Rehearsal & Dinner with Brother Jon

by Jeff McNeil

The rehearsal & dinner went well.  Everyone showed up for the rehearsal, thanks to Sarah for finding the right freeways to get to our place on time.  We ran through the ceremony twice to be sure we all knew what was going to happen and when.  Brother Jon brought handcuffs for Jenn and I to be bound with.  And he also brought his ceremonial indian head dress to make it all official.  The dinner afterwards was at BJ’s Pizza in Huntington Beach.  It was a nice dinner with all you could eat pizza and pizzokie.  Mmmm.. BBQ chicken and great white.  So yummy.  Jenn and I also exchanged gifts at the dinner.  I got her  custom Barbie doll made to look just like her.  She got me a FOSSIL watch I had wanted for years.  I was so excited about my watch.  Our girls and guys got presents too, but I feel the biggest reaction came from Brother Jon and his autographed Troy Polumalu Superbowl football.  Jon was beside himself when he saw it.  He took many photos with it and I am sure it is on his wall at work being drooled over by his co-workers.  It was a great night, thank you to all who came and participated.  It would not have been as fun without all of our friends and family.

Down to the last few days…

by Jeff McNeil
Jeff and Jenn

Jeff and Jenn

So Jenn and I have been going over the final details of our wedding plans.  The apartment looks like it was the day after Christmas. And I feel a little stressed with all the planning.  Now don’t get this confused with stress about being wed.  I am excited to be marrying Jenn.  I am stressed about the plans for the wedding party/reception/celebration.  The final plans are coming into focus now.  The meals are counted and done, seating has been set and the ceremony, reception and hotel are all 100% in order.  Now all that has to happen is for Jenn and I to show up and start this whole thing off on Saturday.  How fun is that?

I even got some Cajun spiced run from the Old New Orleans Rum distillery that Jenn and I went to when we went to NO last year.  It will be a great pre-party a great ceremony and an awesome reception.  I can’t wait for it all to begin.  Can we just fastforward to Saturday already?

As a reminder, ladies, do not wear heels.  The ceremony site will be on grass.

DJ Graham Silver

by Jeff McNeil

Saturday morning Jenn and I met with our DJ.  Graham Silver has been doing events for 15 years and is a professional DJ/MC.  He sat with us at a Starbucks for an hour to go over all of our hopes, dreams, aspirations, wishes and wants.  We told him the types of music we wanted, mostly 80’s and 90’s.  With some other special songs for the dance numbers.  There will be a honeymoon dance and an anniversary dance so bring your good dancing shoes.

One of the things we talked about was the fact that at every wedding you hear the same songs used for the bouquet like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”  That song will not be used, we will have a different song for most everything.  Even the last song will be a little different, it will not be “The Last Dance” but Semisonic’s “Closing Time”

We  joked that morning about a DJ we thought was terrible, DJ Self-promotion (his identity hidden to protect him).  At a wedding that Jenn and I shot photos for, we saw him ask a bride if he could take down their photo slide show and put up his own self-promotional graphics.  How unprofessional.  Guess what, last Saturday night while at Salt Creek Grille for a meeting with our officiant, DJ Self-promotion was there working the dance floor.  The music was too loud and cheesy jokes were flowing quite freely. I know our wedding will be better.

Oh the visitors!

by Jeff McNeil
Google Analytics

Google Analytics

With 11 days until the wedding, the website has been picking up steam.  I have noticed a steady increase in visitors this week as we get closer and closer to Oct 16th.  There have been 481 visits in the last 30 days, we average about 16 visits a day.  Each visit is of 2 pages on the website for about 1 minute each.  It is very interesting to see what people are looking at online.

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!”

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.

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.

50 Days and counting

by Jeff McNeil
50 Days and counting...

50 Days and counting…

We are now at 50 days and counting until the wedding.  It is starting to hit me as getting close.  After our friends Ryan and Kelli got married in Colorado I have been refocused on our wedding.  There is a lot to do still including the smaller parties for Jenn and myself.  Bachelor party, bachelorette party, wedding shower and rehearsal dinner are the main ones we need to pull together.

It also reminded me to call our vendors to make sure we have everything under control.   50 Days, 25 days and 7 days before I think are good benchmarks.  We have yet to really communicate with our DJ/MC & lighting company.  Types of music for the cocktail hour, first dance, anniversary dance and others.  There are a few songs you will not hear at our wedding. One of them you will not hear during the bouquet toss is going to be “All the single ladies” by Beyonce.

UPS, Fedex & USPS

by Jeff McNeil
What can brown do for you?

What can brown do for you?

In the last few weeks we have been getting packages from friends and family for the wedding.  Let me first say thank you to all of you who have.  Jenn and I have been filling out thank you cards left and right.

The most common scenario is that UPS leaves a sticky note on our door stating they attempted to deliver the package.  We appreciate those who have asked for a signature upon delivery.  That way the package is not left on our door step.  With Jenn’s new teaching position at Santa Ana Unified neither her or I will be home to sign before 4:30.  That is a good thing.  We can then pick up the packages from the mail UPS shipping hub and not worry about one going missing from our door step.

If you were wondering where we are registered, Jenn and I are registered at the Marriott Honeymoon website, Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate & Barrel.

Dude, Show Me Some Love <3

by Jenn

Props to those of you who have left some comments and voted on cake, etc.  We love getting some feedback whether it is about the engagement photos, about the venue, questions, anything!

So don’t be shy – give me a little sugar! (That’s what my grandpa used to always tell me =))

Engagement Photos!!!

by Jenn

Soooo excited that Scott posted some of our photos on his blog this evening!  I told him I’ve never been so excited to see photos of myself.  I look like a goof in some, but so does Jeff in others – I suppose that’s just us.  I’ve swiped the pix and put them here, but go to Scott’s page and read the blog, he’s frickin hillarious on top of all his awesome skills!   http://www.scottlandphotography.com/blog/

I found my wedding band!

by Jeff McNeil
Tungsten Carbide w/ Blue Carbon Fiber Inlay

Tungsten Carbide w/ Blue Carbon Fiber Inlay

Oh I am so happy.  I have finally found what I want.  I have found a tungsten carbide ring with a blue carbon fiber inlay.  From the reviews of the ring it should be a wonderful purchase.  I am glad Jenn found it for me.  I am very excited and can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail.  Woohoo!

It is 8mm wide, which is wider than my current ring at 6mm.  The website says it is beveled in the inside so it is slightly larger than the size 8 we ordered.  And that the tungsten carbide is 4x as strong as my current titanium ring I got for our 2nd anniversary. I am excited to have this ring for my wedding band and will wear my titanium ring on my right hand the day of the wedding.

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