I had promised to write this post and never quite gotten around to it, but now that William and Kate have tied the knot, I figured I can ride on their wedding excitement coat tails and share some info about the joys and sorrows of wedding planning... or in particular MY wedding planning!
For those of you who aren't familiar, my career is in hospitality/catering sales. What this means is that for about 5 years I was a pseudo "wedding planner" for a golf course, and 2 different hotels. I didn't put together the timelines or order the flowers or cakes, but I did convince brides to "imagine" fabulous ceremonies and receptions at my venues. I am also involved in the National Assn of Catering Executives, where REAL wedding planners belong!!! lol. And when I say "real" I mean the ones who handle all of the craziness I am faced with right now.
Let me back up and explain how Roger and I ended up "engaged" to begin with. This July it'll be 5 years ago that we started dating. Surprise #1, Aidan. Move in together. Split. Move back in. Surprise #2, Benjamin! Live, live, live. Split. ALLLLMOST move out, and now engaged. Roger and I have been through a whole lot but I am really happy that we managed to work through it all and commit to each other and our children!
Just a quick recap of how we met: We met in 2006 at Harding Park Golf Course. I was applying for a Beverage Cart position and he was the Food and Beverage Director. I distinctly remember the first time I met him (he was in a chef coat and black pants) and I remember my interview (which we have laughed about many times since that day!). I got the job, and quickly realized that Bev Cart was really not as glamorous as I had hoped, and in addition I was FREEZING! San Francisco Sunset District is freaking cold about 10 months out of the year, so I would cruise around in khakis, a ski coat, and a baseball cap. Hardly sexy! About a month or so into the job I started socializing with a few people from work (including Roger) and about a month after that, we realized that we liked hanging out with each other one on one.... around that time a position became open for the golf course's Catering Director and Roger asked if I would be interested because he thought I would be good at it. I jumped at the chance, and so not only can I think HP for a career path, I can also thank them for a soon to be husband and 2 kids! Here is what we looked like back in the good ol days of dirty martinis and downtown San Francisco:
And then came Aidan Evelyn Barr the following November:
and most recently, this Easter:
It's been a long road, but look at the gorgeous family I have to show for it!
Now our "engagement" wasn't that of fairytales. It was more of a decision that 2 adults came to that resulted in me getting a gorgeous diamond ring, and him getting a $50 titanium band :P Oh the joys of being a woman! Hey, after birthing 2 kids, it's about darn time I got some fancy bling! My rings however, are being custom made, so I don't want to post a picture just yet, but let's just say they are VERY sparkly!
Our original plan was to elope in Hawaii, just the 2 of us. In fact I had contacted wedding planners out there and gotten quotes on everything. It was pretty darn expensive for "just the two of us" I must say, but little did I know, it was NOTHING compared to our "small intimate wedding" that we are having now! ACK!
Well, part of our decision was also not to have a long engagement, which makes things really fun right now with planning. It is really a catch 22 with engagements... if you plan for a long engagement, chances are the venue, services, etc will be available on your said date.... and you have a long time to save up and pay for this massive shin-dig. BUUUUUTTTT it really is a long wait for such an exciting event! By having a short engagement you have to plan quickly, book quickly, and pay quickly.... but oh how exciting! I also think that if we had a long engagement Roger would probably kill me. Sorry, but I didn't realize how fun planning my own wedding would be!
My first purchase after our rings was my dress! I found it at a small bridal shop in Castro Valley that I had made a sales call to while working at Hilton. I tried on a bunch of dresses and nothing really screamed "THIS IS IT!" but my aunt noticed a small room in the back with a lot of gowns.... apparently it was the shop's Clearance section... dresses you buy off the rack, as is, that are samples and most likely past season. Me + Clearance = Love. Always. Anyone who has ever been shopping with me knows I do not pay full price for anything. Even groceries. I have been known to send Roger to the store for something like strawberries and then get mad at him for buying them because they weren't on sale. Crazy, but I just hate not getting a deal! So, low and behold, I have a clearance wedding dress that I LOVE LOVE LOVE! It is gorgeous. And I cannot post a picture because what if Mr. Roger sees?! Oh the horror! He told me he saw my dress the other day and I burst into tears so he said he was kidding and I sure hope he was because to me, the moment of the groom seeing the bride is so emotional and exciting... how could he ruin that?!
Now to the "Long Sleeved Story" part of the dress buying... I bought a size 14 dress! YAY! And it zipped, etc etc. I plan to lose at least another 20 lbs before the wedding (thank you Zumba and my sleeve!) so I hope that it still fits, but so far I am 10lbs down from when I bought it, and I went to visit it and try it on and it fits very well (it was very tight when originally purchased since I knew I'd be losing). Although I'd love to be down 20lbs, I am not looking forward to paying for alterations so I am secretly hoping my boobs stay big and my belly and thighs miraculously are the only things that shrink between now and July 30!
During my dress excursion my aunt who is like a second mom to me, and is the godmother of our children started talking about how she feels like she should be at the wedding because she and her husband have been through so much with Roger and I (that is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!!) and she mentioned how the kids would have memories of it, and then my Grandma could come, etc. I started thinking about it, because Roger and I had talked about having a reception in SF for family here, and then I realized... it'll pretty much be the same amount of money... why shouldn't we incorporate all of our friends and family who have shared our ups and downs and all arounds?! He agreed, and low and behold, we are now the proud "Johnson/Barr Wedding".
To be continued....