Monday, January 28, 2013

Exciting News...

We booked our venue!!!  I am beyond excited and over the moon.  Michael and I will officially become Mr. and Mrs. on:

April 25, 2014
Thinking about it is surreal.  I will become a married woman in 14 months.  While this might seem like a long way out, I know time is going to fly.  We will be saying our I Do's at the Silver Swan Bayside on Kent Island, MD.  For those of you familiar with Maryland, it is just on the other side of the Bay Bridge.  Anyone interested can check out their website:
This venue embodies the rustic and comfortable style we (well I) am planning for our wedding.  No one else will be there but our family and friends.  It overlooks the Chesapeake Bay and just reminds me of home.
We are taking a bit of a leap of faith because the entire venue will be undergo a $2 million rennovation in November.  I absolutely love the place now so it can only go least I hope.  The are raising the roof up by 6 feet and are swapping out the wall of french doors for those doors that fold flat and open up the space completely. 
Of course there are a million questions in my head.  What if I hate the new look?  What if they aren't done on time?  What if something goes wrong?  But I have to trust my gut and the coordinator at the venue, who as assured me they will be done by April 2014 and they are not changing the beachy feel.
I am definitely one of those girls who makes a decision quick and sticks by it.  It takes a lot to talk me out of something once my mind is made up.  So I know in my heart everything will turn out beautifully and even if it doesn't, who cares.  The person I love will be standing by my side and we will be surrounded by everyone who loves us.  In the end, that's all that really matters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quick Updates

I apologize for the lack of a post on Monday but I ended up coming down with a bad sinus infection that took me out for the past two days.  I also anticipate on writing a much longer post on the venue we selected but wanted to be sure we actually sign the contract first :)

A few highlights from my illness filled weekend:

1.  I signed up for two more half marathons!  Yes - I have yet to complete my first.  BUT I have really enjoyed running and love having some new goals.  The second one of the year is the Rock n' Roll DC half and is only 3 weeks after my first one.  The next one is not until November 9th in Savannah, Georgia!  I have always wanted to go there so it's a bonus trip :)

2.  Depending on your view of my fair city of Baltimore, you at least know one thing: we LOVE our sports teams.  After the games against Denver and the Sunday game against New England, the whole city erupted in fireworks, car horns and general celebration.  People flooded the streets.  People hugged and high-fived strangers.  It was incredible.  Unless you are from Baltimore or Maryland in general, you don't get the natives' obsession with it.  I love this city and cannot wait for our time to shine on the big stage in the Super Bowl.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My First Double Digit Run

In addition to my regular job and wedding planning (which is practically a full time job), I love working out and am training for a half marathon at the end of February.  This is no ordinary half: this is the Disney Princess Half Marathon!!  This also marks my first half marathon ever.  Up until this point, I have run quite a few 5Ks but that has been the extent of my running career.  However, I love a challenge and decided to push myself.  Plus I grew up in a family that visited Disney World every few years.  So I asked Michael if he would want to join me, and with his yes, I started my training program.

I have been training since October using the Jeff Galloway Training Plan ( and would definitely recommend it to those just starting out.  Before October, the furthest I had ever run was probably 5 miles.  I love working out but hate running.  This past weekend I hit a major milestone with running 10 MILES!!  That's double digit mileage.  If you asked me back in August before I decided to run this, I would have laughed at the thought of running that far.  But I did it in 1:37...and relatively painfree.

Here are some highlights from my run around Baltimore:

It was a very overcast day but the temps were in the 50's

Ravens Pride on the side of Federal Hill

This is a piece of one of the World Trade Center towers.  It is there as a memorial for the Marylanders who lost their lives on September 11th.  I always get chills when I run past it.

On a lighter note, there is a bread factory on my route.  It smells amazing and makes me hungry.
Huge cargo ships that come in to the Inner Harbor
Mr. Boh - An icon of Baltimore (The beer is gross but lots of people love it)

After this weekend, only 3.1 miles stand in my way of finishing my goal.  I actually got a bit teary-eyed when my MapMyRun app lady told me "You have gone 10.0 miles" because that is such a major accomplishment for me.  While I still cannot say that I LOVE running, I don't mind it and actually prefer to run 5 or 6 miles to just 3.  There are only 5 weeks left until our trip and after my first double digit run this past weekend, I KNOW I've got this!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bridal Show Review

Wow!  This past weekend was a whirlwind of tulle, flowers, and cupcakes.  Lots and Lots of cupcakes.  My mom and I attended two Bridal Shows this weekend and they could not have been more different.  I apologize ahead of time to everyone for the lack of pictures.  My phone on Saturday had no battery left (rookie mistake!) and the event on Sunday had nothing to take pictures of...more on that later.

Up first was our experience at the Bridal Show at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club.  This trip was meant to serve dual purposes.  First, I really wanted to see the venue since it was one of my list of possibilities and second, the show sounded amazing.  Shockingly when we pulled up, the line was out the door to get in!  Thankfully it moved VERY quickly so this was not an issue.  As you walked in, they gave you a bag to help carry goodies and greeted you with a glass of White Sangria.  The Beach Club in general is huge and every hallway was filled with top vendors in the MD area.  And these vendors outdid themselves.  Their tables were not just a cloth with brochures.  Every cake baker had samples there to try.  Photographers invited brides to take pictures.  Florists had both booths and sample tables to show their centerpieces.  My mom and I imagined there was 10's of thousands of dollars worth of flowers at this event.  Stunning doesn't even begin to describe it.

The dress shops even had model bride and grooms walking around which was neat to see dresses in person.  The hair and make up studios also were doing demonstrations, which as someone who has never been in to those things, was interesting to see.  The vendors at this event were also extremely professional and were much more interested in talking to you rather then at you with a sale pitch.  The cost for this event was on the high side at $20 per person but was well worth it in my opinion.  The Beach Club  and their sister property had food set up in each room so it was also like getting a lunch too.  In total, we spent about 2 and a half hours strolling through but had to cut our time short since we had a birthday party that afternoon.  This place was so huge, we actually ended up missing an entire room!!  Overall, I would highly recommend this show to any Maryland or Virgina bride and think it is certainly worth price.

So for as awesome and amazing as the first show was, is how terrible the next one we attended was.  The next day, my mom and I attended the Great Bridal Expo at the Hilton in downtown Baltimore.  The line for this was also very long and moved at a decent pace.  After yesterday's event, my expectations were much too high.  As soon as we walked in the door to this event, the reps from David's Bridal were in your face asking you to buy a dress that day.  How that was going to work, I'm not sure.  I literally just walked in, so no thank you.  To say this event was depressing is an understatement.  There were only about 20 booths in a dimly lit ballroom.  Most of these vendors had little to do with an actual wedding like travel agents, real estate agents (?), naughty underwear, and a few photographers mixed in.  No cake places.  No florists.  Nothing!

We spent about 30 minutes walking around but with the Ravens playoff game about to start, I figured our time could be spent in better ways.  We quickly left and probably won't be using any of the information that I got.  This is nationally touring event so I expected much better.  Thankfully the cost for this one was only $8 and frankly it would have been better spent at Chipotle for lunch instead. 

Overall I think bridal shows are worth to attend but do your research before hand if you can.  I might be interested in attending one more but that's probably it.  Otherwise the amount of information is so overwhelming and with websites like Wedding Wire and Southern Wedding, it's easy to find vendor reviews and recommendations.  Some other good tips:

-Set up an email for your wedding ahead of time.  Then your personal inbox won't get flooded with vendor stuff and it will be a good place to keep things organized.
-Pre-print some stickers with your general info.  This will save you major time and hand cramps.
-The two we attended did not have any reception sites and most of the people seemed to already have that booked.  These things seemed to be for those out of the initial planning stage.

Have you attended any bridal shows or expos?  What was your experience?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Blog Post!

Ever since I was four or five years old, I have been dreaming of the day when I would walk down the aisle.  Whether it was turning old sheets in to fabulous gowns or staging elaborate nuptials for Barbie and Ken, weddings have been on mind from an early age.  Fast forward to July 2008, when I had moved downtown (and out on my own!) just a few months prior.  A friend invited me to her co-worker’s house warming party and I willing went, blissfully unaware that my future husband, Michael, was the host.  He was a year older but we had some spooky connections: his 10th grade English teach was my uncle and he went to college with my cousin.  As is typical, he sent me a Facebook friend request that next day but I thought that was probably all that would happen.  However fate had a different plan.  About 2 weeks later we ran in to each outside of a bar in Federal Hill and have never been a part since!


In the nearly four and a half years we have been dating, we have learned so much about each other and ourselves.  To those on the outside we seem like total opposites, but hey, opposites attract right?!  And over time have learned to love our differences.  Michael is a huge Maryland Terps basketball fan and is slowly converting me (who doesn’t love to tailgate?).  I love journeying to exotic places and travel often for my work at an international non-profit.  While I have accepted that Michael isn’t going to go backpacking through the jungle with me, he is always open for adventure.  We love each other for who we are, even if Michael thinks I have WAY too many clothes.
Something that Michael and I do have in common is our inability to keep secrets, especially presents from one another.  Generally by the time a birthday rolls around, the other one already knows what they are getting.  We rather share the excitement as soon as possible.  Since about June of 2012, Michael had told me he was going to propose by the end of the year, and I had a suspicion he was going to do it around my birthday or Christmas.  Being the opinionate girl that I am, I left multiple hints for my dream ring around the house.  On December 4th, my actual birthday, he called me and told me he found the ring of our dreams but it wasn’t going to be ready for another week.  Since we had waited over four years, what was another week?  So we went out to dinner with my parents and grandparents.  Thinking back on it now, he was acting a bit strange and was in a really great mood, despite having a stressful work day.  After my family left, he called me upstairs and asked if I wanted to open my card.  As I went in to our room and he turned to face me, I saw what he was holding in his hand: the most beautiful ring, even better than I could have dreamed!  Honestly I don’t remember much of what he said when he was down on one knee but I am sure it was sweet and perfect.

 Photo: Finally posting a pic of the ring for all to enjoy :)

Now that the high of our engagement, the holidays and celebrating with all our friends and family is beginning to wear off, I am slowly realizing that even though I thought I had my wedding planned, there is SO MUCH to think about and organize.  It’s a bit overwhelming but also so incredibly exciting.  Thankfully my fiancĂ© knows and accepts that I have a dream vision for our wedding and doesn’t want to be too involved in the small details.  Not too many guys are passionate about linens and centerpieces after all.  His three requirements are (1) open bar, (2) the Electric Side and (3) selecting the rest of the music.  Other than that he says he trusts my judgment and knows I am plan something meaningful and special to us.  I am so excited to share my journey here on my blog, as well as my other passions like running, cooking, all things Lilly Pulitzer, the beach, life below the Mason-Dixon line, and of course Disney.   And while it maybe not be a fairytale all the time, I know it’s going to have a happy ending.