Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Ice Cream Cart - such a fun surprise for the guests, as well as a nice treat for a late night snack on a hot night. People seriously attacked that thing when it was brought out (right after cake cutting). It had a whole assortment of fun ice cream treats, like what the ice cream man would bring, and even our older guests were so excited about it!
(all photos by Egomedia Photography)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
I was offered a new job today. I was actively looking for a new job (and have been for a few months now). My current job is the wedding coordinator for a large hotel chain (internationally known) in my town. I basically do sales of potential brides, then handle all the weddings once they have booked here, and then I'm the on-site contact for the day of the wedding as well (so I attend/coordinate all the weddings held here - about 60 to 70 a year). I do love aspects of my job, but after 4 seasons of planning weddings non-stop, I was/am burned out. Majorly. The hours are insane. I work 60-70 hours a week in the summer, primarily during the weekends. I work every Saturday, all year long. Most of my Saturdays are 12, 13, sometimes 14 hour days.
I knew all this going into the job 4 years ago, but it's still a difficult transition to deal with never having off on a weekend to spend time with my family, J and my friends. Constantly having to turn down invitations to certain things (weddings, parties) because I can't take off any time in the summer, at all. In the 4 years that I worked there, I have taken 2 vacations, 1 of which was for my wedding and honeymoon and the other was just 4 days off to attend another wedding. So it was draining to say the least.
Not that I don't love weddings, brides, etc. but at this point in my life, I started feeling like I was missing out on a lot. Also, we do want to have kids at some point in the near future, and I didn't feel like I would be able to have kids working my current hours. I also have other gripes about the job - mainly pretty horrible and annoying co-workers. I could probably write 50 blog posts about that.
I am on a salary, with a bonus system in place for upselling clients/brides on better food/beverage/upgrades. The first two years at my job were awesome and I was making more money than I ever have before. That's really the only thing that made the hours tolerable.
Last May, due to the economy, they cut our salaries by about 20% and took away all bonuses. In addition to our (new, lower) salary, we do now get 1% of our total sales for each month. In the winter (slow months), that can be as little as $50 (literally) and in the summer, that 1% can be as high as a few thousand dollars. But the problem is that it's never regular - I never know what my paycheck is going to be before I open it - a little scary to say the least! Especially with having a mortgage and bills...it was insane during Christmas to receive hardly any money! And couple the lower salary with the fact that I was still working over 50 hours a week - there was a major problem. J figured out that my hourly rate was like $1.56 or something crazy like that. Oh, and also to save money, my company took away paid holidays. So now we can either work Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, etc. or not get paid for them. Yeah, sounds illegal huh?
Anyways, I started looking for a new job because I was pretty fed up and really sad about how the job I once loved had become something I now hate. I contemplated starting my own wedding planning business, but that's just not something that would be an option for us financially right now.
So after 3 rounds of interviews, I was offered a new job with another hotel chain in my town. This job is doing corporate events, some marketing (which is my background) and a little bit of sales for the hotel. It definitely does interest me, even though I do love weddings, I think a change into the more corporate side of things could be very interesting. The other thing - the job is Monday - Friday from 8 to 5 every day. No weekends, no nights. Straight normal 40 hour a week job.
Here is my dilemma - the salary. I haven't sat down yet to figure out my exact salary at my current job (since I never have a regular paycheck anymore, to be honest, I don't even know what my salary is!). But this new job is less than I am making now - not by much, but I'm pretty sure it's less.
So I guess my question is - should I accept this new job and the new (probably lower) salary? Is it wrong to take a job making less, when I know my quality of life will be so much better, since I'll have so much more time for my friends and family? I know you should constantly strive to make more, but when does that get outweighed by my own personal sanity of leaving a job that I'm so unhappy at? And then I worry, there are definitely aspects of my job THAT I LOVE - will I regret leaving? I absolutely adore my brides - the wonderful feedback and thank you notes that I have received over the last 4 years is seriously incredible. I'm also really scared/sad to think about telling my boss that I'm leaving - he will seriously be floored and upset. Also, I'm leaving a whole summer of brides in the lurch with a new coordinator taking over their weddings - which I feel guilty about already.
Ok, really I just wanted to get this all out. Trying to wrap my brain around everything. I have to give the new job an answer on Monday. I doubt I will be getting much sleep this weekend.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We're doing bright blue, bright green and brown for the colors. Here's the invitation we had designed:Taking off from the flag garland on the invite, I actually had a seller on Etsy make three flag garlands out of fun print fabric that matches our colors. This is serving double duty as shower decor, and then we plan to give K the garlands after the shower for her to use in the nursery!I also found a really fun "It's a Boy" banner to hang behind K as she's opening all the presents, also from Etsy.
And because I'm seriously NOT crafty, I also had a seller on Etsy make cute cupcake flags. I debated making my own, but I knew they would come out much better if they were done by someone who knows what they are doing. (horrible picture because I had bad lighting, but they are so adorable!)
Isn't it adorable? She drew them based on a photo of K and her husband and then added that adorable quote from Peter Pan. I love how she made the word "will" in a different color, since that's his name. So that is printed to 8x10 and then she actually made me two smaller drawings, one of a sailboat and one of an airplane (both 7x7) for them to hang as a set. They are all done in the colors of the nursery and I had them framed in fun, bright orange frames. I can't wait until she sees them!
Of course, I had to get him some baby clothes as well, since he needs to be the best dressed baby ever. There are tons of really cute clothes for boys! I found this at Janie and Jack (obsessed with that store) and then had it monogrammed (of course!) - I'm seriously in love with this outfit!
Friday, May 14, 2010
So am I that much out of the fashion loop that this is seriously popular now, or am I right in thinking this is hideous?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
So then I started thinking about it more. Do I want to sell it? I don't know. Part of me does, because, I'm obviously never going to wear it again. Also, I would like another bride to be able to get some use out of it and feel beautiful on her wedding day. But then the other part of me says "No way, don't sell it". Not that I really expect/think that my future daughter(s) will really want to wear it, as it will probably be majorly dated and might not fit. But will I be upset in 20 years not even to have the option of giving it to them? But then, what if we have all boys and it's not even a consideration? Will I regret not selling it then?
I know that I did love looking at my mom's old wedding dress. It didn't fit me at all and had long sleeves and tons of lace, but we did end up using parts of the dress to incorporate into my wedding day details. In addition to the lace we wrapped around my bouquet, my mom also cut a small square of satin from her dress and had my aunt embroider it with my new initials and wedding date, which got sewed into the back of my dress as my "something blue". So I'm worried that maybe when my time comes to show my dress to my daughters, even if it's just to use a small part of the dress, I will be really sad/upset if I don't have my dress anymore.
Also, my dress was not very expensive (as wedding dresses go) because it was so plain - so I have no idea what I would even charge this girl. A few hundred dollars? At that point, is it even worth it? Would it be an option to loan the dress to her, so she could wear it for her wedding, and then return it to me (obviously I would ask her to re-dry clean it). Is that a weird request? Borrowing a dress?
So that's my predicament! Ladies who are already married, would you or did you sell your dress? Do you regret it? Ladies who aren't married yet, would you ever sell your dress? Why or why not? Any input would be great!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
When we started planning the wedding, I really didn't have a clear idea of the flowers. I just knew I wanted something bright, fun and happy. I used a florist that I work with a lot at work and she is INCREDIBLE. I went to meet with her 1 time and she totally ran with my color scheme and had so many great ideas. September is actually a really hard month for flowers - there's really not too much in season during that time. I really wanted to use my 2 favorite flowers, tulips and peonies, but obviously that wasn't going to happen as they are spring flowers. But my florist came to the rescue and suggested dahlias (which look a lot like peonies as they are both really fluffy and full). We also used a lot of hydrangea because I liked how lush it was, as well as these amazing HUGE garden roses that she was able to find.
I seriously ADORED all the flowers. As evidenced by my reaction when I walked out of the brides room at my venue right after the flowers had been delivered:
Yeah, I was just a little bit excited.
I loved my bouquet, probably the most out of all the flowers. She did a wonderful job on it and it was exactly what I pictured in my head. It was yellow, green and white and I love how it popped out against my white dress in all the picutres. The bouquet was wrapped with yellow grosgrain ribbon and then we used a bit of chantilly lace from my mom's wedding dress wrapped on top of the yellow ribbon.
And here it is on Jake. She used 3 crespedia (billy balls) and them some greenery around it. She also wrapped twine around the top of the hook too, which I thought was a great touch.
The wreaths!! I have to give credit to my mom, who suggested we add floral wreaths all around the venue. It was seriously one of my favorite elements to the wedding! The florist made 10 small wreaths that we hung from railings around the cocktail hour deck, as well as a HUGE wreath that she wired to the large oak tree which was the centerpiece of our cocktail hour, as the bar was set under that tree. This was a detail we added in at the last minute (seriously like the week of the wedding!) but I love the wreaths! The smaller wreaths:
The big wreath behind the bar:
As far as the centerpieces for the tables under the tent, again, I left it up to our florist and she did an awesome job. All the centerpieces were the same, and I liked the uniform look it gave the tent to have every table similar. She used low cylinder vases which she filled with cut lemons and then just did low, full, soft arrangements in the same color scheme and flowers as the bouquets. I loved how they popped off of our navy linens.
So those are the floral elements from our wedding. If you made it to the end of this super long post, congrats!