May 06,2009
Wednesday

Destination Wedding in Naples, Florida

Today we have a guest blog from our very own Grace, who got married just over a month ago. She wrote this right before her wedding (as if she didn’t have enough to do). She did an amazing job of planning her destination wedding (no surprise, as she is an amazing planner). She has promised to share pictures with us as soon as she gets them. We can’t wait!

From 3 months to 3 days away, I can’t believe it! The last few months have just flown by! Well, I guess the last time we spoke, my fiancee and I were on our way to Florida for the last time to finalize wedding plans. It was only a three-day trip and it was packed with plenty of appointments and meetings. Meeting with the floral designers, Sheryl, Michelle and Olga at The Pink Tangerine was the best part, I have to say. I felt like I was on an episode of Platinum Weddings (which by the way, I can’t get enough of), when I walked in to see our table all decorated in linens and votives showing off our gorgeous centerpiece arrangement. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined. All due to the many ideas and pictures I have collected during our planning.

Having a wedding “idea book” or Wedding Bible as it has been referred to, has been extremely helpful to me when conveying to the vendors the look we wanted to create, and the feeling and ambiance we wanted for our special day. So basically the month after we were engaged, I started tearing pictures out of magazines, copying articles out of books and printing color combinations off websites to tape into my wedding book. This book was carried with me at all times during the meetings with my vendors and when they asked, “So when you mean votives hanging off branches in your centerpiece, what do you mean?” I just ripped open my book, went to page 29 and ah, there was what I had envisioned. Floral designers, caterers, cake artists and even the DJs responded so well to my book, because as we all know a picture can speak a thousand words. It helped show them what I was looking for, explain my tastes and they loved when I told them exactly what I wanted. Thank goodness for my Wedding Bible.

So back to the centerpieces…they looked great and things were finally starting to all come together. When we got back from Florida, it was time to finish our hand-made invitations. We hand-made our Save the Dates, with a video montage set to music, so why wouldn’t we do all the invitations from scratch, right? Now if I could go back and do it all over again, I still would want to make them ourselves, but I would have started a lot earlier! The time it takes to design, print, emboss, lick, seal and tie ribbons on each invitation was so much work! If I had to guess, I would say that each invitation took about 2 hours to create! But the time spent creating them with my fiancee was well worth it; we sure had a great time together.

After finishing those, it was on to hand-making our menu cards, table seating and programs. (The girls at Paper Source in Alexandria all know me by name!) So we were working up until the final countdown, but luckily we were able to tie the last bow on the program to get them out in the mail on their way to my parents in Florida the week before the wedding. And you better believe that I put insurance and express mail all over that package! Ha!

The last couple of weeks before the wedding are when all the details start coming together and when all the nervousness kicks in to gear. A good nervousness though, just hoping that all will go well. As my fiancee said, “You have your dress, I have my tux. What else do we need?” If only these boys knew! My fiancee did a wonderful job selecting his groomsman’s gifts, however. After much internet searching, he was able to find some handmade coin cufflinks. Our friend, WowCoin designed each one individually and even sent me a pendant gift for our wedding. So if you love different cufflinks; especially coins from foreign countries, check out WowCoin on eBay!

So, today is my last day at work before we leave on the plane for our wedding. I am taking a huge sigh of relief, praying for good weather and hoping that everyone gets down to Florida safely. Once I get to the Sunshine State, it’s all smooth sailing. Wow, my wedding…the day I have thought of, imagined and envisioned for so long and it’s all happening THIS weekend. What an amazing journey this past year has been for me as a fiancé and as a wedding planner. The bad, crazy dreams of me walking down the aisle in a tux have faded and I’m excited and ready for my next adventure in life…being married. Oh and of course, I’m looking forward to getting back to wedding planning…not mine of course, but hopefully one of yours!

Grace

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