Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Venue Shopping

Brazil has come and gone. It was a fantastic vacation and reminded me how much I miss Darden and the close proximity of so many friends. Since our return almost two weeks ago, we have tried to get serious. The wedding venue list needed to be narrowed for our visit to the Bay Area this coming Labor Day weekend. The entire trip revolves around venue shopping. What an experience it has been thus far.

I find more and more that I have no idea what I want. Winery? Sounds fun with great photos in the vineyards! Beach setting? I love the ocean and the crash of the waves! A wedding in downtown San Francisco? You mean we could take photos near the Golden Gate Bridge, the symbol of the city I grew up near!? The good news is that my finance balances me with some decisive yays and nays as we peruse the internet for photos of each venue we like. What better way to see the venue in action than to look at actual wedding photos?

We also have run into some predicaments. In a perfect world, each venue would slot itself into the time allotted on my master spreadsheet. Unfortunately, some venues have weddings, are simply booked or the event coordinator will be no where in sight. This leaves more rearranging and subsequently some concessions on which venues we want to see. Another interesting problem we've had is venues not returning calls. Last I checked, we are still in a recession. Wedding = $$, so why can't someone simply picked up the phone? I'm not exactly sure. While it leaves a poor initial impression, there are some venues that I still want to see (and they are public). I wonder if I do see a venue on a "self-guided" tour and love it, will we be able to get ahold of the event coordinator the second time around?

I know wedding planning is a massive task. At this point, I'll just be happy to get a venue and date set. I've reached that age where many of my friends are getting engaged. It's a race to scoop up dates in 2012. At least I am trying to be flexible with a window of August to early October 2012.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Dirty Laundry

There are some items that very much should be kept in private. I realize that and yet it’s harder and harder sometimes. Events affect our emotions and with that our daily lives. Everyone chooses to take on events differently. Some shout from the mountain tops, which likely include Facebook and Twitter updates. Others keep a low profile to the point where no one knows anything is wrong. I try to strike a balance and lately it’s getting harder. I have my confidants. Yet with each word that I speak I risk a new perception being formed. Partially about me and partially about others.

July 28th was my parents’ 32nd wedding anniversary and it may also be their last. For a couple who many of my friends envied as the definition of love, it’s hard to wrap my head around the turmoil currently in my family. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. Sometimes I just want to scream from the rooftops and others I know better than to say anything at all. It hurts to feel so incredibly helpless. It’s weird being almost 30 and a year away from my own wedding to watch destruction run rampant in front of my eyes. I realize over many years, some people grow together and others grow apart. Mutual wants at this age can be very different than those later in life.

The timing is bad. The moving parts are hard to comprehend. My brother is getting married in mid-June 2012 and I’ll likely be 2-3 months after that. I don’t want this overshadowing the happiness that is to come and yet it reminds me all too well of the difficulties that lie ahead. Maybe there’s hope or maybe this is just better for all parties involved.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Balancing Time

It's been just over 3 weeks since the engagement. We've booked two trips back to SF. One to select a venue and one for an engagement party. It would be easier if I or he had any semblance of what we want in a venue or even where. So far, it's been San Francisco +/- 200 miles. Turns out there are a lot of venues in the area. Beach, vineyards, city or something in between. This weekend we stayed in to relax and pinpoint a list of venues to visit. The good news, we have decided that a beach wedding is out, vineyards are in and we will consider a couple venues in San Francisco.

Our only problem with vineyards is that my parents are what one might deem "opinionated" when it comes to wine. A vineyard may be beautiful, but if the family doesn't like the wine, I'm not sure how that is going to pan out.

Next up, I'm still trying to select my wedding party. It's a tough balance trying not to hurt anyone's feelings and recognizing that I can't give a nod to every wedding I've been in. The good news is I think my groom-to-be has figured out his list.

On Wednesday, we leave for 10 days in Brazil. I'm excited and yet have no idea what I'm going to pack. I've flipped through our documents and believe we have everything. We're making three very different stops on our journey. One to Belo Horizonte for a formal wedding of a Darden classmate, one to Iguassu Falls and the last stop will be Rio. It will be nice to not think about work for 2 weeks! Of course, I'm a little scared what the return will mean given that I'm the one finance consultant left in Illinois.

My transfer for Junior League of Chicago finally executed, which means that tonight I have to select a placement for the next JLC year. As I review the placements, I am trying to balance interest with time commitment. I am not sure how much time wedding planning with actually take and I don't want to risk disappointing one of my commitments.

It's time to figure out my balance - work, gym, wedding, JLC, soccer and me time.