About Rachel&Sam

Thursday, July 22, 2010

57 Days - In Times of Stress. . .

These past few weeks have been busy, overwhelming (not necessarily in a bad way), and stressed the max. 

I give you the Stress Originators:
  • Lack of sleep -  We averaged about 4.5 -5 hours of sleep last week while we were working on our invitations.  Thankfully, the invites are addressed, stuffed, and out the door.  (I'll worry about RSVP stress later.)
  • Lack of results - I joined Bally's gym at the beginning of June in order to get myself in better shape for the wedding.  I started working with a trainer less than a week later.  He adviced me to cut calories to around 1200 - 1400 per day, keep a food journal, and mix cardio and strength training four nights a week for at least an hour.  I was committed to my goal and motivated.  Unfortunately, at my one month weight-in, my trainer told me I hadn't lost any weight or body fat.  This started the emotional roller-coaster that was "WTF! You have got to be kidding! - angry stage, then "Rachel - Pity Party for One" stage, to "acceptance that I am doing what I can and I can't do anymore" stage.  I'm still going to the gym and I have one more session with my trainer, but my first dress fitting was last week and I was adviced not to lose any weight.  Dear goal, meet the drain.
  • Busy, busy, busy - Big project at work, weddings, visitors, travel, gym, invites, yada, yada, yada.  As a result, our apartment is in God-awful shape.  My past roommates will tell you that I don't do well in apartment chaos.  For real.  My favorite appliance in college was my Wet/Dry Dust Buster.  So last night, I looked up and I realized what our schedule has been doing to the apartment and I went on a very stressful cleaning spree, where I needed to pick-up everything in sight and vaccuum. . . ten minutes before I was supposed to go to bed.  I don't think Sam likes when this side of me comes out.
  • Los Budgets - Life, wedding, saving for a house, bills. . . there isn't much money to spare in the Munn/Batkins household. We've all been there.  There's no point in belaboring the point.
  • Other people, places and things - I call this the straw that breaks the camel's back stuff.  Its detailed and messy and almost always comes out of left field.  
The Metaphors:
Most days you can stay the course.  Things get stressful and you keep on keepin on because that is what you have to do. C'est la vie!  Then the straw hits at just the wrong place and just the wrong time and then you cue the waterworks.  This may or may not have happened yesterday when I was chugging along and juggling all of these stress balls and then the "straw" hit me and my evening fell apart. 

Insert Coping and Stress Relievers:

Moral of the story: 

I stress, you stress, we all stress.  Somedays, we stress harder then others.  When those days hit you, grab your honey, a box of tissues, and some nachos and let it all out.  Go ahead and get messy.  I have found that messy cries are usually the most cathartic. Chances are these measures won't take away the stress originators, but it'll make you feel better for a little while.  Here's another tip - make enough nachos for leftovers. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

65 Days - The High Cost of Weddings

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $19,581.  (What does The Onion think about that number?)  $19,581 is actually a drop in average wedding costs.  In 2007 the average cost of a wedding in the United States was around $27,000! (EEK)

According to CostOfWedding.com, DC weddings on average cost couples between $27,342 and $45,570 total.  They go on to say that couples should expect to pay, on average, 50 to 100 percent more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services.

A DC budget wasn't a Rachel and Sam budget.  Thankfully, we're not alone.  CNN outlined a few tips for people planning their weddings on a budget by using creative methods and give mention to two blogs I have been following.  Check it out!

Here are a few ways that we have tried to save on wedding planning:

  • DIY projects - centerpieces, cake topper, tiered cupcake holder, and other decor
  • Booking a non-hotel venue
  • Shopping unlikely wedding shops for sales - Saks, Anthropologie, and Marshalls
  • Exhaustive research and internet shopping
  • Finding non-established vendors for stationary
  • Asking for help
  • Cutting our budget and then cutting it again.
Just some thoughts!  We're open to more ideas if you want to share! 

OK. Back to the invites :-)

66 Days - rolling with the punches

The past few days have been an exercise in acceptance and moving forward.  Dwelling doesn't help anyone, least of all yourself.

  • The Bachelorette Party was a great time with some wonderful ladies.  Unfortunately, it didn't start off on the right foot.
    • One of my bestests had heat exhaustion and at the last minute couldn't make it to the party.  I was really sad to not see her, but it wasn't her fault that my bachelorette party followed a week of 100 degree weather causing her to spend the weekend sick in bed.  
    • We missed the bus to NYC for my bachelorette party by five minutes.  Correction, they gave away our seats to standby passengers because the train to the bus stop was cancelled and made us late.  The next bus was booked, so Bridg booked us tickets on the next train, which was a lot more expensive but it was a solution that got us in town on time. 
    • We got to NYC where my friends were waiting for us and I had a great time.  I couldn't let the negativity surrounding the start of the day affect me because my girls came a long way to see me and the last thing a bachelorette party needs is a pouty bride.
  • My printer has become haunted by the spirit of Martha Stewart and the Etiquette Gods.  When trying to print the invitation envelopes with a pretty font, Martha et al. made my printer eat five envelopes, which couldn't be wasted.  I could have panicked, (seriously, I thought about it), but frankly, I don't have the time.  The invitations need to go out this week, which means Martha gets her way and I am handwriting the invitation addresses.  No picture perfect envelopes for this couple.  The wedding industry complex is probably gasping in horror.  Oh well.  I read a lot of blogs with picture perfect stationary and my first instinct was to worry that my handwriting wasn't good enough.  I didn't want people to judge our wedding because the envelopes aren't perfect.  Then I realized the people coming to our wedding love us and they don't care about picture perfect envelopes, so I shouldn't worry about them either.
There are 66 days left until W Day and I would be fooling myself if I thought everything would be perfect and obstacle-free.  Nothing is perfect and that's all right.  The best thing I can do is accept the imperfections and move on because at the end of the day, Sam and I will be married and that's all that matters.  (I read this post from A Practical Wedding, one of my favorite wedding blogs, which kind of hit it all home for me.  I was never one that wanted to get married at 20, but this young girl seems to have everything in a proper perspective.  At such a young age, her thoughts on marriage and wedding planning are objective and display a maturity that I didn't have as a sophmore in college.  Check it out if you have a few minutes to spare.)

So, moving forward. . .This will be the last update for a few days.  Wedding planning, and work are about to get nutty.  Thank goodness Sam has been good about making me dinner and keeping me sane.  Here are some things on the wedding radar:
  • The invites will be out by the end of this week/beginning of next week. 
  • My first dress fitting is this Saturday.
  • Our friends Paige and Will are getting married this weekend! :-)
  • I must must must send the cake topper to Laufa to paint!
  • We need to finalize the ceremony readings and our vows.
  • Wedding programs!
Ugh, I'm done thinking about it.  See you next week!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

74 Days - Wedding Day Perspective

I found this post again last night and I am so glad.  Now that we are nearing the end of planning our wedding, its nice to remember that whatever the outcome of our wedding day, the most important part will come during the days, months, and years to follow:

"How you live your married life, each and every day, or rather the sum of your days, eventually becomes a much more powerful testimony of who you are as a couple. . . Were it up to me, and were my husband and I so extraordinarily lucky, I’d rather let our fiftieth anniversary than our wedding be that ultimate statement of who we are together."

75 Days - Gift Registries

"Where are you registered?"

Emily Post and the etiquette gods have explicitly stated that it is beyond rude to include the information in an invitation.  EEK!  Not one to piss off the etiquette gods, I gave the registry card reminders to my sister and she is sending the reminders in my bridal shower invitations.  Woot!  Job done. . . or not.

My friend, Barry, said that the shower reminders are all well and good for the women invited, but how are the dudes supposed to figure it out?  Uhhhh.... I had to look it up.  Martha Stewart informed me that the registry information should be passed on via word of mouth or we could include the information in our wedding website (click here). But just in case you ask my mom and she can't remember or if you think wedding websites are silly, here is our registry info:

Crate & Barrel 

You can search for the registries by our last names and our wedding date.  I'll post a link to this post on the side of my blog under the "Guests: Need to Know Posts" under "Registries".