Friday, October 29, 2010

My Entire Face Hurts

My whole face hurts from a full day of making my squnch stress face. This is one of those days that I hate my fiance's job. I'm having a freakout and I can't even call him because he's flying. I literally haven't even felt like eating. Which, if you don't know me, is big news. I love grub.

Why am I having a freakout? Rewind to yesterday. I finally heard back from the photographer I'd been waiting to hear from and we were leaning towards choosing. Yay! Then, a friend and I went to a charity event that is a really cool party with both silent and live auctions. Swanky, fun, good cause, all around fantastic. I was excited to run into my planner there then froze and wanted to run like a spider that's been spotted when I saw that she was with her friend, the other finalist we are not choosing. Oh shhhhhiiiii. But my friend told me to deal, she wanted to meet my planner. So we made our way over. Thankfully the photographer went off to watch the live auction. I loved her shoes. And the fact that ten minutes later she came back and announced that she had just bid on and won a bachelorette party. She's way married. It was just so damn funny, I fell in love with her. Before when we met her, it was my first photographer interview (which I kind of suck at apparently) and I was all nervous. This time we'd both had a drink and were relaxed.

When I finally got home, I was once again undecided on this photographer business. Soon after crawling into bed, it became glaringly obvious that sleep was out of the question. So I pulled on my sweats and did what any logical person does at 12:30 at night: called my mom and drove to Jack in the Box. After sitting in the parking lot talking to her for an hour, (and she's one hour later than me...) I got a chicken sandwich meal and went home. Between the food and the time I was finally able to get to sleep at two - with no creepy dreams to speak of!

But I woke up with the same squnch face. I've had it all day. I'm ashamed to say it's seriously affecting my productivity. I've spent hours now that I'll need to make up later obsessively comparing their portfolios. Alllllmost deciding one way, getting squirrely and going back to zero. Why are seemingly simple decisions so difficult?

I think the bottom line is that I want her to take the pictures he does.

I'm nauseous.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm at another burn out point. After agonizing over photographers, we kind of chose one and emailed him two days ago. Now, I'm not one of those bat dung crazy ladies who thinks that he's been anxiously awaiting my email and has nothing better to do than to fire off a speedy response. I know he's got all sorts of work stuff to do nevermind having a life. Does that knowledge make me watch my inbox any less? Heck no. Does it make me any less disappointed when I see it go up one only to find that it is just more David's Bridal spam? No. And, total duh, I'm just now realizing that since I took so long to get into looking for photographers, then so long looking, then choosing, by the time they have time open for an engagement shoot, it's going to be completely hideous outside.

Oh. Whoops.

Maybe we'll have to go snowshoeing or something. But is that poser-y? I've only been snowshoeing once before. I don't even own shoes. I just used rentals. Maybe it's bad lighting for us super-pales, too.

In other news, I've accomplished notalot and I'm already so over cruising the web for cheap bridesmaid dress options and shoes and paper goods. Snore. Maybe I'll put my next dogsitting money towards just subsidizing Aria dresses ( or one of the other halfway decent bridesmaid lines. Really, I think that I would wear one of these again, too. Flats and a cardigan. Right? Or have I gone around the bend?

It just sounds so much easier. It's hard to first find things in the colors I want and then find them that are cheap and flattering to everyone. Especially since two of them are tall ladies and need a little extra length.

I guess I need to start getting up earlier and maybe doing some of this for an hour in the morning. By the time I get home from the gym at 7ish, make dinner, clean up, and shower, I'm ready to crash.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, the last photographer we talked to had awesome (for me) prices on his website when I initially contacted him. We're talking $2,250 for coverage, engagement, and album credit. I was really surprised that the pricing was so low when he was clearly worth more. Unfortunately, I waited too long for my great photographer search and was just in the process of raising his prices when I discovered and contacted him. Shoot.

We went ahead and scheduled a meeting. In the meeting we discussed doing a custom package and he was going to send us a quote yesterday. But it hasn't come and I'm dying to get this decided. Every time my little gmail unread count goes up by one, I get all excited. Only to find it's crap.

I hate having people's time and emotions wrapped up in things.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photographers - Again

I haven't the time nor the inclination to write much on this today but I need some sort of outlet. We had the final photographer interview last night. And he was amazing, too. Why, oh, why couldn't any of them been total clowns like the one planner I met with? Crossing her off the list and sending the "No thanks!" email was so easy! Especially after she got somewhat hostile about the rejection. I hate having to say, "Thanks for braving rush hour for us. Sorry about that parking ticket you got while meeting with us (true news). You're amazing and there's nothing you could have done any better or different. We're going to have to say no, though." Efff.

I almost just want to draw straws to have it over with. We kind of have it narrowed down to two and I like the one's pictures just a little better but he's more expensive and she's cheaper and Justin's having a hard time justifying the more expensive guy and she is good friends with our planner and, and, and...

And it will be better when I can sleep a night and when the stress hormones stop racing through my body. I'm sick of my cheeks being flush and chest feeling funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Houses and Finances

Engagement is a strange place financially. When we go out, we still split the check as often as one of us treats the other. Yesterday we got into a strange bit of a quibble over a new rug for what is currently his living room. The quibble started with who was paying for the rug (and the $1 mercury glass votive holders!) which dissolved into something that's been niggling at him for a while. I get to move into a house that he bought almost four years ago and has been making the payments on by himself (I still have an apartment...) and it becomes just as much mine as it is his. Which I can see why that bugs him. Especially since me maintaining a separate household has been a point of contention for a long time (family issues). And here's my issue: if we had house shopped together, this is certainly not the house I would have chosen. All of these other couples get to go buy a house together. I don't actually get any of the pride or excitement of 'becoming a homeowner' it just gradually sort of became mine. Also, while I don't pay directly towards the mortgage, I've bought the majority of the groceries for years now, cleaning supplies, done the cleaning, house sat every week when he's away for work - even when I totally didn't want to, mowed, done yard work... so yeah, while my financial contribution doesn't match his (nor do my earnings) it's not like I haven't contributed to the household.

Really, financially, I just bring about $45,000 in student loans and just enough in savings to pay for the majority of the wedding. But there's not a lot that I can do about that at this point. While I would love to take on an extra job, even I'm not nuts enough to try to take on a part time job in addition to my full time (that includes some business travel) while trying to plan a wedding and get in shape.

Wedding Websites

I finally buckled down and created our wedding website last night. It was the douchiest I've felt in a long time. But I did do it while Justin got to watch the race he had recorded. NASCAR.

I went with I would have preferred Nearlyweds because it's local or Wedding Window because you can password protect the entire site (so I would feel safer putting things like our permanent address on there. Doesn't anyone else get freaked out that your address is available to anyone who looks up your registry? Which are always really easy to find...) but is free. And I'm not about to shell out $100 for a dippy wedding website.

Now I caved and made one even though they're kind of dippy because I love the Tour Guide Barbie aspect of it. Want gyros? It's Greek to Me! Want a huge selection of beers? The Ale House! Hotels? Hotel Murano made a bunch of hot s*** Conde Nast and whatnot lists but The Silver Cloud is right on the water! That part, I love. Both for helping to support the businesses I love and for introducing the people I love to these places.

But writing the how we met story and crap? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. How do I put it nicely that first I went on a few dates with a nearly 40 year old. When things didn't quite work out between us (I'm a little too prudy for him), he set me up with his friend at a party. His friend, Josh* and I had a super drunken makeout, passed out together, and that was about it. Josh and I talked on the phone some but he's kind of a dbag. Then, I ran into Josh and Kevin at a bar and I was intoxicated enough to be excited to see him (it was more the novelty of I had met him hundreds of miles away and had never run into him around here). So I made my way over and said hi and met his friend. Then we went to another bar. All night, Kevin thought that I was into Josh so while he liked me, he instead started dating another girl he met that night, Shannon.

Months later, while he was dating Shannon, Kevin and I ran into each other. In my surprise at him remembering me, he felt like I blew him off. Months later still, just after he had broken up with Shannon and was looking forward to some time as a single man, he and I ran into each other again. This time I insisted he take my number and the rest is history. Ooey-gooey history.

It's like everyone else's stories are these "We met and it was magic!" I don't know if a lot of those are just plain BS or if ours is weird because when we got together, neither one of us was expecting it to work out. We thought it was a fun temporary thing. I even kind of balked when he said he wanted to be exclusive. And about five months after we started dating, he dumped me twice in one week.

But he is mine and I am his. Like puzzle pieces you didn't think would fit together and when you give it a try, it just snaps into place and is this comfortable pair.

*Names have been changed to protect the totally guilty. And, in my defense, that was a long time ago and compared to a lot of other college kids, I was pretty tame and together...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I am stressed but relieved to say that in eight days we will have a photographer chosen and a contract sent in.

Although the goal we set was to have a photographer booked by October 1st, not surprisingly, it isn't done yet and sadly, I dilly-dallied around until some of the photographers I was interested in were booked. Even though I already have five interviews lined up, I was shockingly devastated when I finally heard back from one photographer that I had gotten prices from initially over a month ago and only got back to them after I had A) obsessively researched over 250 photographers and B) given up on our original budget goal.

FYI, $2,000 doesn't really buy you shit for photography in the Seattle area.

I blew it.

For some reason I hadn't realized how emotionally fraught photographer shopping was going to be. Just because I hadn't thought about it. I started by finding the names of every area photographer I could. Alphabetizing and plugging them all into a spreadsheet. I was certain that if I just invested enough time, I would come across the perfect undiscovered talent. S/He would be an amazing photographer who just needed to build some more portfolio before charging their true worth. It would be a win-win. We would get affordable photography and in turn sing this person's praises from the rooftops. So would the planner. Life would be beautiful.

You'll be surprised to know that no, I don't do any illicit drugs...

I doggedly visited each and every website, finding out first, if we could afford them and if not using the rule of don't even look because you'll fall in love and be heartbroken. Those who didn't have pricing listed, I looked at and if I liked them, I contacted them to ask about pricing. Many have contact forms on their website that ask some getting to know you type questions. One asked how important photography is to us. I struggled with answering the question and my sleep-deprived (I was staying up until 3-4 some nights working on this) mind decided to try to joke with one particular photographer. I joked that it was important enough to me to research 250 photographers. She snapped back telling me that she's usually in the top one or two photographers for people, not one in a list of 250. Best of luck (read: eff off).

I'm not assigning blame to either party. We both could have done differently. But that email was the last straw and I dissolved into a hyperventilation-style sobbing mess.