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Till Death



Follow a bride-to-be's journey from engagement to the wedding



Last Build Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 17:30:31 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2015
 



Newlyweds

Tue, 23 Oct 2007 17:16:20 UTC

2007-10-23T17:30:31Z

The wedding is done and over with and I feel like I can think clearly again! The last week before the wedding and the day of went by in a blur, but it was a good time overall.

The wedding is done and over with and I feel like I can think clearly again! The last week before the wedding and the day of went by in a blur, but it was a good time overall.

Second to eloping, it was completely perfect. Pretty much everything went on without a hitch - except some floral troubles, which were made up by giving us bigger, even more gorgeous bouquets! The weather was sunny, but chill - so it felt like fall, not summer as it had been earlier in the week.

We didn't get to eat much; I didn't see the cake until we cut it; I didn't get to visit with many of the guests. However, I did get to have my new husband (a word that is very foreign on the tongue at the moment) sing and play his guitar for me in front of everyone; we did get to listen to two very heartfelt toasts and we shared a fun, although awkward first dance to our song.

The honeymoon was great - extremely relaxing, as we could just release all our cares from the week before - vendors were paid up, I could stop worrying about how I looked in the dress, guests were happy. I wouldn't recommend Cancun to anyone looking for a place with a soul - I think our guide for the one day said it had just been established 30-40 years ago as a tourist town. In other words, everyone is out to make a buck off of unsuspecting tourists and there's no real culture or history to speak of.

The views were beautiful though - if you like hotels as landscape! We also went on an 'excursion' to Chichen Itza, which was the highlight of the week (although it was only slightly less touristy than Cancun).

All in all, it was a good experience in the end, but I will say I am so glad it's over. I have the memories, but I won't miss the stress.




License to marry

Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:48:42 UTC

2007-09-11T16:04:23Z

It's sad that the horrific Robin William's flick 'License to Wed' took the umph out of my title, forcing me to use the less snappy alternative - but I digress... There's no mystery to it in Pennsylvania - you need photo ID and $40 (and the consent of your partner) and you're eligible for your marriage license.

It's sad that the horrific Robin William's flick 'License to Wed' took the umph out of my title, forcing me to use the less snappy alternative - but I digress...

There's no mystery to it in Pennsylvania - you need photo ID and $40 (and the consent of your partner) and you're eligible for your marriage license.

There are no required medical tests and you can apply in any county. There is a three day waiting period from time of application, but that can be waived (if you're like us and procrastinate...). You don't even need to be a resident of Pennsylvania to get a marriage license. The license is valid for 60 days. (Source. About.com)

We probably will go up to our local courthouse and get the paperwork taken care of in the next week - although my fiance, King Procrastinator is getting all of the information on it, so it could be the week after.

Although, I am choosing not to do it; WikiHow has some tips on how to change your name after you receive your marriage certificate: http://www.wikihow.com/Change-Your-Last-Name

It seems pretty simple - just a lot of detailed paperwork.

32 days to go...




The things I didn't know about weddings

Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:13:25 UTC

2007-09-07T18:26:26Z

Here we are, 36 days away from the 'big day,' and I'm realizing just how much I don't know about weddings.

(image)
Here we are, 36 days away from the 'big day,' and I'm realizing just how much I don't know about weddings.

As we met with our harpist last night, I found myself glancing frequently at my fiance for answers to the musician's questions. I had my imminent Anatomy and Physiology quiz and work at 6am to think about - not whether we were going to light unity candles, or who is going to sit where.

How about who is going to walk to what or am I a 'Queen of Sheba' bride or 'Gentle free spirit?' I didn't realize I had to do any soul-searching to pick out music. I went with the 'free spirit' minus the 'gentle'....

In the end, we have ended up with a beautiful array of music, including a Polish tune that I will walk down the aisle to - a tribute to my Pollack ancestry!

We also got some tips on programs from the harpist - complete with samples. He was hands-down the best choice we've made for this entire wedding. While my caterer is super-helpful, she is sometimes hard to reach (having a life and all, it's completely understandable), and the winery, although beautiful, brings its own problems with guest limitations, etc.

He also assured us that more money doesn't mean better quality. He compared a $100,000 wedding to a simple garden wedding, and concluded that the simpler ended up being classier (although you should have seen the $100,000 wedding's program - I even had trouble opening it).

During our conversation though, I was surprised at how many things I don't know about our wedding, or weddings in general:

- The parents walking down the aisle officially starts the ceremony (with their own song, of course) - Chalk it up to my attending very few weddings in my life. I just don't remember that detail from my step-siblings' and friends' weddings.

- Five bridesmaids is a lot of wedding party to have to play for - meaning their song to walk to has to be pretty long. We're going with the traditional Pachelbel's Canon which can be repeated and varied if it takes a little while for my attendants to walk down the aisle.

- Start looking for and book your musician about a year in advance. Apparently (and luckily), our harpist made a special exception for me and took on our wedding. Little did I know the 4-6 month mark dictated by my wedding notebook is not enough time (which is insane).

At the end of the appointment, my brain was buzzing with the several tasks we had yet to accomplish and he asked if we had any questions. I just looked at my fiance wide-eyed.

I do have one question: Is it too late to elope?




Wedding programs for free? Yes please!

Fri, 24 Aug 2007 13:44:47 UTC

2007-08-24T18:57:09Z

Budgeting for this wedding has caused us to have to cut some of those little extras (and some big - transportation! I'm not very happy about that), but having loved ones in the right places can prove to be a benefit.

Budgeting for this wedding has caused us to have to cut some of those little extras (and some big - transportation! I'm not very happy about that), but having loved ones in the right places can prove to be a benefit.

I'm not really one to ask large favors of people, but one day, while talking to my Dad, he mentioned that he had gotten our invitation.

"Why didn't you call me to do it?!"

"Uh...."

Oops - My father is a printing salesman and, although the thought crossed my mind, it seemed to be a huge task to request of anyone - for free no less.

He went on to say that he could have made it as extravagant as we wanted or as detailed, but I told him I was happy with our simple invites. He conceded that they worked, but seemed offended that I didn't ask him for help.

Well, he opened the door... I asked, "What about programs?"

"Yes, definitely. Just email me the program and we'll do it!"

Woo hoo! Programs were one thing for which I was lusting from afar. I'm partial to paper keepsakes, like cards, concert/movie tickets, etc., but the price tag was too large to justify going further over budget. I am so excited that I will be able to offer that to our family and friends as something to tuck away in a scrapbook or memory box.

As with everything else - I'm thinking somewhat non-traditional. I would like to incorporate the program into the place settings in the dining room, but rather than being a menu, I want one side to detail the history of Lancaster County Winery and then the other to list our bridal party, leaving enough room to thank our parents with a personal note.

Our ceremony is going to be so short that we don't need a list of events for that, but I think a history of the winery and description of the wines served would be a neat conversation piece for everyone - and a great memory for pack rats like me!

If you don't have a professional printing connection, you can make programs on the cheap (our original idea). Although printer ink isn't inexpensive, at least you have the ability to tweak your design as you go.

Our original plan was 6 x 10 inch cards on a marbled ivory with black script and a bit of ribbon (in burgundy or brown) tied through a hole at the top which would be tapered to a near-point. We would have included some fall leaf graphics as well. If you know your way around Photoshop, you can create some stunning pieces that are completely your own.

Here are some helpful links on wedding programs that tackle how to handle a religious ceremony to ideas on what to include:

General wedding program guide - About.com

Catholic wedding program - About.com

Wedding programs by The Knot

What to include - Buzzle.com




The invitations are out!

Tue, 14 Aug 2007 14:54:33 UTC

2007-08-14T15:09:27Z

Look out friends and family - the long-awaited invites have been sent! Finally! My fiance and I worked all weekend on getting them together. I've read everywhere that two months prior to the wedding is the goal for invitations to be mailed. We missed that goal by one day - not too shabby for a pair of procrastinators.

(image)

Look out friends and family - the long-awaited invites have been sent! Finally!

My fiance and I worked all weekend on getting them together. I've read everywhere that two months prior to the wedding is the goal for invitations to be mailed. We missed that goal by one day - not too shabby for a pair of procrastinators.

We did go the printed label route, since neither of our handwriting is really great. I did a test one and it looked pretty bad.

Instead, I researched free fonts until I found one that nearly matched the invitation font (which wasn't free, hence the alternative) and we printed addresses on clear labels since the invitations are brown.

We kept them super simple - they fold in on themselves and include a tear off postcard. We chose a tasteful pattern and a nice verse for the inside, but no origami folding or intricate bows. As my aunt said, 'they're going to end up in the trash anyway!'

We included a directions card that is paper-clipped to the RSVP card inside. My only worry is that it might fall out. I also worry that they may not reach our guests in keepsake condition, but I have plenty of extras in case a few get mangled.

I did realize after viewing the picture above that we may very well have folded the invites wrong...so I'm off to intercept the mail and see if I can fix it.




A song to dance to

Tue, 07 Aug 2007 13:57:58 UTC

2007-08-07T14:56:56Z

What appears to be an easy task has been the most daunting for my fiance and I. Our first dance song - while I was willing to skip the tradition, he and our family were reluctant to let it go. So I agreed that we'd do it, but on our terms.

What appears to be an easy task has been the most daunting for my fiance and I. Our first dance song - while I was willing to skip the tradition, he and our family were reluctant to let it go. So I agreed that we'd do it, but on our terms.

Here are our requirements: No country, no Sade, should be alternative rock and it had to be one of our favorite bands.

We scoured albums by Incubus, Chris Cornell's various bands, Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters, Stereo Fuse, etc. etc. etc.

What we found? Most of our favorite bands are either constantly depressed or writing during or after a break-up.

For example, Foo Fighters 'Walking After You' has the undertones of break-up while one of my favorite songs 'Sweet Euphoria' by Chris Cornell is again about break-ups. Maybe I'm reading to far into the lyrics, but that's what I do...blame my English professors.

We also ran into a problem with Stereo Fuse 'Pieces' - an excellent song for someone looking for an alternative first dance song - it's rife with Christian imagery which, I'll just say, isn't a good fit for us.

It seems though that the perfect song was staring me right in the face. Throughout high school and college, my favorite band was Dave Matthews Band (yeah yeah, send your hate below) and, every time I heard 'Crush' or 'I'll Back You Up,' I could envision either being the most perfect first dance song. Well, not everyone shares my enthusiasm for Dave Matthews and I didn't even propose either song to my fiance because I figured he'd hate it.

During an extended session of 'we-must-choose-a-song,' I played both for him last night and, to my surprise, he was really sold on 'Crush.' My hangup about that song is that there is about four minutes of jam time, which I dig, but it doesn't lend well to the dance floor.

As blasphemous as it is to Dave fans, I was thinking about tracking down the radio edit version. I mean we could bust out some really white jam music moves, but I'd rather spare our guests that image.

If we cannot find the radio edit version of 'Crush,' it's definitely 'I'll Back You Up.'




The tale of the neglected blog

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 15:20:03 UTC

2007-07-30T15:30:42Z

To all brides out there - Get things done early, because you will reap the benefits later. I have had virtually nothing to do in regards to wedding planning in weeks. No stress (yet). No headaches. Just smooth sailing so far.

To all brides out there - Get things done early, because you will reap the benefits later.

I have had virtually nothing to do in regards to wedding planning in weeks. No stress (yet). No headaches. Just smooth sailing so far.

I attribute this to my maniacal advance planning with vendors. I started this process a year and a half ago and, to be honest, I'm less stressed now, two and a half months before the big day, than I was then.

I did have my bridal shower a week ago; I meant to blog on it sooner.

It was really a beautiful occasion - I got to see a lot of my family and friends that I rarely see ever. My friends put together a really nice party with good food, a couple fun games, good wine and rum punch (they know me well ;)).

One of the activities that I really liked was coordinated by my future sister-in-law. She had everyone write a marriage tip on a heart and put it in a oversized margarita/wine glass and then had me read each one. It was a lot of fun and will be a great keepsake.

One thing that really surprised me was the scale of gifts I received. It felt like the 'Wedding Gifts part one' - I always thought that showers were for the funny gifts and lingerie, but I received a lot of what was on my registry.

Now I need to get those thank-you notes out. Not to mention, invitations should be out in a couple weeks.

I've got some work to do, but I'm taking each task one at a time and just enjoying the planning. Like I told my aunt last night, I'm really not worried about things going wrong, it's to be expected.




Bridezillas attack....cake

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 18:45:53 UTC

2007-06-25T19:00:53Z

I just wanted to share some funny pictures from the cake eating competition in New York that kicked off the new season of WE's show 'Bridezillas.'

(image) 'You're mine, little cake.'

I just wanted to share some funny pictures from the cake eating competition in New York that kicked off the new season of WE's show 'Bridezillas.'

Personally, I just find it counteractive to the whole fit-in-the-dress thing, but who wouldn't gorge themselves on cake for $25,000. (I'm pretty sure I could have won, had the opportunity presented itself).

Photos follow:

(image) The barbarian horde brides converge onto the contest grounds in New York's Times Square.
(image) The brides survey the competition with menacing glares...
(image) Yum?
(image) No caption needed.
(image) The winner of the $25,000. Yeah, I could take her...



Slate dissects wedding traditions

Sat, 16 Jun 2007 16:00:36 UTC

2007-06-16T17:18:26Z

Slate put out my kind of package on the horrors (and joys) of getting married - from engagement rings to wedding photographers, they tackle the basics from a skeptical, but amusing angle.

(image)

Slate put out my kind of package on the horrors (and joys) of getting married - from engagement rings to wedding photographers, they tackle the basics from a skeptical, but amusing angle.

Engagement rings - Writer Meghan O'Rourke delves into the origins of the engagement ring, proving the point that it's all a fantastic marketing ploy by DeBeers and fellow cohorts. I wish I had read this article prior to my fiance proposing, because we would have skipped diamonds altogether (although mine is does defy some of the rules).

A defense of wedding photography - A nice slideshow of wedding photos and a discussion of wedding photojournalism versus traditionalism.

Guide to gift registries - A no-nonsense guide to picking things you will actually use - no industrial-sized mixers or ice cream makers here (although I must confess we did register for a frozen yogurt maker...). I do want to find that bright orange phone that sings 'Voulez vous couchez avec moi?' that the author mentions.

Advice for grooms - Some of the stories advice columnist Emily Yoffe shares about brides taking narcissism to greater heights is both amusing and humbling. If your a bride who isn't out of control yet, it'll give you some guidelines for keeping the beast under control.

Why does wedding food suck? - I have to disagree with this article. Although we were fed the same thing at different weddings (held at the same hotel), I've never had terrible food at a wedding. You have to know going in that the caterer is feeding a hundred or more, so you've got to sacrifice some quality (which the article does note). I'm not sure though if the author would prefer couples to fork over more money for fine cuisine or offend your Great Aunt Sally by not inviting her. I also have a bone to pick with the author for claiming that couples skimp on the food "because no one will remember it." I spent most of my time on the food, trying to decide what would be best for the guests not my pocketbook.




Registering for gifts is harder than you think

Mon, 04 Jun 2007 18:05:29 UTC

2007-06-05T17:53:39Z

"It'll be great! You get to shop for everything you wish you had." And don't, and probably won't! This weekend, my fiance and I tried to conquer gift registries, failing to even get one store done.

(image)

"It'll be great! You get to shop for everything you wish you had." And don't, and probably won't!

This weekend, my fiance and I tried to conquer gift registries, failing to even get one store done.


Under, ahem, intense pressure from my bridal party, we decided to go to B-cubed, we'll call it, to start. We ended up spending four hours there and aren't even halfway done.

The problem is we have everything we need - with the exception of a hammock, garlic press, pizza slicer (that actually works), outside lights and some shower curtain liners (hint hint!) - but the salesperson was sure to offer plenty of options for our perfectly good, usable stuff (Goodwill! Freecycle! etc.). So we ended up with a $300 set of knives, $250 comforter set, 2 sets of dishes and a bunch of other crap we don't need on the list. All of which we don't expect to see in our house - ever.

Keep in mind, gift registries are a huge gimmick. Think up-sell. Even though you're not actually spending any money, the salespeople treat you like gold - because you're deciding where your hundred-plus guests are going to spend their money! Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need that $200 mixer; keep a level head and a plan in mind.

After four hours at B-cubed, delirious and exhausted (even after a nap on the display beds), I decided it was time to go. We met with our 'rep' and found that we had amassed a $2,500 list - we were impressed that we did that much. The 'rep' on the other hand quickly discounted our 7-page registry, saying that he'd seen registries as long as 30 pages. Despite that, I have a feeling that we will be going back over the list and deleting most of it tonight.

No worries to our guests who are reading this - they will be replaced with items we will use, as quirky as they may seem. If they're on the list, we want it, trust me.

I regret not thinking about registries sooner because here are some of the ideas we would have considered:

A honeymoon registry (see a sample here. You can put airfare, gift packages - everything! - on the list. Also see thebigday.com for more honeymoon registry ideas.

New York Wedding Guide has some great suggestions and sites for unique registries:

GreenWish.com allows you to set up high-dollar wishlists that people can contribute to. They suggest shares of Microsoft or a house downpayment for wedding registries.

If you have everything and don't want gifts, you can give the option of giving to charity through JustGive.org

Did you go traditional or unique? Post your registry tips and experiences below.




All wedding weekend Part 2 - Flowers and honeymoon

Tue, 15 May 2007 14:55:01 UTC

2007-05-22T18:38:56Z

Here's the second part of what went down when my mom came up a couple weekends ago: We conquered flowers and honeymoon.

(image) Ideal visually...but are those tulips in there?

Here's the second part of what went down when my mom came up a couple weekends ago: We conquered flowers and honeymoon.

It looks like we will be going through a florist for flowers. Originally I had wanted to try doing the bouquets ourselves, but I don't think that time will permit right before the wedding.

I'm shooting for flowers of the season - so lots of mums and sunflowers. I would also like to add a little woodsy feel by possibly including greenery and berries.

The florist said that the sky's the limit but if I wanted an off-season flower like tulips in October - she'd be importing direct from Holland - the prices would skyrocket.

I'd like the primary color to be deep red and gold with purple accents which looks prettier than it sounds - so they go with the reception hall decor.

Some bouquets I'm working off of:

(image)
(image)
(image)
(image)
(image)

I'd like that wild flower feel with some nice big flowers anchoring the bouquet. None of the examples above really embody the simplicity I'm looking for, but they're a good start.

Now what I'm really looking forward to is the honeymoon.

We have booked a 5-star all-inclusive resort in Cancun, complete with a mile of beach and lots of pools (with swim-up bars!). My parents hooked us up with a week from their timeshare and the cost is going to be far less than if we went through the resort itself. My mind will already be in Cancun come wedding day.




Birthdays on a wedding budget

Sat, 12 May 2007 13:14:32 UTC

2007-05-12T18:46:06Z

When every extra penny goes to the wedding fund, it's challenging to make sure that birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions are still special.

When every extra penny goes to the wedding fund, it's challenging to make sure that birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions are still special.

Just this past week, my fiance's and my two year anniversary went unnoticed. Thursday rolled around and, as I placed my keys in the kitchen, I realized that the milestone had come and gone that Monday.

'Hey - we missed our two years!' I said.

'Oh man, when was that?'

'Monday.'

'What would we have done anyway?'

'Right.'

We both have issues with remembering dates and really aren't big on celebrating those 'greeting card' holidays (although, notably, Monday my fiance had brought me flowers 'just because,' his subconscious must have known) - Valentine's Day this year was a romantic dinner of frozen lasagna amid all the snow.

This weekend though, the day is important. My fiance's birthday is tomorrow (yes, Mother's Day - go ahead and get the 'best mom's gift ever' remarks out) and I'm trying to get things together for it.

I decided to make him dinner (since he received his gifts already - a motorcycle jacket and concert tickets). Epicurious has been especially helpful in planning the menu. I chose 'Grilled Steak with Perfect Marinade,' a recipe that uses beer in the marinade - perfect! -, Horseradish Stuffed Potatoes, grilled squash - his favorite - and to top it all off Chocolate Souffles with Peanut Butter Centers. We made the components of the souffles last night, and all I have to say is I would be okay with starting with dessert.

All of the ingredients were inexpensive - with the steak being the most expensive of course. I think I managed to pull together a pretty good meal for less than $60 - using a lot of ingredients we already had.

Being so money-conscious makes me feel like I'm in college again. I'm excited that next year, with the wedding behind us, things will return to normal.




All wedding weekend Part 1 - Cake and dresses

Mon, 07 May 2007 13:57:27 UTC

2007-05-07T15:18:55Z

A lot happened this weekend as my Mom came up to help me with some of the important decisions I hadn't yet tackled - cake and bridesmaid dresses.

A lot happened this weekend as my Mom came up to help me with some of the important decisions I hadn't yet tackled - cake and bridesmaid dresses.

We decided on a general idea for the cake. Rather than going for chocolate on the outside, we decided on ivory with dark chocolate scrollwork, square cakes off-set.

Here's an example of the off-set squares.

(image)

The scrolllwork will look something like this.

(image)

We probably will top the cake either with a fondant bow or bouquet of flowers and grapes - as one reader suggested. Originally, I wanted to do the whole cake in fondant, but the cake maker warned that the texture of the coating is chewy (You can see examples here). I think it would have looked amazing (fondant achieves the very smooth almost fake-looking frosting), but we might have been left with a lot more cake than we bargained for.

After deciding on the cake, we moved onto the bridesmaid dresses. I decided that David's Bridal would offer the best selection and be the easiest for my bridal party to get to.

(image) The Maid of Honor dress.

In spite of wanting to offer different styles to my bridesmaids, I decided on one. I think the dress would be flattering on all of my bridesmaids and I elected to have the Maid of Honors (my sister and best friend) wear burgundy and the rest of the party wear chocolate brown.

We compared the dresses side-by-side with a champagne dress (my dress' color) and the effect is really fantastic. Although I know that some of my bridal party were unhappy with the brown color, I think they will be happy with the dress overall. Especially compared to some dresses I've seen - I can't understand how a bride can pick out something so unflattering for all her girls when there's such a nice selection out there. I am really nervous about the bridal party's reactions - I'm more of a please everyone and not necessarily myself when it comes to my family and friends, but I think this dress is a happy medium.

We did pick a honeymoon destination - but we're firming up the plans yet, so that will be for another entry. We also saw a florist about the bouquets and got some excellent ideas - more on that later too!




Putting together the bridal shower

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 18:07:10 UTC

2007-04-26T18:51:27Z

I realize it's not my job to put together a bridal shower, but the issue came up recently among my bridal party. Since everyone is strewn across the state of Maryland - and I'm in Pa. - they have been communicating via email.

(image) If only it were that easy....

I realize it's not my job to put together a bridal shower, but the issue came up recently among my bridal party.

Since everyone is strewn across the state of Maryland - and I'm in Pa. - they have been communicating via email.

I had chosen my sister to be Maid of Honor (MOH), but then realized I was heaping a lot of responsibility on her shoulders - a lot that she knew nothing about. I then decided to appoint my best friend - someone I wanted to honor with the position anyway - to second MOH to help out my sister.

It's been hard for my sister to talk bridal shower plans without knowing anything about it. You wouldn't send someone to Spain without a phrase book (and, if you don't know already, wedding planning is foreign territory for most).

So I compiled a list of helpful links for her:

BridalShower.com - the name says it all, get ideas for themes, favors and games.

Planning a Bridal Shower - Informative article that touches on who to invite, ice breakers, favors and more.

All About Showers - A site that addresses everything from hosting to decorations and offers a message board to share ideas on.

Bridal Shower Planning - Short article that addresses the stages of planning the shower.

Evite Bridal Shower Ideas - Overview of planning the shower, offers recipes for drinks and food to include on the menu.

Shower Basics - Article with the bare bones basics of planning a shower - gives a timeline, essential for the first-time planner.

Planned a bridal shower before? Share your bridal shower ideas and themes below.




Pets cost just as much as children...sometimes

Fri, 20 Apr 2007 21:06:40 UTC

2007-04-20T21:20:04Z

I believe that pets have a sixth sense for when money is tight. At least our golden retriever does.

I believe that pets have a sixth sense for when money is tight.

At least our golden retriever does.

The poor dog has come down with a massive ear infection and possibly a UTI - cha-ching! It all came on very suddenly; my fiance is very attentive to her and noticed the ear infection this week when he was doing his weekly ear peek.

I think that the puppy helped escalate the infection by playing with her ears.

A vet bill wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't have a wedding to save for - but we have our priorities straight, off to the vet we go.

On that note (and to relate this post to the wedding), we were trying to think of ways to incorporate the animals into the wedding (yes, I'm eccentric), but, since the parrots and dogs collectively have the attention span of a gnat, we nixed that idea early-on.

However, if the guests have to dine on hot dogs and hamburgers at the reception, I may have to bring the furry and feathered crew just to show where the wedding budget went.

For those who have more-attentive (and better behaved) pets, here are a few amusing sites with suggestions on how to incorporate your furry (or feathered) friend into the wedding festivities:

Tux and Tails: How to Make Pets Part of Your Wedding Day

Pets in the wedding

Including pets in the wedding