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Simply Stephanie – Wedding Warning

Belle Bride Stephanie and Greg

*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*

This is a Special Weather Wedding Statement
From Belle Bride Stephanie
Toulouse, France
14:54 PM Central European Time

A Weather WEDDING WARNING has been issued for your READING area!

Those familiar with U.S. weather advisories may understand my introduction a little bit better than others, but I know everyone will understand the warning when I say: This is the last post I will write before the wedding!

Yes, friends, the period of time known as the “Calm Before the Storm” has ended. The Wedding Watch has turned into a full out Wedding Warning!

Over the last few months Greg and I have had a swirling array of sleepless nights…

From me finally deciding to leave my job in the U.S. and trying to pack everything for the wedding into two suitcases. To my flying back across the world over multiple time-zones to France. To our eight-hour bus ride down from Paris to Toulouse. To answering the endless amounts of questions from our invited Guests, family, and the wedding party. To making spreadsheets of each individual Guest’s travel plans, flight itineraries, and group ground transportation pick-up times and van numbers.

We’ve typed up What-To-Pack? lists for our guests and drawn out seating charts with meal selections indicated for our venue. We have met with vendors to finalize plans. We have had to deal with a GIANT, infected cluster of pimples on the center of my face (Yes, seriously! Friendly reminder : the French pharmacy is the only place where you can find medicine! Forget anything over-the-counter you can find in the U.S. – you must go to the pharmacy!).

We have done last minute shopping for the little odds and ends … OKAY, OKAY! Perhaps they were BIGGER, more important items *COUGH* Like decorations *COUGH* The flower girl’s dress *COUGH* And my veil *COUGH* (Another friendly reminder : French stores close early! There are no 24/7 stores. But that’s okay, because there are SO. MANY. OTHER. WEDDING. TASKS. YOU. CAN. DO. outside those store hours).

Right now the general feeling in the air is overwhelmingly hectic.

And what’s funny is I really felt like we made a valid attempt at being prepared for this moment. Really, I feel like we did our best! I even have all the check-lists to prove it. Maybe a few of the items on the lists were delayed due to my last-minute arrival into France … but still! We made a darn good attempt at being prepared.

Now, I feel like things are NOT AT ALL going as we had hoped or planned. In fact, even this post wasn’t prepared on time (Sorry again, French Wedding Style; I know I am always keeping you all on your toes! Please don’t hate me!). But you know what? Throughout this entire process – in these moments where I get to type-up my thoughts and write these posts for you, I realize – you all have helped me.

Let me explain it this way … you all have helped me create an “eye” to this pre-wedding storm (For those of you who don’t know, the “eye” or center of a strong tropical storm is the region of mostly calm weather). My writing for you has given me the chance I needed to breathe, to reflect, and to remember what is really important throughout this process.

My writing has helped me push through the aggravation I felt when certain vendors have let us down and cancelled. It has helped distract me from the frustration of the never-ending list of tasks we have to complete and the emails we have to send. It has helped me laugh at myself, and at the wedding industry that says, “You MUST have this” and “You MUST have that.” It has given me the strength to stay true to who I am, who Greg is, and who we are as a couple. It has humbled me, and helped me to not feel embarrassed or ashamed when I need to ask for help or say “Sorry, I cannot” or “No,” when necessary.

I guess, what I am trying to say here in my final post before our wedding is THANK YOU!

Belle Bride StephanieandGreg 10

Photography Credit : Joe Glatz (Thanks little bro!) He took this engagement photo for us.

And also that since the “eye” of a storm is much smaller in comparison to the size of the entire storm, I do fear that this last post before the wedding will also be the same: short, but sweet. I mean this is supposed to be a weather wedding statement, not a novel… right? Haha.

So, in wedding statement fashion, I will leave you with a list – the final list – of “impacted” wedding planning tasks:

OUR NEWLY ACCOMPLISHED LIST

  • In France Together – We’re finally in the same place on the map tackling this last month of wedding planning together – YESSSS !
  • Digital Wedding Invitations – All are sent and all RSVPs are collected! We officially have our Guest List and their meal choices. Did I mention we decided to keep our meal options revolving around us being dubbed the “Love Birds?” Meaning all the meal options we have (except vegetarian) are birds of some sort. They are also regional dishes.
  • The Wedding Party – We officially have our entire wedding party – including a group called our Something Blues! i.e. true blue friends we wanted to honor at our wedding in addition to the groomsmen and bridesmaids. We even had a little get together for them at a local martini lounge (with blue martinis) – so fun! We are SO excited to have our entire wedding party by our sides on our big day!
  • Wardrobe – The Bride’s Civil Ceremony Dress has been purchased. Including accessories! Keeping it simple and loving it. We also have the Groomsmen attire and their suspenders.
  • Decorations – We’ve done a lot of shopping here in France for this DIY Wedding! We’ve also made a lot of things as well *fingers crossed all the room decor comes together* Special thanks to Greg who spent a couple hours creating and building our amazing Guest Books. Thanks Lovie! They look AMAZING!
  • Welcome Gifts/Packets/Maps – All materials are collected and purchased. We will assemble on-site with the help of our amazing wedding party and family!

OUR “WORKING-ON-IT” LIST

  • Vendors – Make-Up Artist and Hair Dresser trials completed. The DJ meeting is done and our song-list is sent. We also interviewed and selected a florist, but we’ve run into a slight problem with delivery. We’ve also run into several photographer issues. We’re trying to work it out. *fingers crossed*
  • Group Ground Transportation – Vans and drivers have been selected by Greg. Logistics still require a bit of my attention like exact locations and pick-up times.
  • Timeline/Ceremony Handouts – Our timeline has been outlined. I even designed a beautiful hand-out for Guests; we also got a giant chalkboard eraser board for daily reminders on-site. The ceremony handouts have been completed for awhile – we just need to select the readings for the Mass and add them. A major, mass print-job is in our future. We have lots of ink ready to go though when it’s time!
  • Seating Chart/Table Settings – Chart was drawn out for room set-up at the Venue’s request with meal selections. Materials have been collected and purchased for name cards. Half need to be printed (for Reception) and the other half (for Welcome Dinner) need to be handwritten.

OUR “NEED TO START” LIST

  • Music Selection – For our Civil Ceremony. The Mairie gave us a list, and we have listened to them all. Now, we just need to pick one.
  • Sleep. We really need to start sleeping.
  • Any other last minute details that come up!

And there you have it, my friends. I guess all that’s left to say is that we’ll see you on the flip-side! Until then, don’t blow away…

*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*

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