Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last Week!

And now we are in single digits. Today was day three until the wedding! It is definitely approaching.

This last week means that things have definitely picked up wedding-wise. Mom is constantly calling or e-mailing the leading ladies who are working on the wedding, and Mandy's been talking quite a bit with her bridesmaids and other important people.

On Friday (day seven), we had Mandy's last shower at one of the bridesmaid's house. We had a fun time giving her a few gifts and hearing/sharing wedding stories (some weren't wedding-related, but they were hilarious). On Saturday, we had the bridesmaids' luncheon, which was a decent-sized crowd. Our wedding coordinator, who threw/hosted the event, got a nice, southern-style restaurant to open for only us, and we had a yummy menu to choose from (Mom, Mandy, and I all had delicious shrimp and grits with peppers and onions). After that, a few of us went over to where the guys (and a few women) were sitting up at the reception location. That day happened to be pouring rain (and this isn't a mere drizzle. This is like a steady, constant, heavy rain that lasted for several hours), but the guys were real troopers, hanging up Christmas lights and wire, setting up pallets, and arranging hay bales in the rain.

Monday (day four) happened to be a rather hectic day. On Saturday evening, to make sure that we got everything done, I came up with the idea of writing down a list and marking off items when they completed. Part of our list required us to drive over to Athens (which is over an hour away from our house) to visit a few stores. It was a long ride, and we got a bit of cultural education in the process. On our way back from Athens, we stopped by the reception area, where the lights and electricity were being tested. Seeing the lights come on in the dark was stunning, and it made us very excited. We were concerned that there wouldn't be enough light, but last night convinced us otherwise. It was a good time for us to test things out, but we had to leave because it was getting late.

Today (day three) was also busy. We had to do quite a bit of shopping (I can't recall leaving Costco with two full carts), and there's still more to be done tomorrow. Again, we have our trusty list to help us. Hopefully things will slow down a bit by Thursday before the storm hits on Friday.

We've been keeping an eagle eye on the weather. So far, it looks like Friday will be just perfect: no rain and good temperatures. Which is a relief.

And so, onwards we go!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Twelve Days

And the day is getting closer. Today marks twelve days until the wedding, and we're all keenly sensing this.

Most of the big preparations have been made, and now our big focus is hammering out details, namely that of the schedule. This week, some of the food was prepared and put into the freezer (some stuff will be put together the day of, but this stuff can be made beforehand). Mandy met with her photographer this week, and now there's a definite schedule for the bridesmaids and for what pictures will be taken before the wedding and which ones will be taken afterwards. Mom has made a "rough draft" of the wedding bulletin, and she, Mandy, and our coordinator Deanna have also been working on bridesmaid/groomsman pairings and the order of events. We've found a nice place for the rehearsal dinner, and today we finalized some of those details with Ben's mom. Ben has officially moved into the apartment, and I spent an afternoon with Mandy organizing and cleaning her kitchen.

Then, on Friday, we had the bachelor and bachelorette parties. I was only present for Mandy's party, and I don't know many details of what the guys were doing (other than eating, shooting, smoking, and drinking). Mandy's party involved her and a few of her bridesmaids spending the night at the married bridesmaid's house. She took us out for a scavenger hunt at the mall (it was late when we got there, and most of the stores were closed or were in the process of being closed), which we couldn't finish. Then we went out to P.F. Chang's for a late snack/dinner. The place is a more expensive Chinese restaurant, but it was so worth it. It's the only Chinese place I know of that actually has a gluten-free menu (since soy sauce isn't safe for gluten-free people, which sadly means I don't eat Asian food that much, but I digress). And the waiter and chef were very considerate for one of the bridesmaids who has numerous food allergies, which enabled her to enjoy something off the menu. The gluten-free fried rice (which I got) was amazing, and we all had a good time sitting there, talking with each other and with the waiters, and enjoying the yummy food. Then it was back to the house. It was around midnight, but we did a few things like sit and talk outside, and do some Just Dance 4 on the Wii (even I did it). I went off to bed around 3 AM because I couldn't stay awake any further, but most of the others went to bed closer to 5 AM. After breakfast the next morning, the party ended because everyone had to leave to do other stuff. It was a fun evening/night.

And life continues on. Mom and Dad are still teaching, Seth is still working long hours at his job, and I'm still attending college. This year, I decided to make the insane decision to take part in Campus Movie Fest, which is basically a large student film festival done all over the country at various college campuses. I say "insane" because I didn't realize how much work would need to be done. I'm basically in the role of director, writer, editor, and actor, and I'm narrowly escaping also being soundtrack composer and performer (I'm just going to suck it up and go with the limited amount of music that I can use). This meant I spent about ten hours over a period of two days on campus (and a bit off-campus) filming four other people. It was fun to use the equipment the festival loans to students (which includes a laptop with fancy editing software, a microphone, a camcorder, and a tripod), but it was a bit exhausting to spend a lot of time shooting and re-shooting scenes and then going back through them all to figure out which ones work. Oh, and did I mention that everything needs to be filmed, recorded, edited, and finished within a week? So, yeah, I need to make sure the film is done by Tuesday, when I turn in the equipment and the film. Then next week, the top sixteen films on campus (chosen by a judge panel) will be revealed, and prizes will be given to students for best picture, best actor, etc... Hence why I was insane to think about doing this, especially so close to the wedding (my brain and other people convinced me "oh, you can do it"). I'll post a link when the movie shows up on the website this week.

And... that's all I can think of at the moment.