October 2011

Regular visitors of SuperNoVABride know that I am no fan of DIY projects, especially those that are overly laborious for just the tiniest details. But, I have completed a handful of DIY projects that I’m pretty happy with and that didn’t take too much time at all!

So, I’m featuring my DIY projects all this week! First up, our table “numbers.”

We’ll have at least 20 tables at our wedding and I knew I wanted something unique for our table numbers. So, I thought of 21 different interests that Ken and I have, whether a shared interest or individually. We would then represent those 20-21 things in some way to represent the different tables.  Here’s our list of things:

  1. Photography Table
  2. Egypt Table
  3. Pittsburgh Table
  4. Baltimore Table
  5. American University Table
  6. University of Maryland Table
  7. Semester at Sea Table
  8. Nice, France Table
  9. Apple Table
  10. Lost Table
  11. Battlestar Galactica Table
  12. Movies Table
  13. Travel Table
  14. Fish Table
  15. Heritage Table (germany, hungary, etc.)
  16. Road Trip Table
  17. HTML code table
  18. Country Music Table
  19. Tivo table
  20. Dr. Pepper Table
  21. American University in Cairo

While we went back and forth with how to represent those interests, but we settled on postcards.

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We bought 3 postcards for each “interest.” Two for the tables (that way our table card displays will show the postcard from both sides instead of just one), and one extra postcard for for the seating chart. (more on the seating chart later this week!). I ordered most of the postcards from Zazzle.com, and the rest from Snapfish.com.

We purchased some rustic-looking table number holders from Etsy

IMG_8629

 

And we’ll put two postcards in each table number holder (that way you don’t see the “address” side of the postcard, instead we’ll put them back to back and put them in the holder)

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Then, below the table numbers we’ll have small tent cards describing each of the postcards. For instance, our “Lost” table will say:

LOST is one of Ken and Melissa’s favorite shows. Ken started watching it when it debuted in 2004, and Melissa watched the first several seasons on DVD to get caught up and watched the final two seasons with Ken!

And our “Hungary” table, for instance, will have a tent card that says:

Did you know that Melissa is part Hungarian? Melissa’s great-grandparents came to the United States from Hungary in the early 1900s!

We really like our table number idea for a few reasons:

  • It will help our guests get to know us better! For tables that my family sits at, we’ll put cards that describe Ken a bit more. For tables with Ken’s family or coworkers, we’ll put table “numbers” that are more about me!
  • We wonder if this will help our guests mingle among tables. For instance, they may be intrigued about our other bits of trivia at tables other than our own!

What do you think? This was an easy peasy DIY project. Right up my alley!

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A totally off-putting moment with our officiant

by Melissa on October 21, 2011

Our officiant is a Lutheran minister that is a friend of my fiancé’s family. He was also a teacher at my fiancé’s Lutheran school when he was growing up, so they all have known each other for quite some time.

I’m not religious, and my fiancé is not particularly religious, but we both grew up going to private religious schools, and we have very religious, church-going families – my parents are Roman Catholic and my fiancé’s parents are Lutheran. I would have been happy to have been married by a Justice of the Peace or other civil celebrant, but having a religious-oriented ceremony was one of those things I just kind of chalked up as a necessity for not having overly disappointed parents. (Although I still think my family is disappointed I’m not getting married in a church by a Catholic priest.)

As we started to plan the ceremony in detail, all the religious stuff started to bother me a bit. Once again, I just decided to grin and bear it. I started to explore other officiants who were not religiously-affiliated but could carry some toned down religious elements into the ceremony. But officiants I contacted were about $450, plus an extra $150 if we wanted a rehearsal! Yikes! So, that settled it, we would stick with Ken’s family’s pastor friend.

We had to go for two sessions of pre-marital counseling with him (ugh). Waste of time. During that first session, we were also chastised for living together before marriage and for not going to church. I also was not planning on making a wedding program, but he insisted. Then when I explained what I had in mind for a program, he did not like it. Double ugh. We just ended up turning over that task to Ken’s mom, since she’s familiar with the wedding programs the pastor likes and I had no desire to make one.

Then we started to go over the ceremony details. I specifically wanted the words “obey” eliminated from my wedding vow to Ken. The pastor then explained to us that God places the responsibility on Ken, as the man of the house, to make the ultimate decisions in our relationship.

I about wanted to start yelling impolite things about antiquated views and chauvinism and women’s rights and all that, but I just nodded and said that I did not want to have the word obey and that it was very important to me.

The pastor continued to try to convince us otherwise. Ken interjected saying that our relationship, including our future marriage, is an equal partnership. The pastor then told us that that is not how God intends marriage to be. He explained that if Ken and I disagree about something, that Ken has God’s authority to make the decision. In essence, Ken wins!

I wanted to vomit. And then I wanted to walk right out. But, I did neither.  In that moment, however, I did lose a lot of respect for the officiant that would be marrying us on our wedding day. I didn’t know what to do. There’s really not much you can do to reason with someone’s religious beliefs obviously and I didn’t want to say anything that could be interpreted as hurtful to a family friend. I didn’t know how I felt that I was going to be married by an officiant I didn’t have any respect for. Would that somehow make our ceremony less meaningful?

So, I asked the pastor to read the vows how they appear in his book. Well, as it turns out, the vow does not include the word “obey.” Rather, it says that I will “submit to” my husband.

What.the.fuck.

Submit to = oh, about 10x worse than “obey.”  What is this, 1688?

He finally acquiesced and said he would not use the words “obey” or “submit to” during the ceremony. I have a feeling I will be reminding him of this over and over again at the rehearsal like a brat. I started to wonder. $450 seems worth it all of a sudden to have an officiant that doesn’t hold such disagreeable views. It also seems worth the piece of mind that the pastor won’t slip up at our ceremony and actually use the phrase “submit to.” What would I do? Ask him to read it again? Say “Yeah, ‘I Do’ on everything but that last part”?

As I write this, I guess I’m not sure why I’m so riled up over words. It’s not like Ken would ever force a decision on me anyway, it’s just the principle at this point.

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DIY Wedding Day Makeup Tutorials

by Melissa on October 20, 2011

I mentioned a while back that I absolutely hated my hair and makeup trial. Well, I’m happy to report that since then, I had a VERY successful hair trial. I booked her services on the spot! I also mentioned that I decided to do my own wedding-day makeup. I’ve been wrestling with this decision, but seriously, when I take a look a pictures of myself with a full face of makeup that I have done myself, I look just fine! My only lesson learned from my engagement photos would be to go a bit heavier on blush.

But, I have been looking for a few tips to finesse my makeup techniques a bit. Several years ago, I went to a class that MAC offered at our Macy’s. That was really the start of actually understanding how to use makeup. Before that, I only used single color eyeshadows. I never wore blush, eyeliner, or mascara. Suffice it to say, much has changed in the last several years since going to that class!

But, wedding day makeup is an entirely different animal. Here are the best tutorials I’ve come across that have helped me improve my techniques

Where to learn DIY Wedding Day Makeup Techniques

Kandee Johnson’s makeup videos are great! Here are some of the best:

Makeup by Tiffany D is another great source

Makeup Geek also has great YouTube tutorials

I think that your foundation routine will be the most important part of your DIY wedding day makeup. So here are some great general foundation tips.

I’ll be posting some of my wedding day techniques soon!

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Assembling our Lego Ring Bearer Box

by Melissa on October 18, 2011

Remember a few months ago when I told you about our Lego Ring Bearer box? Well, we ordered it shortly after that, and got around to assembling it a few weekends ago. Here’s a timelapse of us assembling it!

 

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**Dislaimer, I’ve had these thoughts running through my head ALL day. I just needed to get it on paper. I’m feeling MUCH better. I wrote this all as stream of consciousness. No editing, no proofreading, so my apologies in advance** 

I hate unreliability. HATE IT. I don’t think anyone likes unreliable people. Even people that know that they themselves are unreliable don’t like other people that are unreliable. I have had my fair run in with unreliable and inconsiderate folks in the last few months. And here is a tirade some of the unreliable or generally inconsiderate folks that have infiltrated my life in the last few weeks.

Fuck you, table runner seamstress lady I found on Craigslist. I dropped off 40 yards of burlap at your house at the end of August to make 25 burlap table runners for my wedding. Six weeks later, you haven’t made me ONE despite promising you’d have them all done at the end of September. You’re either a complete liar, or you have the worst luck in the world From your emergency root canals to car accidents to laryngitis and dog vet visits that have delayed my runners, I didn’t buy any of your excuses anymore. So I went to your house yesterday and took back all of my burlap and thread. And, when I was there, you lied again telling me you “didn’t remember” saying that you would have a sample ready for our final venue walk thru. So now, I have to order ones from an Etsy seller, which I was trying to avoid because they’re so expensive. Which means I now have 40 yards of burlap and nothing to do with it. Don’t worry, in a few weeks, I will file a lawsuit in small claims court suing you for the price of the burlap and the difference in price for what you were going to charge vs. what I had to pay on Etsy. So, while you may have fucked with my nicely planned wedding timeline, I get to say the ultimate fuck you.

A slightly milder fuck you to vendors who try to upsell you at the last minute. And doing it by convincing you that your guests will think you’re a horrible host if you don’t take the upselling option. Well, guess what vendors, if my guests judge me because I don’t feed them h’orderves during cocktails, I don’t care. I haven’t cared about people judging me for a LONG time. Prior to about 3 years ago, I never ever attended a wedding that served h’orderves. But, you realized it was a money maker so now you try to sell it as a necessity. Our guests are GROWNUPS. They do not need to be coddled at every moment. Sheesh. And guess what else? Our guests won’t care that we’re using mismatched paper napkins. Also, vendors, don’t expect me to make important decisions on the spot. Don’t plague us with question after question that we already have the answers to. And, don’t treat your clients like morons. I’m sure some of them are, but at least try to give all of them the benefit of the doubt at first.

To our day-of coordinator, you have been a source of stress instead of a source of help. I’ve been able to find things cheaper than you have and you have seriously questionable taste levels. You have put us in touch with the most unreliable people in the state. From your alcoholic assistant to your handyman that can’t show up on time for shit, nothing has been helpful. And don’t tell me that you don’t want me to do anything to help set up. Our wedding day will be the culmination of more than a YEAR’s worth of work. I want to help set it up. To execute MY vision. Don’t tell that you don’t want me to “stress out about it.” Because I’m not. I’ll stress out about it if I left it all up to you.

Fuck you, local hay bale-offering farms that have said, yes, you can deliver bales of hay to my wedding for decor and extra seating and then NEVER return my e-mails to set up delivery and payment options. Why even tell me that you can do it if you have no intention of following through?

Etsy sellers, you’re mostly great and all, but you seriously overprice your shit and sometimes when I get it in the mail, I am disappointed in what I purchased. I am comforted slightly that I am supporting individuals and small businesses, but seriously, you need to evaluate your pricing. Like the cake topper I ordered that looked wooden in the photo? Just thick cardstock (the description didn’t specify materials either way, but I spent $18 on a cardstock cake topper? Mega disappointed in myself). Or those cute luminaries that have been in magazines recently? They are TINY! Not even full sized and I just spent $45 on them.

To my family, I love you, but I’ve asked you for nothing during this entire process. No financial support. No help with any wedding-related tasks. And now, the one thing I’m asking for, which is for you to stay at a hotel when you’re in town for the wedding, you won’t do because it’s “too expensive.” What do you think, everything we’ve done has been cheap? Please, we need our peace in the days leading up to the wedding. And because you won’t pay an  extra $89 to get a hotel room, I’m now just going to ask that you not come down as early as I originally asked. And I feel terrible for doing it.

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Wedding Guests and Online RSVPs

by Melissa on October 17, 2011

We designed our own invitations and RSVP postcards. The full invitation reveal for the blog will come after the wedding, but to give a hint, I’ll need to record a video of my invitations for you all to get the full effect.  But, here’s the front of our RSVP postcard, just to give a taste:
Our DIY RSVP postcard
In addition to our RSVP postcards, we offered our guests an online RSVP option. I had read on a few wedding advice sites that online RSVPs aren’t a good idea. 

  • To state the obvious, not everyone is comfortable using technology or even has the technology to reply online
  • Using a mixed online RSVP / paper RSVP is just too complicated

But, we decided to give it a whirl. Our RSVP postcards included the following RSVP options:

  1. Gladly Attend
  2. Regretfully Decline
  3. This postcard is so 20th century. I’ll RSVP online at www.[InsertOurWeddingWebsiteHere].com

We simply included an “RSVP Here!” page on our website. On that page, we embedded a Google Form that we created. Our Google Form contained the following fields:

  1. Name
  2. Can you attend? (Y/N)
  3. Names of Adults Attending (Large text box)
  4. How many Children Attending (Small text box)
  5. Names and ages of Children Attending (Large text box)
  6. Your e-mail address (small text box). in case we need to send last minute updates!
  7. Notes (large text box)

Out of the 44 RSVPs we received thus far (for a total of 122 people, or 42% of all the people that we’ve invited), 20 of those RSVPs were submitted online!  That’s 45%. I think that’s a damn good online RSVP rate. And it’s not demographically predictable. We’ve had folks in their 60s RSVP online and folks in their 20s mail in their RSVP.

As an added bonus, we also use the RSVP form ourselves. When we receive an RSVP in the mail, we enter the information right away into the online form. Then we just have one spreadsheet to track all the RSVPs! And, I’d just like to point out that Ken has taken the lead on tracking the RSVPs and is doing a great job.

I’m so lucky to have an involved groom!

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Our Wedding Playlists

by Melissa on October 14, 2011

We are FOUR WEEKS AWAY. We’re applying for our marriage license this morning, and then I go for my first wedding dress fitting!  In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you all our DIY iPod Wedding Playlists. As you can tell, we’re big country music fans!

Pre Ceremony Music

This will play in the background starting about an hour before the ceremony. Then, 30 minutes before the ceremony, this will end and our classical guitarist will take over.

  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • Ave Maria – Rachael Lampa
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  • Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
  • From this Moment – Shania Twain
  • Halleluja – KD Lang
  • Little Moments – Brad Paisley
  • Love is a Beautiful Thing – Phil Vassar
  • Marry You – Bruno Mars
  • Smile –  Uncle Kracker
  • Why Wait – Rascal Flats

Dinner Music

  • All I do is dream of you – Michael Buble
  • All I want to do  –  Sugarland
  • Awful, Beautiful Life – Darryl Worley
  • Bubbly – Colbie Caillat
  • Chattahoochee  –  Alan Jackson
  • Come Away With Me  –  Norah Jones
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love  –  Dwight Yoakam
  • Crosstown Traffic – Jimi Hendrix
  • Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
  • Eight Days a Week  –  Beatles
  • Forever & Fοr Always – Shania Twain
  • Forever and Ever, Amen  –  Randy Travis
  • Gone Country  –  Alan Jackson
  • Hey Good Lookin’  –  Jimmy Buffett
  • House of the Rising Sun  –  Rolling Stones
  • I Could Not Ask For More – Sara Evans
  • I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  • I’ve been Everywhere  –  Johnny Cash
  • If I had a million dollars  –  Bare Naked Ladies
  • Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
  • Just Another Day in Paradise  –  Phil Vassar
  • Landslide  –  Dixie Chicks
  • Life is Just a bowl of cherries – Lisa Loeb
  • Litty Bitty  –  Alan Jackson
  • Livin on Love  –  Alan Jackson
  • Livin Our Love Song  –  Jason Michael Carroll
  • Living In Fast Forward – Kenny Chesney
  • Louisiana Saturday Night  –  Alabama
  • Love Like Crazy  –  Lee Brice
  • Mud On The Tires – Brad Paisley
  • My Baby Loves Me  –  Martina McBride
  • My Girl – Temptations
  • My Next 30 Years – Tim McGraw
  • Nineteen Somthin’  –  Mark Wills
  • One Love – Bob Marley
  • People are Crazy  –  Billy currington
  • Say Hey (I love you)  –  Michael Franti
  • So Small  –  Carrie Underwood
  • St Dominics Preview – Van Morrison
  • Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch  –  Temptations
  • That Crazy Feeling  –  Kenny Rogers
  • The Devil Went to Georgia  –  Charlie Daniels Band
  • The Good Stuff  –  Kenny Chesney
  • The Space Between – Dave Matthews Band
  • The Way you Love Me  –  Faith Hill
  • This Too Shall Pass  –  Ok Go
  • Wave On Wave – Pat Green
  • What a Wonderful World  –  Paul Simon
  • Write you a song – Plain White T’s
  • You’ve Got A Friend in Me – Randy Newman
  • You’re My Best Friend  –  Queen
  • You’re my better half  –  Keith Urban
  • All you need is love –  Beatles
  • Hey Soul Sister –  Train
  • Lеt It Bе – Beatles
  • Obladi, oblada, life goes on – Beatles
  • Someone like you – Adele
  • You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
  • Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
  • Passenger Seat – SheDaisy
  • Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer
  • Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me – Keith Urban

 

Dancing Music

  • Addicted to Love  –  Robert Palmer
  • All for Love –  Bryan Adams
  • All the Small Things  –  Blink 182
  • Baby One More Time  –  Britney Spears
  • Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
  • Barbie Girl –  Aqua
  • Beer Barrel Polka – Frankie Yankovic
  • Believe  –  Brooks and Dunn
  • Bless the Broken Road  –  Rascal Flatts
  • Bohemian Rhapsody  –  Queen
  • Born to be wild – Steppenwolf
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
  • Cotton Eye Joe  –  Rednex
  • Crazy –  Gnarls Barkley
  • Crazy –  Aerosmith
  • Crazy Love – Michael Buble
  • Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
  • Dancing Queen –  (ABBA)
  • Don’t Rock the Jukebox  –  Alan Jackson
  • Don’t Stop Believing  –  Journey
  • Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  • Get The Party Started – Pink
  • Girls just want to have fun  –  Cindy Lauper
  • Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
  • God Must have spent a little more time on you  –  N’Sync
  • Grease Megamix – Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta
  • Here for the Party – Gretchen Wilson
  • He Gets that from me  –  Reba McEntire
  • Hip to My Heart  –  The Band Perry
  • How do i live  –  Leann Rimes
  • I can love you like that  –  John Michael Montgomery
  • I Could Not ask for More  –  Sara Evans
  • I get knocked down  –  Chumbawamba
  • I gotta feeling – Black Eyed Peas
  • I love Rock N Roll –  Joan Jett
  • I loved her first  –  heartland
  • I Need You  –  Tim McGraw
  • I wanna make you close your eyes  –  Dierks Bentley
  • I’ve Got you Under My Skin  –  Frank Sinatra
  • In Heaven There Is No Beer  – Frankie Yankovic
  • It’s the ENd of the World as We know it  –  REM
  • Jump  –  Van Halen
  • Just Dance –  Lady Gaga
  • Walking on Sunshine! – Katrina and the Waves
  • Keeper of the Stars – Tracy Byrd
  • Life Is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
  • Live Like you Were Dying  –  Tim McGraw
  • Love of My Life  –  Sammy Kershaw
  • Making Memories of Us  –  Keith Urban
  • Man! I feel Like a Woman  –  Shania Twain
  • Must Be Doing Something Right  –  Billy Currington
  • My Town  –  Montgomery Gentry
  • Oh What a Night  –  Billy Joel
  • Only the Good Die Young  –  Billy Joel
  • Oops I did it again  –  Britney Spears
  • Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox if i die  –  Joe Diifie
  • Redneck Woman – Gretchen Wilson
  • Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash
  • She’s every woman  –  Garth Brooks
  • She’s Everything  –  Brad Paisley
  • Shout – The Isley Brothers
  • Signed, Sealed Delivered –  Stevie Wonder
  • Somebody  –  Reba McEntire
  • Strawberry Wine  –  Deana Carter
  • Stuck like glue –  Sugarland
  • Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  • That Don’t Impress Me Much  –  Shania Twain
  • The Sign – Ace of Base
  • The World  –  Brad Paisley
  • Unanswered Prayers  –  Garth Brooks
  • Video Killed the Radio Star  –  Buggles
  • Walk the Line  –  Johnny Cash
  • We didn’t start the fire  –  Billy Joel
  • When the Lights Go down in the city  –  Journey
  • Who You’d Be Today  –  Kenny Chesney
  • Wonderful Tonight  –  David Kersh
  • You had me from hello  –  Kenny Chesney
  • You Save Me – Kenny Chesney
  • Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  • Footloose –  Kenny Loggins
  • It Had to Be You – Harry Connick Jr
  • Single Ladies – Beyonce
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  • Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
  • I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
  • A Little Less Conversation (Remix) – Elvis Presley
  • Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band
  • Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
  • Good Ride Cowboy – Garth Brooks
  • Love Train – The O’Jays
  • So What – Pink
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • When You’re Smiling – Dean Martin
  • Daddy’s Little Girl –
  • Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera
  • Old Time Rock n Roll – Bob Seger
  • This I Promise You – N’Sync

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Planning a Wedding with Job Loss on the Horizon

by Melissa on October 7, 2011

My fiance and I are extremely lucky. We both make good money and have secure jobs. We decided to keep our wedding budget reasonable, even though we make nearly $180,000/year. So, although we make good money and have a secure jobs, we make responsible mostly responsible decisions related to money.Well, I thought I had a secure job. I am a Federal employee after all. The saying goes, “although you don’t make much money as a civil servant, at least you have job security!” 

Well, that’s definitely not the case. The organization that I work for laid off nearly a third of its workforce after budget cuts in the mid-nineties. And now, its budget has been cut again and they’re anticipating laying off around 500 employees. And since I am one of the most recent hires there I’m expecting to be one of the first to go.  (I started just over a year ago. Right after I was hired, they instituted a hiring freeze anticipating big budget cuts),

A few things. A) Although it’s cause for some apprehension and worry, I’m happy that they’re being so up-front about it. I couldn’t imagine going into work one day and unexpectedly told that I was being laid off. So, I know that it could definitely be coming. B) It allows me to get some things up-to-date, like my resume and network contacts.

If this were any other “normal” time in my life, I would also dramatically cut back on my expenses.

But, saving money and cutting back expenses is really, really difficult when planning a wedding.  In fact, last month, I was $1347 cash flow negative. Meaning that I spent $1347 more than I earned. Based on my projections, I expect this month to be about the same. That money comes out of my savings account. Money that I may definitely need to tap into if it takes me longer than I expect to find a new job. Many federal agencies are having huge budget cuts, so there may be a lot of folks looking for new jobs in the next few months.

I guess all I can do is take it in stride. The organization expects to make a decision in about two weeks. Employees will have 60 days notice of their layoff, which means that, if I am affected, I’d still have a steady paycheck until at least Christmas, which is more than a month after the wedding. I’d also have some time to start looking for a job.

I’m hoping for the best, but here’s what I’m doing to prepare for a worst case scenario.

  • Since cutting back on big expenses is not really an option right now, I’m going to take steps to eliminate our smaller ones and maybe start clipping coupons again. I used to do that all the time, but stopped about a year ago. I also go through books like candy, so maybe I’ll take a break from buying books and get caught up on that HUGE stack of magazines I have.
  • Research unemployment benefits in my state. This gets a little complicated because I live in Virginia, but work in DC, so I know that requires some added steps.
  • Research the process for deferring my student loans. Luckily I’m not saddled with huge student loans, but with that said, I would still defer mine to avoid payments while out of a job.
  • With open enrollment season on the horizon, determine the best insurance options now that we’ll be a 1+spouse!  If we decide to choose my insurance, make sure that we’d be able to easily join my fiance’s insurance policies at his employer if I lost my job (we have since found out that my job loss would be considered a “life event” and that we’d be able to join his insurance mid-season)
  • Updating my LinkedIn profile, my personal website (not this blog), and my resume.
  • Reach out to former colleagues for lunch, coffee or drinks to kind of “activate my network.” Also, perhaps attend some events that I typically wouldn’t that would encourage networking, like alumni events.

Well, that’s it. I’m not too worried about it. Although each job I’ve had in my professional life has taken more than 60 days to get (between searching for jobs, applying, getting callbacks, going for interviews and second interviews, and then two-weeks notice – which obviously wouldn’t apply here – and then actually coming on board), things are closer to the 4-5 months range, so I anticipate that I could be without a job or paycheck for 2-3 months despite having 60 days notice. And who knows, maybe this will be the push I need to finally monetize this blog. Have any fellow readers dealt with a job loss, whether while planning a wedding or not? What else should I do to prepare?

Update 11/2/11. I’m not losing my job! Whew! They were able to make enough budget cuts to not lay off any employees!

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A Fleeting Moment of Guilt

by Melissa on October 5, 2011

The other day I was talking on the phone to my mom just about regular old stuff. She had recently gone to a funeral for a distant relative and saw some of her cousins there. My mom and her one cousin are close in age (62 and 64) and this same cousin’s stepson had just gotten married the previous year.

As they were getting caught up on things, the cousin said to my mom:

“Well, you must be really busy with the wedding coming up soon!”

To which my mom replied with a short, “No.  No I’m not.  They’re taking care of everything themselves.”

Then my mom’s cousin started telling stories about all the tasks she had to do for her stepson’s wedding and how busy she was in the months leading up to the wedding.

Two thoughts occurred to me as my mom was recounting this conversation.

1) Shit. Should I have done more to involve my mom?

2) What am I doing “wrong” in this whole process that I’m not needing to reach out to others for help?

I mean, sure, my fiancé and I are busy doing stuff we wouldn’t normally have to do, but it’s not like overwhelming us or requiring us to reach out to others for help.  And I know typically you’re supposed to enlist the help of your bridesmaids for wedding-related projects, but never once have I felt the need that things were so crazy busy or overwhelming that I needed others’ help and regretted the decision not to have bridesmaids.

And I guess, because I haven’t felt overwhelmed, I didn’t involve my mom that much either. Well, there may be a few reasons for this upon further consideration.

1) My mom and dad don’t have much money and my dad’s health has been tumbling for the last two years. My dad’s medication is very, very expensive (think $1200/month for just one medication), and they always have to go through a laborious process to get it subsidized.  Therefore I never, ever wanted them thinking even once about paying for something for the wedding given that they can barely afford medication.

2) Money is a very, very taboo subject in my family (which is the polar opposite of my fiancé’s family who all talk very openly about their credit card debt and bankruptcies). Therefore, I never had the budget “talk” with my parents (or my fiancé’s parents for that matter) after we got engaged.

3) I always feel like my parents are judging me when I spend money, so I have barely told them what I’ve even purchased for the wedding, so I guess that also led to me not involving them much.  They always buy things cheap, no matter the long-term cost. For example, they’ll pay a few hundred dollars to get their car “halfway” fixed, only to have to pay even more a few months down the road to get it fixed again. The judge on “The People’s Court” has an interesting phrase, “The cheap becomes expensive.”  Anyway, I digress. I’ll give you an example when I’ve felt judged. I discovered that buying linen tablecloths was cheaper than renting them, and I told my parents about it. When they asked how much they were, I said they were $8 each to buy and that I would need about 30 of them. They immediately encouraged me to just buy those plastic roll tablecloths because they would be much cheaper. And, they about flipped out when I told them how much our photographer cost (which, I didn’t even tell them the real amount, of $2900. I just said it was “about $2000”).  My mom also firmly believes in the cash bar concept, because if people want to drink, they should pay for it themselves.

So, to avoid the judgment, I just stopped telling her about the things I bought. Because seriously, if she knew we spent $41 on custom luminaries from Etsy or that we spent $290 on 7 cases of wine (even though that’s a great deal!) the judging would continue.

All those things compound I guess to not involving her much at all in the wedding.

But what do you think? Should I have involved our families more in the wedding planning process?

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