I’ve got to start posting more often so that my post titles don’t have to encompass so much information! Hopefully once I’m settled at my parents’ house for the rest of the summer that will happen…

First of all, I would like you to know that this is my first post on my brand new MacBook Pro! I am finally done with my little Lenovo tablet that is filled to the brim with files, hardly lasts more than 30 minutes on battery power, and – bless its little PC heart – gives me the hourglass after almost every click. But, for all that, it did last me through all three and-a-half years of college, plus a bonus semester! This bright new laptop, with so much memory, a built-in webcam and hardly anything on it right now (including fingerprints) is like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully I won’t miss how tiny and light my tablet was, my screen that turned and the ability to write on it. That was pretty cool….

In more important news, Jon and I graduated three weeks ago! We both went to a total of four graduations that weekend – we each had our departmental graduation (engineering for Jon and journalism school for me) and the school-wide graduation, so we were pretty sick of sitting through ceremonies after that!

Here are some highlights:

Glendie girls at the old well!

Love this funny one of us walking to graduation, all in white!

Me and Emily at our home, Carroll! (the journalism school)

Jon’s mom made us switch caps to show our sacrificial love for each other 🙂

Now, for the wedding progress – forewarning to all those not extremely interested in wedding planning or planning your own wedding – you might not want to read on. I’ll admit, some of these things are very tedious!

Let’s start with my checklist from last time. First, the things I had not completed from my first list:

  • Finalize the guest list and upload it to our website for the RSVP system: check! I had the guest list finalized a while ago, but not uploaded to our website. We actually didn’t remember to do this until Saturday, the day after we put the invitations in the mail. But thankfully no one had time to try to RSVP yet. Since Saturday we’ve already gotten about 20 responses!
  • Jon – get all suits to the groomsmen, get his suit tailored, and help the guys figure out tailoring issues: gosh, still no checks! I think he has delivered all but one suit, and he just dropped off his suit in Asheville to be tailored this week. There isn’t enough time left for the guys to try to go to the same tailor together in Raleigh, so it looks like they will be on their own for that.
  • Find my shoes and jewelry and pick out a hairstyle and a veil length: check for my shoes and half-check on the jewelry? I did finally find some shoes! I didn’t want to spend a lot on my shoes since no one will even be able to see them, but once I figured out what kind I wanted they were hard to find! I finally found some kitten heels in a neutral color with a peep toe and closed back at Nordstrom Rack a couple of weeks ago.

Last time I said I had several pictures of hairstyles picked out. I think I have narrowed it down to the two styles I want to have Jennifer do on Thursday. Here is what I think is my favorite right now:

And how perfect is it that Jennifer Ericksen did this model’s hair and makeup?! I love this whole Paper, Cotton and Flour photo shoot from Southern Weddings!

The other style I want to try is a combination of this:

and this:

I like the weave style on top in the first picture better than the second, although they are very similar. But I like the more defined “bun” in the second picture. I think the way her hair is pinned up all over her head in the back in the first picture might fall out too easily since I have pretty thick hair.

When I was at J.Major’s two weekends ago, I bought a sash that I’ve been considering for a while. When I found my dress back in December, I tried this Lazaro sash with it, and I think it was part of the reason I fell in love with the dress. I still love the dress without the sash, and for a little while I had decided to wear a plain sash the same color as the dress. I’ve been debating it in my mind for a while because of the price, but they agreed to sell me the sample for a pretty good discount, so I decided it was worth it. It is adorned with an applique of pearls and crystals. Because I’ll have this on my waist, I decided a necklace would be too much. I might change my mind and wear something very small/light, but that at least ruled out several chunkier pieces I was considering at J.Major’s.

I’ve collected a few options for earrings right now, but I just can’t decide yet! I’ll choose a pair in the next couple of days to wear for my portraits on Thursday, and then I’ll decide if I like that look enough to wear them again. I prefer studs, but I need them to be pretty big and sparkly, I think, since I’m not wearing a necklace. Right now I have these from Anthropologie and a pair of sparkly round studs of Ellie’s. Those could count as my something borrowed 🙂 I also ordered these earrings from J.Crew that I found on eBay for less! I love what they look like online, but I won’t get them until sometime in early June, so I’m not sure how they’ll look with the dress. Loving the starfish right now, though!

I’m not planning on wearing a bracelet or any other jewelry unless I come across something that would work well as my “something borrowed” because I still need that! I do still need to decide about any kind of hairpiece or flower I might wear, but that will depend on the hairstyle I choose.

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided on my veil length. I’m going to have Nia’s grandmother (the baby I nanny for) cut it tomorrow since I am wearing my mom’s veil (which my older sister wore as well), and right now it is at least a few feet longer than I want.

Back to my list….

  • Start brainstorming about centerpieces and working on other decor details: check! This is actually pretty much figured out now! I was at home two weekends ago, and my mom and I planned sort-of a last-minute meeting with my florist on my way out of town. I was only expecting to have her explain her ideas for centerpieces to me more fully in person, but we ended up discussing things enough to make decisions, hallelujah! I still have some time to make some changes if I want, but it feels really great to have a big chunk of that figured out. More on that later this summer, hopefully!
  • Pick out Jon’s ring: we’re so close, but no check yet!
  • Coordinate working on the song Ellie is going to sing at our wedding: check! Since Alex, who is playing guitar for Ellie, and Olivia, who is playing violin, just left on summer-long trips, they can’t really get together to practice until the rehearsal or maybe the day before! But Jon was able to get together with Alex to record him playing the song so that now Ellie and Olivia can practice on their own with that!

Now for the checklist I made last time:

  • Book a hairstylist/makeup artist for the day-of and schedule my trial run: check! I booked the stylist I mentioned last time, Jennifer Ericksen. It worked out really well that I was able to schedule my trial-run the same day as my bridal portraits, this Thursday! I will drive to Jennifer’s home in Lewisville, NC, have her try the two hairstyles I mentioned above, take lots of pictures to decide later which I like best, and have her do my makeup. Hopefully I will either like the second style she tries enough to use it for my portraits, or she can help me take it down and put it half-up for the pictures or something.
  • Figure out my hair and makeup for bridal portraits (May 31!): as I said above, check! I would have had to figure out something else if Jennifer hadn’t been able to meet with me on Thursday, so I’m so glad that worked out.
  • Find my shoes! Must have them for my dress fitting May 16!: like I said above, check! The said thing is that even though I had my shoes for my fitting, the alterations on the length are still not done. I picked it up this past weekend without any time to try it on in the store, and the next day when I tried it on at home I discovered it is still too long. I’m not sure if they forgot to shorten the dress or what, but I will just have to wear it a little long for my portraits and take it back later this summer.
  • Get recordings of Alex and Olivia playing the song before they leave for the summer: we decided to get a recording from Alex only – check!
  • Assemble the invitations and get them in the mail: CHECK! This is probably the biggest accomplishment. I went home two weekends ago and assembled all the invitations with help from my sister Ellie, friend/bridesmaid Crystal and my mom! Assembly consisted of sticking each invitation card on the inside of a pocket with a couple sticky foam pieces, sliding the reception card into the other side of the pocket, stamping envelopes for the RSVP cards, writing in how many seats are reserved for each set of guests on the RSVP cards, putting each RSVP card/envelope in the pocket, wrapping each pocket with a piece of ribbon and securing it with a little circle!
Here is our finished product! Sorry for the quality…still just using my iPhone for now!
This is what the pocket looks like when you pull it out of the envelope:
And, when you open it up:

My friend Abbey was finishing addressing the envelopes the weekend we put the invitations together, so we waited until the next weekend to take them to the post office. Since Jon and I were coming to Charlotte for my friends’ wedding the next weekend anyway, we left everything at my parents’ house. Jon bought the stamps that week, which turned out to be $1.10 per envelope because of the width of the envelopes – they were just wide enough to be bumped up to a padded envelope size instead of a letter, or something like that! Crazy. Anyway, we double-checked addresses when I got the envelopes from Abbey and put all the stamps on them. When we got to Charlotte that Friday, we had just a couple hours to put all the invitations in the envelopes (a very careful process with the ribbons around the pockets), seal them, and stamp my return address on the back. It feels so great to have them in the mail already! Wedding timelines range between just 6 weeks to 3 months on when they say to send out invitations. I knew I wanted to do closer to 3 months if possible, and it ended up being 11 weeks out.

Like I said in an earlier post, we bought our invitations as a kit at Michael’s and had them printed at Kinko’s. In the end, I think it was definitely worth the extra work to save so much on invitations. I estimated they would have cost around five or six times as much to have similar invitations designed, printed, assembled and delivered to us. The worst part of making the invitations were the technical problems Jon and I had formatting the text the way we wanted it before we took them to Kinko’s to be printed. And this was mostly because I was set on using a special font I had downloaded! But I’m still glad we did that! 🙂 And it can be fun assembling the invitations if you have some friends or family to help!

Back to my list…

  • Get the rest of the groomsmen’s suits to them: Jon will hopefully deliver the last suit this week!
  • Get Jon’s suit tailored before he leaves for Pittsburgh: it is at the tailor’s this week!
  • Buy Jon’s shirt and shoes before he leaves: half-check! We did finally find a dress shirt he really likes the fit of! Extra-slim, non-iron at Brooks Brothers. He highly recommends it!
  • Complete another packet of marriage-counseling material and meet with our pastor before Jon leaves: no check! We have our last meeting set for next Thursday, so we both need to get working on that.

To summarize the past couple weeks I’ve been mentioning:

Two weeks ago Jon and I went to Charlotte. I had a quick dress fitting when we got into town, and the next day my friend Olivia took Jon and me on a flight! She has her pilot’s license (got it when she was 16!!), so for Jon’s birthday back in March, I gave him a coupon for a flight with Olivia!

I was so impressed by Olivia’s ability to do this! She is so talented!

I was supposed to go back to J.Major’s to pick up my dress Friday, but it wasn’t ready yet. Jon’s friends picked him up that morning to go to Lake Keowee for his friend Louis’s bachelor party. Ellie and I found a stamp and ink for the RSVP envelopes, and then we went to work on the invitations. My friend Crystal came over later to help a little, and then again the next day. Ellie helped as well, and we got a lot done in just a few hours. My mom and I finished them up that night, and then they were ready to go. Sunday after church I went to a bridal shower for Louis’s fiancée, and then my mom and I had a very productive meeting with my florist before I headed back to Chapel Hill for the week.

The next weekend Jon and I went back to Charlotte for my two high school friends’ wedding. I read scripture at the ceremony, so we went to the rehearsal as well. The wedding was out in Waxhaw at the groom’s grandparents house, which was about 45 minutes away. We had just enough time Friday to pick up my dress at J.Major’s, put our invitations in the envelopes, take them to the post office, get ready for the rehearsal and get out there by 5 o’clock. The next morning we drove out to Harrisburg to see linen samples at a showroom. Unfortunately the lady who was supposed to meet me did not have time, so someone else showed us around. It ended up being pretty unproductive. I had tried to meet with her the previous weekend as well, so I think I am going to wait until I’m settled in Charlotte for the summer, and then meet with her on a weekday. Or I may end up getting my linens at Party Reflections instead. This is the one thing I feel a little behind schedule on, but I’m just telling myself it won’t be a big deal!

That afternoon I tried on my dress and realized it is still too long 😦 I pondered jewelry options and hairstyles while Jon stayed hidden downstairs. Then it was time to get ready and leave for the wedding! It was nice catching up with high school friends I haven’t talked to in probably four years that night.

On Sunday, the moving madness began. Jon and I left Charlotte that morning and met his parents in Durham. We had lunch, and then his sister Ashley, her husband Brandon, baby Lucas and Jon’s cousin Farrin all came with us to Jon’s house in Raleigh. Before we left town that weekend Jon and I had gone through all his things as much as possible to get rid of things and pack up everything else. There were still a few hours of packing things into boxes, moving everything into the U-Haul and cleaning to do with everyone’s help. After driving back to Durham and having dinner, Jon, his parents and I went to my house in Chapel Hill and packed up all of my things we are taking to Pittsburgh. The U-Haul and the back of their pick-up truck were packed by the time we were done! Jon and I stayed up late that night making my room as livable as possible for the next two weeks without a dresser, bedside table and several other things.

Monday after lunch Jon and his dad left for Jon’s parents house in Asheville. Thank goodness they did not lose the U-Haul or have anything break on the drive home! They unloaded all of our things when they got home and I’m sure did not want to think about moving another piece of furniture ever again. Jon will do a little more organizing of our things this week before the movers come on Thursday to pack it all up and put in storage for two weeks! Whew!