Happily Ever After...
Life - Camera - Action

The world will always tell you, “Your wedding day will go so fast you won’t even remember it.” While this is true, they don’t tell you how fast life begins to speed up as well. It’s been almost two years since my wedding, but feels like it only happened yesterday. Where does the time go? 

Not much has changed for us since “tieing the knot.” At least for the most part. Our first year started off in that “honeymoon” phase, then drifted into the “non-stop fighting about nothing” phase for a bit (that was fun…), however since then, things have been….back to normal. 

James and I never lived together prior to getting married; not even while we were engaged. So when he move in and brought his stuff with him, it was a huge adjustment for us both. I am an obsessive compulsive organizer/cleaner. James is a bit of a slob. James has his routine when he gets home from work, I was constantly in his space. For me, it got to the point where I would look at him and wonder, “how is it possible to hate someone you love so much?” The answer…it’s called being married. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A New Leaf

According to Cosmopolitan Magazine:

Experts say that when you’re negative, it’s contagious to the people around you (and then you’re surrounded by negativity, which doesn’t exactly help your stress level). If you find yourself wanting to vent about someone, write it in your diary instead.

After removing myself from the world of weddings these last few weeks, I have realized how negative all of my entries were becoming. No wedding is perfect, and as upset as I am about certain things, nothing can change the fact that I have begun a new chapter of my life married to my best friend.

From this moment on I will no longer dwell on what was, but will now focus on what will be; our future filled with exciting adventures such as buying our first home, starting a family, and anything worthy in-between.

But Wait…There’s More…

It has been two months since my semi-disastrous wedding. Two months of accepting the fact that day is over; telling myself no need to dwell, I married my BEST friend and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. This actually worked well until…the wedding photos!

We should have known from the engagement photos using this photographer would be a gamble. My gut told me we should go with someone else, but having already put down a large deposit, and speaking about our concerns with the owner of the studio, we felt now they know exactly what we are looking for and it should be ok. Do you know what happens when you assume?

First let me start off with saying as per our contract, upon picking up our proofs in 4-6 weeks (try 8), we were to get a password for a website where all our photos would be posted for family and friends to see. In addition we were also supposed to receive an HD disc with all of the pictures. Not only was the website “not ready” (a.k.a. not even started yet), the CD apparently would not be given to us until we were completely finished with their services, but when I got home and began looking through the three boxes of proofs with James’ cousin, she noticed quite a few were missing including those of James seeing me for the first time!

Naturally I contacted the studio first thing the next morning and spoke with the owner who after looking at the “printing schedule” he received from his printer said, “Oh I do see you are missing a bunch of photos.”

Question: As a professional, wouldn’t you think maybe before giving an expensive product to a customer you should make sure everything checks out, and as a photographer make sure all of the pictures are there? I digress.

Two days of impatiently waiting went by until I FINALLY received an email with a password to our wedding photo website. This was it. I was going to see the missing proofs; James seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time. I anxiously scrolled through page after page of already seen pictures until…THERE THEY ARE. Me walking into the room, James’ back facing me; Me walking closer to him; Me tapping him on the shoulder (OMG here it comes!!!); James turning around and….THE BACK OF HIS HEAD?!?! Picture after picture of James and my first moments together as bride and groom, all the back of his head! Every.Last.One.

To date I have yet to speak with the studio. I have yet to sit with James and pick out the 80 photos needed for our album. I am so unbelievably upset that the one moment I specifically requested be captured on film, was all of my face and the back of James’ head! My only hope is that the videographer got better angles and I can take a screen shot of that. <sigh>

The Best and Worst Day of my Life…My Wedding

Greetings to all who have been with me on this long and stressful journey from marriage proposal to the actual wedding day. It is with great sadness that I admit, my wedding was nothing short of a nightmare. Although it is so great to hear about how much fun everyone had and how great the food and music were, especially since James and I worked so hard trying to make this day as perfect as we could, for me as the bride, I was counting down the hours till it was finally over.

It all began the minute I checked into the hotel. Being that we booked our wedding fifteen months in advance, I wrongfully assumed James and I would be put in a bridal suite. Not only were we NOT in a bridal suite (which they later told us none were available at the time of the booking, which makes no sense since we were the first couple to book a Scotto Brothers wedding venue for 2012), but our room was on the first floor, all the way in the back corner near the service exit. And before you even think it, I did try and change rooms a check-in however was told the entire hotel was booked solid. The room itself was nice, a two room suite with kitchenette. James’ room which we had booked ONE WEEK PRIOR was not only bigger, but a LOT nicer then mine…guess that’s what happens when you get a complementary night when booking where we did.

I do have to say I had a great night sleep. Just me, myself and I in a room away from everyone. If it would have only stayed that way. The morning of our wedding I woke up refreashed and calm. Got up, took a nice hot shower, put on their complamentry bathrobe and proceeded to the kitchenette to make myself some coffee in their Keurig coffee maker. This is when the nightmare began. My coffee pot was not working no matter what I tried. Aggravated, I put on my “Soon To Be Mrs. Cicardo” white velour jumpsuit (brand new out of the packaging) and went to the lobby. While finally mixing the milk and sugar into my new coffee cups, someone decides to spill their cup of coffee all over my sleeve. There are no napkins in sight…anywhere. I might at this point have flipped out on one of the workers who attempted to bring me a rag with some club soda, however when I realized the stain was already there I stormed back to my room.

About 20 minutes later and 2 cups of coffee in, I calmed back down. That’s when a tornado hit my room, aka Mom. I can definitely appreciate her excitement, however being as calm as I was, her constant thinking out loud and obvious jitters were making me nuts! As the day continued more and more people began showing up to my room; bridesmaids and family members. I did tell the ‘maids to be at my room between 10am and 12pm. Those getting ready elsewhere I told to be AT the room no later then 2pm being that the photographer would be there are 1:45.

The time was 2pm. My hotel suite was full with 3 bridesmaids, 5 family members, and 5 photography studio workers. No one was dressed and we were missing bridesmaids. Not to mention the limo was picking us up t 3pm sharp to head to Old Westbury Gardens for photos. I needed space, I couldn’t breath. I locked myself in the bathroom to calm down. Seeing how stressed I was becoming, the photographers left to go over to James’ room and take photos there. It was time to get myself ready. I took one last deep breath and opened the bathroom door to find that there were more people in my room, and my bed had been taken over. At this point I suffered my first anxiety attack of the day. I can not stand too many people being “on top” of me. I kicked everyone out. Yelling and crying and shaking I just needed everyone to go! Everyone except my two matrons of honor who I needed to calm me and put me in my dress.

So there I was, returning to normal and stepping into this gorgeous dress, when people in the other room began trying to get in because they needed to get dressed as well. It was amazing to me how selfish and inconsiderate people are. I was the BRIDE putting on MY DRESS in MY ROOM and I am getting yelled at to hurry up because other people need to get ready. I should have known at this moment, that it would be the theme of the rest of the night.

The dress was on and pictures were taken. We move out into the hall to take some more then are being rushed into the limo since it was now 3:15 and we HAD to be at the gardens at 3:30. I had nothing. No blusher, camera, lip gloss, nothing. I was not prepared to not be allowed back to my room. We get into the limo where I advise the driver he has to wait for my family and James with his family who would be following us. Well that request went in one ear and out the other because as soon as the door closed we were off.

Photos at the garden were nice. Aside from constantly having to yell to find people would refused to just wait in the room, I think it went really well. Back in the limo on the way to the catering hall the complaints began again. We are hungry, when do we eat, what are they going to serve us, when are we going to get there. Trying to tune it all out, I began running through our ceremony checklist with James; parents rings?…check! Our rings?…check! Marriage License?…Marriage License?…no marriage license. Thank goodness it was still early enough for someone to go to our room at the hotel and bring it on the shuttle (J.N. saved the day!)

We were told at our final appointment that once arriving at the catering hall we would be taken into the photo studio for pictures and appitizers. This was only half the case. We were taken into a large storage room because the photo studio was being used by another wedding. Unacceptable to me, however there were food and drinks so it made everyone happy…if only for a brief moment. For those of you who remember, Saturday didn’t have the best weather. It was chilly and damp and at points misty. James and I had our hearts set on having the ceremony outside, however at this point were unsure if that would even be possible. In comes the Matre’de who tells us it IS possible, and while James goes outside to look, I, the bride, got ambushed. “It’s too cold! I’m not walking if you do it outside! You can’t have it outside!” When James returned, I politely suggested we have the ceremony indoors. I was heartbroken, but just being attacked I couldn’t take it anymore.

He of course began yelling at me in frustration. I pulled him aside and explained what happened. Next thing I know, James walks to the center of the room and yells “THE CEREMONY IS OUTSIDE, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, DONT COME!” No one said a peep after that…my hero.

The ceremony was beautiful! The sky was dark and with all of the lights it was better then I could have ever imagined. This was my moment. OUR moment. This was the first time all day where no one could talk to us, or complain to us. As i walked down the isle I tuned everything out. As far as I was concerned it was just me, an isle, and James waiting for me at the end of it. Although cut short cause of the cold, we pledge our love for one another and fifteen minutes later walked away as husband and wife.

As soon as we got inside we were rushed back up to the photo studio. We took extended family photos and it was now time to bustle my train. I stood to the side with my matrons of honor, who were fully capable of finding 8 loops and hooking them onto 8 buttons, however the second it was noticed what we were doing, the bridal attendant rushed them off to do it herself. My blood pressure continued to rise as I continued to yell at her to stop pulling down on my dress. You are supposed to hook up the loops not pull the buttons down! I am told it is complete however after walking around for a few minutes I felt the back of the dress being stepped on and when I turned around saw half the train still on the floor! The attendant then told me she was only able to find 7 loops, the store never put on the 8th. LIVID I not so nicely told her I personally saw 8 loops before taking the dress out of Kleinfelds and I don’t appreciate being told my train is up when it is not. After that all was fixed.

Now I am starving. Everyone around me had been eating since we got back from the gardens, yet no one thought to feed the bride. When I walked over to the hot trays, all the food was gone, which explained why everyone went down to cocktail hour. I asked the attendant for something and sat down before I faited from hunger. During this time we were also told our cocktail hour was being extended due to a previous wedding in my reception room ending later then it should have. Another unacceptable situation. Now prepare yourself to laugh because what I am about to tell you there is nothing else you can do.

Out of the corner of my eye I see my second bridal attendant coming up the stairs with food for me. Excited I don’t take my eyes off of her. Just as she was about to reach me, the first bridal attendant runs over and grabs my arms helping me to stand because we are now being moved to the bridal suite, the reception is going to begin. Once again, no food for the bride.

Here we are arriving in the Bridal Suite where apparently I am the last to arrive, and my dad asks me where my champagne flutes are. My champagne flutes, that I have only been dreaming about using on my wedding day since I first saw them in high school. No one took them from the hotel room. I LOST it. I was tired from the complaints, starving, and now being told one of the most important things to me at this wedding was never picked up. I was about to start crying when I see James sitting at a table in the back of the room, a table filled with food! It wasn’t until 9pm when I FINALLY got to eat.

The reception to be was mostly a blur. Thanks to one of my MOH’s, the hotel rushed over the flutes which we received seconds before the first toast. I got to have my first dances with James, and my father/daughter dance with my dad. I was serenaded by James and 19 of his fraternity brothers (one of the highlights of the night), however every other moment of the night I was being pulled in different directions; come say hello, come say goodbye, come take a picture. All I wanted to do was dance and try to enjoy whatever was left of the night, but between the photographer taking us outside for pictures for an hour, the bridal attendants constantly pulling me off the dance floor to ask me if I needed anything, and our reception being cut an hour cause of the previous wedding…they did the cake cutting ceremony so fast that no one, including my parents, even knew we did it.

The night was winding down and we had just sat down to have our dessert. Our wedding cake was red velvet, my absolute favorite, and just as I stuck my fork in it, people were pulling on me to say goodbye. I wish I could tell you if it was good or not, but by the time I got back to the table it was cleared.

I officially just wanted to go home. I took zero pictures with my friends, and the only family ones I got were the ones taken in the photo studio. I barely got to speak to anyone and got to dance about 45 seconds to Bon Jovi before getting pulled once again. I was miserable. I spent 15 months planning my perfect wedding and felt that no one allowed me to enjoy it. The complaints, the rushing, and the lack of food/dancing/socializing completely ruined what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. The only thing that makes it all worth it is knowing how happy James was and how great a time everyone else had. Given a choice though, I would NEVER do this again. EVER!

At least now that this drama filled event is over, I can focus on something exciting! Our honeymoon! In just a couple of days James and I will be flying to Europe for 10 uninterrupted days. 10 days of just me and my husband; no emails, phone calls, text messages, complaining, drama, questions, nothing! We will finally have our chance to just enjoy each other as newlyweds! And THAT no one is going to ruin for us.

Ciao!

Giving Credit When It’s Do

               

For me it happened in 7th grade. I didn’t know it, but I had found my soul mates. Two girls that not only became my best friends, but would remain my sisters 15 years later. Today, not only are they both a huge part of my wedding, but they are my therapists, my motivators, my stress relievers, my comedy relief, my shoulders to cry on and most importantly they have always been there to pick up the pieces of anything that caused me to break in any way. I can’t even put into words how lucky I am to have these women in my life. True Friendship isn’t something that everyone gets to find, and I found it twice. I love you both and can’t wait to have you next to me while I get to marry the love of my life. XOXO

Let The Countdown Begin!

It is officially 12 days before the wedding!! 12 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes to be exact. Where does the time go? When I think about it, it seems like only yesterday James asked me (or told me depending on your interpretation) to be his wife. That was 15 months ago! Fifteen months of planning, and researching, and spending, and stressing and just when you think its over, POOF, here comes another curve ball. The funny thing is, as I sit here and search through wedding hash-tags, I can’t help but feel a little bit of nostalgia; all of the different ideas and cute things I wish I would have known about. <cue dream sequence>

Never-the-less, here we are, less then two weeks out and I still have a majorly long “To-Do” list. Where does this stuff come from? When I began planning I was months ahead of schedule. And now? I have so much to do and not enough hours in a day! I have also officially morphed into an episode of “Bridezilla,” something I swore would never happen, and the closer it gets to the wedding, the more “it” comes out!

I can’t wait until this wedding is over so you can go back to normal and stop yelling at me for breathing!   - James

Here’s hoping we make it to the wedding in one piece!! Cheers!

Dear Brides,

When planning your “perfect wedding,” there is one thing you should know. Recite after me, what CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong! Many of you may find my saying that harsh or negative, however I assure you, knowing this to be true allows me to give you the best advise possible. In one word I can give you a guaranteed way to overcome the mind-blowing torture you may put yourself through, and that word is…LAUGH! Not the crazy, scary, call the men in white coats kind of laugh, but a legit, stomach hurting, teary eyed, could this be any funnier kind of laugh. If you can do this, then I promise you it will save you TONS of “cry yourself to sleep” nights.

For those of you who know us, you know our amazing fairy tale proposal story. The perfect night, the perfect proposal, the perfect guy. Little did I know I was about to start my journey through the depths of hell a.k.a. wedding planning. Don’t get me wrong, the planning part surprisingly was the easiest thing I have done compared to the events leading up until today; our wedding month. In the interest of saving your eyesight, I will sum it all up in several short “fun facts:”

  • My Maid of Honor broker her leg
  • A bridesmaid dropped out
  • I have had 2 Aunts and 1 Family Friend pass away (forever in our hearts <3)
  • My Bridesmaid dresses were delivered in a COMPLETELY different color than what we had ordered
  • I lost the main diamond in my engagement ring on NYE (thank goodness for insurance)
  • I recently ordered place card holders, they sent me tiny, non-comparable, cheese-ball wedding favors
  • Two immediate family members will be having surgery, one before the wedding and hopefully the other one will be allowed to wait until after
  • Last night James text messages me that his Aunt fell and possibly sprained her leg…30 days till the wedding (and shes a BIG dancer!!!)

(There are definitely a lot more facts I could add to this list, believe it or not, but they are things I would prefer to keep quiet about in the interest of not upsetting those involved. )

Some of you may be wondering how I could possibly laugh my way through all this. The truth? It took me a long time and lots of bridesmaid/bff therapy sessions. Being a person who stresses over everything and worries about everything and everyone, with all of these things going on there came a point where I was literally making myself sick. Then came the day I snapped. I mentally and physically could not handle the stress, the arguing, the drama. I felt like a computer shutting down. I could no longer feel any emotion or even care about anything that had to do with the wedding.

Finally, after a couple days of soul searching, I learned to laugh. I laugh because everything that has been happening I have no control over. I laugh because I can’t believe yet ANOTHER thing has gone wrong. I laugh because this is supposed to be the happiest time of my life, and I don’t want to waste time crying over the things that post-wedding won’t even matter. And finally, I laugh because nothing in life is perfect, and the sooner you realize that, the more time you will have to appreciate what you DO have, rather then cry over the things you don’t.

Details…Details

With just about a month until the big day, and all of my “big vendors” booked, I have begun playing around with lots of small details. Today’s obsession? Table numbers!!!

Decided to make my own! :-)

Decided to make my own! :-)

We’ve all seen the “Baby Got Back” wedding dance, and we’ve also seen thousands of followers. Whatever happened to traditional grace and poise? This couple definitely has the right idea! Too bad James only knows how to “break it down.”