all else fails, I could walk to my own wedding.

The Reception:

This is the BIGGEST bone of contention thus far. Personally, I'm not crazy about the idea of a hall reception, which is extremely common in this area and where I grew up (I've been to some really bad hall receptions and would like ours to be different, special). We discussed other options, but none have worked out thus far.

The Bay City Country Club - Beautiful, good location, but WAY, WAY too expensive. I want our reception to be a bit more informal anyway.

Campus of SVSU (Brian's alma mater) - Perfect type of setting, great trade-off between formal and informal, exactly the type of feel I'd like for the wedding, and not too far away. There is only one problem - the campus is DRY. Our families would be very upset if we had a completely dry wedding.

The State Theater Downtown - It is a very neat, recently renovated theater in downtown Bay City. Brian's little brother went to a wedding there recently and had a wonderful time. Quite honestly though, I'd have to check it all out for myself. I'm not sure if I am completely comfortable with the whole feel of it - and Brian certainly isn't crazy about it. In the end, I think we can do a lot better.

Outdoors along the Saginaw River - I really love the idea (especially considering our first date), but let's be realistic - Michigan weather (any time of year) can change in a matter of minutes. Plus, I don't know if I want to go that informal.

Hotels Downtown - None are special and all are probably way over priced. Neither Brian nor I are happy with this option.

Pulaski Hall - IF Brian and I do end up with a hall reception, it will most definitely be here. It is a block from our house in the other direction! LOL It has also been around for well over a hundred years (although you'd never know it from the outside - it isn't anything special to look at). It has played a vital role in this part of Bay City and has quite a history. I haven't been inside yet (and neither has Brian), but I bet that no matter what it looks like inside, we can really make it look good. My biggest fear is that it will look really cheap - like so many other hall wedding receptions I've been to in this area. Then again, I have a feeling that I can work with it. Ultimately though, I'd at least like to try and find something else - something that Brian and I will both love.

The Wedding Party:

Maid of Honor - My sister Erica Ashley Russell (already asked and she already said yes)
Best Man - Brian's brother Todd Michael Andrzejewski

Groomsmen -

Robert Garrett Russell (my brother)

Eric Dzuirka (Brian's best friend - I went on a blind date with him back in 2000)

Justin Woolbrink (Erica's boyfriend whom Brian and I both really like - we already told them the date as we think that they might be getting married soon too)

Austin Potter (my young cousin)

Bridesmaids -

Mackenzie Lynn Potter (my young cousin)

Lori Lynn Currie (my old high school friend who introduced me to Brian, she will definitely be paired with Eric)

Melanie Raymond (another old high school friend... Not sure if I included her on the original list?) or possibly Machele Suszko (my cousin and probably my best friend in high school, she's getting married soon too)

Emily Matu...ski (Brian's young cousin)

* Brian and I sat down and figured this all out when we first became engaged. It just seems as though SOMETHING is missing currently. I'm going to have to find the original list. It seems as though we had one more older couple.

Erica and Todd
Lori and Eric
Melanie, Abby, or Machele? and Justin
Mackenzie and Garrett
Emily and Austin

* I'm not really sure if I'm going to ask Melanie or not - I may ask my cousin Abby instead. The only problem is that Abby lives out in Arizona now... I'm also considering asking Machele, my cousin and one of my best friends in high school. We'll see... I may also ask Aunt Amy if she'd mind if Mallory was flower girl.

Mackenzie and Garrett will be SO incredibly cute! She has adored him since she was born. Austin and Emily will be cute too!

The Dresses:

As far as the wedding dress is concerned, I have an idea of what I'll be looking for (I want to lose a lot of weight before I even begin looking). I know this sounds really cliche, but my Mom's wedding dress is the prettiest one I've ever seen - and it would go with the rest of the wedding. I love the neckline (long-sleeved, plunging v-neck); the fact that there is lace, but it doesn't overwhelm the dress; and the fact that the bottom half of the dress isn't incredibly full, but flows very nicely (it is very simple, and elegant).

Unfortunately, my Mom spilled wine of her dress on her wedding night and never had the dress cleaned. It wouldn't really matter anyway as I'm proportioned completely different from my Mom at age 21.

I've had a lot more luck with the bridesmaid dresses though! Please check out this link. Whatever I end up with, it will probably be similar to the dress pictured (the dark red dress).

Bridesmaid Dresses

The Colors:

Deep purplish red (but not quite Burgundy) and ??? Brian and I were discussing colors tonight as we were looking through an issue of The Knot, which is what inspired this post. We were thinking of black as an accent color, but quickly agreed that it would be more appropriate for a winter wedding.

Personally, I'm thinking of dark purple (yes Brian, I know that this will make you extremely happy! - along with Miss Mackenzie!) and a dark, golden yellow as accents. I think that the combination of those three colors would be stunning for a fall wedding (and would make picking out appropriate flowers easy).

The Planning Tools:

Thus far, I have an Emily Post Wedding Planner, Planning Software, and etiquette book. I simply need to get serious! I took my time in picking out my planning tools and shopped around. The appear to be extremely (almost too) comprehensive. In all, it ran about $50.

Near Future Planning:

Well, I need to get serious about the planning. This post, however, made me realize that we have already done a lot of the background work. I plan to start a wedding blog within the next few weeks.

The Guests:

I just realized something invaluable! I'm going to be helping my Grandma Reid organize the Suszko reunion this summer!!! I'll be able to get all of the updated contact info. from her! Another thing, Cindy - Brian's Mom - keeps in contact with everyone, so I shouldn't have a problem there. I suppose getting the guest list together (which I've heard is quite a task) should come next.

I'm beginning to realize that I have a lot more accomplished than I thought. Cindy would be proud!

The Bridal Registries:

Thus far, we plan to register at the following stores:

- Kohls
- Target
- Younkers
- JC Penney (Possibly)
- Does the Bay City Antique Mall have a registry???

* Also, I know that you can set up an account on-line so people can put money towards a down payment on a home instead of gifts. I'm considering it since Brian and I pretty much have a lot of what we need. I don't want it to come across as tacky though.

I know it is old-fashioned, but I'd love bridal china! I do plan on having a formal dining room someday and plan to use it as my Mom uses hers. Here is the catch though: I don't want brand new china - I would love to have my Mom or my Aunts (they know my taste) pick out a wonderful set at an antique auction (of course, I would like for it to be in great shape). It would be even better if it came from Bay City! Bay City does have a lot of antiques...

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue:

I'm hoping that I'll be able to borrow a specific pendant from my Mom. She had it made out of a piece of her Grandmother's jewelry. Here's the catch: it may not go with my dress - or my Mom may decide that she wants to wear it to the wedding. We'll see. My Mom has a beautiful collection of jewelry, so I'll probably borrow SOMETHING from her.

As for something new, I'll probably buy a pair of earrings (or maybe drop a hint at Brian that I'd like a pair for a wedding gift). If I borrow the earrings from Mom, I might buy a small handbag for the special occasion... (not decided on that one yet).

Something blue - probably the garter. Tradition, Tradition, Tradition.

Something old - it would be wonderful if Grandma Reid either gave me or let me borrow something to wear for the wedding. I'll have to go through the jewelry that she has already given me. Hey! Maybe the small locket that Grandpa Russell gave her in Texas! That would be perfect! Lots and lots of meaning. I wouldn't be surprised if Grandma wore it when they got married in McAllen, Texas.

The Hair, Etc:

I'm thinking of having my cousin Jamie Daniels do my hair for the wedding. I really need to talk to her first. She cut and styled my hair throughout my last few years at MSU (she was going to school at the Douglas J Institute at the time) and did a wonderful job. I'm just not sure if she'd be up for doing a wedding. Also, I need to start looking through magazines for styles... Not sure what I want.

Also, it would be fun to go to a spa the day before the wedding! We'll see though! I certainly want to do something like that with my bridesmaids. I really don't want to spend tons of money on that though. Maybe that could be my Mom's present to me - or the bridesmaids (or Erica's)??? There has to be a way that it could work out financially.

The Cake:

Brian's Aunt Terry (Teresa) is awesome at making cakes. He said that she could make just about anything I'd like. I'll have to gather ideas and then go talk to her. Hopefully she won't mind doing it.

The Music:

Of course, there will be a lot of Beatles and Johnny Cash. Unfortunately, Brian's Mom will insist that there is polka too. If I had a choice, there would be no way that we'd do the chicken - but it looks like excluding it won't be an option.

We have no idea who or what will get (band or DJ). I think a lot of that will have to depend on the location we choose for the reception. We're DEFINITELY going to put together a song list.

The Day After Party:

According to Brian, it is Polish tradition that there is a party the day after the wedding. In all reality, it will probably be at Brian's parents' house (which is only about a mile away). Anyway, it is then that the bride and groom open all of the gifts, etc. Only after the party can they leave for the honeymoon.

The Honeymoon:

Brian and I have already decided on what we're going to do for our honeymoon. In this respect, we are certainly keeping with the tradition of both of our parents. We are going on an old-fashioned road trip! My parents went out to Maine after spending their wedding night in Bay City. Brian's parents drove out west (Colorado, etc.) in his Dad's 1969 Dodge Charger. Well, we're planning to go out west - probably Texas and Colorado specifically.

I know my Mom will probably think that we're crazy, but I don't care! I really want to do it! I definitely want to travel in style though. Hopefully we'll rent a really cool car or something similar. I really want to see more of the US after traveling abroad so much. Also, I' d love to spend more time in San Antonio.

Much, much more later. I'm getting tons and tons of ideas! I just hope that it all turns out well and that everyone enjoys themselves.

Wish me luck!



At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion - if you really LOVE the style of your Mom's dress you can have it copied by a dressmaker. I had my wedding dress made for me. It was exactly what I wanted (I purchased the fabric myself) and soooo much less expensive than the other alternatives.

At 1:23 AM, Blogger Lisa G said...

Hi there,

Sounds like you are more organised than you realise! I am also getting married in Sept 07 - Strangly enough - the date we have picked is the anniversay of my parents wedding and my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, so it seemed only fitting that that was to dat we picked as well!

Once you sort out what you both want, it makes it easier to plan. We are almost done with our plans now and it has only taken us a few months. it a breeze!

Good luck with you plans


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