Friday, August 31, 2012

The future Mr. stops by. :)

For those of you who haven't yet formally met the Mr., I thought I would make him... I mean, ask him... to come and write a blog post about the planning process from his perspective. As always, he blew me away with his (mostly) sweet words and wit - I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

And without further ado - please meet my future Mr.!

When Melissa asked me to write this blog detailing what wedding planning was like for me, I was shocked. I had no idea we were engaged. So I jumped in my car and headed to Kay's. As fate would have it, somehow it turns out that I bought an engagement ring, not a promise ring. And to think, I give Melissa grief when things go over her head.

But I digress, all kidding aside the planning has actually been pretty smooth for me. I'm very much a believer of the bride getting every little detail to be what she wants. I don't mean to make it sound like Melissa is spoiled by saying that (though she is) but that I think the day should be exactly what she wants. I want this and I'm excited for it as well but while it is very much our day, I want it to be HER day. I want it to be everything she ever wanted.

I have to say though, I'm pretty amazed at how smoothly things are actually going. I hope that's a testament to both how well we work together, and just our incredible luck so far. The venue was not a difficult process, and one of the first things we accomplished. While we really hit a dud on our search, Mustard Seed was found pretty early on and I think we were both 100% sold after our initial visit. It's a beautiful location, and the people that operate it are absolutely wonderful to deal with. The fact that we have a backup plan built in in case it rains is a huge relief as well, seeing as the big day will be in April in the lovely state of Indiana. For all I know, it will be snowing that day, so already knowing we can switch it from outdoors to indoors is a huge relief. We met with one officiant and were absolutely sold, she asked us all the right questions and just seemed to have a really good grasp on what we were going for, even in our very first meeting. I think Melissa was overly relieved also when she found out she could exchange as many emails as necessary, the girl loves her emails.

On to catering, the menu seems to have been the most discussed item on the agenda so far. Everything from type of food, whether or not to have alcohol, taking suggestions from people and trying new things, we did it all. We finally settled on A Cut Above, once again because of the excellent staff and flexibility. I'm a little embarrassed to say that we helped ourselves a little too much during the tasting, which I thought was a compliment. Turns out it isn't exactly proper etiquette to eat all of the food, but I'm not kidding when I say it's some of the best food I've had. They take a burger and turn it in to art, it's just fantastic.

There are a lot of little details I could get in to, but Melissa mostly handles those. I keep waiting for a Bridezillas moment to happen because let's face it, Melissa's a little OCD about some things. Aside from a few tiny similarities though, she's kept it together remarkably well. I think it's truly a testament to how well we work together and hopefully things will be just as smooth and perfect all the way up to the big day, and far beyond it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A running (not-so-funny) joke...

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away*, there was a running joke that the men of the wedding party would be heading to Vegas, the day before the wedding, and they would return the day of. In the process, they would lose one member of their crew (amongst other hijinks), but ultimately make it back looking like hot messes for the wedding. 

That's right - they basically planned to live out the plot of the Hangover. Now... I wasn't against the whole Vegas trip in theory. The problem was two fold: one, how can Mr. Otter get that much vacation (he can't!) and two: we are helping pay for this wedding, so spending that much money on a trip was  probably not the best idea. But okay, whatever, I went along with it (mostly). 

Then one day, the groom made a grave error.

At a family cookout, he and Best Man Batman announced their plan to the entirety of my family along with his dad. And they all freaked out. Suddenly the long running Hangover plan was no longer a joke, but rather a "when are we going to plan this?" Against my objections, they started to make theoretical plans, even with Mr. Otter saying he didn't have the vacation time.

Amongst other declarations:
* It was determined that GM Goat would be the one to get lost. So instead of the groom being lost, GM Goat will be the lost person.
* We (and by we, I think I mean I) declared that GM Lil Dude would be the one to get married to a hooker. I mean... it just seems like something Lil Dude (a sophomore in college) would do.
* There would be a day-of rush back. Including the scene where they receive tuxes via the freeway. (SIGH)


Hangover cast image via Hiblarious / edit by me

Best Man Batman would totally be Alan. Why? Well, to put it simply - I can just totally picture BMB walking around with a baby on his chest! :) Then we have the groom who makes jackass jokes. Yep, that's my fiancé (along with all of his friends... but we love them for it!). And then finally GM Lil Dude who, like I already said, would totally marry a hooker. Goat and the rest of the gang aren't pictured since (a) Goat would be lost and (b) there aren't enough characters in the movie to compare the entire gang to.

My warning to you? If you see the following idiots in Vegas, watch out.
Personal image / Not pictured: FFIL, GM Goat, BM Batman, and a few of Mr. Otter's newer friends. Pictured but not attending: short guy C and baby E, of course.

Monday, August 27, 2012

YUM - tasting day!

Snaps for us - we finally chose a caterer! The winner is A Cut Above Catering. They've worked at our venue quite a bit and were by far and away the nicest people that we spoke with about catering. When I tried their food at the Night At The Barn event our venue hosted, I was pretty sold on them, but we continued to look around to be fair and make sure that budget-wise, we were making the best choice.

Finally, after way too long, we have officially booked A Cut Above and I couldn't be happier about it! We recently attended our tasting and can I just say - wow! If you are getting married in the Central Indy area, then you need to get in touch with A Cut Above.

Now on to the food!

First up were the sliders and rosemary potatoes. There were three different kind of sliders; two were beef sliders and one was a pork slider. Even before the tasting, we decided these would probably be the most popular options - we had also considered chicken or greek burgers - however knowing ourselves (and our families) we decided to go with the pork slider and the beef slider. The beef slider will also come with three different gourmet sauce choices. We got to taste the sundried tomato pesto sauce and a sweet mango mustard and wow - again, I was blown away! The sundried tomato pesto sauce was by far both of our favorites... in fact, I actually asked if there was a container full in back that we could take home! (And I don't like pesto, so again, I was surprised in the best way possible!)

While we were tasting the burgers, we also tried the rosemary potatoes. Now, I have to admit, I didn't expect to enjoy the potatoes. I typically only enjoy potatoes in the form of chips and french fries, haha. These however? We finished off almost the entire cone while we were eating the burgers, then ate them cold with our second dish. So. Good.

Next up was a sample of the taco bar ingredients. They're the same except for the salsas - on the left is a regular salsa, and on the right is a mango salsa. Since I don't like mango anything (or trying new things) I let Philip have at that one while I devoured the regular one. SO delicious! And again, exceeded my expectations.

Throughout the tasting, we also discussed a lot of the details such as where we want things, if they're going to be cutting the cake, and if we want to be served or not. Most of those conversation points I was expecting, but the service question I wasn't. They said that even though we would get to eat first, they typically serve the couple. They did make a good point though in that you get to create your own burgers and taco bowls - so maybe we'd rather serve ourselves. I was already thinking that so we jumped right on that bandwagon.

And last but not least - a decision regarding the cake! We're having cupcakes (more coming on that soon) and a top layer but I immediately deemed that layer "for us only" - meaning that we'll cut and eat our piece, and the rest will be packed up for us to take with us. Also, we wanted to make sure that people feel free to grab a cupcake when they get their meals - so we're going to cut the cake as soon as we enter, and let Brett (our fabulous DJ) let everyone know that they can go ahead and grab themselves a cupcake, too!

Now be honest: are you hungry after reading this?

*All (delicious) photos are personal!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dance offs

If that title didn't capture your attention - let me say it again:

Today we're talking about DANCE OFFS.

Yep, at the wedding. Here's what happened: Mr. Otter and Best Man Batman* declared that they wanted their own dance. They reasoned, if Mr. Otter gets a dance with me, why does he not get a dance with his best man!? At first, I laughed this off. There was no way I planned to let this happen. But then... genius struck. The boys want their own dance? Fine. Then the girls will have our dance too.

Then I realized that (with or without alcohol, since that decision is still up in the air) I'm not down for a literal dance off because, as hard as I try, I can't dance. So instead, I'll let the boys sing the TWO WORDS they know to their song and the girls will gang up and have a whole list of songs that we obnoxiously sing and dance to in their faces.

Their playlist:
Paparazzi by Lady Gaga

Our playlist:
Aaron's Party by Aaron Carter
Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls
Callin' Baton Rouge by (the king) Garth Brooks
Friends in Low Places by (again, duh) Garth Brooks
Bye Bye Bye by 'N Sync

Also, it may be good to note, there's only 2 of them; Best Man Batman + the groom. There are at least 4 of us; myself, MOH Lails, MOH Cubbie, and love of my life (sorry Mr. Otter!) Jenna. Does that mean automatic victory? ;)

What fun surprises do you have for guests at the wedding? And sure, you can substitute terrifying for fun if you want. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

- a big thing: done!

So, if you'll recall, I recognized that when I was talking about the catering, I kind of forgot that the officiant was another big thing that I needed to book. Once we have the catering and the officiant, it will be all details and DIYs from there.

And with that: we have an officiant!

Isn't that awesome? Yes, yes it is. Let me tell you allllllll about it.

I first found our officiant via WeddingWire. When I went there searching for officiants, I found Marry Me in Indy. They have nothing but great reviews, their website was extremely well done in terms of content (and yes, I realize that judging people on their social media/website may not be fair but seeing as that's my work - it's what I do. I can't help it!) and when I emailed Victoria, she got back to me that same day.

I enthusiastically set up a meeting with her for a night that Philip had off work, and off we went.

....And then we sat in a parking lot for a while because we were supposed to arrive at her home at 7pm and we were definitely looking at arriving at 6:15. I'm all about being early, but not THAT early. So I emailed Victoria, got her go ahead to come early, and we were back on the road.

We had a great meeting with Victoria - she asked every question that I wanted to hear from her (do we have crazy people she'll need to look out for, will there be babies crying and if so how do we want her to handle that, oh and another good one - any divorced parent situations happening that she should be aware of) plus gave us a ton of information about herself and how we would proceed after we paid the deposit to save our date.

I would say that we slept on it, but that didn't really happen. As soon as we got in the car we started discussing it and pretty much decided before we were out of her neighborhood that we would be booking her. I sent the check out the next morning!

The details as they stand: we will be having a non-religious ceremony, with the traditional exchange of vows where we repeat after her. We may end up tossing in something funny, but thankfully we have plentyyy of time to think about that. We'll also be having a moment of silence for all the people who can't be there with us (yes, I'm going to cry - I accept that). And my favorite part: all of this is going to be written in a Google Doc where we can exchange ideas and change things that we don't like!

If you're looking for someone to officiate you're wedding close to the Indy area, I would highly recommend you checking out Marry Me in Indy.

For those of you who have already chosen your officiant - what made you decide they were the right fit for you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

- more wedding party!

I'M FINALLY DONE TALKING ABOUT THE GIRLS! Let's all just heave a giant sigh of relief because today, it's time for fun talk and meeting the boys. :)

By happy coincidence, all three of the groomsmen managed to come over on the same day, so obviously I made them pose for photos. I mean, if I don't force them, it isn't going to happen sooo... Without further ado - I'll let Philip introduce the gents.

Best Man Bernard:

Bernard and I became comrades in arms while working at Sears Essentials. In all fairness though, calling it work is a stretch of the imagination, seeing as I don’t believe making the glass in the building shake by playing Independence Day on 20 TVs at maximum volume at once counts as work. Looking back, it may be largely our fault that Sears Essentials is no longer in business. Cheers my friend.

GM Billy (real name: Camron):
I’m not entirely sure who Camron is, but he looks a lot like my good friend Billy who I invited to be in my wedding entourage. We’ve had lots of good times in the past, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend. I know that there’s no one I’d rather have by me as we’re trying to get back home from Las Vegas two hours before the wedding.

GM Tyler (brother of the bride):
Tyler deserves a special shout out because I’m pretty sure he’s one of the few people that truly understands just how mind blowing it is trying to put up with both Melissa and Melman Chester.

I can't believe I'm actually going to say this - but, other than a long running joke about reenacting the Hangover, the boys have been incredibly well behaved. They aren't difficult. They aren't dramatic (except when they think they're being funny, of course). They loooove to drive me crazy, but well, to put it bluntly - they're guys. They aren't ever being dramatic and it's been so refreshing and easy to deal with the guys. 

One day, in the future, I'm going to do another post about the girls. Hopefully I can rant and rave about how great they are too, but until then - please share which ridiculous photo is your favorite. You know asking for a "serious" image resulted in this, so just imagine what I would have gotten if I asked them to pose!