Hotel rooms for out of town visitors

by Jeff McNeil
Residence Inn Logo

Residence Inn Logo

Jenn and I have had a few inquiries by our out of town family members and wanted to share the following information with you.  There are several luxury hotels near the ceremony & reception locations, Jenn and I recommend that guests stay in Newport Beach, Irvine or Costa Mesa areas as these will be central to both our apartment and the venues.  Jenn and I love the Residence Inn & other Marriott local hotels, esp the ones with free breakfast.

Orange County marriage license rules & regulations

by Jeff McNeil
Old Orange Count Court House - Now Historic Landmark & Marriage Licence offices

Old Orange Count Court House – Now Historic Landmark & Marriage Licence offices

I have been looking up the Orange County clerk-recorder’s office details on marriage licences and I am confused.  It says the licence is valid for 90 days?  I know that can not be how long the marriage is valid for, so does the 90 days mean that you have to get married with 90 days of issuance?  Also there is an online application, but yet we still need to go into the office to show proof of ID?  I am confused.  If you have been married in OC or California in the past perhaps you can help enlighten me on the process.  I also have read that it is helpful to get two copies of the marriage certificate for name, SSN, bank, health and other benefit changes.  I would really appreciate any input you have on the topic.

I would also like to ask all of you what you collectively know about online ordination.  We have someone in mind whom we would like to marry us at the ceremony.  I have seen some free online ordinations and some for $30-$150 for paperwork.  I have a feeling that this type of service is “you get what you pay for” and so I am willing to shell out a few bucks to get the proper paperwork.  I don’t want to get the run around from the OC clerk with the marriage license etc.  If you have been ordained online and know the process, please reply with a comment no matter how long.  Thanks.

Marriott or Marriott, so many choices.

by Jeff McNeil
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

This afternoon/evening I went on a little tour of Marriott’s Newport Beach hotels.  My first stop was at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.  I parked off-site because they have a $4 an hour parking fee, ouch!  I then saw 3 rooms, a executive king, ocean view king and ocean view double/double.  None of which impressed me in size or amenities.  I was looking for a hotel room with enough sinks and mirrors to have 4 girls getting ready for a wedding.  Including hair and makeup girls.  I then toured the ground with Luis who was a delight to talk to, and a bit of a speed walker.  He showed me all the pretty places on the ground with the ever present gray June gloom overhead.  The property was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Newport Coast Marriott

Newport Coast Marriott

I then went to the Newport Coast Marriott Villas.  This is a community of timeshare owners affiliated with Marriott.  They looked amazing as I drove in.  I then parked and asked to see a room, much like I did at the other location.  The desk clerk told me that the sales office had closed…. no no no. I am not here for sales, I just want to see a unit to see if I want to reserve a room for a few nights in October I explained.  She told me she would have a bell boy come around and show me at 6pm, in 30 minutes.  I came back at 6pm, spoke to her and she said he was helping with bags and would be 5-10 minutes. At 6:15 it was the same story, as well as at 6:30.  I asked her to find him and let him know I was waiting.  Finally at 6:45 I had enough and demanded to see the front desk manager.  I didn’t care if it took a deposit of $259 (room rate for the night) to see it then a refund or if I had to leave my wallet and keys as collateral. I wanted to see this room before I left because I didn’t want to drive back down there in traffic.  Finally the manager came out and offered to take me herself. WHERE WAS SHE IN THE FIRST PLACE!?!?!? It took all of 5 minutes to walk me to the room, answer a few simple questions about the property and other rooms and then say adios!  I was there for 90 minutes and only needed 5 minutes.  Ooooh I was mad.  I thanked the manager and took down the front desk clerks name to send a strongly worded letter (thanks Kevin and Bean).

The Villas at Newport Coast Marriott 1

The Villas at Newport Coast Marriott 1

In the end I loved the villas better.  It was much larger and for significantly less price.  It has 2 bedrooms, one King, one queen both with full bathroom.  A total of 3 sinks, which totally matters, and plenty of mirrors and area for girls to sprawl out and get comfy for a bachelorette party.  I am excited about getting a room there for Jenn and her girls.  It is also closer to the reception location by about 5 minutes and has very similar if not better features for photos during the morning and afternoon.  All in all, I am very happy I stayed and very happy that someone finally showed me a fricking room!

How to make a Gravatar

by Jeff McNeil
Get your Gravatar Today!

Get your Gravatar Today!

I have created a new How-to guide on the steps to make a Gravatar.  The page is shown above in the menu bar.  Or you can go to this website for the same link How to Make a Gravatar

Ceremony Site Almost Set

by Jenn
Sea Terrace Community Park - Dana Point

Sea Terrace Community Park – Dana Point

We are quite excited about the location of the ceremony.  Actually looking at these photos again and planning out the steps with Jeff I have envisioned our ceremony and I think I’m going to like it.  I have to call the Dana Point community office tomorrow to book the park for the ceremony.  This will be the backdrop, with the hills and the St. Regis: Monarch Bay in the background.

 

Not sure what will be growing in Oct., but it looks nice now.

Not sure what will be growing in Oct., but it looks nice now.

The park is very large with lots of great areas but this seemed the best!  The field is large enough to do football or soccer games.  We are very excited about this location and how close it is to the reception site.  You could almost see it from the far western edge of the park.

We have a few things planned for a slightly un-orthodox ceremony, the rest of the details will have to be a surprise!

 

 

The crazy coordinating catastrophe with Chris’ complaints leads to this:

by Jenn

So… my brother’s favorite color is orange and I put him in a PINK!? shirt.  Am I a bad sister?

jeff, john, ryan, chris (no orange)

jeff, chris (still no orange), ryan, john

no good, not enough color swapping.

Shopped till we dropped…

by Jenn
Behold bright colors!

Behold bright colors!

Returns, window shopping for ideas, and buying clothes for groomsmen today.  We decided no suits or tuxes were necessary, because we want the POW! COLOR! in full effect.  The guys will wear these shirts and ties with brown slacks.  Jeff is in blue with pink tie with his guys in the other three sets.

We also went down to Salt Creek Grille to get an idea of what it would look like all setup and ready for guests.  My main concern is not having enough room for people to walk around at the reception.  If it is too small we may need to expand some tables out to the side areas.  But there looks to be plenty of room over 120 guests, which will be invited in the coming weeks.  I also found this great new program at download.com to stitch together photos into a panorama.  It was so cool!  We should do this for the whole ceremony and reception locations. Anyway, here is a panorama of the venue all setup for what looks to be a white wedding with a beach theme.

Salt Creek Grille Panorama

Salt Creek Grille Panorama

 

Who knew barcode scanning was so fun!

by Jeff McNeil

Jenn and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond the other day to register, I am going back tonight.  There was a lot to think about.  We learned a lot about different plates, silverware and glasses.  I was reminded that that Jenn loves stemless glassware, wither due to the occasional breakage or the look.  We love the store and the never ending supply of 20% off coupons and $10 of $50 discounts.  We love Bed Bath and Beyond and are now going to love it even more if they allow us to come in to barcode scan one more night.

What!? I’m thinking of hiring a Nikon wielding photographer?

by Jenn

Honestly, that part doesn’t really matter, it is just funny that I didn’t think he’d use anything other than Canon even though I know people do.

I have so much anxiety about this.  The cost, the trust issues, the product.  He’s an awesome guy from what I can tell and I honestly believe I won’t be let down but it’s this huge thing in my life right?  This could make me go bridezilla if I am not at ease and I don’t want that.  I also have self-esteem issues going on.  He is so better than I am as a photographer =)  But isn’t that a good thing?  Even better than MOI!?

Here are some photos I yanked from his site.  Breathtaking.  Will my wedding live up to this?

The venue & date: Oct 16th 2010 @ Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point

by Jenn

After numerous phone calls with reassurance by my handsome fiance, I signed a contract and forked over 25% to hold the venue on our special day.  Turns out the day I had in my head was the only Saturday available between now and the end of the year and essentially 20 people are free with their current 2010 promo!

So where and when, you ask?  October 16, 2010 at Salt Creek Grill in Dana Point on PCH.  This means planning needs to happen fast – but seeing as the venue was booked 4 days after being engaged, we are doing great!

I’m working on Save the Date cards tonight, see a photographer tomorrow (need to make meetings with more of them though!) and might buy some decor tonight as well.

Its the perfect place for us too, because our first “official” date (first dinner) was there in November of 2006.  I can’t believe how long it has been.

Another note of thought: 1 souffle for every 2 people comes out to be roughly the budget we had in mind for wedding cake…. so… who votes souffle and who votes cake? (keep in mind that my vote counts for 51% – j/k)

Not 1, Not 2, Nor 3, not even 4… 5 wedding colors!

by Jeff McNeil

While channeling the Count from Sesame Street, Jenn and I have picked the following color palatte for the wedding.  We have picked 5 wedding colors.  It began as a simple 3, Brown, Blue and Fuschia.  However it expanded when Jenn went to Home Depot to get color cards.  She came home with more than 40 colors and from those 40 I chose the original 3 I had envisioned.  She asked to add 2 more, a purple and orange to compliment the colors.  Being a good fiance, I accepted the new additions but fought to keep my blue as a bright blue not a dark blue.  My thought is to have colored lights pointed at the walls of the reception area to add some color to the photographs.  The decision has been cast in stone, these are our colors.  Any bride’s maid dress will contain some of these colors, any groom’s men shirt and tie will also contain some of these colors.

P.S. I am excited I got to keep my blue.

“NOT” planning anything…. haha

by Jenn

So we have talked about everything from date to venue to colors to attendants to photographer, videographer, violinist, and cake tonight.  Oh, and BUDGET!  I have emailed a few people, he has made calls, and the (*cough* poor *cough*) idea of his to not plan anything for a while is failing miserably.  But we are not stressed out, more so excited.  It is like laying out all the pieces of the puzzle on the table, figuring out which pieces are edges, and then making everything else fit inside.  And I LOVE puzzles! =)

*

Things we think we know:

Theme: Travel.  What else would it be with all we do?  This was decided before the proposal actually, and the first item we bought after the proposal relates.
Location Area: No further north than LAX, no further south than Dana Point.  Sent emails to locations in the outer extremes of that equation.
Colors: Not yet to be revealed but are almost sure after several odd combinations.
Date: This is a big one and need to figure out logistics, but we are thinking October.

Facebook e-mail settings… D’oh!

by Jeff McNeil
Facebook Logo

Facebook Logo

Thank you all for your kind comments and e-mail about the recent engagement of Jenn and I.  We really appreciate them, truly we do.  And me being the eager boyfriend wanting to share with the world the great news I just got from Jenn about saying “yes”….  I forgot to remove my e-mail notifications on Facebook.  So every comment, wall post, message, photo tag and like of my posts sent me an e-mail.  In the words of Adam Savage “Well there’s your problem.”  I have since changed it. So please keep commenting, I will get around to them all.  Hugs all around.

RE: Questions not to ask – more info about the dress.

by Jenn

So in all honesty, I probably won’t be wearing one of the 14 in the closet, but I can also tell you I will definitely not be wearing any of these:


 

Post-It notes and funny responses.

by Jenn

So as I’m sure you know I got bonus gifts in addition to the beautiful ring – as if that was not enough?  A nice picture frame that I have now put a shocked jenn picture into, lego people and plant, a manual that I *might* need and a gigantic paper weight type post it holder – avec post-its!

My post it notes =) Go ahead and think I’m crazy.

Post its were exciting because paired with Laura’s pen I could write down those precious quotes from the best night of my life thus far.  Before Jeff could say anything to me, some guy shouted “don’t do it!”  Later, Laura said, oh so matter of fact: “I flipped him off” James replied with “you turned around and did it?” — “yeah, I’m drunk!” She says, then motions and shows us – “thank’s asshole.”  – CLASSIC

In sweeter moments, Jeff told me he bought the ring in October of 2008 and knew since then he wanted to marry me.  He went on to say that he knew since January of this year that it was really going to work and was ready to spend forever with me.  “That’s what I wanted to say,” he told me.

And today he told me to slow down and enjoy the first day of the rest of our lives together. *Happy tear*

Certain individual’s responses to my call have also been hilarious to me.  My brother calling me a ho then being surprised was fun.  Evan being confused by my seemingly random request to be put on speakerphone to hear my sister, who’s initial thought was that a political caller was responsible for making their phone ring while company was over and that it definitely wasn’t for her, was funny to me.  Amber saying “congratulations!” as soon as she picked up and me responding with something like “darn you already know,” amused Jeff.  But the best by far was Jan Carlson:

Jan: Hello?
Jenn: Hi Mrs. Carlson this is Jennifer McNeil
Jan: Well hello Miss Jennifer. So, do we have a baby?
Jenn (confused at first and then getting it): oh, no! That is actually not while I’m calling . . .
. . .
Jan: That’s not good news, that’s Wunderbar!

One of my aunts also asked if Sarah gave birth, and my preschool teacher was WAY excited it seemed.

Then there was my groggy mother who called after talking to me a few times already and screamed of joy into the phone.  “Who is this?” I asked, “Is this my mother?”

This has clearly all been rather amusing to me.  Jeff, did you just sense I needed some entertainment?

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