Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We have a new location!

After weeks of stressful phone calls and uneasy feelings in my stomach we have FINALLY booked a new wedding location! Over the past few weeks I have called over 20 possible wedding locations in and around the Wilmington, NC area. Unfortunately all but one was already booked for April 2, 2011. Can you believe that? I didn't think early April was such a popular time for weddings. Luckily through our florists blog and another one of our vendors we were informed of a new location that has not yet opened. They are still in the renovating stages so they haven't put themselves out on the market as a wedding ceremony and reception location. Good news for us because this meant they were not yet booked for April 2, 2011. Unfortunately we have to keep a creative eye in visualizing what our venue is going to look like. They are knee deep in the renovating stages and don't plan on being finalized with the renovation until January 2011. With that said, that gives us a cushion of 3 months for any delays. They have guaranteed me that everything will be just fine by our wedding date. Keep your fingers crossed. My luck hasn't been the best when it comes to wedding venue ;-) In moving the venue to Wilmington from Oak Island we have had to find new hotels, a new rehearsal dinner location and a few other things. I am hoping to have all those details worked out in the next week or so.

Our wedding will now be held at the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews in Wilmington, North Carolina. It isn't exactly the original garden type venue that we had envisioned, but it has a lot of character and we know it will be wonderful. It is an old church built in 1888 with 50 foot vaulted cathedral ceilings, a large beautiful balcony, a courtyard out back where the ceremony can be held, lots of old character, and so much more. We are incredibly excited to be one of the first couples to get married in this beautiful landmark. They were able to restore many of the original stained glass windows and placed them back or used them for decorating the walls of the church. There is also a house next door that they own where my bridal party and I will be getting ready :)

Here is a picture of the church as it is now, in the renovation process. Hopefully more pictures to come...

I should add that this picture is from a few months ago. They were a lot further along when we saw it :)

This weekend will be 6 months (186 days) until our wedding day. I couldn't be more excited!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's my BIRTHDAY!!!

Goodbye 27...Hello 28! This past year has been a great one, but I sure am ready for what this year is going to bring. I'm gettin MARRIED!!!
I got the wonderful gift of sleeping in a little this morning. Kev and I took the morning off from work to go take some fun photos in downtown Annapolis by the water. Our photographers for our wedding were in the area from North Carolina for a photography conference and offered to take an engagement shoot while they were here. We told them we had already done engagement photos and they said they didn't care, that they would love to come take a few photos. We thought, why not? We wanted to have a professional photo of Ellie so this was the perfect opportunity. We figured we would just take a couple with her and that would be good enough. Three hours later we had made our way around downtown Annapolis with photos on the water, near the sailboats, along the roads, next to neat old brightly colored row homes, in front of the capital building and so on. I guess you could say our photographers were on a roll. It was so much fun and really neat to have Ellie there too. I can already tell before seeing the photos that our photographers are amazing. I cannot wait to see the pictures. Stay tuned for our second set of engagement photos haha!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday Week!

As soon as I leave work it officially starts my birthday week :) Kevin is sooooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!
He's taking me on a surprise little getaway. I have a feeling we're headed to the mountains to go hiking. We also have Pirate football and the Skins season kickoff against the Cowboys. Busy busy weekend...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The best engagement party EVER!

Labor Day weekend we packed up and headed to Oak Island, North Carolina to meet our friends and family for our engagement party. On our way there we stopped to check out a few possible wedding locations. Unfortunately none of them worked out for one reason or another...mostly because they were booked on our wedding date. We have one more lead to check into next week that we are really hoping works out for us. Unfortunately Oak Island and Wilmington are 7 hours from us so it's not like we can just hop in the car and go check them out. For my sanity I am really hoping to nail something down within the week. Hopefully I will have much better news on my next post ;-)

On a lighter note we were able to escape the wedding venue stress and had an amazing weekend with friends and family. Let me first start by thanking our awesome host and hostesses (Anna, Claire, Tiffany, Erin, Ren, Brittanie, Jeremy, Bryce, Chase, Celeste, and Suzanne). This was by far one of the best weekends of Kevin and I's lives together thus far. We had four days of fun in the sun with our friends and family and smack in the middle was the super fun party. We were a little nervous of the weather and how many people would make it when we heard Hurricane Earl was headed towards the North Carolina coast. Fortunately for us he took a little turn and missed Oak Island completely. We had beautiful weather and over 40 people made it to our party.

Our engagement party was at Chaser's Beach Club in the tiki hut on the water. The girls decorated with fun Hawaiian themed items from beach balls to leis. When Kevin and I arrived we were floored by all of the people that came to celebrate our engagement. This party really showed us how much we are loved and and how great our friends and family are. Our guests traveled from all over to make it to the event. We were feeling pretty special :)

There was a lot of dancing, fun cocktails, tons of food, and a few tournaments of corn hole and horse shoes. There were even a few special little ones that made it to the event. Our flower girl Liza Grace and our ring bearer Jacob finally met and had a ball playing in the sand with the beach balls. Liza Grace and our other friends daughter, Mila had a ball dancing together.

We were all having fun dancing the night away when the DJ announced the last song. I'd have to say the Queen of dancing award would go to Ren (bridesmaid, sorority sister, and best friend) and the King of dancing award would go to Rod (Kevin's dad). Those two sure were having a blast on the dance floor. I think we all would have kept going for a few more hours.

All in all it was a super fun weekend and probably one of the best parties I've ever been to...and I'm not saying that just cause it was a party thrown for Kevin and I ;-) We enjoyed cocktails, dancing, and watching the sun set all in the good company of those closest to us. If we had this much fun at our engagement party I can only imagine what the wedding will bring...whenever and wherever it will be!


Here are a few pictures from the weekend...


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

There is a reason for everything...

So...this past weekend was not such a good weekend for us. I was hoping it was just a bad dream and I wouldn't have to write this post.

I was working from home on Friday and decided to grab the mail from our mailbox around lunch time. Little did I know what I was about to receive. It was a letter from Orton Plantation. To sum it up it basically stated that Orton was no longer available for our wedding venue. Uh what???? No longer available? We have a contract and money invested in this. They stated that they felt they should go ahead and tell us and give us a check written back in the amount we paid so that we could make other arrangements. Really???????? I could not believe they were doing this. Four months ago (before I had booked/paid any vendors) they assured me via phone and written email that our April 2, 2011 wedding was still on and that they looked forward to working with us. Somehow in 4 months that had all changed in their minds.

Of course I immediately called Kevin balling but he didn't answer. I sent him an email telling him there was an emergency and to call me immediately. It may not have been an emergency in some eyes, but to me it was. We had recently booked and paid all of our vendors as mentioned in the last post. My dress, bridesmaid dresses, and other details were all built around having my wedding at Orton Plantation in the garden. I eventually talked to Kevin, who was also livid, my parents, and others all of which felt horrible. Unfortunately there wasn't anything anyone could do. Once I calmed down I began contacting our vendors to let them know what had happened. I tried calling the only other 2 possible wedding venues in the Soutport/Oak Island area and of course being 7 months from our wedding they basically laughed at me and said they didn't have anything available until late 2011. This was horrible news. Even when we do find a location we will have to hope we can get April 2nd, but at this point we can't exactly count on that. Now we are going to have to frantically find a place to get married and just hope wherever and whenever works for all of our vendors so that we don't lose them or our money. Part of me feels like I am starting all over, without the clean slate. It makes me so mad that I was way ahead of schedule and on top of planning this wedding and now Orton has forced us backwards and way behind schedule to where nothing is available that we would choose. Now we may have to go with whatever we can find. It is seriously unfair. I can't wait to finally see the good that I hope comes out of this situation. There is supposed to be something good in every crummy situation...right???

On Monday I gathered all of our contracts, receipts, payments made, and payments owed and emailed it to Orton. You better believe they will be handling anything we lose on dropping us and forcing us into this situation. I just can't even imagine why they would do this to us, and it's not like we are the only wedding they canceled. Why now? I wish they had done it four months ago before I had some many visions that I now have to erase. I know I will eventually get over it, but right now it ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!

Over the weekend I called as many venues in Wilmington as I could. The only place we were able to get in contact with is currently being restored and is located in downtown Wilmington They are supposed to open for events next Spring. It has a lot of potential based on the conversations I have had with the guy managing it. We are headed to Oak Island this weekend for our engagement party so we are going to swing by and see this place as well as any other available options. My fingers are crossed that it is better than Orton and is available. Not too much to ask for, right? Hopefully when we return we will have great news!

On another note, we are incredibly excited for this weekend. We leave tomorrow for Oak Island for four days. Our amazing bridesmaids and groomsmen are hosting a Hawaiian themed engagement party for us on the beach. All of our best friends and some family are coming in for the occasion. We can't wait to have an entire weekend with all of these wonderful people. Let's just hope Hurricane Earl decides to stay away...when it rains it pours!