Friday, October 7, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 1 Day to Go!

And so it begins...
No, I didn't have to work today...but did that mean I slept in AT ALL? Heck no... I probably rolled out of bed quicker and earlier! It's the same way Christmas Eve is almost better than Christmas itself--or that they are one in the same. That's how today is!

I packed my bags for everything through to getting back to the Loft tomorrow once we're running on the WEDDING DAY MASTER PLAN (drawn up by yours truly). That means, massage, nails, rehearsal, salon...all packed for... I set out all of the homemade salsa that needs to be at the reception site for tables. I pulled together last minute items like the smaller bushel baskets for the can coozies and the champagne glasses. Pa took the day off work as well, so when I got to Greystone he was working on his many remaining duties including creating the Knob End sign he promised to help me with. We brought to the site most of the remaining items including the flicker lights, ribbons, flip flops, etc. And at about 11 a.m. Rachel and I loaded up Toad and headed for Danville. Even our drive was purpose-filled. We set out all of the HARRIS/DIXON WEDDING signs going towards Danville/HWY-127.
My massage was at Noon and while I was relaxing like never before Rachel took care of some bank business for me and picked up the final signage projects from Uncle John. We then headed to Nails Express where we met Jo and Kelli for some mani/pedi fun. We actually just missed Mom and Aunt Anne being there. KK actually met us there about the time we were wrapping up and Uncle Kelly stopped in with Aunt Anne about that time as well just to give me a squench and hello!

Check-in time at the hotel, where we also saw some familiar faces who came a day early for tomorrow's festivities. We got checked in to our 2 rooms--one of which was the King Size bed with a pullout--quite roomie! It pays, literally, in such instances, to be the Bride! We had some decent down time. Ate some food...Jo helped me write out the lyrics to "One For The Road' (Jolly Rogers) for the reception. Then it was time to get ready to head to Liberty for the rehearsal. We left a wee-tad early so I could swing by the Casey County Library and pick up the fancy-pants cameras that Kathy Goode left for me to borrow.
Rehearsal went just fine and dandy. Father Pat was more relaxed about most everything than I thought he might be. A few people weren't there like Gohmann and Uncle David and Jon's cousin Jessica but nobody has anything too tough to do. As long as Father knows his job and the people who have to speak have their lines at the podium, we're good! Oh and Anne-Tyler couldn't make it to practice her singing, but I trust her to be awesome. The best part of the night for me was Jon's little surprise. As most know, it's a tradition to use the bows from your showers to make a bow-quet to practice the handoffs during the ceremony between bride and maid of honor. Well, I guess Jon decided he too needed a prop or practice tonight. So when it got the ring practice...should have known... Jon says, "Wait, wait!" and pulls and RING POP out of his pocket! Everyone of course laughed. What most don't know, though is Jon buys me Ring Pops here and there and asks me to marry him quite often. :)
Frank's for dinner! I realize it's pretty casual and non-traditional for a rehearsal but it's Jon's absolute favorite and everyone loves it! Jenny and Mike picked it up on their way through Louisville today and everyone was able to just relax and hang out in the church basement. It's kind of crazy how all of these people get here tonight for the rehearsal--all of these people whom you've asked to play a particular role in the big day--and for them the festivities are just beginning. They have not had this crazy, wedding-filled week and have no idea everything that has ALREADY had to happen just to have us at this point! But now here they all are--in one place together. And once we split for the night...we won't be all together until it's truly SHOW TIME!

Father exposed the Blessed Sacrament a bit after dinner for anyone who wanted to return to the church and pray. Jon and I wanted this especially for ourselves but it was more meaningful than I even expected to see others join us. I was especially touched to have Gress and Sara come up--the only two non-family members who joined us. They were there with us on the engaged encounter so it felt like their prayers held that much more meaning. We are so very blessed to have them as our close, dear friends.
Rachel and Michelle were patient with me leaving the church--my last chance to see so many people and give final instruction on morning duties. I'd gone over itineraries with so many people making sure things were squared away. In the end, I know things will get done and what doesn't happen, won't ruin the day. I think I said goodnight to Jon at least four times. And then, at last, with one final, "Goodnight Miss Dixon" (for the last time!) we parted ways!

While I was exhausted arriving back at the hotel... I wasn't. All of my girls were there hanging out in our "big room": Jo, Rachel, Michelle, KK, Valerie, Dani, Becky, KelKel..and even Bethie drove down to join me on my last night as a single lady! Rachel had picked up a bottle of wine for us to sip but silly us forgot the need for a corkscrew! Ha..but what am I saying... the need? Not quite... a screw and a screwdriver and Michelle's muscles and we popped that cork right out!
I was the last to go to bed, as I stayed up a little later finishing a final note to Jon that I could have passed to him tomorrow. The day has truly arrived and while it feels magic it also feels as real as ever. Every piece of what will go on tomorrow has a piece of Jon or I in it. Every detail and moment--even those that no one will even notice. I hope every person who joins us enjoys the day and has a blessed memory and sees even a glimpse of what a special bond Jon and I hold and how real this love is.

I'm so excited...but I know it'll be gone in a flash. But just like the day itself cannot last forever, neither can Alamo. So time to snuggle to sleep one last time before life as Mrs. Harris will begin.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 2 Days to Go!

Okay, not really because it's only Oct. 6 and the wedding isn't until Oct.8, but honestly... today is the last day of real "wedding prep". Tomorrow I'll do a little in the morning but once Rachel and I leave for Danville for my oh-so-relaxing massage (thanks to Kara & Dani) wedding-ness will be well underway and no looking back!

I still worked today but my goodness was it tough to stay focused! I cannot imagine if Rachel and Aunt Anne hadn't been here to help with so much set up. Rachel actually came down to the Loft this morning to get a TON of MY cleaning done. This place has been a wreck and I know there will be a lot of people in and out of here during the festivities so it had to be cleaned. Rach knocked it out like it was nothing, though.

Around lunch time we made a trip to Knob End because Karen's team was setting up the rest of the tables and so forth. LOVE IT. Oh I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it looks! It's such a relief to have Karen taking care of this because she truly cares--and part of that is because she knows the family, but I've worked events with her enough to know that no matter the event she put her extra touches to make it look great. She had some purple table toppers she put on all of the tables and decorated the tall chairs on the cocktail table she set up for Jon and I. The buffet line table looks fabulous. The bar, cake table, gift table, champagne buckets and beer/soda bins are set up. I love it.

I did have a minor crisis on my way to checkout the setup. I called (using Rachel's phone since mine is acting bizzarro this week) Shade's salon to find out how early we could come in to get going on hair Saturday morning. Well, as soon as the girl answered the phone and I told her who I was I could tell something wasn't right. Her delayed, "Ummm....," told me she had bad news. Apparently they did not have the right phone number for me and said they'd been trying for the last couple of weeks to call and confirm the appointment and since no one had responded they cancelled it! First of all, I thought it WAS confirmed after Holly made the initial call and I followed up. I think the confusion spurred from my inquiry about make-up application when I did follow up. I asked if they did make up and said I'd let them know how many girls wanted that done. I guess in their mind that meant I was still calling back to confirm everything. In my mind that meant I'd confirmed the hair but I'd call back about makeup. Given I never called back but I wasn't too concerned about make up.
Good news is, the owner, Brian, is awesome. The girl got him on the phone and he talked with the girls there. (Luckily it was just yesterday that he'd cancelled it in the books.) They are still able to be there Saturday morning so we are set for 8 a.m.!

I left work just a tad early, 4 p.m. so Rachel and I could get up to Danville to do some final shopping. I had a list and she had Mom's list. Our stops included: WalMart, liquor store, HalMark, Peddler's Mall, Lowes, Dixon Design Studio (Uncle John & Aunt Dana's) and the smoke shop. We did a good job of keeping each other moving and we got everything we came for. The list of "to-do's" is not nearly done yet, but I'm so grateful Rachel go the house cleaned for me--a huge relief! Now I don't have to stay up all night working on it!

Jon brought home the printed itineraries for everyone. I cut the foam board we bought at WalMart and hand-wrote the directional signs we're going to put up to direct people into The Valley. I connected with Kathy Goode finally and will be able to pick up her video cameras tomorrow at the library. The programs are ready.... It's really, really, really just about time!

Tomorrow Rachel and I will leave for Danville at about 11 a.m. to get me to my massage and at that point my "wedding prep" duties have ended. I'll do my best to simply forget about everything that is or isn't getting done and just let the schedule begin to roll. In some moments I feel there is so much to do still and others I feel like it's all set! Either way, tomorrow Alamo ends and the ride is in full swing, so there will be nothing to do but breathe it in and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 3 Days to Go!

Signs, Flowers and Setup--oh my!
Jerusha started on the flowers today and I haven't seen any of them myself, but from her pictures and what Rachel told me they are wonderful! She's doing great!! Who'd know she isn't a trained/learned florist! I love the wildflower look being created. So perfect! I LOVE my purple bouquet! It makes me happy just to look at the picture. She did so, so many in mason jars and more for the church, reception and anywhere we could possibly use flowers.
Went down to Greystone early this morning before work so I could meet with Mom, Rachel and Aunt Anne and here there to-do list for the day and weigh-in. (I'm still working...) Mom had the 30-whatever mums still (from Uncle Jerome & Aunt Janet) that still needed to be planted or placed. She also needed certain flower gardens cleaned up. They got all of that done and they started placing the walkway/path lights around the grounds.
The program is ready to go and being printed. I saw a sample tonight. I made one of the directional signs and started on the "Welcome to Knob End" sign that I was going to wood burn onto one of the log pieces that Jon cut, but then Pa kind of "volunteered" himself to take over for me--and I did not object!
Rachel and Aunt Anne also picked up some more stuff to use from Karen. Somehow Mom and I missed that the table toppers were not extra and had gone with just the white linens. We knew the colored linens were extra so I guess we assumed the toppers were as well, but, no! And guess what? She has some PERFECT purple ones that are just sheer enough to not be to overwhelmingly purple! She also has the perfect green colored cloth napkins to cover the chip bowls for snacking. It's all coming together and so soon will it all be over!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 4 Days to Go!

It looks like there's gonna be a party in Knob End!
The tent crew came today and it is up! It's BIG but not too big for the field. Just about right actually. It's so exciting to see it there. It's really, real! I'm getting married. We'll have a big celebration with everyone we care about! They also left the chairs, dance floor and bar. I took my first peek at it at about 6:15 this evening and the sun going down at that time hits the field beautifully! Jon and I went back down in the evening to take a spin on the dance floor together. The moon is just over half full and it will be a more like three-quarters on Saturday. The stars are beautiful since it's so clear right now and with that moon out you can even see into the field in the moonlight. It's spectacular!

Programs are more or less laid out...Just a couple of things to finalize. I finalized the photography itinerary and reviewed with Jerusha. I also sent out the guys' itinerary. Rachel got down here tonight so I got to visit with her and Aunt Anne. Uncle John and Aunt Dana also made a visit so he could drop off one of the signs he is making for the reception. It looks fabulous!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 5 Days to Go!

Only time for a bullet list:
- Spoke to Izetta and music is set (cleared by Father as well)
- Jenny has possession of Jon's Baptismal record and all else necessary (sigh of relief)
- Reviewed the itinerary with Mom
- Flowers arrived...a day early! Which was a mini-crisis because there were so many (much more than we anticipated) and they overloaded Karen's kitchen which she was busy with other things today. So Mom and Aunt Anne went it immediately to begin cutting them and getting them in water buckets. Jerusha came in to take a look as well.
- We just realized that the bouquets can't be tied until the morning of because they need to be in water, which means Jerusha (the photographer) cannot do it herself, as she'll be quite busy with that other very important job she volunteered for. I called in my Go-Pher girls: Sara & Michelle! They'll tie the bouquets!
- Mom was worried because she didn't get the yard mowed due to having to go in for flowers unexpectedly. Jon jumped on it and got it all done.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 6 Days to Go!

Meetings & More
Up early enough considering the fun night we had. We girls had some good re-cap time of the night before, enjoyed breakfast and cleaned up the girl explosion that happened in Holly's room. (Seriously, I wish I'd taken a picture of that--shoes, shirts, boots, jewelry, bags, bras, presents-EVERYWHERE!)

I headed to Louisville with Michelle since Jon had stayed at their house last night. (He went up to get a nice, snazzy haircut.) Then we headed to meet with Ben one more time about music. And wasn't it a surprise that Virginia came with him! It ended up being more like a great afternoon of chat and catch up with two of our favorite people--oh yeah and by the way here are 2 cds of music. We actually kind of took a page out of their book for the whole wedding from the beginning. They just got married last October and had a fairly short engagement. The wedding was outdoors (her family winery) and reception in a barn. The fact Ben was the DJ for his own wedding is what made me even ask to do ours. They did a "cook out" style meal and the entire thing was fabulous. Hope they take it as a compliment that we are copy cats!

Aunt Anne flew in today and Mom brought her home. Touched base on a lot tonight: music, singing, rehearsal, things father brought up at church this morning. So I came home and sent the itinerary to Mom and Cassie to see what their thoughts are before finalizing.

Also, Uncle John has (so kindly) agreed to make a few signs for us. His artistic hand will have a much better result than anything we could have done. Looking forward to see what he comes up with!

This week is going to fly......

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Wedding on a Budget: 7 Days to Go!

The big kick-off to wedding week!!! The Bachelorette Party! Jo was the hostess with the mostest who planned the entire day and made it beyond spectacular! Talon winery was, well, cold on the tour, but tasting was a blast. Ten of us went and got to try 6 types a piece. The tour guide was pretty generous with his "tasting" size pours (probably too generous) so a lot of us got lucky (and a little buzzed!) Rachel bought some delicious wine cheese as well.
Then we had some unwind time at the house. Michael, such a good guy, let us girls take over his house on a Saturday and he just stayed out of the way! We relaxed, chatted, watched some football. Some girls didn't stay for the going out at night and a few more joined us that hadn't made it to the winery. Although I told Holly to tell them no gifts because they've done enough already, they showered me with fun, fun, fun honeymoon attire.
Rachel did a test run on my wedding makeup and it looked wonderful! Everyone dressed in purple and just looking at the group of girls made me smile! We made girly drinks (no beer for once!), shared jewelry and swapped clothing and accessories. Did hair and make up. Jammed to tunes and the longer the evening stretched on the more girlish squeals of "Wedding Weeeeeeeek!" were let out and "Woo-Hooing" was heard!
We headed out to Hugo's at about 10:15 p.m. where Holly had a reserved booth for us. It was perfect. We ran into some unexpected friends while at the bar. We laughed. We danced. I couldn't have asked for a better girls' night. I think what made it that much better is that none of us were single We were all in serious relationships so no one was concerned with men on any level. We were there for each and other and the fun we create.
Wedding week has begun!

My Wedding on a Budget: 8 Days to Go!

Too much to do for pictures
You're lucky I'm even posting to the blog...
- Have my gifts and thank yous ready for my girls to give to them this weekend
- Have music on cds for Big Ben (hoping we see him this weekend)

Need to make several lists:

- Things I need Mom to talk to Father Pat about at church
- Signs we need to get made
- Thank you's I need to get taken care of

A few things I need to finish up soon and very soon:
- Laid out program
- Buy paper and print the programs
- send Anne-Tyler our responsorial psalm
- Lay out the music exactly as we want it for the ceremony
- Talk to Isetta about what we want her playing for the ceremony

Bachelorette fun tomorrow night!!!