I’m Back! | Life Updates

by Lisa on Tuesday: Aug 09, 2016

I’m back! And I’m married!

Wedding Cake

Our wedding was on June 25th, and all the stress and planning leading up to the event turned out to be worth it (and trust me, it was quite a bit of stress). We’ve heard reports back from many of our guests that they had an incredible time, and so did we. It was so nice to see all our out of town friends who came in for the event as well.

The Monday after the wedding, we took off for our honeymoon in Tokyo.

Japan Shrine

Tokyo was a whirlwind of a trip. We went for slightly less than 2 weeks, and it felt like it wasn’t nearly enough time. We revisited a few of our favorite places from our last trip (the trip where we got engaged), like Akihabara (the anime/electronics district), several different places in Shinjuku, Harajuku and more. We also spent a good amount of time exploring plenty of new-to-us places and learning more about the country.

I will have some more in depth posts in the next few weeks about both the wedding and honeymoon, since there is quite a lot to cover about both.

While the wedding and honeymoon were both incredible experiences, I’m SO glad to have my normal life back. The year and a half of planning was quite stressful, especially considering the majority of our wedding party lives out of state and were unable to assist with the planning.

It’s been about a month since returning from our trip, and I finally feel like we’re both settling into a normal routine. I have quite a few plans now for the rest of the year, including much more blogging and some home organization projects that have been on my list for quite some time.

Stay tuned for more!

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For those who are married, where did you go on your honeymoon?

Wedding Thoughts and Updates

by Lisa on Thursday: Mar 31, 2016

Today’s Thinking Out Loud is going to be based on what’s been on my mind non-stop: my upcoming wedding! We’re now slightly less than 3 months out from the big day, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot to think and talk about.

Thinking Out Loud

  1. Two weeks ago, D’s sister and I went to look at bridesmaids dresses. I wasn’t sure what we were going to find, or even what I was hoping for other than the color being purple. However, it didn’t take us long at all to find a beautiful, long purple gown that fit all the requirements of the other girls. It was so much easier than I thought it would be to find something, and since then, all the girls have ordered their dresses!
  2. The day after that, D and I visited a florist that had been recommended to us by our venue. We met at her home, and she was extremely sweet and accommodating to what we did and didn’t want. She didn’t even seem to mind when D prefaced our appointment with the statement: “My fiancee doesn’t like flowers” (which is true – I don’t). Flowers – booked!
  3. Last week, our order of invitations arrived. They came out great! I was nervous during the ordering process that some detail was going to get messed up, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.
  4. Now I have 100 invitations strewn about on my dining room table waiting for me to do all the addressing, stamping, stuffing and sending.
  5. Before I can send them out though, I have to finish putting together our wedding website. I decided to code one from scratch, since I am a web developer and all. It hasn’t been too much work to get something up, but there are a few details left and a lot of pictures to add. Then we’re good to go!
  6. Also this week we met up with our officiant for the second time to go over our choices for the ceremony. She told us we were really on top of things and organized (that’s one of the biggest compliments anyone can give me “you’re so organized!” 🙂
  7. Next week we’re going back to the cake shop to finalize our cake design. We think we know what we want, and it’s just a matter of printing out some ideas we found online and bringing them with us.
  8. As if that wasn’t enough wedding activity for the past few weeks, this coming weekend we scheduled a dance lesson so we can start working on our first dance. Then on Sunday, I’m going to pick up my wedding dress, which has already come in.
  9. I’m super nervous to try it on, but at least this isn’t going to be a fitting appointment. Apparently they want you to come in to pick it up and pay the balance first, and then schedule a fitting afterward.
  10. And, last but not least, my bridal shower is scheduled for two weeks from this coming Sunday! We have already begun receiving gifts in the mail from people who won’t be able to attend. It’s been unexpected and fun.

Whew! That was a whirlwind. I knew we’d been busy lately, but putting it all down at once makes me realize how much it really has been.

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Tell me one of your random thoughts from the week!

If you’re engaged/married, what was the most fun part of the planning process? The most stressful?

A Weekend of Wedding Events

by Lisa on Tuesday: Mar 01, 2016

Now that we’re inching ever closer to the day of the wedding (4 months left!), things are really picking up in intensity when it comes to wedding planning. This weekend was a prime example of that as we packed in as many things as we possibly could while we had some free time.

Saturday was a check-in meeting with the venue. Earlier in the week, I had sent our contact some questions about logistics, etc. and we ended up with even more questions after the email exchange. It only made sense to schedule a time to go meet face to face to hash out as many things as possible. I was so happy we decided to do this because the stress has been piling up lately, and both D and I were feeling a bit lost, not knowing what we should be doing next.

This meeting helped tremendously. We talked about the timeline and overall flow of the actual day, the rehearsal, and discussed all details that we needed to order our invitations. The coordinator we met with actually complimented us on how organized and on top of everything we were. That was a relief to hear!

Sunday, we had a very fun event planned: cake tasting! When we got to the bakery, they presented us with ten (yes ten!) different flavors of cake to try, ranging from red velvet, to cannoli, to tiramisu and everything else in between. It was delicious, and we booked them to do our cake. We need to go back again to design the look of the cake, but it’s nice to have the initial booking done.

Wedding Cake Tasting

Later on in the afternoon on Sunday, we had a less fun thing to do: ordering invitations. Luckily we had prepared as much as humanly possible before going in to place our order. However, there were so many details and decisions to make, and we were there for well over an hour. I’m still a little apprehensive about all the little details coming out correct, but again, at least it’s off the list now!

What’s next? Probably outfits for the men and bridesmaid dresses. We’ll see how productive we are in March!

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If you’re married/engaged, what was your favorite part of wedding planning? Least favorite?

A Tokyo Engagement Story

by Lisa on Wednesday: Feb 10, 2016

Before I get into today’s post, I’d like to say hi and welcome to anyone stopping by from the Runaway Bridal Planner’s blog hop!

While you’re here, also make sure to check out Monday’s post on My Favorite Go-To Vegetarian Dinners, and stay tuned for more posts about my travel, food and life adventures.

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In September of 2014, my then boyfriend (now fiancee) D and I went on the biggest trip of our lives to Tokyo, Japan. I had been to Tokyo once before many years earlier and had absolutely loved the experience. Meanwhile, D had always dreamed of visiting the country, and we had been planning to go together for several years, but had to wait until the timing was right and we had enough money saved up for the trip.

After much preparing and planning, that time had finally arrived and we were on our way!

Right away, Tokyo proved to be beautiful, unexpected and filled with everything that we love:

Tokyo Japan

But the biggest surprise came two days into our trip in the middle of a random adventure. We had set out that morning to find the store Artnia, which is the new Square Enix store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Both D and I are big fans of Square Enix video games, so this had been on our wish list for a while.

Artnia

However, finding Artnia proved to be more difficult than anticipated, and we ended up completely lost on the streets of Shinjuku. It was only by luck that we happened to stumble onto a random shrine tucked into one of the side streets. We decided to be whimsical and stop in, as it was the first shrine we had encountered during our trip, and we wanted to explore.

Hanazono Shrine

It was very important to D that we visit several shrines on this trip, and he was intent on writing several Emas while we were there. These are little wooden boards that you can purchase on which you write wishes or prayers for yourself or loved ones. They are then displayed on a board in the center of the shrine.

Hanazono Shrine Wish

We headed straight over to purchase one for D. I gave him some privacy while he wrote, because I didn’t know if he wanted to keep his wishes private. I turned away and entertained myself with this poster while he was writing:

Tokyo Construction Poster

When he was done, we walked over to the board to hang what he had written on the board, and he started getting a little weird. I thought it was because he didn’t want me to see what he had written, but then he said to me: “Take a look around. I want you to remember this moment.”

And he hung the board on the wall and let me read the writing. His wish that he had written was to have a long and happy marriage with me as his wife. When I turned around to look at him, he was taking a ring box out of his pocket and he asked me to marry him! I was in total, utter shock. I had no idea he was planning to propose, and I have no idea how he kept it such a secret for so long.

He then told me that he had actually asked my father’s permission a few weeks before we left on our trip, and that he had been carrying the ring around in his backpack with him the whole time (that explained what he was carrying that backpack everywhere!). Also, he was smart enough to get a stand-in ring instead of risking taking a real one all the way across the world on a plane. We later picked out my real engagement ring together.

We spent the rest of the day celebrating, and made calls home the next day (when it was a more human hour in America) to let everyone know.

D always jokes that I had no choice but to say yes because we were only on day 2 of a two week trip in a foreign country, and it would have been quite awkward otherwise 🙂 But this event solidified how special Tokyo is to the two of us and made it one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

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Other posts about Tokyo:
How to Be A Vegetarian at Tokyo Disney

Other posts about the wedding:
Ten Things on My Wedding To Do List
So I Went Wedding Dress Shopping
Wedding Planning Updates
Wedding Planning Adventures

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If you’re engaged or married, tell me what your engagement experience was like!

What travel destinations are on your bucket list?

10 Things on My Wedding To Do List

by Lisa on Thursday: Jan 14, 2016

Happy Thursday! It’s time to link up with Thinking Out Loud, and what am I thinking about today? My wedding to do list. Here are ten things I have left to do:

  1. Picking out wedding bands: I’m pretty sure this will be easier than it was to pick out the engagement ring, but I know D is going to be pretty selective about his own ring. I think we might go and start browsing this weekend!
  2. Finishing the registry: We’ve got the majority of things picked, but there are still a few items left including China and some odds and ends.
  3. Ordering a cake: Perhaps we’ll do some cake tasting this weekend too!
  4. Ordering invitations: Having just sent out our save the dates, I feel like I know what to expect going into this one.
  5. Picking the featured songs: For instance father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, etc. We do already have our first dance song picked out though! Interestingly, we’ve known what that would be since the first year we dated.
  6. Planning and booking the honeymoon: We’re pretty set on Italy as the destination. Now to book it!
  7. Bridesmaids dresses: This one is going to be slightly difficult because the majority of the bridal party lives out of state. Because of this, I’ve been avoiding even thinking about this to do! I need to get on that.
  8. D’s tux and the outfits for the men
  9. Writing vows: If it was up to me, we wouldn’t be writing our own vows. Something about having to speak aloud to everyone I know the deepest feelings I have freaks me out. That’s the introvert in me coming out. However, this is very important to D, so I’m on board.
  10. Picking the menu, bar options and appetizers: Luckily our venue provides all food, so it’s only a matter of selecting from a (very extensive) menu and letting them know what we decide. Both D and I have Italian families that are very enthusiastic about their food and drink, so this is important!

So there’s the ten that came to mind first! I could go on and on and on about the remaining things we have to do – it’s a never ending list! I’m pretty excited about doing the things we have left, and I can’t believe we’re closing in on the five month mark.

Thinking Out Loud

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When was the last time you went to a wedding?

What did you like/dislike about the last wedding you attended?