Monday, November 14, 2011

Pre-Wedding Drama

The closer we are to having a wedding, the more and more I've decided I like the idea of eloping. Over the past few months we've had major family drama and it's left me feeling drained and listless. I am completely loving the idea of just eloping and having a reception afterwards. I've even begun pricing "elopement" packages online.

So the major drama started when we began choosing who would be in the wedding party. I have a small family and Beast has a huge family. Beast decided he wanted to ask my sister's husband to be his best man since they're buddies. His mom blew a gasket at this news. She had a fit since she felt it was inappropriate and Beast should have chosen his blood brother instead. Yet, Beast and his brother barely even talk to each other. *Rolling eyes*. After that, the date caused pure hell with Beast's mother. We had decided on August 4th and told everyone about it. Since his brother is a teacher, he starts teaching school the weekend of our wedding. So we CAN'T have it that weekend since it won't be fair if his brother can't make it. Why do we have to change our date to accommodate someone who is not willing to accommodate our once in a lifetime event? Then the next argument started with his mother and her "fairness" bullshit. I mentioned off hand that we wouldn't be having the wedding in May either, since my sister is having major surgery. That caused hell too, since we're "willing to change our wedding for my sister but not for Beast's brother". Whoa. We NEVER even planned a wedding for May! His cousin is getting married Memorial weekend and we don't want to take away her limelight. But my comment almost started World War III since it "made it seem like I was making my family take precedence". Blah freakin' blah!

Oh, but it doesn't stop there! So our next plan was to have a tiny little wedding at our local Botanical Gardens. We would only invite close family. The problem was that the place only allows 12-15 people to sit in on an elopement ceremony. Beast has 3 siblings, all married, 2 parents, 2 grandparents, and 7 nieces and nephews. I have my mom, my sister, brother-in-law and nephew. My grandmother is 93 and home bound and would be unable to attend. All I asked for was 4 seats at the ceremony. Being that we're limited in the number of attendees we can have, we decided that we would not have the small children in attendance. So his mom blew a gasket again since I was allowing my nephew (who is 16 compared to Beast's oldest niece who is 6), to attend in place of my grandmother. *Sigh* I'm paying for the stupid wedding but nothing I do is acceptable. It's driving me freakin' nuts!!! I'm ready to just take off to the court and get hitched. Oh, but that in itself is another story, too...

Ok, these thoughts are driving me psychotic. Any advice? Ever had your own experiences and how did you deal with them? Post below!

Off for now! -Miss A

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Low Budget Wedding Diet

With a year left to get ready for the big day, my fiancĂ©e and I have begun the big “D” word. Dieting. Just the thought of “depriving” myself of yummy McD’s French fries is enough to cause nightmares for month. But it’s a necessary evil. Not just because I want to fit into a smaller size wedding dress, but because it’s the healthy thing to do. If we plan on bringing children into this world later on, we both want to be healthy enough to be able to play with them and not run out of breath in 2 minutes.

Over the past 3 weeks we’ve been going to the gym at least 3 nights a week. The awesome thing about the gym that we go to is that it includes full access to the swimming pool. We usually work out around 6pm since that seems to be the time that the crowd begins to thin. I have a terrible avoidance to working out with a lot of people around. I’m extremely self conscious and hate feeling like people are watching me. A smaller seized gym, like this one, is deal for me!

After 30 minutes of cardio, Beast and I usually hit the pool and use the water weights for strength training. We are usually the only people in the pool at that point, so no “weirdness” about donning a swimsuit! I have to admit, I’ve been feeling so much more energetic since we began our new exercise routine. The first two trips to the gym were not so pretty. After doing cardio and then swimming, I literally dragged myself out of the swimming pool. I felt like I weighed a million pounds and I could not muster the strength to pull myself up the swimming pool steps. I forcefully pulled myself out and crawled to my towel on my knees. That’s what zero physical activity for so many years will do to you. I truly felt ashamed of myself at that moment. At 27 years of age I should be able to run a marathon, not run out of breath walking up one flight of stairs!

I have always been “fluffy”, and would really like to lose at least 5 dress sizes in a year. In order to push myself to achieve this goal, I plan on ordering my dress in the next few weeks. It’s easier to take the dress in than to add to it. Every time I take a look at that beautiful creation hanging in my closet, it will give me the inspiration I need to walk that extra mile, or skip that tempting dessert.

Included in this new, healthy lifestyle, is a new, healthy eating plan. Ben and I have been choosing healthier meals and trying our hardest to avoid fast food. Yesterday we completed our first “healthy” shopping trip. We decided that we were going to choose items that we could use to make quick and healthy meals after our gym workouts. During the first week of working out, we were prone to heading to his house and eating 2 cups of ramen noodles a piece for dinner. One cup or ramen alone packs a whopping 380 calories. Definitely not the healthiest of dinner choices. Our shopping trip yesterday consisted of weight watchers cheese, 45 calorie bread, tuna in water, chicken breast, skim milk, whole grain pasta, carb chopper tortillas, wasa crackers etc. Using a wonderful book I picked up at Borders called “Hungry Girl 200 under 200”, we planned out a week’s worth of healthy and filling meals (including snacks) for about $45. Not bad, right?

To track all of my progress, I’ve started using a great website called It’s completely free and allows you to track your meals and exercise on a daily basis. An added bonus of this site is the water tracking tool at the top of the page. It’s a nice little reminder to try to drink 64 oz of water per day. Spark People also offers customized menus and exercise regimes if you need the extra help to get started or keep going. Another bonus is the forums where you can chat with other people who are trying to lose weight as well. You can choose which forums you want to participate in (ex: 20-something with 100+ lbs to lose), and get support from moderators and other participants. It’s a website that makes you feel like you’re surrounded by friends…and that’s a pretty nice feeling! One thing I really liked is that the meals that are created for you using the meal planner (which you can customize to your lifestyle, ex: vegan, low sodium).

Right now I feel like I can really reach my goals by my big day! I know that with all the online resources available (especially the free ones!), I have all the tools I need to fit into my wedding dress in a little less than a year!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just a quick little note...follow me on Twitter!

I'll be posting advice, tips and any useful info I come across!

Friday, July 29, 2011

First Purchases..Great Deals!

So today was my payday! Yay! Being that we have decided to start saving money in September, I started a little pre-wedding research and made a few small purchases today.

I began by sitting down and making a list of items we'll need to buy, just off the top of my head. I envisioned what I want the decorations in the church to look like, what the reception tables will look like, cake, etc. As I envisioned each detail, I listed what we would need to complete this look. My fiancee and I have decided on an Alice in Wonderland theme, and our colors will be red and silver. I jotted down items such as playing cards, tea cups, small cookies with the words "eat me" on them, etc. I also listed the small items that are necessities: floral wrap for the bouquets, tape and thumbtacks for the decorations, and so on. I have a master plan of purchasing items throughout the year as I come across something that we will need. I have a large weather proof storage box that I will store everything in until the time comes to use them.

One site that I came across which has incredible deals is Oriental Trading ( They have a section dedicated specifically to wedding decorations. One great buy is a satin "wedding set" (guest book, garter, flower girl basket, wedding ring pillow). The set is white with a colored accent (red, brown, silver), so you can match it to your specific wedding colors. The set runs for about $70 and will take care of some of the simple wedding necessities in one shot. If you're having a fall wedding, or if a rich, chocolate-y brown is one of your colors, Oriental Trading has a beautiful set, including personalized champagne flutes and a cake serving set for $90. The cake server is personalized as well. Not bad, right?

While browsing around on Oriental Trading, I found a really cool "save the date" product. The website offers wedding cake shaped magnets which you fill in with your wedding information. The magnets run for $5/dozen and include mailing envelopes. I ordered 2 dozen today to send to out-of-state relatives. Super cute and super cheap!

I feel like I've accomplished a few things today, and have officially begun purchasing items for our wedding. Total spent today: $90. I will post more as I come across other great deals. Have you found anything that's a great steal for a wedding? Post it in the comments section below!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Welcome to my Crazy World

373 days until my big day! Wow, how time is flying! My fiancee and I became engaged in May 2010. Being that both of us are procrastinators, we did not begin saving money for the wedding like most responsible couples would. Ha! Who needs 2 years to plan a wedding anyway, right? Right?! Well, we're down to one year and we are now officially in panic mode. Our original plan of running offto Vegas and eloping blew up in our faces when we really started thinking about how this is a once-in-a lifetime event. It's something we'd really like to share with friends and family. I mean, you only have one first wedding!

Let me explain our situation a bit more. We do not live together, and we will not be moving in together until about a month before the wedding. I am employed full time and my fiance is on disability (he is 28 and has COPD, so he's on oxygen 24/7). My dad passed away from cancer 3 years ago and I live with my mom. I help pay her bills, since she is disabled as well. "Beast", my fiancee, lives with his parents. His dad is retired and his mom is a full time nurse. Our families will not be contributing to our wedding in any way, shape, or form. In my mom's case, she is not able to financially. In Beast's case, his parent's refuse to help since they did not help pay for any of their other 3 children's wedding. So we're on our own on a very fixed income, and we refuse to take out a loan to pay for our wedding. There's no reason to start our marriage off in debt for a simple ceremony.

We do have a savings goal set up. Yay for us! As of September, my car will officially be paid off! That will save me an extra $300 a month. I figure that I can put that extra $300 in savings and have $3,300 saved by July 2010. On top of that, Beast can contribute another $100 per month towards our wedding fund. That will bring the total to $4,400. I also have a goal of taking an extra $200 from the second paycheck each month to add to that fund. That's another $2,200. If we can pinch pennies and scrape all this money together, we can have a wedding fund of $6,600. The other thing to take into consideration is that we also need to buy items for our soon-to-be house (we will rent for a while). Being that we both live with our families, we will need to buy everything to furnish a new residence. Whew! This will be a big task in a short amount of time! Stay tuned as we continue on this adventure!