Music to my Ears

I highly recommend that when you do get engaged to sit down with your future wife or husband and to list the things that are most important to you. For Snicks and I, it was good food, lots of booze and good music. We strongly believe those three things are in the equation to give our family and friends a good time. When it came down to the music, we decided pretty early on that we wanted a band. We are big fans of live music and I’ve always believed that a good band just escalates the heart and atmosphere of an event. Our only issue was, Snicks and I have the most eclectic taste in music on the planet. We love country music but Snick’s favorite band is Blink 182. We wanted a good mix of today’s hits and wedding classics. It’s hard enough to find a band that will be able to play everything we want, it’s even harder to find a band that could do it well.

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The Benjamins

That’s where the Benjamin’s came in. After finding a few sub par bands that Snicks immediately crossed off the list, I left finding a band in his hands. Doing a quick Google search, we found their wedding website, listened to their music and let’s just say it was love at first sight (or should I say hear?). They really fit all of our needs but we couldn’t help but wonder if it was too good to be true. So we went to go see them one night and we absolutely loved them. The great thing about The Benjamins is that they come with a DJ. Which means, that even when they’re not playing, there is someone playing good music. The set never ends!

We signed a contract and sent in our deposit immediately. The last thing we wanted was to lose The Benjamins to another booking. Keep in mind, finding a good wedding band that does everything you want will come with a price. But music was in our top three and in our minds, was worth the added cost. A few months later, we found out that The Benjamins were playing in Hoboken and we decided this was the perfect time to bring some of our friends and bridal party to experience the magic. Snicks and I were a bit worried because what if they sucked but once again, The Benjamins delivered. Snicks went up to them between sets and introduced himself and he said they remembered us. In the next set, they pulled me and one of my bridesmaids up to dance on stage. Even after the show they came up to us and we got a few pictures. Not only are they extremely talented, they’re extremely nice as well and it makes me anxious for them to play at our wedding even more.

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Are you having a band or a DJ at your wedding? What about just an Ipod? What are in your fiance’s top three?

 

The Engagement Photos.

Snicks and I decided on the location of our engagement photos pretty early on. We both attended Moravian College (Go Hounds!), where we met and fell in love. Cue the romantic music. Snicks played football and I played basketball, so we were very involved with the student life aspect in our college as well. Our college is one of the oldest colleges in the country and some of the buildings and architecture are absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of those things where you take for granted how beautiful your campus is until you go to other campuses and you’re like, this is it?

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 Moravian College

The question was, who was going to take our engagement photos? Unlike most people, photos aren’t really a high priority of mine.  While I absolutely love all of the photography coming out nowadays, I really just need a few photos to hang in my house afterwards. It was the same way with our engagement photos. I just wanted a few cute ones and enough for our Save the Dates. My father has been into photography for awhile so Snicks and I decided to save some money and ask my dad to do our engagement photos.

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Before we even got engaged, I pinned about twenty pictures of Save the Dates with the jersey style. Snicks and I are big football fans. Okay, Snicksis a big football fan and I like to wear the jerseys and feel like part of the action. So within a few months of our engagement, we bought two jerseys for about thirty dollars.

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Masterpiece Weddings

And where else to take these photos, then at the football field where Snicks played for Moravian College? Bethlehem as a whole is just a gorgeous place and I knew we could get some gorgeous engagement photos and the photos for our Save the Dates as well.

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Where did you take your engagement photos? Did you find a creative way to tell your guests to Save the Date?

You’re My Sweetheart.

I’ve noticed at the few weddings that I’ve attended that the sweetheart table is becoming very popular at receptions. I’ve been going back and forth with having a head table or a sweetheart table at our own reception. For those not in the wedding know how, a sweetheart table is just a small table where the bride and groom sit. On the other hand, a head table is a longer, banquet style table where all of the bridal party will sit at during the wedding. Snicks and I decided to go against what is becoming a norm and to go with the head table. It really fits us as a couple. There are definitely positive and negatives to both, it really just depends on the couple.

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The great thing about the sweetheart table is that it would be a good opportunity to have more “us” time. I know weddings are hectic and it would be great to just sit down and enjoy the moment, alone. Snicks and I have already planned to take a few minutes away for ourselves and “us” time at our wedding isn’t a giant priority. As I told my Aunt when she asked us what we were thinking, “I have the rest of my life to eat dinner alone with my husband.”

To be honest, every wedding I attended, the sweetheart table looked a bit awkward and it was always empty. Snick and I aren’t people who thrive off of being the center of attention. It’ll be enough that we have to sway for three minutes in front of three hundred people like a bunch of eighth graders. I don’t need everyone to watch me chew with my mouth open. It’s a terrible habit, I know but I stuff my face. While we hate being center of attention, we also hate being left out of the action. If Snick’s best man makes a funny comment or if my bridesmaid does something ridiculous, I want to be there to witness it, darnit!

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One of the biggest reasons why we were considering the sweetheart is so our bridal party can sit with their dates. From my understanding, I think this is why most people decide to go with the sweetheart. That way you do not have to stick your bridal party’s dates with people they’ve never met before. The truth is, the majority of our bridal party is single and will not be bringing dates anyway. Snck’s brother has a girlfriend and will have no problem sitting with his family. One of Snick’s groomsmen has a girlfriend but she attended school with us and is very good friends with a lot of Snick’s college friends. My cousin also has a boyfriend but he’s actually one of Snick’s friends from childhood, so we can stick him at that table. I feel like Snick’s and I’s opinions on such things are a bit different then most couples getting married. Maybe because we’re a bit younger and our friends are still such a giant part of our lives or maybe we’ll regret not choosing the sweetheart table.

At the end of the day, we just decided that the head table is what we really want. To be surrounded by our best friends in the entire world, celebrating the rest of our lives while getting our party on. It may be a little crowded with our giant bridal party but at the end of the day, it was an easy decision for us.

 

Asking Our Bridal Party

One thing you will learn about Snicks and I, is we’re a go big or go home sort of couple. We both said from the beginning, if we’re going to get married, we’re going to do this right. We decided that this wasn’t just a celebration for just us, this was a celebration for all of the amazing people in our lives. So when we came to picking our bridal party, we wanted to pick the friends and family that meant the most of us. For this I decided to include my four best friends from college, my cousin, my best friend from high school and nick’s sisters. Also, I decided to include a junior bridesmaid, who is the granddaughter of a family friend. My MOH, is my best friend from college. We don’t talk everyday and we don’t see each other much but when we do, we just get each other on a whole ‘nother level. Snicks decided on having his brother and his childhood best friend as his best men. He was torn between the two of them and I promptly told him, this is our wedding, we can do what we want.  Which just so happens to be my motto for most of my wedding decisions. He then decided on three more childhood friends, three college friends and my brother. All in total that makes nine groomsmen, eight bridesmaids and one little junior bridesmaid.

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MOH for the win

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Snick’s sisters (They’re twins if you hadn’t noticed)

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Junior Bridesmaid FTW!

The next step on our bridal party journey was to actually ask our bridal party! Snicks was actually planning on asking me to marry him the weekend we were going away for my birthday. Every summer, some of his friends and some of my friends head up to my vacation home in upstate NY. We always have a great time and it would have been a perfect time to get engaged and to celebrate with friends and family. Snicks, being the impatient man that he is, couldn’t wait that long after buying the ring and he asked me in May instead. So we both decided the trip would be a perfect time to ask our girls and guys to be in our bridal party. We weren’t sure how to go about it, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money because our bridal party is so big but I knew I wanted to give them something a little special. That’s where the t-shirts came in. I thought they would be a perfect way to ask my girls and they could also serve double duty to wear as we get wedding on my wedding day. Now that my girls were decided, it was time to deal with how Snicks was going to ask his guys. He decided to steal my t-shirt idea with a couple of twists. Now, if you decide to follow this blog, you’ll soon learn that Snicks is very fond of the gym and not wearing any sleeves. Coincidentally, all of his groomsman are the same way (and the majority of my bridesmaids. We’re all a bunch of meat heads actually). So we purchased groomsman t-shirts and then Snicks proceeded to cut them, much to his mother’s dismay.

So after a night of drinking, playing flip cup and partaking in all sorts of debauchery out on the deck, I informed my girls to close their eyes and hold out their hands.

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Not all of Snick’s groomsman could make it, so Snicks also had a barbecue where he asked the rest of his groomsmen. If you noticed, Snicks forgot to order himself a GROOM t-shirt so the two guys he asked on our trip went and got one made for him to wear when he asked everyone else. Which I thought was super sweet.

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Also our siblings didn’t come to either the BBQ or the vacay, so we took them to separate dinners and asked them. All in all, it was a success. Everyone enjoyed themselves and they all accepted. Luckily, both the bridesmaids and groomsman are pretty friendly with each other, so it will make for a fun wedding. Hopefully not too much trouble!

I put the Do It in DIY

Going into my wedding, I decided that I really wanted to have some thoughtful touches throughout the wedding to make people “oh that’s sweet”. Now, I’m not getting my hopes up and I do realize that 80% of the wedding won’t care or notice any of these classic touches but I am still determined to make them! I’ve added a few DIY projects to my list, the first being my centerpieces and table numbers. My inspiration for this came from, where else, Pintrest. Seriously, how did people plan weddings before it?

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I have a few tweaks to the centerpieces, so it’s not exactly the picture showed but I do love the wood slices and the twine wrapped bottle. Luckily, Snick’s dad’s best friend actually cuts down trees, so he was able to cut up about thirty slices for us. This happened a few months ago and they have just been sitting in Snick’s bedroom, waiting to be sanded. I decided pretty quicklt that I did not want to use the wood piece as a table number. Instead went back to Pintrest (And Weddingbee.com) for inspiration.

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I love the idea of using burlap as the fabric behind the numbers. The hardest part of this was finding the numbers. Most of these DIYs for this are a few years old and the numbers have been discontinued in quite a few places. So I turned to the internet and found Craft Cuts. Here you can choose the font and the size of your wooden numbers. I ended up ordering the Baltic Birch Wooden Numbers. I used the font Whimsical and had my numbers made at three inches and and 1/8 inch thick. I ordered 48 numbers at $1.35 each plus 8.95 shipping and handling. Luckily, I had a twenty percent discount and got the wooden numbers for $60.79. Not too shabby if you ask me.

When it came down to frames, Snicks and I headed over to the dollar store. We decided to go cheap since we’d be painting them anyway. We (I) struggled with choosing 4×6 frames or 5×8 frames for the table numbers. Like always, we decided bigger was better and went with the 5×8 frames. I’m glad we did, the numbers do not look squished together which would have happened if we went with 4×6. So we picked up some black, plain frames and headed to the cash register. The only thing that stunk was that they didn’t have thirty of all the same style, so we had to go with a few different ones. That makes it eclectic, right?

Making them was pretty simple, just a bit tedious to make thirty frames. I did this during Christmas time so I poured myself a glass of wine, put on the Hallmark movie channel and had myself a nice little time.

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The hardest part was painting the frame, I had to go over them once or twice since the frames were black. I thought about spray painting them but I wanted to have some of the black coming through, giving it a bit more of a vintage view. I also painted all of the numbers twice as well. After a few frames were painted and dried, I took the back of the frame and mod podged the burlap to the back of the frame. I hot glued the numbers to the burlap and BAM, I was done. It took a little longer then I expected but with the help of wine, I got them all done in a night. All thirty of them.

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The Price:
Wooden Numbers: $60.79
Acrylic Paint: $8:00
Frames: $31.20
Burlap: $5.00

GRAND TOTAL: 104.99
So it cost around 3.50 to make each table number. Which I am happy with since I budgeted around 5.00 for each table number.

What did you do for your table numbers? Did you use numbers or something more creative?

 

I Have Returned

I’ve decided to come back to the blogging world. With less then six months to go for my wedding, I really want to start keeping a record of the rest of my journey to wife-hood. (Is that a word? Probably not). I’m finally getting to that point where I am just ready to be married, I’m sure every soon to be bride experiences these feelings. Although as the summer approaches, I know how much fun these next few months of single-dom will be. (Once again. Probably not a word). Most of the stress of wedding planning is beginning to fade away as I’ve booked the big stuff, I’ve got food, music and booze. In my opinion, that’s all you need for a good time. Oh, and the dress. Let’s not forget the dress. I have that too. So worst case scenario, I think we could make this work.

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I’m getting married on October 4th. Snicks proposed to me on May 21st 2013. Once Snicks proposed to me, it was the first and the easiest decision for us to pick out a wedding date. I wanted a fall wedding and he’s a dispatcher at a police station. (10-4. Get it? Get it?). The next day, we visited our priest and put the day in the calender and choose our reception venue. Who ever said this wedding stuff was hard?

I am getting married at St. Mary of Ostrabrama in South River, NJ. I was torn between getting married at St. Mary’s, where my family currently attends and another church close by where both my mother and grandmother were married. The deciding factor was how much I loved my priest at St Mary’s. I hear a lot of horror stories from those involved with some churches but Father Michael has been a dream. He’s Polish and he loves his kielbasi and his alcohol. As a fellow Polak myself, how could I not love him?

The church is beautiful and I’m proud to say that my great grandfather helped build it and my grandfather attended the church when he was just a little boy. So it still holds a sentimental value.

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How did you decide your wedding date? How did you decide where you want to get married?  For all those single ladies, do you know where you want to get married?

Coming Out of Retirement

Now that I’m newly engaged, it has become my life’s mission to become a better cook. I’ve been making an effort to cook dinner with my mom every night. It’s a great time for us to bond as well as for me to learn how to cook everything without burning it. Last night was my first time completely cooking on my own and I’m pretty impressed with the results.

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Lemon Caper Chicken sans the capers.

A few months ago I was asked by my aunt’s boyfriend if I was interested in coming out of softball retirement to pitch a softball tournament. At the time I thought this was the greatest thing ever. I started playing softball at six years old and started pitching at ten. The greatest memories of my childhood came had to deal with softball. Pitching with my dad in the driveway, championship games in the pouring rain and hotel room stays with my teammates. My whole world revolved around pitching and softball for so long and the idea to relive it sounded amazing, even if it was just for a weekend.

Fast forward to three weeks ago. Up until now I had only pitched with my dad a few times, not even close enough to be in good enough shape to pitch several games on both Saturday and Sunday. After a long discussion with my dad, we both decided that it was for the best that I drop out from the tournament. That in the end, softball was this amazing part of my life but my heart wasn’t in it. My dad went and sent an e-mail to my aunt’s boyfriend and he responded… I was only one of two pitchers they had for the weekend. So much for quitting.

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So now my dad and I have been pitching daily for over three weeks in order to prepare myself for this weekend. My fiance (I call him Snicks), has been a giant help, stepping up to the plate (no pun intended) and catching for me when my dad didn’t have the time. The games are this weekend and I find myself once again falling in love with the game.  I don’t have any expectations for this weekend since I’ll be playing against players who had practiced longer then three weeks but it’s exciting to get out there again. I guess you could say is that my heart is back in it.

The only problem with focusing on pitching this week is that my exercise regime has taken a major hit. I haven’t been running or doing strength training as much as I would have liked. I had joined Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp and had to retire early to focus on pitching. I feel like I haven’t gotten out of bootcamp what I wanted but I plan on starting over from the beginning after this weekend.

Question of the Day:

Did you play any sports competitively when you were younger? What would you do if you had the chance to come out of retirement?

If you could play any sport, what would you play?

I played basketball and softball in college. I quit softball my freshman year and played basketball all four years.

If I could play any sport, it’d have to be gymnastics. I was that kid who would wear a bathing suit and sweat bands on their wrists during the Olympics while attempting to do the balance beam on my couch. Plus, Stick It is the best.