Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You gotta fight... for your right... to party... (bus)

I'm going to be straight with you.  Not every aspect of wedding planning is all that fun.  Sure, there are awesome moments like finding a dress or picking colors, but then there are some nitty-gritty stuff that really just does not trip your trigger.  Thankfully, my tug-of-war with one of those menial, less-than-stellar tasks has come to an end.  I am claiming to be the victor, mostly because it's over. 

That's right, hive, I've secured wedding day transportation.  After evaluating our options, getting a large handful of quotes, getting indignant at the estimates we were receiving, re-working our request, receiving a second batch of quotes, second-guessing what we really needed out of our transportation, re-re-working our request, getting a final round of quotes, we're done.  Finally, finally done.  And here's what I have to show for that arduous process.

The bridal party will be making that long 1-mile trek from ceremony to reception in one of Johnstown's party buses!  Here's the thing, though.  I feel like I'm at risk of picking  up a communicable disease when I use the term "party bus."  It evokes images like this:

No thank you.  I don't think we need neon lights and crazy leather seating in broad daylight as we go from point A to only a little bit away from point A in small-town America.  Fortunately, one of Johnstown's bus companies has a much more relaxed definition of "party bus."

Not terribly party-tastic from the outside, right?  Here's an inside look at what makes puts the party in this party bus.

In case you couldn't tell, the party comes from the perimeter seating, as opposed to the traditional row seating that most buses have.  It's a small difference, but I hope it will help with everyone being able to hang out and talk as we scoot around for pictures between ceremony and reception.  Plus, now I'm not confined to any one seat size for me and my dress.  Double plus, it's air-conditioned, which was a big selling point, given how humid PA summers can be.

Sure, booking the transportation wasn't exactly a wedding task I had dreamed of as a small girl.  And sure, it kind of made me gnash my teeth as I compared quotes for the various permutations of transport sizes and rental durations.  But I have no doubt that once I hop onto that rockin' party bus shortly after I become Mrs. Snow Cone, surrounded by my closest friends and family, I won't have a care in the world.  As long as the A/C works.

Did you have a planning task that was less than exciting?  What transportation are you using?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Engage-iversary!

This past weekend, Mr. Snow Cone and I marked our engage-iversary.  I still can't believe it's been over a year since he got down on one knee and presented me with a sparkly new friend!  

One of my absolute favorite parts of the entire proposal was that Mr. Snow Cone enlisted the help of some of my closest friends to take pictures and video of the entire thing going down.  I know that you can always re-create the proposal for some shots after the initial hoopla has died down; however, having the photos of the engagement happening in real time makes my heart go pitter-patter.  The emotions that are captured are just so raw and real... no one in their right mind could control their reaction whenever they are getting asked such an important question!  Without further ado, in an attempt to share the engage-iversary love, here are some of my most treasured proposal mementos.  

Video, as shot, narrated, and edited by BM E:


(all video and photos personal)

Do you have any photos or video of the actual proposal?  What are your favorite proposal mementos?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting to Snow (Cone) You...

... getting to snow (cone) allll aboutttt youuuuu...!

I am still beside myself that I actually get to do this, but hellooooo, hive!!  I'll admit it.  For the past few weeks, I've been trying to avoid the temptation to check my email, giving in and checking it more often than I'd like to admit, and feeling guilty that I didn't have better self-control.  It was a wicked little cycle, but the good news is, there's a happy ending to it all!  Yesterday, on a somewhat shadester bus I take to and from my part-time job, I got an email titled "Weddingbee Application."  My heart stopped for a quick second before I decided to take the plunge and open it.  I saw a lot of exclamation points, the phrase "great addition to the weddingbee team," and a list of character options.  I audibly gasped and then proceeded to creepily giggle to myself for the rest of the commute, further adding to the shadester environment of that lovely little bus. 

Anyhow, getting down to business.  Who are the Snow Cones?  We are high school sweethearts, finally living in the same city for the first time in four years, and trying to successfully navigate this whole "growing up" thing.  I am a public health graduate student; when I'm not reading about breastfeeding or p-values, I spend my time absorbing celebrity gossip, being sarcastic, drinking a lot of Diet Pepsi, and shopping online.  Mr. Snow Cone is an engineer whose main passions are camping, Italian food, Pitt sports, and putting up with my various shenanigans.

Why Snow Cone?  A few summers back, Mr. Snow Cone and I visited Washington, DC, and biked part of the C&O Canal trail to Bethesda, Maryland, where we had the most mind-blowing snow cones in the history of mankind.  I kid you not, we still talk about those mystical creations to this day... that's some pretty impressive lasting power for shredded ice and sugary syrup!  Plus, who honestly doesn't like a snow cone?!

(all photos personal.)

I am so unbelievably excited to share our wedding's journey with all of you!

Hugs galore,

Miss Snow Cone

Exciting news on the Strawberry Blonde Bride front!

Hello, loyal readers and people who accidentally find my blog through errant Google searches!  I wanted to let you all know that this blog is going to undergo a wee bit of a transformation in the upcoming time period.  The reason for the change?  I found out yesterday evening that I have been selected to blog for WeddingBee!

For those of you who aren't quite sure what that means, let me break it down for you.  WeddingBee is an international wedding blog which features about two dozen bloggers at any one point in time.  The bloggers start their time at the 'Bee as brides in planning mode, much like myself, and they blog about their plans, projects, and decisions, giving ideas and tips to fellow brides-to-be.  The blogging doesn't stop at the wedding; instead, the bloggers then recap the big day, showing every one out in the blogosphere how it all came together and imparting wisdom from the other side of W-day. 

I know all of you are on pins and needles, wondering how exactly this will change your relationship with the Strawberry Blonde Bride you've come to know and love.  Simply stated, it practically won't at all.  The most noticeable change is that GG will now be Mr. Snow Cone, Mr. SC, S-Cone (whichever he picks), as I am blogging under the moniker of Miss Snow Cone over at WeddingBee.  All of my posting will still be done right here, on this site, and then the posts will be re-published at Weddingbee.com.  You can read here or you can read there... just be advised that WeddingBee has many bloggers, so tracking down my individual posts may be a smidge difficult. 

I understand that some people out there don't get why I would want to blog about the wedding in the first place, let alone why I would be squealing with glee at the opportunity to be part of a bigger blogging site.  Even if you don't really get it, rest assured that I am beside myself for this dorkishly exciting opportunity! 

Signing off,
Jill AKA Strawberry Blonde Bride AKA Miss Snow Cone

Monday, April 4, 2011

Putting our own spin on seating

Given that our reception seating assignments are being communicated in a somewhat unusual manner, and that our own seating is a bit unexpected, too, it really only makes sense to complete the wonky seating trifecta, and use nontraditional table numbers.  This is one of those ideas that I came across years ago and mentally filed away.  I loved seeing pictures of themed table numbers (or names), showing off the couples' hobbies, favorite foods, or travel histories.

Image via Wedding by Color

I sat down at my computer one afternoon and started listing off all the places Mr. Snow Cone and I have traveled over our 8+ years of dating.  I ended up with a far lower number of destinations than I had anticipated, and I was 100% certain I didn't have enough for each table at our reception.  On to plan b!

I then started listing important dates, and that turned out to be even more of a bust than vacation spots.  I even fudged it a bit and included important numbers, figuring they would kind of mesh in with dates, and that only gave me a moderate boost.  I was all set to scrap the idea and go for traditional table numbers, but then we just decided to throw the two different lists together to get a decent set of options.  As a result, we'll have tables named after important addresses, cities, dates, and a few other random odds and ends.  It may not be the most cohesive set of table numbers in the history of weddings, but it will definitely be reflective of us and our time spent together!

I'm planning to use some colored cardstock to whip together these numbers, including the table name/number, and its significance.  Depending on how everything shakes out, I'm hoping to include photos of us from these various places/chapters of life on as many table cards as possible, too. Here's a sample of our list of options:
  • September 18, 2002: the day we started dating
  • April 9, 2010: the day we got engaged
  • Outer Banks, NC: vacation of summer 2005
  • Bahamas: spring break cruise of March 2010
  • 715: the number of our first apartment together
  • Charleston, SC: our honeymoon destination
Are you doing nontraditional table numbers?  What are you using to replace the standard numbers?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Favors for Family

Mr. Snow Cone and I never really considered doing favors.  We weren't too gung-ho about putting together a couple hundred of a certain item, only to end up with many being left at the table at the end of the night.  We didn't want to hand off some random piece of junk to our guests that they have absolutely no need for... it would be a waste on multiple levels for everyone involved.  However, having the guests leave the reception without any sign of gratitude from us was simply not an option.  Thankfully, we came up with a way to express our thanks to our guests without going the traditional favor route.

Our answer?  The charitable donation.  Mr. Snow Cone and I were able to come up with any number of causes we deemed worthy of getting a little extra funding as a result of our wedding.  Sure, maybe all of our guests might not necessarily appreciate this approach.  Some may disagree with our idea to do charity donations at all, and some may disagree with our charity of choice.  At the risk of sounding rude, that's not really a concern of ours.  We really like the idea of expressing some generosity in conjunction with our grandiose celebration, and we've found a cause that we feel strongly about.  So, regardless of our guests' opinion on the matter, our minds are made up.

As a result, we will be donating to pancreatic cancer research on behalf of our wedding guests.  We selected this cause because of its personal connection to me.  On February 2, 2010, my grandfather passed away from this horrific disease.  His battle against the cancer was relatively brief but certainly not painless.  My family's suffering was immense, but still paled in comparison to the difficulties he endured.  All of the treatment, appointments, and testing still only bought him a handful of additional months.  It was completely devastating to see how, in the matter of less than 12 months, an individual could be transformed from someone who walks daily for exercise to someone who struggles immensely to walk down the hallway of his own home.  The silver lining in all of this suffering is that his disease brought together my extended family in a way that I don't think any of us thought was possible.  Even though he is no longer alive, the impression he made on my family is stronger than ever.

Through donating to pancreatic cancer research, we're hoping to honor his memory and help even the tiniest bit to prevent another family from enduring the suffering that this dreadful disease causes.

 (personal photo)

What charity would you use in lieu of favors?