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Friday, January 28, 2011


So, this has been like, what - my 20th blogpost this week?  Well, that's what happens when someone who's planning a wedding gets sick for a week BUT is also sick of "trying to get better" when at home.  The good news is, I actually feel like we've gotten A LOT done this week, given the fact that I wanted to almost call it a night at 8pm every, here goes another one! :)


After we booked our venue, my dad finally realized (CUE LIGHTBULB!) that he knows the owner of it, and has worked with him for years on different projects throughout Orlando!  So, naturally, after we found out he couldn't get us any more of a discount than we already finagled with them to book our reception, we talked him into taking us to his personal prop and decor warehouse - if you will, to browse, put together a "wish list", and hopefully knock a HUGE chunk of what it would cost to decorate our reception space.  The cool thing about our reception venue is that it is literally a blank slate.  You have to bring EVERYTHING in, from tables and chairs to bars and columns, YOU choose every single part of what goes in the room.  This could be a bit of a headache, but for Mr. Hess and I this was the PERFECT venue and opportunity for us to get creative for our wedding! This was about a month ago when we had this revelation of knowing somebody that could actually help us out with this, so I was excited today that the day was FINALLY here to see what Mr. Owner himself could do for us!

After work, Mr. Hess and I met my parents at a production company warehouse the owner partners with to decorate and make cool and customized decorations for big events all over FL!  I had NO IDEA what to expect when I walked in, but for some reason - I didn't really expect to see as much cool and unique stuff as we did!!!  Anyone who's ever been over to our place knows I frequently joke about the spare "bedroom" we have, which has turned more into a storage unit - or garage filled with the most random props and collection of things you would never guess you would EVER need to use for ANYTHING.  Well, picture that concept x 100 million BILLION GAGILLION and that's what was in this guy's storage unit!  Every type of party theme prop, color and style of column, wall decor, flooring, bar, chair, animal, frame, light, you name it was THERE!  And, ORGANIZED! I was almost more impressed by how this place was kept clean and organized over how much stuff they actually had...simply amazing.

So, finally when Mr. Hess got there I told him to take a deep breath because he was about to experience his own level of euphoria.  Like, LITERALLY - this place had Mr. Hess's name ALLLLLLLL OVER IT!!!!!!!!! There was SO much to look at, it was almost overwhelming, so at the end of it all we finally agreed that we would take it all in, asked some questions, and told him we would make a list of exactly what we were interested in.

Well, all I can tell you from this without giving too much away is 2 things:

1) We will definitely be getting a dance floor (duh!)
2) There will be some PRETTY COOL and UNIQUE things going on at our reception including lounge areas, bright colors, and some PRETTY AMAZING COCKTAIL TABLES....which is probably one of the things I am MOST pumped about!

And, other than that - I just don't think I could share any more!  It's all just WAY too much for me to get into and I don't wait to spoil anything!  All I can say is, our wedding most definitely has a contemporary, modern, and unique theme that I have never seen in person before.  I've gotten ideas here and there from shows on TV, and have seen some of the things we are doing on wedding shows, but never have I ever attended a wedding like the one we will be throwing for ourselves, and that's exactly what we wanted!


So, now - the wedding reception wheels are turning in my head and I can hardly stand it!  Can't wait to sit down with Mr. Hess and go over exactly what we are going to ask for from our new best friend.  As things progress, I might be able to throw a Wedding Hint or two out there, but for now all I can leave you with is a few photos:

This was the entrance to the storage unit - YUP not even in it yet...OMG!

Check out all of the different options in this one photo - CRAZY!

My mom sitting on the pink "rock and roll car" couch - THIS was pretty awesome!

And those photos don't even really begin to explain it...thing is, I will probably be using things from the rest of the photos I took so they became off limits from this blog!

Stay tuned for more Wedding Hints coming up...

174 DAYS TO GO!!!!!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Let the Bridesmaid Dates begin!

I know I mentioned a few days ago that I got to go pick up my bridesmaid dresses!  Now, the only thing more exciting than that is actually getting to hand deliver them to my girls, one by one, and getting to see them get excited as well!

Today, I got to see my long-lost buddy, Missy - who I just realized haven't seen since Britt's wedding last November! Completely unacceptable!  So, we decided to meet tonight so she could get her bridesmaid dress and shoes - and also to catch up!  There has been so much going on with both of us - it's unreal how much you miss out on in just a few short months.

Missy and I go WAYYYYY back - all the way back to the age of 2!  Her, Britt, and I all met at the same age, at pre-school and pretty much grew up together.  These girls have been like my sisters and I am SO happy that they will be by my side for our BIG DAY.  We been known to each other for practically all of our lives as Horse, Mouse, and Bear - respectively.  I mean, really - how awkwardly cute were we?!

Britt, Me and Missy, I'm guessing about 4 or 5 years old?

There's a lot more pictures where that came from - but you just might have to wait for those bad boys...

The three of us have been through ups and downs together and have been through all the different stages of life thus far, with each other.  Now, Britt lives in AZ, so it's difficult for Missy and I to deal with the separation.  But, I know she is starting her own new life as a married woman and I couldn't be happier for her.  Luckily, we will get to see her again in March, and then again of for all of the wedding festivities!

So tonight, Missy and I dedicated our dinner date to the "3 Muskateers" as we call ourselves, and went to our favorite restaurant Olive Garden.  Don't ask me why - it just is.  OG is and will always be OUR place to have dinner and catch up.  We talked about the wedding (duh), boys, jobs, life - you know the usual.  It was so good to actually see her in person, and I'm starting to realize how much I need to actually SEE my girls.  Life gets so crazy, we forget to actually make the time and effort to spend some quality time with each other.  After chatting for a little while, we figured out a few things:
  • This year IS the wedding season for ALL of us.'s been a trend that keeps on going!
  • We miss Britt, and our 3M get togethers.
  • We don't make enough of an effort to see one another.
  • We both LOVE the bridesmaid dresses and shoes - YAY!
As we were walking out to our cars, we remembered that we didn't get to take a picture, so we attempted to - but we both agreed that it just wasn't working out in a flattering way.  So, to avoid that embarrassment for both of us I'll provide a different form of embarrassment that I'm sure the 3M will appreciate.  As promised ealier, I'll leave you with some pretty classic oldies but goodies:

Me, Britt and Missy - okay at least we're a little cuter here.
That's a pretty amazing cupcake dress if you ask me! :)

Missy, Britt and Me. 2nd Dance Recital - apparently Missy didn't get the chipmunk memo.

There we are at my birthday party - I think we were 4.  Ironic thing is I think I was afraid of clowns?

I mean, this is completely normal right?

This is almost too embarrassing to put up - almost.  NICE clothes girls!

Me and Missy - 4th or 5th grade. There are just no words for this recital costume...

I think that will do for now.  You've got to watch out for Missy, she posts oldschool pictures on Facebook out of nowhere! With her scanner, nobody's safe... ;)

So now we are 2 Bridesmaids down and 7 to go - and I will get to see Bridesmaid #3 this weekend, when LHG comes to stay with me for a night! Can't wait!!!

Love you Mouse!
 3 Muskateers Forever! :)


My New Ride!

I know I've mentioned before that I was recently involved in a very traumatic car accident a little over a month ago.  Well, I'm not going to go into details about that but I have learned a few things about my experience thus far:
  • I know it's not the first thing on your mind when you get into an accident, but TAKE PICTURES! If I took a picture of the street light that was out on the road when I crashed, THAT alone would have saved me tons of letters and wrinkles.
  • GET CAR & HEALTH INSURANCE - REALLY.  Who drives without insurance? Isn't that asking for an accident to happen? The guy I got into an accident didn't have Health OR Medical Insurance...UGH!
  • Fight for your right.  I know the accident was BOTH of our faults.  That's what accidents are.  BUT, if the other party tries to blame you for things that just aren't true, fight your case.  
  • A silver lining to this all: A NEW CAR!  Believe me, the timing wasn't ideal with wedding season and all - but I guess when life hands you lemons, the best thing to do is make here we go!
And that's as much as I'm going to say about my accident.  Now on to the good stuff:

On December 24, 2010 I had to officially say "goodbye" to a dear old friend of mine - The Coug.  She was a great little car, and we had some great times together ever since I got her for a college graduation present in 2007.  I loved my Coug.  She really was a great car, and treated me nicely...we had a bond, and I knew I was going to drive her until she literally wouldn't drive any longer.  Well, I guess you can say that's what I did.  Here's the end of a great chapter to my life: Saying Goodbye to The Coug:

I was SO upset to see her like this!
Cleaning everything out...look at those airbags... :(
You can tell how emotional of a day this was for me.  On the other hand, the thought of getting a new car gave me more emotions - UTTER JOY for getting to finally pick out a car that I WANTED but also FEAR that I wasn't going to be able to make the right decision or be able to pay for the one I wanted.  Well, to make a LOOOOONG story short - here's what happened.

Looking at the used cars...not quite sure what we want yet!

Mr. Hess and I spent a few days car shopping, not to mention endless hours on the Internet - researching, pricing, and creating cars that I think would fit me.  Well, I ALWAYS have known what my absolute dream car would be, and has been that way ever since high school.  The beautiful, classy Lexus IS 250.  Now, right away, I knew she would be way out of my price range - let's be real.  So, I didn't pursue that dream very long and went to look at the more practical choices in front of me.  So there Mr. Hess and I went - from dealership to dealership we test drove and looked at just about everything the lot had to offer.  We found a few cars that would "do", but I always had the same thought in my mind... Fortunately, I have never had to have a car payment, so this concept alone is going to be an entire new ball game for me.  Needless to say, I kept justifying what I wanted by this - I could pay a decent amount and get a decent car, OR, I can splurge a little - work an extra shift a month - and get the car of my dreams.  Well, I think you can tell by the pictures below what I ended up getting.  And let me just say one more thing before you look: I got her for an AMAZING deal - literally better than what our dealer himself pays for his wife's car, which is the same exact one.  Don't ask me how - but we have been blessed by some great friends who know people in high places.  Mr. Hess and I both feel very fortunate for what we are "hooked up" with from time to time...but this absolutely takes the cake.

Introducing the beautiful, lovely, classy LILY LEXUS!!!!!!

Isn't she GORGEOUS?!?!?!

I'm a tad bit obsessed...and I knew from the moment I test drove her that she had to be MINE!  Yeah, it's going to have to be a concious effort to put away a car payment per month for me, but HEY - I work 2 jobs, and I work HARD! Shouldn't I deserve something I will truly work HARD for?  That's what I thought anyways...

Check out my excitement when Mr. Hess comes up to me getting the keys handed to me:

And, HERE WE GO! Ready for our first ride! :)

So, you can obviously tell I'm IN LOVE.  She took over a month to get here, but she was well worth the wait.  Can't wait to embark on the new journeys with her for years to come.  Thanks Mr. Hess for supporting us, and welcoming Miss Lily Lexus into our family!

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


WOOHOO!!!!!!! I'm sure you've figured out what I'm so excited for by now, but the day has finally arrived that I've been anxiously and patiently waited for: to see MY bridesmaid dresses in THE COLOR in PERSON!

Well, I got to see all 9 OF THEM because I took it upon myself to pick them all up for my girls.  I did this for two reasons: 
1) The store has a new policy that you must pick up any order within 10 days, or you get charged per day for it to store there - BOO...and
2) I advised the girls to get their dresses and get them altered elsewhere. 

ON THIS: The bridal shop is more than adequate to alter the dress for you - in fact they would probably do the best job considering that's where the dress came from.  However, alterations from a bridal shop are wayyyyy overpriced.  I learned that when I got my last bridesmaid dress altered at the shop when I paid 3x the price after it was done!  This time around, I got my bridal gown altered right there at the shop because I wouldn't trust anyone BUT the shop to alter that baby...but, when it came down to the girls dresses, I advised them to save a little money and get them altered on their own.

When I got the call that the dresses were in, I was SO EXCITED! I know it's real that we are getting married and that the big day is less than 6 months away now, but for some reason the fact that my bridesmaids now have their dresses and shoes purchased and ready to wear makes it seem VERY REAL.  After I heard the message, I went over to Mr. Hess and gave him a big hug.  He didn't really know why or where the big hug randomly came from - but he didn't really care.  It was from the idea that our wedding really IS happening and the feeling of excitement to see something actually come in for it! :)

Yesterday was the day that I arranged to pick up the dresses, and I asked my bridesmaid KDO to help me pick them up! Yes, I could have picked them up myself, but this was just an excuse to see her!  It had been FOREVER since we had hung out, and I was so happy to spend some quality time with her.  We met after work, first - for frozen yogurt (of course!) and then headed over to the bridal shop.

**Sidenote: Apparently everything having to do with the wedding in the area of the venue or bridal shop requires a stop at my favorite fro yo place...I can see how this could become a problem! FUNNY STORY: When we went to check out this time yours truly somehow flipped the freaking cup completely over on the counter.  And, yes - my cup was just as big as last time, over $5 worth! I had to go back and make an entire new cup of yumminess and the entire time KDO was laughing hysterically at me.  Glad I could provide some sort of entertainment, right?**

After catching up on life for a little bit, we headed over to the bridal shop.  The last time I went in there, it was to pick up my earrings that came in, and the time before that was to pick up my beautiful wedding shoes!  Every time I go into this store, it's always something exciting and I'm always in the best sales consultant probably thinks I'm the biggest cheeseball, which could be true...I was making fun of myself for taking pictures of this occasion and KDO chimed in: "You should see this girl's blog!" hahaha.  Cheesball, definitely....but oh well, this is something I have learned to really enjoy and I've heard some great feedback on it! :)

Back to the shop - when we walked in, the dresses were right by the register, hanging in all of their glory waiting to be taken home.  I asked KDO to try hers on to see what it looked like, and she was excited to see it too!  She kept joking that after that fro yo she probably wouldn't fit it in, but I beg to differ - she looked absolutely beautiful!  Can't wait to see the final picture with hair, make-up and their matching shoes on!  Now, I can tell you she looked beautiful, but I can't really show you what she looked like because that would totally give away what the dresses look like.  What I can show you is this picture:

What's the dress look like?! "I KNOW NOTHING!" lol.

Needless to say, we were both very happy with how they turned out!  I'm so glad she was there for such an wonderful event to me.  She probably had no idea how excited I was to get these babies in my hands, but she made the experience for me even more fun.  KDO was my room mate in college, and we became very close during that time.  Now, we are still close - but I definitely don't get to see her as much as I would like.  She admitted that one of her New Year's resolutions is to hang out with me more (she probably means her friends in general), but regardless, that is a very good resolution and I can't wait to hold her to it.  Next date, she gets her bridesmaid shoes!

So now I'm 1 down, 8 more dresses and bridesmaid dates to go.  I have all of the girls' bridesmaid dresses safe and sound here at home.  SO EXCITED they turned out exactly how I expected! :) Here I am trying to hide a little bit of what they look like, but you could have already figured out the color from my Wedding Hint #2:

SO HAPPY to take these babies home! :)
Expect to see more blogs down the road of my dates with these girls!  That's the good thing about holding their stuff hostage until you get to actually see them in person rather than talk via e-mail, facebook, or text - guaranteed quality time with each girl...

Until next time!

178 days to go...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Can't believe TODAY is the 6 MONTH MARK!!!!!!! 

I know everyone says it - but this time counting down to the BIG DAY is just flying by!

1.22.2011 marks 6 months until I become Mrs. Hess - and I couldn't be more excited about it!  Besides today being an incredibly loooooooooooong day at work (both jobs) the thought that there is only 6 months left to plan is both overwhelming and exciting at the same time!

I just spoke to my friends Britt and Ash recently, which Britt just got married last November and Ash is getting married a month before me - and I keep saying the same thing....I'm trying so hard to stay on task and get my monthly list checked off of things on our "TO-DO" List, but I can't wait for the day to just get here already!  I'm ready for all of the planning to be set and perfectly put together, and to see the results of what we have been working so hard on for the last 5 months! I'm trying not to stress out, but it's difficult to not feel overwhelmed at times.  SO - on that note, I am going to take a deep breath: WOOOOOSSSSSAAAAAA! And check number one for this part of our planning off, as I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE is DONE!!!! :)

What is this phenomenal task you ask?...

OH, my RING?! It's officially PAID OFF!!! :) :) :)

CAN'T EXPLAIN THE FEELING this gives me, such a sigh of relief.  Now, Mr. Hess and I can actually put money away to save on the wedding and not save it for something we already owe on.  And, by the way did I ever post a picture of this thing? I have to say, Mr. Hess truly impressed me with this one, and this isn't the best picture - but I'm sure you'll see more of it down the road:

Not really the clearest of pictures, considering its' from my phone - but it works!

I'm sure I could do an entire post about my ring one of these days - when I get pictures of it that do it justice.  But, needless to say I AM SO EXCITED out of everything we did this past month, that we accomplished this task!

Also, I'm proud of what we've done since the "7 MONTHS TO GO" mark.  Since then, we have:
  • Met with a DJ/Lighting company that I LOVE - close to booking them.
  • Took our Engagement Photos, and just 2 days ago officially decided to purchase the CD with the rights to ALL of them - this was not an easy desicion, but well worth it.  And, that I might add this is ALSO paid for! :)
  • Ordered our SAVE THE DATES! (WITH addresses!), and paid for!
  • Took my family to see our venue, and they LOVED it!
  • Did an incredible amount of work on our website - it is about 90% ready to go! CAN'T WAIT to release it!!!
  • Bought a NEW CAR! I get her will see a post on this very soon, I'm sure!
  • Took in an amazing stray Puppy, YES, that's right - we're KEEPING HIM!
  • Designed and practically ordered all of my bridesmaids' gifts.  (Not giving too many details about this one)... ;)
  • Put my dress, my shoes, and my BIG DAY accessories all in one spot at my Mom's for safe keeping! I could do an entire blog post about this alone....but I'll save the element of surprise for later...
  • Booked 2 trips to travel with Mr. Hess for work - hey, we've got to get away from all the planning and stress somehow right? I think this will be a great (and almost paid for) way to do it! :)
  • Set up an appointment to look at a warehouse full of stuff to decorate our venue with!  After this meeting (next Friday), I will have a lot better of an idea of what our space will look like.  Not to mention, this will help us order our tables and chairs!
  • Started browsing for invitations.

And the list goes on and on and on...It's funny, somebody asked me the other day - "Are you just constantly doing wedding stuff at all hours of the day, all day long?" Well, my answer to them was "Yes, absolutely."  With an iPhone, you can get e-mail after e-mail, browse the Internet and keep track of a budget wherever you go - what do you think I'm doing?  When I'm driving - all I can think about is what I need to do when I go home.  When I'm working, all people want to do is ask me how everything is going...needless to say this wedding is basically on my mind 24/7! Not like that's a bad thing...

So, that's my 6 MONTHS TO GO update!  Good news is, January isn't quite over yet, because there's still some things I need to get checked off...but we're getting there!  Until then, enjoying this time while I can...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest List, Addresses, and Save the Dates - OH MY!

is all I can say to the task at hand with this one...

When we first got engaged, I knew right away that we were going to have a wedding more on the bigger than smaller side, whether I liked it or not.  Since both Mr. Hess and I live in Orlando, my family lives in Orlando, we both work for the same company in Orlando, and are getting married in Orlando, you can imagine determining a guest list can be QUITE the challenge.

Of course we want every one of our friends there, and all of our family right away we included our family and our closest friends we've known for years - but where do you draw the line on who you can and can't invite?  Like I said before, both Mr. Hess and I work together so we have SO many mutual friends.  Not just "her" wedding or "his" wedding...but to these people, it is "OUR" wedding and they have known us both before we even started dating! So, when it comes to people we see every single day during the regular NBA Basketball season, it's hard not to consider them family or on the close friends list.  THAT alone probably added about 50-75 people to our guest list - GEEZ!

With that said, since we have so many mutual friends between the two of us - there comes the tricky part of inviting dates.  That + one starts adding a whole lot of other +s to the cost of your wedding!  So, after debating back and forth, Mr. Hess and I finally decided that we do want the majority of our close friends there.  If there is a group of our close friends that all know each other and it makes up to be about 50 people, they should be just fine and will enjoy the wedding with or without a date, right?  Of course, for the people that we are close with them AND their significant other, they will be added on the invitation...but you know we've all been there when we just don't have a specific date in mind to a wedding, and if there isn't a name you KNOW you will ask 6 months prior, and the ONLY way we can invite everyone is to make those invitations sans the +1, you would send it out without the plus one invite right? Is that rude to do?!?  Possibly.  But at this point, that is our only option.  And from talking to numerous people about this, and debating back and forth, if they really are our close friends they will understand. If money grew on trees - which I know I'm not the only bride who wishes it did - I wouldn't think twice to invite everyone we wanted to.  BUT, that's obviously not the case. BUDGET is an annoying and word that I dread, but necessary in this entire process and keeping your guest count under control is KEY in this.  So, we're hoping for a big, but reasonable number of 200 guests.  We'll see how that goes...

So, back to the addresses.  We now know who's invited (and believe me - there are STILL people I wish so much I could add to this list, but it's just getting out of control), next came the part of finding all of their current addresses.  Let me just say this entire process started the weekend after we got back from AR when we got engaged and Mr. Hess is sitting right next to me as we speak finishing his portion of the address homework.  That's 5 entire months!!!! FIVE whole months of freaking out about what people will think when they see if they are or aren't invited.  AHHHH! So, you can see from what I'm writing that has not been an easy task by any means.  Keep your fingers crossed that this darn address list gets uploaded and added to our Save the Date order by TOMORROW!!!!!!

Which brings me to the next subject - SAVE THE DATES!!!!!

That, on the other hand didn't take as long to put together.  Right when we started looking at how we were going to send these puppies out, we decided that a magnet would be the best way to go.  Quick, reasonably priced, and easy to find & order online.  I didn't get to spend a crazy amount of time on browsing, but I happened to stumble across a GREAT Save the Date magnet website, and everything I looked at after that didn't compare:

Mr. Hess and I spent all of 2 nights going through each option, and finally compromised on a style and layout that we agreed on.  When we took our Engagement Photos, we decided to do a little something special for our "Save the Date Photo" - and used that one photo right when we got it back from the photographer.  THANK GOD - choosing one out of the 500 we took could have been another crazy task, so I'm glad we had a plan ahead of time for that one...YAY!

So, I'm happy to report - the SAVE THE DATES have been ORDERED and PAID FOR!!! :) All they are waiting on are the addresses to print on the envelopes, and they will be on their way to us shortly after.  I can't tell you how excited I am just writing that...this has definitely been one of the more stressful tasks so far.

Thanks for listening to (or reading) the rambling on and on about silly wedding stuff - but I guess that's what this blog is for, right? You asked for it! :)

Can't wait to update you on how they turn out...

 182 days until our "Save the Date" IS the date!

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


PUP + update = PUPDATE! Good one, Mrs. Hess.

It's been about 3 weeks since we found PUP, the wonderful stray dog that Mr. Hess and I took in from the cold streets right before New Years!

Originally, we were going to keep him for a week TOPS and then find him a good home if we didn't find his original owners by then.  Well, we put up signs all around the neighborhood, asked around, and before we knew it a week went by and Pup was still there.  Then 2 weeks went by.  Now, 3 weeks have gone by and we still have PUP!!!!! Here's why...

He is SUCH a good dog!! I've mentioned before that we didn't want to keep him because we live in an apartment, and don't really have the time at home a puppy needs.  However, we have trained him well enough to know our scheudles and once we figured him out, he hasn't made a mess in the house since!  He is just the sweetest and most loving dog I have ever had.  He does tricks, plays nicely with our kitties, and seems to be so happy here.

So, for now, we still have Pup.  We still haven't given him an official name yet - so Pup it is.  If he stays with us another week, there will be a trip to the vets in his future....and maybe a few more trips to the pet store! :)

Watch out Mr. Hess - I can get pretty dangerous when I'm buying for animals I love...


184 days left....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sneak Preview to our Venue

First off, I have to mention how much I truly LOVE, LOVE the florist we hired.

He did my friend Britt's wedding last November, and since I originally met with him he's popped up in photos on my photag's blog, my friend's pics of their weddings, and all over Facebook.  It was easy to see that he is very talented, creative, and popular to book in the Orlando area.  After the consult, I was nervous that everything we talked about would be wayyyyy over budget.  Mr. Hess and I went over the odds and ends of everything and made up a "wish list" of everything we want.  I expected our quote, and this florist to be out of our league, and I was trying to cope with it.  When I got a proposal back from him, I was SO EXCITED to see that he was actually under the other florists we met with - and WAYYY MORE CREATIVE!!! Needless to say, I called him that afternoon to say "When can we come in and put down a deposit?" I was SO excited!!!!

Later that week, my mom met me at his office and we started going through our contract.  We eliminated things on our "wish list" that looking back at, we just didn't need.  This also gave my mom a chance to see what I was looking for and say "hey, I happen to have this and that in our storage", and knock a few more off of what we needed to spend with him.  Okay, I'll take it!  By the end of the meeting, I was so happy and relieved that we figured out our flowers.  I knew this would be a HUGE decision and I knew I picked the right guy for the job.

Check him out (but let me say, his website does not do him as much justice as his tagged Facebook photos!):

Another thing I LOVED about Lee is he has done a few weddings at both our ceremony and our reception venues, so he knows the spaces well!  Mr. Hess and I both came with tons of ideas, and it didn't take long for Lee to draw something we fell in love with!  He mentioned this was very similar to what he would be doing for a Bride in January at the same reception venue and invited me to come see what he had set up!  Of course, this is something I didn't want to miss - since our venue is at Heaven Events Center and is basically a clean slate.  In our reception space, EVERYTHING is draped in white, there are a few LED lights - and that's it.  Alone, the space isn't very impressive or appealing to have your wedding at, but Mr. Hess and I have some pretty wild imaginations and tend to think outside the box.  This venue seemed perfect for us to do whatever we wanted to do, and we knew the sky is the limit.

So today, my mom, my aunt, and my sister (MOH) came with me to scope the place out.  I couldn't wait to see what Lee had been talking about and what he did with such an empty space.  Well, the place was absolutely GORGEOUS when we got there, even though they still had a lot of work to do.  The centerpieces were amazing, the ceiling pieces were amazing, and I knew right away that THIS is very similar to what my wedding reception will look like.  AHHHHH, so excited to see this!

I can't give too much away, but I will sneak a pic or two for you:

Our Reception Venue - HEAVEN Events Center

Beautiful centerpieces by Lee Forrest

Me and my MOH enjoying the outside "cocktail area"

My mom and Aunt! :)

Right when you enter you see a tall staircase with a beautiful waterfall behind it!
And, that's all I can show you!!!!! The wedding today had a very cool ceiling piece that would be WAYYY to similar to what we would do for our wedding to post on here, so I can't give it away just yet.  I'm SO glad we got to take a sneak peak at the venue today, all done up for a wedding.  It puts me at ease knowing how the space can be utilized and it helps each time I see a different theme or concept used in the space. SO SO SO excited to see how everything we are thinking comes together!

After seeing the space, the girls in my family today all approve of the venue choice. Score!  At first, my mom wasn't sure this was the right route for us, but after actually seeing what we can do with the space, she is confident that we made the right decision.  THANK GOD! :)

It was so nice to spend the day with the girls.  After the venue, we grabbed some fro yo from the best place in town - my fav, Menchies!!!!! I bet you can guess which one of these is mine....

YUP - bottom Right...who spends $6 at Menchies? Seriously.

SO enjoyed the day with them, and we got a lot of stuff done.  I'm lucky to have them a part of our big day! I guess that's it for now, can't wait to show the rest of the pics to Mr. Hess when he gets back in town!

187 days until we see OUR venue set-up!!!!!!


Friday, January 14, 2011

3 Year Anniversary!


I know it's been oh....almost 2 weeks now, but I realized I completely skipped over blogging about our special day once a year to recognize our relationship! Silly me!  Mr. Hess and I officially got together 3 years ago, on New Years day!  Every year, we get to celebrate with friends to bring in the New Year and watch the ball drop, but every New Years Day we make it a point to celebrate US.

This year, Mr. Hess took me to see his favorite comedian, Howie Mandel.  I had actually never been to an official comedy show before, so I was excited to go see what it's like.  I didn't know what to expect, but I had SO much fun. Holy crap, this guy was hysterical!!!!! I didn't understand at first why he wanted to do this on our anniversary, but now I see why.  A great Italian dinner, wine, and laughing for 2 straight hours was EXACTLY what we needed to take stress away from planning.  What a great night!

Ready to laugh, with a mint in my mouth from dinner! :)

@ the Howie Mandel show!
Mr. Hess also surprised me since we decided NOT to do any kind of gifts for each other this year, since we're saving for the wedding.  He came up with a great tradition for us - every year for our anniversary, we will buy an ornament ON SALE after Christmas for our tree as an anniversary present to each other.  He got me a beautiful purple, sparkly bird that goes with our tree and I got him a cute little taxi cab because we have a thing for NY, and also to represent how much I love traveling with him.  I'm sure some years we will spoil each other more than this, but for now - it seemed like the perfect idea.  Kudos, Mr. Hess.

Our ornaments to each other!

I can't believe 3 years has already flown by since we started dating.  Mr. Hess is actually out of town right now for work, and I miss him more than he knows.  When he's gone, I realize I don't get to tell him enough how much he means to me, and how much I take him being here for granted.  He spoils me more than I could dream of...but makes sure I learn my own lessons along the way.  I am so blessed to have a support system like him, and I know that we're exactly where we're supposed to be.  Can't believe next year we will be celebrating a different JULY!!!!!! Love this feeling, and...


189 days left...


Monday, January 10, 2011

Engagement Photos Preview

The day FINALLY CAME!!!!! On January 4th, Mr. Hess and I finally had our ENGAGEMENT PHOTO Session (or, E-session for those into the wedding terminology).

We had been debating ever since we started looking for photographers whether or not we were going to have an Engagement Photo Session with the company we chose, or to just have our friend Lauren do some snapshots of us.  When we finally found who would be capturing our big day, we decided that we were going to weigh out the options and see what the best option would be.

The package we booked included an E-session, so it made sense to use that as an opportunity to get to know our photographer, and see how she captures our style.  So with our friend's blessing....we finally decided to book our E-session with our wonderful photographer Victoria, from Elegant Imagery. We found them at the Bridal Show we went to back in October, and after seeing their work and modern, artistic style - we booked them within a month!  SO EXCITED!!!!!! :D

After how our E-session went, I couldn't be happier with the quality of photos, the colors, and the modern and edgy eye our photographer has.  She even brought her dad along to get some different angles and throw out more ideas for us to do.  I was very impressed with that added bonus, and I'm so glad we decided to use her for our session since I think it is really important to us to have chemistry with whoever is shooting our wedding.  Also, a huge requirement for me was to have great communication skills, because I've learned from my friends in the past how much communication and chemistry (or lack of), can have to do with how your photos turn out.  

Knowing our photographer's style, and our style - we decided to take some photos that were different form the normal beach, park, or empty field photo.  Since we met in Orlando, we wanted to have more of a modern, urban feel to our photos and chose to take the photos in different parts of downtown.

We started out at a great Spanish, rustic looking restaurant, went to up and down staircases, over some train tracks, over to some graffiti walls and ended up on the rooftop of the Amway Center! Yup, the brand new Arena in downtown Orlando.  I don't know how he did it, but Scott pulled out whatever connections he had and really made me proud.  We even got some shots at the end on the actual Magic Court and in the stands.  I know I will love ALL of our photos, but I think some of those will be my favorite, just because the Magic have so much to do with how we met.

Our day is finally our Magic gear!
After a long day of shooting, we were excited to see how the photos turned out but were a little worn out to say the least...

We haven't gotten more than a handful of our photos back, but I wanted to share what we've seen so far!  CAN.NOT.WAIT to see how the rest turn out!!!! :)

Civiche - this pic was shot bouncing off of a mirror!

Of course, Mr. Hess thought of this pose idea...
So you can see, we are a little out of the "ordinary" when it comes to wedding stuff.   We want our ceremony to be more traditional, but when it comes to the reception, you can definitely say we are thinking "outside of the box!" and more on the fun side.  Both Mr. Hess and I have a contemporary style, and I'm happy to see it showed through our Engagement Photos:

Amway Center - rooftop, overlooking downtown Orlando!
I was very proud of Mr. Hess, who came up with a really creative way to do our "Save the Date" in on of our photos.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that turns out and we can use it right away to get Save the Date cards printed and sent over! AHHHHH!

Can't wait to post more when they are released! :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wedding Hint #2

It's probably pretty obvious to you by now that my favorite color is: 

Revealing a color and type of flower you might be seeing at our wedding...we have about 5 main flowers in our floral decor so far!

Bride (& Groom) Hangers!

So, most of you know by now that I was in my dear friend Britt's wedding last November.  Not only did she do an amazing job staying organized and planning her wedding, she has steered me in the right direction in so many different ways!  One thing she showed me when it was almost time for her wedding was the MOST ADORABLE wedding hanger.  Naturally, as soon as I saw this I wanted to order one of these for myself the same day!

I thought about it, and because I am going to have it say my future Mrs. name, I'm not going to post an actual picture of it.  But, I decided to share anyways, because these things are just SO darn cute!!!

Well, one thing I was worried about and asked myself was, what about if the dress is heavy?  Will wire really hold the dress?  The wire hangers will supposedly hold a wedding dress for up to a few days, but will not be good to store on long term.  Great for a photo opp, but I wasn't sure if wire was the way to go because of this reason.  After researching more, I found a few different versions of it:

OR, you could even get a fun color accent to go with your wedding:

So after seeing these, it is clear that I will be ordering one.  Also, these would make great bridesmaid gifts!  I didn't order these for my girls, and if I did I wouldn't have posted it on here because they frequent my blog page - but I found something completely different and special for them already.  But look how cute this could be if you don't have an idea what to get your girls:

I'm not sure which one I personally will go for, but it looks like I'm leaning towards the PINK or wood!  I showed Mr. Hess these hangers, and now he wants to get a Groom hanger in blue for him.  Or maybe they have one in the wedding color he got to pick?  Look for a few Wedding Hints from now to see what colors we chose to decorate our big day with! 

My personal fav is the complete wire, but I would hate for it not to be able to hold the dress of my dreams!  Any suggestions?!

For more wedding dress hangers or ideas, try the website I pulled these from:

195 days to go....

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mr. Hess, Pup & his Razorbacks!

We all know Mr. Hess is a little bit of a ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS fan...he only went to the school, played in the marching band (YUP - sure did play the trumpet), and was THE Arkansas Razorback Mascot for 3 years!  He is loud and proud of his HOGS and never misses a game.

Tonight when I got home from work, I saw the ARK vs. OHIO ST Sugar Bowl game on.  Of course, there Mr. Hess was watching the game in Razorback gear head to toe.  Tonight though, we had a new guest over to watch the game...

About 5 nights ago, Mr. Hess called me in the middle of the night from downstairs telling me that he was coming up, but he found a stray dog.  Half asleep, I agreed to let him come into the house for two reasons: 1) I love dogs and 2) it was in the middle of a cold night streak in Orlando.  I felt bad for the little guy, who Mr. Hess said was cold, wet, and wandering around looking lost.  He had a blue collar on, but it was very tattered and there weren't any tags on him.  We spent the next few days after we found him putting up signs around the neighborhood, but haven't gotten a response from anyone.  We have been looking for MISSING DOG signs, but haven't seen a thing.  So for now, we have a pup.  We bought him some puppy food, made him a bed, took him on lots of walks, and pretty much took him in as our own.

We haven't named "Pup" yet, because we didn't want to get attached, but clearly that has already happened.  We are excited to introduce the newest member of the Hess family (for now anyways) to you:

We would aboslutely LOVE to keep him if his owners aren't anywhere to be found.  I don't know who would have the heart to do it, but just by the way he responds to strangers and kids, it leaves us to wonder what kind of home he came from and if he ran away on purpose, or if he was abandoned.  He seems to like it at our place, even though we swore we would never have a dog in an apartment.  If we had a house, the desicion to keep him would have already been made.  So, we'll see what happens in the next week. Pup is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever come into contact with and something tells me we were meant to find him...I'm just saying. ;)

Keep you posted!  Until next time...


198 days and counting...we're in the 100s now! WOW!

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