Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Venue .... check!

Over the last few months we have visited numerous reception sites and called or emailed every venue within 30 miles of the church. My files are spilling over with quotes and I feel like we have just run the gauntlet!! But after what seems like an eternity we have secured our venue for the wedding!!!

We will be having our reception at 5:00 in the penthouse ballroom of the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica. They have been very helpful and cut us a hell of a deal. The view from the ballroom is amazing. You can see up and down the coast from Palos Verdes to Malibu. Not to mention it is about 7 blocks from the church so none of you out of towners will get lost on the way there.

I can't even tell you how happy I am right now. Now I'm taking a month off from wedding stuff haha. ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Date Has Been Set! *September 5th 2009*

We met with monsignor at St. Monica's parish for the first time on Friday. We attended one of their marriage introductory meetings a while back but this was the first time we had actually met with him one-on-two. He is a wonderful man. John put it perfectly when he said "he reminds me that there are still good people in the world". Rarely do I see someone so well suited for their role in life. He is so friendly, willing to help anyone at any time and makes you really feel like a part of the family. That is why I love our parish. My hope is that our guests who are not religious or members of other faiths will feel this as well because we all really are a part of one family.

At that meeting we set our date for Saturday September 5th 2009. The ceremony will be at St. Monica's parish at 3:00pm. http://www.stmonica.net/

This is the Saturday during Labor Day Weekend. We chose this long weekend for a few reasons. For one thing, we have two people in our wedding party who are directly effected by school starting after Labor Day. One of whom is John's brother Mark, who not only needs to fly from Michigan to LA but also has to drive from the upper peninsula (aka Siberia) to Detroit to catch his flight which is a day of driving each way.

Unfortunately prices for flights and hotels may be a little higher due to the holiday but we think our out of town guests will benefit from having the extra day to travel. Not to worry, we will be researching group accommodations at a few hotels and packaged travel fares for everyone. Our local guests will also have an additional day to enjoy their weekend without wedding craziness or just detox from the bar at our reception ;).

All in all I hope our choice of this date will prove a wise one and a good excuse for a mini-vacation or extended celebration for all. I am sure there will be plenty of fun things to do in the area that weekend. We will come up with some fun post-wedding activities which should make for even more memories to take home.

Bonus: We will have Labor Day weekend to celebrate our anniversary every year!!!

I win I win!!!

Below is a synopsis of our engagement. I posted this on my myspace account a while back and thought it would be appropriate to repost here. Enjoy!


So (obviously) I had the best week EVAAAR last week. We just got back from Seattle late on Sunday night and I really haven't had a moment to write. Well I could have but I was much more interested in enjoying family time with my new fiance' than typing blogs on the internet. Sorry to those whose messages I haven't replied to, didn't see while I was up there, phone calls I haven't returned, etc etc ... I was enjoying one of life's happier times and soaking it all in :)

So anyways, in case you haven't heard the synopsis... here-goes...

As I am sure the majority of people know, John and I have been talking about getting married for some time. Its always been the plan but the time line hadn't been set yet.

About 6 months ago he took me to a B&B in Santa Barbara for the weekend. I was SURE this was it. I mean c'mon, Victorian Bed & Breakfast in one of the more beautiful spots in Cali? I was so sure of it I even told a bunch of my work buddies and friends how sure I was that he was going to propose. Yeah well I came back to LA that Monday ringless and without the need to think about when it was going to happen anymore. I decided that while I knew it was going to happen, trying to figure out WHEN it was going to happen was a waste of my time and would just turn me into "that girl".

I soon came to realize that the sneaky bitch was trying to keep me guessing. Over the next few months I was taken out on a few "get dressed up I'm taking you somewhere nice" dinners. Shit, works for me right? I'll milk this game for some food hahaha ;) I knew what was up and wasn't about to assume that any of these dinners could be "the night" but it was fun for us and we were able to have some really good times exploring LA a little. Top pick: The Little Door in Hollywood. MMmmmmmmmmm

So mother's day rolls around and I guess I was sleeping in or napping or something normal like that. John called my dad to ask him for his blessing. THAT'S MY BOY!!!! Even though I spent the better part of my adolescence telling my parents that I didn't need their blessing for anything (most of the time what I was doing wouldn't have been blessed anyways) I am still an old schooly at heart. It really meant a lot to me that John asked him. Silly tradition or not I think it is quite gentlemanly and .... well .... hot. Plus it thrilled my mom on Mother's day no doubt.

Fast forward a month or so. We had booked a vacation to visit my parents for the week they had their time share at Kala Point (near Port Townsend WA). Too bad my dumbass booked the flight right in the middle of finals week for my school. Apparently John had already been planning on proposing to me that week but I had to re-arrange everything for the next week, my parents couldn't move their time share week so we ended up booking a condo on Orcas Island for a few days the next week instead.

Blah blah flights changed, plans changed, everything changed because of my stupid school but I was happy because now we were going to Orcas Island which is a very special place to me. When I was a kid my parents used to rent a cabin on Orcas every summer. My grandparents always rented the next cabin over and fishing with my grandpa at the lakes on Orcas is still one of my favorite memories of growing up. Its an almost mythical place for me because of all the happy childhood memories I have from that Island.

We get there and I am detoxing from work. The weather is beautiful which is just weird because they are having one of their worst June's to date up there right now. They have termed it "Juneuary". We spent a day farting around and the next day we decided to go for a hike around some of the lakes I used to fish at with my grandpa. All the while my mom is telling a million stories about what our family did there some of which happened when she was a kid. I almost forgot how beautiful the forest in Seattle was. Its SO GREEN. Like wizard of OZ green. The hike we went on curved around the side of mountain lake and did a figure 8 around twin lakes. It was so awesome to be out in nature (a far cry from the concrete jungle we live in) overlooking a lake, smelling the fresh air and enjoying the good weather which just made everything look even more green and awesome.

We come around a bend and there's a cliff overlooking mountain lake. It was probably 30 feet above the lake, framed by trees and the morning light was hitting the lake behind us. I take a few pictures of John...

(This photo was taken about 2 minutes before he asked me. He looks like he's about to puke doesn't he?)

..He tells my family that he wants to take an HDRI photo and that we would catch up with them. I did think it odd that my parents didn't hang around but I was enjoying the scenery too much to care. Apparently my brother knew what John's signal meant because instead of letting my parents lurk in the bushes (which would have given it away) he grabbed both of them and hit the trail for a good 200 yards. THANK YOU!

John is messing around with the camera and I am getting impatient..as usual. I think he noticed I was getting annoyed and started rushing to get the ring out and the camera set up. I am looking the other direction, turn around, he says my name and gets down on one knee. I think my heart fell into my shoe. I was frozen stiff with my hands in my pockets (I was wearing my pajamas and the sweatshirt I have kept since high school .... hot). All that came out of my mouth was "Oh OOOOOOOOOOoooH".

The next 3 minutes I am keeping for us (yeah burn I know) but he did say afterward that he had a speech prepared which was thrown out the window because he was lost in the moment. I thought that was pretty cute. In fact he has never been cuter. It was very emotional and we took a good 10-15 minutes to ourselves on that cliff just soaking it all in and hanging on to each other. Then we floated down the trail with me saying "I WIN I WIN" to my family who was waiting down the way.

I have to say the boy REALLY did his homework and put a lot of thought into what, where and with who this moment would be most special to me. Orcas Island on a trail my Aunt built, overlooking a lake I used to fish on with my grandpa, hiking in the beautiful forest I grew up in with my brother and parents was so sentimental and cool I couldn't have thought of any better if I tried. I was totally surprised and flabbergasted by the whole thing. I was so taken off guard in fact I put the ring on my own finger. I think my brain said "yes, cry, ring, cliff, finger, hug, cry more" hahaha. I apologized to him a few times for snatching it up and not letting him put it on me.

Its funny because I had rehearsed that moment so many times in my head and when the time came nothing happened the way I thought it would .... it was BETTER.


Our Story Starts Here

This is where our story begins - the moment that I asked Melissa to marry me. It was June 6th, 2008 on Orcas Island, Washington. I told her that I was going to take a picture of us together. She had no idea that the picture was going to turn out the way it did. As we move forward with our wedding plans and our lives together, we invite our friends and family to follow our story in this blog. Even though many of them live far away, we still want them to be part of our journey. We will be posting dates times addresses and other relevant information about the wedding and our lives as they happen. So stay tuned and enjoy!