Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wedding Bell Blues

Tomorrow marks the official 4 month countdown until I am a married nugget. Let's recap what's been done so far...

Twelve hours after we were engaged I had an email with links to places to get married from my new fiance's mom. Actually, we need to go back further. My mother-in-law started going to different churches in downtown Chicago in July 2010 "just in case" we wanted to get married at one of them. This was very smart because Holy Name requires you to be a member for four months before being able to book a wedding. Kismet.

A year ago I was given my mother's engagement ring from my father. I had to ask my sister first, but she gave me her blessing to have it. Then I spent the next year saving money for a new diamond.  I replaced the stone in the band and had it dipped in platinum (originally yellow gold). Once she said yes we were off to the races.

Back to November, we visited just about every venue downtown.
Drake Hotel (its like a labyrinth to navigate from ballroom to ballroom)
Knickerbocker Hotel (have to use a service door to go from cocktail reception to dining hall)
Union League Club (cocktails on 2nd floor, reception on 6th with one elevator)
University Club (too Harry Potter?)
The Wit (cocktails on Roof down to Reception Hall on two with one elevator)
Blackstone Hotel (mom did not like the decor)
The James Hotel (too small)
The J.W. Marriott (very nice mix of old and new, too expensive)
On our way home from a venue visit we popped in the Intercontinental. Papa said it was too "convention center" but I wanted to see it just because I hadn't been in there. We saw two rooms both having their own floor to themselves. Originally a Shriner building, it has a bunch of 1920's ornate architecture. After some deliberation we decided it was the best place.

Although I wasn't a part of the process, the wedding gown was found on the first try. Did some extra shopping and found it again at Macy's. Done in early December.

Started looking for rehearsal dinner spaces in December and January. Wanted to be in River North / Streeterville area. Tried our best to do Heaven on Seven but just didn't have enough space. We could have sat everyone, but no room to mingle / maneuver. Checked places like Mia Francesca, La Madia, Weber Grill, Maggiano's, Osteria, Quartino. Again, just for fun we stopped at Rock Bottom. I wasn't too excited about a chain, especially since there was one in Des Moines, IA. But their space was perfect. AV equipment, ipod doc, good menu, reasonable price. Plus since they expanded their sit down side and changed it to RB Grille, we can tell people our rehearsal dinner is at RB's (say it out loud). Locked it down.

Again, without me, the ladies visited some florists. Found a good one, I've been told.

After the holidays, we asked our wedding party. They all said yes (there is a lot of that going around). The girls went to try on some bridesmaid dresses. Color scheme was decided (charcoal with red flowers).

We met with a couple of referred photographers. We ended up going with Meatball's photographer. Great personality, great photos.

Next came the big decision, MUSIC! I was in charge. There was some back and forth about a band versus a DJ. I declared a wish to hear my favorite songs, not cover versions of songs that the band knows (although I'm sure their version of Bell Biv Devoe's Poison would have been adequate, ha). We met with three people off the recommended list from IC and picked the best one. We considered putting a playlist together and letting a laptop run, but after the drunken mispronunciation by the last MC, that wasn't going to be an option. We'll give them must play songs, do not play songs, but other than that, it's in the DJ's capable hands.

April. Wedding band ordered and purchased (classic yellow gold band). We took the original diamond in my mother's ring and turned it into a necklace to wear on our wedding day. Tuxedos rented (ivory for me, grey/black for the other dudes).

The Best Man has done a great job of blocking off a weekend in July and getting a location (undisclosed to you, dear readers) for the festivities. I can't wait for a Century Club playlist full of Bone Thugs and Harmony!

Next up is the menu tastings. Rehearsal tasting scheduled for May, cake and reception scheduled for June.

Four months to go, no decisions left to make...but full details at http://www.emileeandjeff.com/


Gabe said...

Addendum: I have also lost 20lbs on my wedding diet. 1-derland here I come!

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