Friday, August 26, 2011

Thank You

With everybody present and a few practice runs, it was time to refuel our minds, body, and soul with delicious food at rehearsal dinner! Destination: Texas Land & Cattle. Nothing warms a belly like some yummy steak.

Only, it would be great if they didn't double book us with another party. *facepalm* I called and reserved us the private dining room 2 months in advance. What the heezy?! Where am I supposed to take a party of 30 people now?! I was ready to pull my bridezilla card out and let the management team at Texas Land & Cattle really have a piece of my mind. I'm the freaking bride and my wedding is TOMORROW. As in less than 12 hours from now, I'm supposed to be in a blissful state of mind because it's supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I've freaking planned this wedding to a T and you freakin double book me?! I have 30 hungry people who flew across the globe to be here!! &@*&$%@&*73($)^!

Fortunately, I only said that to my bridal party and my future brother-in-law (FBIL). 30 minutes had gone by and I was on the verge of tears. The guys decided to hit up the bar while my FBIL took me outside to discuss other options and even offered to pick up the tab where ever it was we decided to re-locate to. Before we settled on a new location, the manager of TL&C informed us that the private dining room at their other location 20 minutes away was vacant and that if we wanted to head that way, the manager would be sure to take care of us.

Stressed and upset, everyone was an awesome sport and said they'd make the drive. The guys paid their bar tab and we piled back into our cars and drove over to the other location. Fortunately, upon arrival, the manager at this location had prepped the private room for us and loaded us up on appetizers while we glanced over the dinner menu. Ordering was quick and painless; and food was served quickly thereafter. Now that's what I'm talking about!!

With fully bellies all around and content of food satisfaction (or was it food coma?) on their faces, the soon to be hubby and I stood up and gave our Thank You and Appreciation speech to our wonderful bridal party and our family (some who flew from Australia and Cali, others who drove hours and hours) for being a part of our big day. We were who we were because of them and none of this could have happened without their love and support. The soon to be hubby's voice crackled at the hint of tears building up and I took over to finish off our impromptu thank you speech and hand my girls their thank you presents.

I had my girls fill out a lil questionnaire about themselves at the very beginning of wedding planning and went to Charming Charlie's to pick out a purse that fit their personality then stuffed it with their favorite items.

Meanwhile, the manager informed us that they would also be serving us complimentary dessert of our choice between cheesecake and chocolate cake! Yum!! The chocolate cake was divine and I nearly devoured it all before my MOH reminded me that I had a particular gown to fit into in the morning. But I.just.couldn't.put.the.fork.down!! Oops!

Once the tab was closed (major thanks and love to my FBIL for picking up the rehearsal dinner tab), we all mingled outside to decide how we should end the evening. The adults bid us good night and to not do anything too crazy. After numerous ideas being tossed around, we decided to be home bodies and have a slumber party at our awesome suite.

Once we arrived at the hotel, the soon to be hubby was exhausted surviving the week on less than 3 hours of sleep a day while working 12+ hours a day at the shop. We kissed each other one last time as boyfriend and girlfriend and looked forward to tomorrow when we would be husband and wife (holy cow! Husband! Wife!).

The rest of us headed up to the suite and got comfy. The girls gathered together on one of the beds in pajamas and various snacks and just had good ole girl talk filled with stories, love, tears, and belly busting laughter. I seriously thought we were going to get a call from the hotel management informing us we were disturbing the other hotel guests with our giddy and laughter. Either we weren't as loud as I thought we were or the other hotel guests were super sweet because we never got the call. Phew! Meanwhile, the guys did what they do best. Numerous rounds of poker and blackjack over the luxurious conference table with plenty of beer to go around. 3am rolled around before we even knew it, and we all decided we should get some sleep since the makeup artist arrives at 7:30am to kick start the Big Day. We were fortunate and lucky enough that the suite had enough beds and couches to accommodate everyone so that we could all get a good few hours of sleep!

Did you have any issues at rehearsal dinner? How did you end your night before the big day?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Final Rundown

Everyone says practice makes perfect, and I whole heartily agree. When we signed the contract with our officiant, Marty, we had the option of having him there for rehearsal or just the day of. For an extra $100, I totally wanted him there for our trial run. We were also the first couple of all our friends to do the American style ceremony of walking down the aisle (traditionally, it's been cultural wedding ceremony held at the home of the bride that lasted hours and hours and hours and hours...), and I wanted everyone to be fully aware of what's going on.

So let's get practicing! When everyone get here that is...

Normally, going over your allotted time equates to shelling out the green backs like they grow on trees. Unfortunately, that wasn't even an option for us this evening as Marty is officiating a wedding two hours after the conclusion of our rehearsal. Overtime - what overtime?!

As a total Type-A bride, I made an extremely detailed itinerary documenting all events and timing, then diligently emailed them to all the V.I.P.s of the wedding with an authoritative, but loving reminder to read through the itinerary thoroughly and please, please, please, please be on time because of the whole extra green backs mentioned above. But alas, I had some tardies and had to proceed with rehearsal without them. However, we did have a full house of family members to shower us with love and support! Let's rehearse!

*My apologies on the crummy pictures ahead, my lil cousin took them and focus was not a priority apparently!

The soon-to-be in-laws

Mi familia with my uncles from Cali and Australia!

With family taking a comfy seat, we were in the directions of Marty.
I have absolutely no idea what made me make
this face, but apparently what was being said
was freakin. hilarious.

Rinse and repeat x4 because remember, practice makes perfect (and a happy bride)! And with that, we were applauded for our good work and dismissed for rehearsal dinner!

How did your rehearsal go?

Photographer extraordinaire, Katie Evans, is giving away a copy of her super helpful and well thought out photography book, The Key to Taking Pictures Like A Professional Photographer. This book covers topics and provides tips for amateurs learning about SLRs to the more advanced looking to refine their techniques. Head over to her blog to check out her amazing work and win a copy of the book as well! She's also offering a discount of $5 for the ebook or the hard copy or $7 off for both with promotion code photography4me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Stretch

A few days prior to the wedding day, I called the Food and Beverage Director, Catherine, who handled all the wedding stuff at the Anatole (and with whom I love oh so much because she's freaking awesome), to inquire of reserving a room for me and the girls the night before the wedding so that we'd have a central location to be since the hair and makeup artist was to arrive at the hotel at 7:30am the next morning. Who wants the hassle of waking up super duper early, grabbing all your necessities, drive 30 minutes, find parking space, grab all your stuff from the car, walk to the hotel only to realize you forgot your cell phone, walk back to the car, grab forgotten phone while dropping a few other things, cursing the bride while picking up dropped items, walk back to the hotel, press elevator button and patiently wait for the lift while trying to not look pissed off because your friends that are getting married today made you wake up at 6am. On a Saturday. I can see you nodding your head agreeing that this is the real deal! Ha!

Now where was I? Right. Reserving a room for my lovely ladies and I... Catherine said she would look into it and get back to me. A few hours later, I received an email from Catherine stating she had taken care of everything and that I was all set. When Catherine said she took care of everything, she really meant. The hotel room the night before and the night of the wedding was taken care of by Hilton Anatole!!! OMG!! No. freaking. way! I literally wrote a response to her in all caps and with more exclamation marks then there ever should be utilized in a lifetime of emails. Never the less, in a single one! And if she wasn't rocking awesome enough already, she also blocked all incidentals from being charged to the room!! OMG!! Again, more thankyouthankyouthankyou words filled with excitement and exclamation points. However, I didn't incur any incidentals so no worries. I didn't take advantage of her scorching hot hospitality. You crazy???

Fast forward to a few hours prior to the wedding rehearsal. We arrived at the hotel and wanted to bring all our wedding junk necessities up to the room and get situated. We checked in and headed up stairs. I will never, ever forget what greeted me as I opened up the doors to my room. I wish someone, somehow had captured my excitement because I don't think I've ever been this excited. Y'all, I literally ran around the room flailing my arms and repetitively gasped, "OMG! OMG! OMG!" until I couldn't breathe and stand up anymore. The soon to be hubster stood in the doorway whole heartily laughing while calling our bridal party to see where they were and that they should totally see the psycho he was about to marry.

So what about the room that got me all rallied up? Okay, now that I've recaptured my breath, again, because I totally got all excited just talking about it, here's why.
Upon entering the room. Okay. Simple room. No
biggie. As I rounded the corner, I saw this...

Y'all, that's the Parlor Hospitality Suite connected to my room.

Above two photos from the Hilton Anatole's Photo Gallery

I wish I had taken more pictures of the suite to show you the grandeur of it all. The TWO bathrooms. The bar area. The view. The room. The couches. EVERYTHING!!! I was so amazed at how much love Catherine showered me with. Once I composed myself after my running/flailing escapade, I quickly emailed Catherine and repeated the theme for my email correspondence to her - all caps, lots of thank you's and all the synonyms for it topped with exclamation points galore. Did I mention how much I love her??? Seriously. Catherine, you were freaking awesome and I still get excited thinking about that room! You were awesome to the max extreme.

Now to compose myself and head downstairs for rehearsal. Where is the rest of the bridal party???

How did a someone surprise and shower you with love for your wedding?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Random Mondays!

*peeks around the corner* Timidly, "Hi fellow blogsters!" I know I took quite a hiatus from blogging (work is going through some major organizational changes), but I'm back (hopefully) and I'm hoping to finally be wrapping up my wedding recap because um. our anniversary is coming up in about a month. Holy bujeebuzz! Already!! To start things off right, back to our regular programming (if you still poke your head around these parts of the blog any way)!

Today's Random Monday emoticon:

Item in question:
During our "spontaneous" summer vacation over the July 4th weekend, we spotted some GORGEOUS flowers right outside our hotel. I instantly fell in love with them, but have no idea what they are! I'd love to add them to our flowerbed around the pool! It's also massive! Like bigger than the size of my foot. I have a proof of this, but not sure where I filed that picture away at... FYI: I wear a size 8!
Isn't is gorgeous???

Do you know what this beautiful plant is? What's your favorite plant/flower?


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