3 Weeks until the wedding

by Jeff McNeil
1, 2, 3 weeks ah ah ah!

1, 2, 3 weeks ah ah ah!

One week, ah ah ah.  Two, two weeks, ah ah ah!  Three! Three weeks left, ah ah ah.

The count and I have something in common, we like counting up and down.  The other thing we have in common is that we both like the color purple.  With 3 weeks left before the wedding there are only a few things left to do.

A few things? Jenn asks.  It seems like more than a few things (this is Jenn now).  I still have yet to find a hair stylist who is not going to charge an enormous amount.  What is up with a $200 fee for EACH bridesmaid’s hair?  The cake topper should arrive soon and speaking of mail, we keep getting more awesome gifts!  People are so generous!

I hope I can catch up on some sleep before the big day.  I have decided to take at least 3 days off for mental health surrounding the wedding.  I have to make appointments for nails, meet with vendors, make the programs and place cards, and… I don’t even know.

Sunday is my SoCal shower – very excited for that except for the extreme cleaning I have to do tonight.  Wish me luck on that one!

The last centerpiece finally finished!

by Jeff McNeil
St. Petersberg Cathedral

St. Petersberg Cathedral

*In a mad scientist voice*  It is done! It is alive! The St. Petersberg Cathedral wooden puzzle stands tall on my kitchen table!  It is now time for me to take over the world!

Rose Petals ordered

by Jeff McNeil
Enough to roll around in

Enough to roll around in

I have ordered 300+ cups of rose petals for the ceremony from a company in New York. Petalgarden.com.  They will line the walk way for 20 feet with a 6 inch wide pile of petals.  At the head of aisle there will be a circle where Brother Jon Peters will be waiting for Jenn and I.  The ceremony will be within the circle of rose petals.  Thank you to those who commented on the previous postings, it helped me make a decision to buy the pathway petals for the ground and premium petals for the tossing and flower girl.  I hope all of you enjoy the petals and our nontraditional ceremony.  As Kathleen would say, “They say, the parks people expect every single one of them picked up after the ceremony. Just Kidding!”

The Bachelor party was awesome!

by Jeff McNeil

 The bachelor party was awesome this last weekend.  It started about 7pm at Joseph’s house.  We ordered 2 cabs, one came much later, and headed out to Huntington Beach Beer Company for dinner.  The food was great and the waitress was so nice to all 8 of us there.  We had food and about 4 pitchers of beer, which all had a little ice pack in them to help keep it cold.  How cool!  We soon left HB Brew co and went to Sharkies.  Somehow along the way Joseph got separated from us.

At Sharkies, I go up to the bar to order a beer, just one beer for me.  I wasn’t thinking about everyone else and how a pitcher of beer would be so much better.  Me, the man of honor, showing off his true idiot colors.  After a good amount of time there listening to the blasting music and talking to the girls at the tables around us, we bounced the bar.

Nextdoor was Longboard’s, all of us entered except Joseph, who was no where to be found, and Chris, who had an expired drivers licence.  Seriously?  An expired drivers licence to a bachelor party?  *shakes head* Embarassing. At Longboard John bought a shot called Starry Night (Goldschlager & Jagermeister), it kicked my ass and everyone else who took it.  I had told everyone I wanted beer only since I could last longer on it and have more fun.  But damn John buying shots, he did it as well at a birthday party of mine with an alien secretion.

It is now 11pm and we need to get a cab back to Joseph’s.  Easy enough on Main Street in HB.  30 Minutes after we get home, the entertainment arrives and that is all I can tell you.  I went to bed about 3am, crashed out on the sofa.  Jon & John also stayed the night.  The cleaning service came in at 10am the next morning by which time I was out of the house.  It was an awesome bachelor party, one I wish we could do every year. BTW that photos has about $500 in it mostly $1.

ONE MONTH! AHHHH!

by Jenn

Is it just me, or does it sound crazy that in one month I’ll be a married woman?  That’s right men: off the market, all his!  Lets be real I was all his the moment I laid eyes on him.  What a man I have.  I’m actually excited.  I keep telling Jeff I’m scared.  Really, I’m not.. well… kinda.  Not to be with him for forever but to get everything that needs to be done, done before the day comes!  I keep thinking of other things:

mine is NOT blank =P

1. Cake topper – how sad would it be if I didn’t have one?
2. Gifties for my girls – I have some, gotta put it all together
3. Figure out what the heck I’m going to do with my hair
4. Finish Centerpieces
5. Do name place cards

And there is so much more!  And frankly I haven’t had time with teaching, tutoring, and trying to get photos done for couples like Kelli and Ryan, and Elena and John who have both been waiting too long.  I napped for two hours yesterday when I should have been working on a sign in book for me and Jeff – but I did get it done that evening and estimated ship date is the 30th, so that’s something to breath a sigh of relief over.

School is making me nuts.  Not because the kids are insane (though let’s face it, what 8th grader isn’t?) but because I feel like I don’t have time to sit and plan and my mind is just so fragmented and multitasking all the time.  I actually had 3 offers for more tutoring this week too! It pains me to say no, but I have so much to do.  Doesn’t everyone know I’m getting married in a month?

Today is tutoring followed by a meeting with Brother Jon about the ceremony, tomorrow is tutoring then a dress fitting then girl time with Kelli while Jeff is at his Bachelor party, Saturday will be a tangled mess of fighting with Jeff about what REALLY happened at the party followed by decisions about a cruise we are taking next summer, and Sunday I’ll want to rest but I’ll have to plan for the week ahead!

I’m in complaining mode everyday and it kinda sucks.  I want to be as cheerful as I was last month.  I am so thrilled to have this job!  I just need to not be doing a million other things.  But the wedding is the most fun and exciting part of it all, so I’m not letting that stress me out.  I can’t wait to marry Jeff and give him his special zero anniversary gifty and see all my friends and family and DANCE.

Wish me luck on everything!

Rose Petals, Freeze Dried vs. Fresh

by Jeff McNeil
Pink Freeze Dried Rose Petals

Pink Freeze Dried Rose Petals

For the ceremony site, we are going to have two rows of rose petals one on either side, to denote the aisle.  Now there have been any debates online about fresh rose petals vs freeze dried.  I would like to heard from those who have used rose petals before, what is your opinion.  Personally I am leaning towards the freeze dried.  They are easy to transport, they don’t wilt nor will they be any sort of color stain hassle for anyone handling them.  However it does say something for fresh flowers to have the aroma in the air.  But at an outdoor wedding where I anticipate a breeze and where the roses will be 5-6 feet from anyone’s nose, I don’t think anyone is smelling them.

I got a few quotes online and locally for roses and it looks like no one can guarantee me anything unless I pay sky high prices.  These are just rose petals for crying out loud, not gold plated rose petals.  One place said $1,200 and other was $900.  The freeze dried place is sending me a sample so I am excited about that.  PetalGarden.com  We shall see how we like the sample I guess.  De-petaling a rose is definitely not something that I want to do myself the day before the wedding.

How to decide on my Bachelor Party restaurant?

by Jeff McNeil

Main Street

So the bachelor party is going to be the following Friday.  The tentative plan is to go to dinner somewhere on Main Street in Huntington Beach, hit up a few bars and then go back to a friend’s house for more drinking.  The house is taken care of, the alcohol has been delegated and the designated driver is only a phone call away… but what should dinner be?

There is Ruby’s on the pier, Duke’s right next to it.  There there is BJ’s Brewery & Pizza which is always a favorite.  However it is also the rehearsal dinner restaurant.  The list on HBdowntown.com shows 25 Degrees, Aloha Grill, Avila’s El Ranchito, Beachfront 301, Black Bill Chop House, Chimayo at the Beach,  Huntington Beach Beer Co., Hurricane’s, Longboard Restaurant & Bar, and of course, for the breakfast lover, IHOP.

I welcome your ideas and comments for dinner on Main Street in Huntington Beach.

The hardest wooden puzzle by far

by Jeff McNeil
St. Petersberg Cathedral

St. Petersberg Cathedral

This whole week I have been working on the largest, most detailed and most complicated of all of our centerpiece puzzles.  The St. Petersberg Cathedral in Russia is the largest at  18 inches by 20 inches by 25 inches.  The intricate pieces require you to glue other pieces onto them.  In previous puzzles, all the pieces were tongue and grove and were designed to fit without glue.  This puzzle is totally the opposite.  You almost have to glue everything into place or it will fall out.  Who the hell designed this thing? It is driving me nuts!  Who ever is sitting at this table better realize they have the coolest centerpiece of them all.  Of course some other favorites of mine are the Sydney Opera House and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

You will have to look around at the reception to find all the puzzles Jenn and I have made over the last weeks.  All made with love and painted by hand for your reception enjoyment.