Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A bit of bad news

Well today started out as usual. I am stressed about everything that's going on and not going on at the moment. I've had one of those days where I just want to clean up so I don't have to be stressed about how shabby the apt looks on top of everything else. So I put a load of clothes on to wash, soaked some hand wash items, made the bed, picked up, and started cleaning the bathroom. I try to do everything at once if you can't tell. Also, at this point in time I am trying to break in my wedding shoes. Picture me in pj pants and a t-shirt with fancy shoes on. 

Well after most of the cleaning is done, I get online to talk to my mom briefly. While talking to her, I am watching some news videos on CNN. I come across one titled "Peace Corps Worker Killed." I click on it because Andy had been in the Peace Corps not two years ago.  It started telling the story of how Kate Puzey was found murdered on the front porch of her home in Africa in mid-March. So that peeked my attention. Kate was a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Benin and began her term in July 2007. I told Andy what had happened and that she was in his training group. He was a little unsure, so I asked if he wanted to see her picture. He walked behind my chair and was astonished.... "Oh my God.... she was one of my friends." 

We tried to find out if they were releasing what happened, but they are not. We watched several clips of her parents talking to local Atlanta news stations about how much she loved teaching English at a school in Benin and that she loved what she was doing. Andy is devastated. I know it is already hard on him that he left Benin, and it is even harder because he found out so late. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I thought I would give just a few snippets of my dress.... I don't want to give to much away!

The back of my dress

Just a little detail on the train.

We have been super busy putting everything together. We are only 6 weeks away, and it seems that everything is coming together. I am getting so excited and anxious about everything. I want April 25 to be the most relaxed and enjoyable for everyone involved. I know that most of our family and friends are not able to come, so I wanted to catch you all up to date on the planning process. We actually met with the Rector of St. Martin's and decided on our readings and music. I am so thankful that we are able to have the parish organist and choir available at our ceremony. Our music is going to be:

Arrival of Guests:
Handel- Water Music

My Entrance:
Wagner- Here Comes the Bride

Hymn 1:
Love Divine All Love's Excelling

Hymn 2: 
O Perfect Love

Signing of Certificate:
The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Hymn 3:
Bind Us Together

Mendelsson- Wedding March

So, that is all falling into place. I am a little concerned about the readings. I have picked 2 Old Testament and 2 New Testament passages and can't really decide on one of each. I have chosen Isaiah 61:10-11 and Hosea 2:19-20 for the Old Testament ones, and Ephesians 3:14-19 and Colossians 3:12-17 for the New Testament ones. 

I have also had a dress fitting this week, met with the chocolatier, stylist, photographer, and venue staff. My dress is amazing! I am so happy that I got the one I did. I am using a local shop called Jodi's Bridal. The ladies there are so nice and helpful. I got to walk around in my dress on Wednesday. The only thing that had to be altered was the hem because my shoes made up for a little of my height deficiency. For the chocolatier and stylist, there is a local shop called Salon Chocolate. A couple owns the shop: she sales chocolate and he styles hair. They have also recommended a makeup artist for the day. They have been extremely helpful in sorting everything out. We met with a photographer on Friday named Rob Parker. We feel like he is going to be a good fit! You can find him here www.kentishweddingphotographer.co.uk . 

I also wanted to include some photos that have inspired what we are going to have at our wedding. Our event is on a very small scale but we are making it all fit. 
We are going to have a white wedding cake covered in shaved white chocolate. It will be much smaller than this one, but this is the idea.

For flowers, we are having Easter lilies, green hydrangea's, pink ranunculus and lily of the valley. I have been a little disappointed with the florist, I have to say. I put in the order at the florist around the corner, but have heard nothing back from them as to wether they actually ordered the flowers, what the prices are going to be, or any information at all. Every time I go in they take down my contact details but never actually call me. So I am about to go somewhere else and order the flowers. I am going to stop in tomorrow so we will find out! 

So for one of the favors at the reception, I wanted to do little bird's nests with chocolate eggs in them for the place cards. But I am having the hardest time finding little nests. I have the eggs ordered already. The problem is that next week is Mother's Day in the UK, so most shops haven't put out their full Easter items. So I might have to be creative with my nests. I might just have to order them and have them sent to someone in the US (all the companies that I can find are in the US and only ship to the US). If I'm not able to get them, I'm sure Carol and I will come up with something creative!

We are asking our guests to help us make this event full of both English and American traditions. Because of this, we have asked ladies attending the wedding to wear hats. I know, everyone's grumbling, but I want to make this a special time that we can all bond. I have found a lady in our area who actually rents hats out for special occasions like weddings. I thought this would be a good idea for everyone because you don't actually have to buy a hat you will never wear again. You can view a few of the hats at www.thathat.co.uk . Apparently she has a lot more that what is on the web site and basically has them in every color. She also has some really cute fascinators for the young at heart! I hope that everyone can enjoy this little bit of dress up! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's coming together.....

St. Martin's Church

The Chaucer Hotel

Okay, so a lot of things have been going on here. I have been swamped with everything going on. I have been trying to complete some exams that have been hanging over my head for a long time. Still working, but feeling a little better about it. 

This past week I was able to sing in the Cathedral for the second time. The university chorus and symphony orchestra performed on Saturday night. I hope that everyone enjoyed the show. Lots of well known people were in the audience, including Orlando Bloom. He was in the 6th row and very recognizable, even from a distance. But I have to be honest, I'm not really a star struck person. I don't go gaga over famous people, they are just people. I'm sure Mandy would have just loved it! Maybe you can see him when you are here in April; he's from the area.

Okay on to the next thing. We have been working hard to get everything ready for our wedding. We finally have a location for both the service and the reception, flowers, a cake, food, decorations, hats for the moms, and my dress. The only things we really have to figure out is the photographer, hymns, and what Andy is wearing. But other than that we are set. It has been very hectic trying to put all this together on such short notice and without help. We are getting there. I was so excited when I went to pick my flowers and when we met with the reception venue to plan the menu. I'm really starting to look forward to all this. Now I just have to do everything I need to do in the mean time. 

So just a short word about our church. St. Martin's is the oldest church in England. It really is a lovely little church made of reused red roman bricks and stones. It is the perfect size for our little ceremony. We are also able to have the choir sing and the organist play. I am so glad that this is possible. It would be a sad day if no one sang at our wedding. For our reception, we are using the Ivy Suite at the Chaucer Hotel. It is a beautiful little room where we can have an intimate sit down meal. We also get the use of the terrace for our pre-dinner drinks and finger foods. 

I am trying to use all local people for the items for our wedding. We live in a nice little area of the city and we are using a florist, pastry shop, and salon right around the corner from the apartment. I really am enjoying being a part of a little "neighborhood" and getting to know my neighbors, even if they are little shops and restaurants. 

Well, I must get to bed, I have a full week of studying ahead of me. If anyone just feels the need to write a paper on the role of the post-Reformation Cathedral just let me know.