Friday, July 30, 2010

A Burgh Wedding: The Day Before

I post frequently as a Hive Hostess on the Weddingbee boards.  I love wedding planning, looking at wedding pictures and reading about people's experiences... but I've never actually posted my own recap.  I figured it might be fun to fully summarize our wedding.  I'll add recaps a few times a week (or less, depending on how unmotivated I am), and hopefully share some wedding inspiration, ideas and wonderful memories.  So lets start with the rehearsal, non?
Note: These rehearsal pictures are all non-professional, taken by the people I love: family members and my friends/bridesmaids!

June 17th went like a flash.  Honestly, I barely remember what I did that morning.  I think I paced in a circle for 6 hours. Eventually I stopped spinning around, packed up my car with everything we needed for the next week, and left our home for the last time as a single lady.

I picked up some bridesmaids, and we jetted over to the hotel.  I had booked two rooms for 5 of my 6 bridesmaids and I to stay in the night before.  Two of my ladies and I got ready for the rehearsal and dinner at the hotel, and we were off to the church to practice!

Bridesmaid Steph, MOH Jen, MOH Christy, et moi.
Look at him bossing someone.  Isn't that cute!
Cute (and blurry) overload.

The rehearsal went pretty quickly.  Ok, it was over so fast that I was RACKING my brain, trying to remember what we were supposed to do, and when!  Fortunately, the priest told us he would give us verbal cues, and he promised not to let us screw up!  (Wonder if he was right?  Stay tuned).

After the lightning fast rehearsal, it was on to the rehearsal dinner at the delicious Monte Cello's.  While dinner was being prepared, we handed out gifts to our bridesmaids, groomsmen, attendants, and family members.

Parents looking at their engraved frames, with the stock photo still inside. *FAIL*  Not entirely my fault, more on that another day.
My ears are still bleeding from the SCREAM our flower girl let out, when she opened her gift!

Then, Kenny and I exchanged gifts.  This was a moment I was really looking forward to.  I had been waiting months and months to give him his gift: a beautiful Bulova watch with 32 diamonds (what can I say, the man likes diamonds!). I was so nervous for him to open his gift from me, I had shaky hands the whole time.  I just wanted him to like it!

First, one of his gifts to me... a new Coach purse!  Oh, be still my heart.
He also got me a Coach makeup bag, and a Coach umbrella.  See why I married him?  I kid.
Now he's opening his gift.  I am literally diving for my drink in this picture.  I was nervous!
Mission accomplished!
My wonderful MsOH (maids of honor) gifted us with the most awesome, engraved champagne flutes!  I would highly recommend these as a wedding gift for someone... they're really beautiful in person.

The dinner went well, and the food was delish.  Our cake from Bethel Bakery was INCREDIBLE.  Chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling and buttercream icing.  Drool.

We parted ways, with my ladies and I heading back downtown to the hotel, and K and his groomsmen heading back to our house for the night. Our hotel was in Station Square, so we of course went out to Bar Louie for a bottle of champagne and to chat, before we went back to the hotel for the evening.

Next up... We go to the salon and get our hairs did. 

"At least we have each other."

K has a tendency to talk in his sleep. It's hilarious.  One evening he told me that he was up all night helping the cats renovate the bathroom.  When I asked him about our dog (because I like to egg him on when he sleep-talks... I'm an ass), he said she was "downstairs in the basement, answering the phones."
Does this look like the face of a dog who knows how to operate a phone?

You honestly can't make this stuff up.  Anyways, one night he was sound asleep, while I was drifting off myself.  He rolled over... tapped me on the back and said "Hey!  Hey... at least we have each other."  Rolled back over, and was out again.  I thought that was the funniest/sweetest "sleep-talk" ever.  The following morning, he had no recollection of saying anything to me (typical!).  So, there you have it, the reason for the name of this blog!

Home Improvements

K and I purchased a townhouse together several years ago.  It suits us nicely for now, though we already have a burning itch to move.  Don't get me wrong, our neighborhood is really friendly, and our house is nice; we just want more space.  To get a house in a nice area of Pittsburgh that fits our needs (3-4 bedrooms, at least 2 bathrooms, maybe a garage?), would require a hefty down payment.  So, we plan on spending the next 1-2 years saving, so we can move on up.  In the meantime however... we have some plans to spruce up this old (town)house!

We've already accomplished a few nice and easy renovations.  Behold:

Our master bathroom sink, on the day we moved in.  Um, ew.
After. Ahhhh.  Much better!
To go from the 70's to modern times, all we had to do was replace the counter top (obvi), paint the cabinetry and add some pretty handles, install a new sink fixture, and paint the walls.  We went with a granite counter top from Home Depot.  It came in a standard size (easiness bonus), and made a perfect replacement.  Our sink fixture, also from Home Depot, was picked out by K (He loved that bamboo looking thing, I couldn't say no!).  K and his dad installed everything pretty easily in one evening.  I painted and put on the new handles the next day.  Voila, instantly awesome.

This leads me to our next task: repainting our bedroom wall.  Since we live in a townhouse, we have thick brick firewalls that separate us from our adjoining neighbors.  Since this house was obviously built with "70's chic" being the theme, the walls are exposed for your viewing pleasure.

Our bedroom, see that brick awesomeness against the back wall?!
 Well, 22 year old me thought that painting that back wall a deep red would look really nice with our new black and white bedding.  I agree with 22 year old me, I think it looks nice.  Getting it painted was another story.  My friend Miss Chelle and I spent 6 hours painting this wall.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  We had to put on 3 coats of primer, and 3 coats of paint.

Olive, my one-eyed cat, modeling our bedroom setup.
However, 3 years later, 25 year old me would like a change. New bedding for one, and a new wall.  The only question now is, what color?!

What home improvements are you currently working on? Something easy as a fresh coat of paint, or something a little more intense?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh, hai. I'm married!

Hiyeee!  I'm Christina.  I'm 25, and living the exciting/good life in an awesome little-big city, Pittsburgh, PA.  I've been here for over 15 years, and while Pittsburgh and I have had our ups and downs, we're pretty sweet buddies now.  I'm newly married (as of this June!), to a wonderful man named K.  We've been together for almost 5 years, and they've been some of the best years of my life.  I loved wedding planning (minus the random drama with people who are invited/think they are invited... if you're married or engaged, you know what that crap is like!).  We had a pretty epic, fun-tastic, beautiful, awesome, omg-is-this-really-happening-holy-crap-this-is-sweet kind of day.  Don't believe me?  I've got proof:

Still don't believe me?  Well, that's all you're getting, so deal.  I kid, of course.  Long story short, we had a wonderful time at our wedding.  You know how people are always going on and on about how their wedding was "the best day of our lives!!"?  Well, for us, it was true.  To commit to each other in such a romantic and meaningful way, was just amazing.  To be surrounded by family and friends and to literally feel their love and support radiating from their teary eyes and big smiles was just the best.

Weddings are a big business, filled with tons of options for the couple with the Natty Light budget (mmm beer pong...), up to the Cristal budget.

Yes, we absolutely had Cristal at our wedding.  However, it was only one bottle, purchased by a groomsman, and it certainly didn't represent our budget... although it was pretty freakin' sweet.
No matter how little, or how much you spend, a wedding is something special!  I get tired of hearing people go on and on about how they can't believe that people would spend over $10,000/$20,000/$30,000 on "ONE DAY" and how naive and fiscally irresponsible people who do this must be.  I'm also tired of hearing people go on about how "tacky/cheap" things look when you go against the grain and cut costs through DIY or non-traditional ideas.  Well, whatever.   If you prefer a small, inexpensive wedding, go for it.  (My mom had her reception in her cousin's backyard).  If you prefer a huge, elaborate wedding (and you can afford it), to each their own!  Our wedding was pretty average, not inexpensive... but not a budget buster either.  We saved and saved, then saved a little bit more... and the final result was worth pretty much every dollar and minute of planning.  I consider myself a  pretty awesome planner (read: I'm type A), and I'd love to share some tips/advice/general "been there, done that" knowledge I've attained along the way.  Not tonight though. (The second season of the Jersey Shore is on tonight, cut me a break, ok?!).

Not to sound like a fortune cookie... but no matter what, at the end of the day, your memories are worth their weight in gold.  At least they are for us.

Which memory stands out as one of the best moments of your day?  If you're still planning, which moment are you most looking forward to?