Friday, June 27, 2008

And then sometimes you hit roadblocks...

So Jeremy and I are not always blessed with the greatest of luck, however, we are people who tend to figure out how to turn that around. So to make this post positive, I will tell you the tale, and again how we plan to turn it around.

First, we find out earlier this week that the director of catering for the Westin, the woman we had been working with all along; the woman whom I had google stalked, and checked her references; the woman who made me feel comfortable enough with her experience to book my wedding at a building which was still under construction...was fired. Yep, gone. In an effort not to freak out, I calmly called the director of the hotel, or whatever his title is...and asked for an explanation. He explained that she had already dropped the ball on a few major items, and they were sensing concerns, so they decided to make a change before they opened. And, as he told me, "We are the Westin, and we just simply cannot accept anything less than perfection". Okay buddy, it's the Westin, not the Ritz, but okay, lets charge ahead and find someone else before I have a panic attack. So, for now, I'm remaining calm, and undisturbed, knowing that there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Incident #2. Last night we had engagement pictures as I mentioned. So I raced home from work, picked up the dog at day care, gave her a bath (no easy task), made dinner, showered, managed to find something to wear (again, no easy task), got us together and raced over to Centennial Lakes Park to meet the photographer and my parents. My parents were going to entertain the dog while she was not in pictures. Very nice of them. We wait, we wander, we look at the lake, we watch awkward date, after awkward date at the park, still no photographer. He doesn't show. We wait over an hour, and no photographer. Well, those of you who know me well, know that timeliness is one of my big sticking points. I respect people's time, and therefore, I plan to be early to everything, all the time. And this guy's a no show. So again, trying to maintain my composure, we send numerous emails to this guy from Jer's Blackberry, call his studio, even call 411 for everyone with the same name as him...and called each one of them! "Hi, uh are you XXX XXXXX from XYZ photography, no, okay, well have a nice evening". Yep, I was that mad.

So we arrive home, send him one last strongly worded email and go to bed. We awake this morning (5:30am mind you, Jeremy is laying in bed checking his Blackberry...apparently Dave had some crisis he needed help with, thanks Dave!) and we receive a response from the photographer. To make a long story short, his company is expanding and he just hired his first assistant, she is a tool, and did not communicate. And the icing on the cake, he won't be available to talk until later today because he's volunteering at Feed My Starving children. Of course, do a nice thing, you know I'm a sucker for people who volunteer. So, we'll talk to him, hear him out, see what we can get out of the deal. This guy is truly fantastic or I would have walked on the spot. But really, his work is outstanding, like nothing I've ever seen before. And...on the bright side, I really didn't like what I chose to wear anyways, maybe this will give me a bit more time to figure that out.

Check ya later.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So tonight's the big night...

Okay, so not THE big night, but a big one. A night where I have to manage to hide the pimples, make the hair look manageable, and wrangle the dog to make her look sweet and innocent, which is just a big fat lie. Tonight, we have 'engagement pictures'. And no, I have yet to find a purpose for these photos. So if you want one, speak now, because I certainly cannot think of what we are going to do with them. Next time you come to our condo, our second bathroom may be wallpapered with photos of us romping in a park, throwing leaves in the air, and smelling the perfectly placed flowers. All such natural poses. Okay, now I will stop being cynical for a moment and share why we chose to do engagement photos. I have two reasons. #1. If they are terrible, and I hate this guy's style - its not too late to get out and find someone else. #2. We can look at the types of shots, and tell him which ones we like and don't like, which will allow him to figure out what we want for the actual wedding. Look at me, all of a sudden I am such a wise bride-to-be. Not.

I'll post the pictures if I can. Mostly I'm hoping they will be photos of the dog, that's really all I want! Let's hope she doesn't have any poopy-eating incidents at daycare today or I will have to give her an emergency bath before our photo shoot.

More soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And on to the next two....

The third photographer was fairly uneventful. Decent, nothing special, located in a very creepy building that smelled like old ladies - but whatever. We were in, realized it wasn't for us, and were out pretty darn quick.

We were fairly certain we wanted to go with the final photographer, before our meeting. He seemed to be all that we were looking for on paper - but I had some hesitations. I was a little concerned by the outdated photos on his website, but we met with him none the less. My concerns were validated as I found that work was also not quite what we had in mind. Nope, after this fourth meeting it was clear, we had chosen our guy.

Surfer dude it is. I am certain that my entire family will be smiling as they will be laughing at his perplexing demeanor. He is hilarious and crazy, and well - I like people with those characteristics. Andrew it is, he's our photography man.

On a Punky note...today she had to try a new daycare facility as I have just started a new job. This is very concerning to her over protective mother. Yes, today, like every other time I have had to leave her at a new place, I cried. Yup, standing in a new dog day care facility, I'm tearing up. Yep, I know, I'm a little attached.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And so we move on to photographers...

And this is a fun task! Interviewing photographers... We decided to look far and wide for creative, artistic photographers who could provide us with a more unique photographic view of the wedding. And unique we found. The first photographer was wonderful, very sweet, calming, had very nice work. We were impressed. We thought she was a winner, but knew we should keep looking for the sake of comparison. As we continued to ponder our meeting with her we started thinking, she was sweet, maybe a bit TOO sweet. My family members are a bit challenging. One hates having her picture taken, another only allows them from a certain angle, some don't talk to each other, and others do talk to each other but wish they didn't. We were not sure that the oh-so-sweet photographer could wrangle the family in a diplomatic and yet productive manner.

On to photographer number two, Andrew. He seemed like quite a character, from the start every other word out of his mouth was either "dude" or "amazing". However, we had seen his website, and his work was outstanding, so we wanted to meet with him. We walked into his very cool studio and found him sitting behind an actual full bar. We hear from behind the bar: "Heeeyyyy guys! Come on over, have a drink!" Jeremy refused, but not this girl, it had been one long day, and I welcomed Andrew's peace offering. All sat down together across this bar, in the middle of a photography studio and attempted to talk photography, but mostly he kept discussing our energy, and travel, and "the great vibe he was getting from us". I was entertained, and wanted more. I wasn't quite sure I understood this character, but I certainly was amused. And, more importantly, his photographs blew us out of the water. This one, I was certain, would have no problem wrangling my family. He was a character with just enough attitude to get the job done. I liked him, but still, we felt we should soldier on to ensure we made the most educated decision.

Stay tuned....more to come!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Urgent punky report

Jeremy is currently digging through his laundry singing to the dog(whom we call doody)..."You're the prettiest doody, the prettiest doody, prettiest doody in the world. Oh my pretty doody." And that's no lie. I wish I could record sound and post it on here. This is one, not to miss.

And then I found it...

The dress. My last stop was at a great little store in St. Paul. This store was located in renovated, early 1900's house. It was a quaint and attractive location, but also very practical. Dressing rooms were made out of bedrooms, and the gown area, made out of the living room. One of my biggest pet peeves from wedding shops had been the dressing rooms. You enter these average sized dressing rooms with approximately 4-7 enormous gowns, 2-3 relatives, and 1 overbearing sales person. Lets just say, it resembled my grandmother's freezer (which my grandpa swears you take your life in your own hands if you open). These rooms were large, spacious and I could breathe. Ping - one point in this store's court!

I tried on about 5 dresses. Each was beautiful, and actually most fit fairly well. I found one designer whose dresses fit me particularly well. The shop owner informed me that the dresses were made to fit a more petite size, maybe that's the polite way of saying - "Kara, you are miniature, you need to find a dress for miniature people". Anyway, they fit me well, and in a way which I thought others could not match. And then...my mom spotted it. The dress that encompassed everything I was looking for. (Because I know Jeremy is reading this, I will not divulge any further information, but it is fantastic!) And, it fit! That may not seem like much, but sample dresses are typically very large, and fairly gross. These ones however, were much smaller, clean and beautiful.

This is when I realized I was truly my mother's daughter. I started bargaining with the woman. I offered to buy the sample dress for them in return for a significant discount. They obliged! After we got down to a price I was comfortable with, it was mine! Well almost mine, it is currently being housed in the store in their "temperature and humidity controlled storage space". Who knew a dress was like wine. I like them even more now.

On to the Punky report....she is headed to the Pet Hotel this weekend while Jeremy and I travel to Cornell for his 5 year college reunion. You know what happens when kids are left alone and parents are away. Lets just hope our hooch of a dog can keep her paws to herself for the weekend!

Monday, June 2, 2008

And so it continues...

On my continuing search for dresses I decided I should google wedding dresses in Minnesota, and clearly, I should probably visit each of those stores. And so, I did. This is a plan which I do not reccomend. It is important to see what is out there, but after you have visited one store in each price range, really, you have seen most of what is out there. After my experience with the previous, crowded and frantic abyss, I decided to go to a quiter store located in downtown Minneapolis. I suppose my mom's first commennt regarding the store should have been a clue to me, "Wow Kara, I think this may be where Auntie and I got our dress"...in 1978! But no, that was not enough, I still had to look for myself.

They had some nice dresses, though not quite what I had in mind. That is until she brought me one final dress. Fitted through the body, large ruffle hanging off the side, cascading down the dress, bead work, flowing out the train, and crinoline as far as the eye could see. This dress, in my opinion was a monstrosity. It was the sum of all my dislikes, but, in the interest of humoring the sales woman, I tried it on. She felt that if I reached out of my comfort zone (and apparently into the zone of giant rhinestones), that I would be surprised to find that I liked it.

I stepped into the dress, she clamped it onto me as the sample size was about 8 sizes too large. And so it began. I felt a bit itchy. And then a bit more. And as the saleswoman was mid monologue, describing how the beading complimented my skin tone, I realized - HIVES. This dress was making me break out in hives. All over my body. Attempting to spare her feelings I proceeded to scratch like I have never scratched before and finally started tearing the dress off of myself. I was allergic to this dress. AND STILL....as I got the thing off, she retorted, well, obviously if we ordered it in your size, you would not get hives...

And I will leave you with that as a final thought. Clearly, if we ordered it my size, I would not be allergic. Makes perfect sense.