License and Registration, Please

You get pulled over, and the first thing a cop asks for is your license and registration.

You get engaged, and these are not some of the first things you think about. In fact, they’re not things you really want to think about at all if you’re me. I mean, fine… sure being legally married is kind of important. Maybe. If I go to the hospital for some reason, it would be nice if Fernando is considered family and able to come visit me at the time I want to see him so I’m not screaming at a nurse about the unfairness of it all.

Granted, that’s hopefully not a likely scenario.

But registries? I mean, it’s exciting, and yes, by all means, come to my wedding and drop off a gift (or three!) at that shiny gift table we’ll lay out for your viewing pleasure right next to the entrance. In fact, come to a bridal shower and bring a gift, and then bring a gift card to the wedding if you don’t mind.

For the uninitiated, let me let you in on a little secret: registries aren’t like 27 Dresses AT ALL.

Seriously.

It’s depressing. My views of registries have been completely unhinged by this experience.

Okay, melodrama aside, it wasn’t that bad. But I’d like to give a couple of tips for anyone planning a wedding registry here in the next, oh, you know, six months to six years.

Welcome to…

RaeNez’s Tips for Registries (Family Welcome, Friends By Invitation Only) 

Plan Ahead; Register Online – Of the stores I’ve visited so far, the only ones that haven’t expected me to already have registered online before coming in were, oh wait…none of them. Yes, this should have been obvious, but hey, I was living in the haze of thinking things were like the good old days where you could still just walk in and do fun things like registering in a store. Do yourself a favor and start the process online before walking into a store. The store will thank you if they don’t already have a kiosk set up for this specific purpose. And it will shorten your trip a little.

Only Take People Who Won’t Put Fish-Themed Decor On Your Registry – I’m only half joking here. If you plan to take friends, even close ones, on your registry hunt, take a moment to reconsider. They may be the ones who have suggested the trip or invited themselves, but this will take time. Do you really want your friends subjected to you walking around for hours on end asking them what you should get for your future home? Not to sound catty here, but it’s just asking for fish-themed (or worse) decor added to the registry should they learn how to access your online registry or get hold of the scanner when your back is turned. The point is that if you’re going to take friends, make sure you take them after the bulk of your registration is done, not when you’re just starting. Perhaps have them come to help you iron out some ideas you weren’t sure of between bathroom themes and kitchen themes. And never make them stay too long.

Wear Walking Friendly Footwear – Have you ever been inside a Bed, Bath & Beyond before? No? How about a Target? Perhaps your regular shopping trips take a short amount of time because you already know what you want. Planning ahead in registering will only get you so far when you have that shiny beacon of power, namely the scanner, in your greedy little hands. When your future home is only a laser beam away from being filled with pots, pans, turkey basters, toasters, shower curtains, plungers, vacuum cleaners, and that never-gonna-get-it-but-can’t-help-hoping expensive duvet cover, it’s easy to suck away hours of time in the store you only intended to spend a little time in. Four hours later, you step outside the doors squinting into the rays of the sun as it reminds you how hungry you are when you thought of all the delicious meals you’d cook on the George Foreman and the cookies you’d mix in your brand new peacock colored KitchenAid Mixer. And then it hits you. Your feet are killing you! Why on earth did you wear heels out there?!

Take An Advisor With You – Yes, this advice might clash with what I said about fishy friends earlier. But this is different. I took my mom and my “aunt” with me. Between the three of us, we tackled a lot of things I would never have thought to add to my list for my registry, especially in my kitchen area. Just make sure your advisor is someone who’s close enough to you to love you enough not to get bored or tired of dealing with your registry. This is why I advise close family because they’re not allowed to get so frustrated they run away… at least, not in my family.

Know What You Need – Do you already have a house with most of your furnishings? Great. You may not need the mega registry I do. I happen to have very few things already covered. I’m coming into my wedding with little to nothing as far as a bedroom and bathroom set go. I have one chair to contribute to our future living room, and I’ll be furnishing our kitchen table and the majority of our kitchen tools that we’ve collected to date (with the exception of the knife set Fernando has from a job he had selling them years ago). As you can imagine, I’m putting a lot on our registry because it’s my hope we’ll be able to get quite a bit without having to purchase all of these things right off the bat. It’s definitely helpful to know what you need and go into it with an itinerary planned of the things you’ll need for your registry.

When In Doubt, Scan It Out – Okay, so it rhymes and makes little sense. The point is that if you don’t know whether someone will buy you something but it’s an item you’d like to have, scan it. You see a turkey baster and don’t have one? Scan that sucker. Grandma may need something to cap off her gift for you and that might be it. Don’t know if someone would actually buy you the gilded fruit bowl? Scan it. Think that overpriced appetizer tray looks pretty neat for a party? Scan it. Your registry is your wish list, and people are not required to buy off your registry; nor should you expect them to. Your job is to give them ideas and thank your lucky stars that you got gifts (and-please and thank you-a gift receipt) from the people who are coming to your wedding. If you’re that concerned that your registry be perfect and representative of what you want and need, you’re going to be disappointed anyway, and I say skip it and ask for gift cards because you’ll be doing a lot of returns otherwise.

If you’ve read all of this, you’ll notice it’s a bit tongue in cheek. I know, I tend to do that.

It’s also good advice.

Registries are worth doing, but they’re also ideas more than anything else. It’s important to keep that in mind. I had to remind myself of that a time or two. There are some beautiful things out there, and I’m hopeful Fernando and I will get some gifts so we can make whatever apartment we get a cozy home before we even move into it. But if not, I’ll be thankful for the people who come to my wedding because it’s ultimately the celebration that matters to me.

Though…a little gift card wouldn’t be out of place. 😉

Just saying.

– RaeNez

You Are Hereby Invited…

…to help me plan an amazing wedding.

No questions asked.

In fact, it would be better if you didn’t ask any questions. Because, my friends, I’ve been away from my beloved blog too long, and I’m so sorry to have done this to you. It’s a completely tragedy.

Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you all the craziness that’s happened since I’ve gone to the new job. It’s been a roller coaster ride of figuring out my place in a new company and wondering if I’ll ever get the hang of things. And guess what? I haven’t even been there three months yet. Wow.

Now I have less than six months to plan a wedding as well because Fernando and I are getting married on November 2nd. So since we’re all friends here, and I’m sure you want to help me plan an amazing wedding, let’s tick off the things I do have finished:

Got the dress – It’s the ultimate no-brainer and the first thing I ordered.

Scheduled the venue – We’re getting married in the mountains at a beautiful, lofted barn that’s decorated with antiques and has a vintage feel. It’s right up my alley and will be perfect for what I want.

Arranged for the officiant – My pastor agreed to marry us and has us booked on his schedule. It’s a good thing since apparently he’s a hot commodity at my church… Who knew the senior pastor would be difficult to book?

Agreed on a photographer – One of our dear friends is an amateur photographer who happens to work with me. He asked about being the photographer at my wedding, which I was opposed to at first until he told me how much he would love to be a part of the wedding and how special the role is. His photography is always beautiful, and since he’s willing to make a good deal with us and give us all the photos in whatever format (disk/hard drive) we like, I caved. I think he’ll do an amazing job and be a hoot to have around, and as he always makes me laugh, it’ll be hard not to be smiling in any photos where he’s the photographer.

Found a florist – My florist is going to be amazing and, most of all, affordable. In fact, after going over my vision for the wedding with her and what kind of flowers I wanted, we narrowed down my estimate to a cool $125 with tax for the whole kit and kaboodle. And I do mean the whole thing. Granted, that will change a bit as my mother has to have her say, but with prices like that, is it any wonder I asked her which dotted line I needed to sign?

Snagged bridesmaids and dresses – Here’s a fun thing to note. When I say snagged, I mean the bridesmaids. The dresses we only just decided on. We haven’t exactly gotten them ordered yet, and as it stands, we’re on a time crunch to get that taken care of. So we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that it all works in my favor… (Okay, ladies, let’s order our dresses yesterday, please!)

Started a registry – Seriously, why has no one ever told me how ridiculous starting a registry is? I’m pretty sure I just registered for all of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the “Beyond” part will cost about $5k. Just saying. I’m two stores (almost) down and still haven’t even begun my Target registry yet. But can someone please tell me why every single bridal magazine in existence seems to think that three is the magic number in registries?

Tasted cupcakes – Yes, you read that right. I had no intention of ordering cupcakes from the vendors. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was my time of the month that week and I just wanted an excuse to go to two different cupcake places and order cupcakes. So I did. That said, I’m also talking to the wife of a coworker who has her own at-home cupcake business and has promised to someday, maybe, if-I’m-lucky send me samples of her banana pudding (with a vanilla wafer on top) cupcake and other flavors for me to try to see if I want to use her for my wedding. Soooo, that’s kind of still up in the air. The cupcakes I bought that week were still really delicious, though.

Coerced some guys into being groomsmen – We actually have groomsmen. This is a big one cause I was beginning to think we really were going to have women walk for Fernando. (Just kidding.) Seriously, though, he did ask two of his buddies to be groomsmen, so that leaves two more to find. We still aren’t sure on the best man, and since this whole best man thing has become a bit of a joke that three of my bridesmaids (maid of honor included) are contingent on, I’m only halfway hoping he doesn’t pick the guy that will make all three quit.

Is that it? I’m pretty sure that I’m forgetting something in there. Either way, I still have to accessorize. I don’t have shoes or a bustier, which are both somewhat necessary for whenever my dress comes in for me to be fitted. After visiting the wonderful world of Victoria’s Secret, my hopes and dreams were dashed when I was informed they no longer sell traditional bustiers.

It’s sad when a girl can’t even find a good, old-fashioned corset anymore.

Just saying.

As far as shoes go, I want something pretty and fun, but I’m not sure exactly what to go for yet. One of my girlfriend’s had bright blue pumps as her wedding shoes for her “something blue,” but I’m not certain that’s a tradition that really matters to me. And blue isn’t in my color scheme.

We’ll see. Maybe some smoking red ones instead… Fernando wouldn’t mind. And they’d be perfect for wedding photos.

And what about our invitations? I mean, those are kind of important. And I suppose those should go out soon-ish. Yeah… I don’t have those either. Oh well. I guess that’s next on my list.

Can you say “work in progress”? Because that’s this wedding in a nutshell.

The good thing is Fernando is patient enough to wait and willing to deal with me when I start getting antsy about the details. I’m not so much right now. Right now I’ve had enough of wedding stuff to last me a while. I just want to ignore it and hope it goes away, but I know the invitations have to get done.

Anyone out there have a good website or design idea for an invitation that’s simple, sophisticated and incorporates the colors cream, black, and red? Oh, and maybe one that’s cheap. That would help, too. Cheap to print, that is.

I keep thinking I want to go shopping for some new shoes and clothes. And then I remember I have a wedding coming up. And an apartment I’ll eventually be buying furniture for. And a fiance who’s going back to school in the fall and going to be learning some amazing things to become an awesome computer science engineer guru (which is a totally technical term – look it up).

When I think about that, I remember why I don’t want to go shopping anymore. It’s a great way to save money! Perhaps I should write an e-book… What do you think?

RaeNez

And suddenly eloping sounds nice…

It’s been a crazy busy week.

I submitted my notice Monday. I got my acceptance of my resignation from HR today along with my exit interview paperwork to fill out and submit when I do my exit interview. My HR VP seemed kind of sad, especially after the meeting we had a couple of weeks ago.

I can understand that, but I also got the job I wanted, and it’s amazing.

However, this whole wedding thing just seems a little overwhelming, and I haven’t even been engaged that long!

How do people do this, anyway?

I think perhaps I’m just stressing a little because on top of the engagement, I got a new job and am suddenly having to complete all these tasks for the new job, my current job, and everyone else in between. I drove to the new job on my lunch break today to submit my paperwork for a background check because it can take up to two weeks to complete them and might interfere with my start date.

Am I terrible to admit I almost want the breather between jobs? As it is, I’m going to be ending my current job next Friday to turn around Monday and go to a completely new job.

It’s making me more than a tad bit nervous.

Then there’s starting to budget for a wedding. I’ve discussed things with my parents, which turned into a really interesting conversation because suddenly my parents are actually concerned about their finances. And this is rather an anomaly.

Oh, wait, could that be because they went yesterday to order my mom a new Dodge Charger? Oh, yes, and because they’re trying to pay off the last of their house this year?

Well, I can understand that. And now I feel like I’m putting a damper on their finances by being engaged and actually wanting a wedding. Perhaps it was better when I wanted to elope after all. 

If I’m being honest, Fernando and I will be starting mostly from scratch once we are married. We’ll be financially stable in terms of being able to afford an apartment and living expenses, but we aren’t exactly coming to this with lots of furniture in place and a fully outfitted home.

Maybe eloping sounds nice because I’m tired, busy, and a couple weeks off to get away would be really great right now. And it could also be because I haven’t had any chance to really sit down and work any solid details out.

You know, any solid details besides the groom, that is.

The great thing about Fernando is he would happily run away with me and elope.

But I kinda, sorta want a wedding now. I just don’t know how to do it. I guess with enough time and planning it won’t be that bad, right?

We shall see.

– RaeNez

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Do you remember that old children’s game that you would play? Pick a flower and think of someone. Pull the petals off one by one saying, “He loves me. He loves me not.” And hope you land on a “He loves me” when you reach the last petal?

I never used to really do that game, but if I did, I would have changed it up for Fernando. My words would have been a combination of: “He loves me. He loves me a lot.”

In my last post, I mentioned the excitement of finding out I’d get to go to a final interview with a company on February 22nd.

Well, February 23rd was a day with its own set of perks.

Fernando and I like to take day trips to places far enough away that they’re “not home” and yet not so far that we have to spend the night away from home. So that Saturday (namely a week from yesterday) we went one one of our day trips I’d been wanting to go on to a city that’s a couple hours away from home. It’s got a beautiful downtown area that the locals have maintained really well, and the city is home to some neat attractions.

We settled on starting at the famed aquarium and working our way out from there because it’s so large you can easily spend a good chunk of your day there. Located in the heart of downtown, we figured it would be fun to start there and see everything and then walk around downtown for a couple of hours before eating and hitting up the mall and then heading home.

The aquarium was awesome. It’s divided into two buildings for river and ocean animals, and both are such fun to go through. We started with the river building and were surprised when they directed us to stand against a green backdrop to have our pictures taken; of course, we knew they’d try to sell us overpriced photos with different backgrounds at the end of the tour, but we stood and smiled anyway.

As we went through the aquarium, Fernando was wearing a jacket that I thought was odd. It was cool for me but not too cold for him. The forecast was calling for rain later, though, so I guess it was better safe than sorry.

We saw all kinds of neat fish and other aquatic creatures, and even though I don’t typically enjoy fish, I couldn’t help loving the aquarium. And Fernando kept grabbing and hugging me and joking with me. That made it even more special.

Some hidden clown fish I photographed and played with in Instagram at the aquarium.

It took us over two hours to go through all the exhibits at the aquarium, and when we were done, we decided it was time to get dinner. We’d left late anyway and gotten there relatively late to stand in line for the aquarium in the first place. So we went to dinner at a restaurant I’d seen on a website for the city that described it as having the best steak in town.

We were rather lucky. The restaurant was right across the street from the aquarium, and it wasn’t much of a walk for us. Though by that time I wasn’t just carrying my purse. I was also carrying some photos Fernando splurged and bought at the end of our tour. He’d given in as soon as he saw the cutesy backgrounds and said we needed them, even though the prices were ridiculous.

I couldn’t understand it, but I did love the photos, so I was game.

We went to the steak restaurant and were seated immediately despite not having a reservation since it was only 5 pm. It was excellent food, and our waiter was extremely solicitous. I was impressed with the yummy meal and service and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

After we left the restaurant with a small box of leftovers for me, we decided to go back up to the car in the parking garage to put the pictures and the leftovers away. I wanted to go for a carriage ride and be very touristy because they have $30 carriage rides around the downtown area at night that looked like fun.

Fernando’s car was up on the sixth floor of the parking garage nearby, and so we went up there. It was the top of the garage, and we put our things away only for Fernando to suggest we go to the top of the garage and take in the view of downtown. I had intended to go up there when there weren’t as many people anyway, so I walked up with him, and we took in the sights of downtown as the sun began to go down and the snowflake lights began lighting up along the streets below.

And it was there it happened.

On a relatively deserted top floor of a parking garage, Fernando proposed.

It was perfect for me. The most perfect way he could have proposed and the most perfect ring and just so incredibly sweet.

It’s not the best picture, but my ring is absolutely gorgeous. He did an amazing job!

Of course, I said yes after the shock wore off. Though I was still in shock for quite a bit afterwards. It’s not every day a girl gets a proposal, after all. We hugged and kissed and talked. And he put my beautiful ring on for me.

He picked out the ring, and he did such an incredible job. It was amazing how well he knows me and how suited the proposal and ring are to the kind of person I am. It just shows me how much I love Fernando and how much I can’t wait to marry him.

Though, I must admit… it is rather strange to say I have a fiance now.

And now I have a wedding to plan.

– RaeNez