Friday, February 29, 2008

The Cutest Ring Bearer Ever....

is not my nephew, a cousin, a friend's baby, etc. No, the cutest ring bearer ever is Andrew's and my dog, Teddy. He is such a part of our lives (although he likes Andrew better *pout*) that is seems only natural to include him in our wedding. And, since we are having an outdoor wedding in the mountains, who could be a better ring bearer anyway?

Teddy has been staying with Andrew's parents in Red Wing, MN for the past months while we have fixed up his house and put it on the market for sale. During that time, Frank, my future father-in-law has developed quite a bond with him. Since my dad will walk me down the aisle and both of our mothers will participate in our unity tree ceremony (more on that later), it seemed like a great way to include Frank in the mix.

I am wishing that Teddy were the female pup that I originally thought we would get, because there are so many cute accessories for ring puppies of the female persuasion like this one....

But, instead, I think Teddy will end up wearing something like this.....

What do you think? Now there is also the question of what to do with him after the ceremony. Any ideas?

All photos are courtesy of

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some Days You Are the Pigeon....Some Days You Are the Statue

What an awful day! Work is at its all-time worst, Andrew's house fell out of contract, and he hasn't heard anything about his new job. Ugh. Good thing tomorrow is Friday. And, I suppose that I do have a lot to be thankful for...a supportive family, wonderful friends, a beautiful house of my own, living in the city I love, being with a man I love, and a dad who makes me laugh by sharing pearls of wisdom (i.e. the title of this post). Thanks dad! I love you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'll Be Your Best Friend!

So, this is nerdy beyond belief, but there is a contest on that I am DYING to win. The grand prize is a new Serta mattress from Vera Wang, valued at $1,500. I know it sounds nerdy, but right now Andrew and I have a non-existent honeymoon budget because we want to provide certain amenities for our guests-transportation to the wedding, open bar, bridal party cabins, etc. Winning this mattress (We are DEFINITELY going to have to buy one when we get married) will free up a huge chunk of change for us to spend on something more fun(Like a honeymoon). Anyway, the contest specifically says that you can have friends enter and comment for you. I would LOVE any of you who could take time to comment on my behalf (My weddingbee screen name is ErinMarieMack, so you would want to mention that in my comment). I even got Andrew to enter! To do so, click on the register link at the top right corner of and fill out a profile to get a screen name. (They will email your password to your address). Next, look in the blog (The main page) for the Vera Wang Mattress Giveaway (You may have to click on older to find this post). Finally, click on comment and leave your comment about why I (or even you) should win. The deadline is March 3, 2008. So, this is nerdy beyond belief, but there is a contest on that I am DYING to win. The grand prize is a new Serta mattress from Vera Wang, valued at $1,500. I know it sounds nerdy, but right now Andrew and I have a non-existent honeymoon budget because we want to provide certain amenities for our guests-transportation to the wedding, open bar, bridal party cabins, etc. Winning this mattress (We are DEFINITELY going to have to buy one when we get married) will free up a huge chunk of change for us to spend on something more fun(Like a honeymoon). Anyway, the contest specifically says that you can have friends enter and comment for you. I would LOVE any of you who could take time to comment on my behalf (My weddingbee screen name is ErinMarieMack, so you would want to mention that in my comment). I even got Andrew to enter! To do so, click on the register link at the top right corner of and fill out a profile to get a screen name. (They will email your password to your address). Next, look in the blog (The main page) for the Vera Wang Mattress Giveaway (You may have to click on older to find this post). Finally, click on comment and leave your comment about why I (or even you) should win. The deadline is March 3, 2008.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Primping, Pampering and Polishing

I just received a confirmation today for my bridal "party" at ten20 nail and waxing salon in Boulder, Colorado. Ten20 is an amazing nail spa that has leather couches, TiVo recordings of my favorite show ("Sex and the City") and an abundance of Diet Coke and MnMs for all. On the day of my wedding, I plan to treat my 'maids to a day of pampering. First, we will take tea at the Boulder Dunshabe Tea House, followed by a mani/pedi party, and will finish with a relaxing trip to Pompadours AVEDA spa to get our hair did. I can't wait! Check these places out!

Boulder Dunshanbe Teahouse
Ten20 Nail Spa

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gasp! The Horror!

This past weekend, my best friend since 7th grade (and future BM) was in town for a visit. While strolling through the Cherry Creek neighborhood on the way to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in town, the Cherry Cricket, we decided to stop in Priscilla of Boston so that I could show her my dress. We searched in vain on the racks before asking the receptionist if the dress was in the store. She calmly replied that it was being tried on at the moment, and if we wanted to, we could see it on the bride-to-be. Of course I knew someone else would wear my dress, but I was still felt a little sad and a little less original. Luckily, the evening ended well with a good burger and a better friend to share my *sorrows* with.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

It's my favorite Beatles song ("Here Comes the Sun") and my favorite time of year. Spring has sprung early here in Denver, Colorado. It was 62 degrees here today! The FI (future intended or fiance, depending on who you ask) decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and to go on a jog by the Platte River (The Platte River trail is near Elitch Gardens and REI and is a great (and scenic) area to jog, bike, kayak, etc.). Well, maybe he jogged and I walked....In either case, today's weather lead me to musing about our wedding day weather. I moseyed over to this site, which has been mentioned by both weddingbee's Miss Sundae and potential future bee Sweeny2Be's blogs. Looks like sun with a slight chance of rain for my wedding day. How about yours?

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Onto the list of websites I am obsessed with, I would like to add I can not say enough about how much I heart weddingbee. On this blog, brides-to-be that are six months or less away from their weddings blog about all manner of topics, ideas and often add humor to a process that I think is often taken a little to seriously. I have come to refer to weddingbee as "bridal crack" to all of my recently engaged and/or blog obsessed friends. Check it out. I dare you. I will bet that you will be obsessed too!

Friday, February 22, 2008

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True Bride Confessions

If you have something to get off of your chest anonymously, or if you just want a good laugh, this is the site for you . Essentially, you can "confess" anything you want to (from saccharine to downright sad) and it will be posted anonymously online. The "me too" feature lets you see how many people are in the same boat you are rowing. Sometimes uplifting, sometimes sad and always hilarious, this is another great distraction for the bride-to-be. (They also have another series of confessions for other folks-parents, those in a relationship, etc.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1/2 Price House

Throughout the wedding planning process, I have always counted one blessing consistently. We (or at this point I) already have a house with a very low mortgage payment. This helps to ease my financial worries whenever I am stressed out. And, as the title eludes to, I bought my house for 1/2 price. How did I do that, you might wonder? I bought my house through the federal Good Neighbor Program ( Through the Good Neighbor Program, public servants (teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs) can purchase a home in a revitalizing neighborhood for 1/2 price. It must be your only home, and you must live in it for three years. When I got my home, there were no closing costs, and I was able to roll a construction loan (for renovations) and realtor's fees into my main loan; the program has changed a bit, but the costs are still minimal. The best part, at the end of the three years, you can sell your home for the fuill cost and keep the difference. And, sometimes you get lucky. My "revitalizing neighborhood" ended up being a Denver hotspot (the Baker neighborhood for any Denverites) and my property values have already gone up 30%. Happy house hunting!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

493 Days and Counting....

DaisypathWedding Ticker
According to our wedding website, which Andrew still has to add to (ah-hem), there are 493 days until our wedding; however, I have already-bought a dress, set a date, chosen a venue, asked the bridesmaids, chosen the vendors (photographer, musicians, dj, florist, caterer, baker, liquor company, secret dessert provider, etc.) and have met with all of them(chosen menus, flowers, etc.). Yes, it is true. I even have my veil, which I will write more about later. I know that you are probably VERY scared right now, as well you should be. But please allow me to explain. In the fall, I hope to begin my administrative license. While this may not seem like a huge deal, consider that I will also be working full-time, and the program itself is hyper-full-time (Yes, I just made that a word if it is not one already), meaning that I will be completing a 30 hour program in 1 year. Seeing as how I have just completed a similar feat (I finished my MA at an accelerated pace in summer 2007 while working full time), I was just not eager to plan my wedding, work full-time and go to school full-time. I also thought that Andrew might leave me at the altar if I attempted such silliness. So, we are planning our wedding around our life schedules (He has some other stuff going on as well.) Have you ever made big plans around your work/life schedule?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Heart Origins

Denver is notoriously dry. Winter is even worse. Living in Denver in the winter is guaranteed to wreak havoc at your skin. For this reason, I decided that it was time to revamp my skincare regime before I looked like an old lady at the ripe young age of 27. I've always liked Origins, so I headed to their counter first. I am SO glad that I did. I ended up buying a trio of things; two products that I use weekly (Incredible Spreadable Scrub) and this one pictured (Modern Friction). The Incredible Spreadable Scrub is a grainy body scrub used while showering (with a great scent to boot) that leaves your skin feeling so soft that it should be relegated to the ever cliché-"baby's bottom" category. Modern Friction is the same type of product for the face only, and is excellent for sloughing away dead/dry skin and revealing glowing, soft skin. Andrew immediately noticed the change of softness in my skin without me even mentioning that I had used a new product. I also bought Youthtopia, a moisturizer that I use nightly. It has a slightly organic (read earthy) smell to it that might not be a favorite for some, but the product itself is amazing. Co-workers have been commenting on how my skin "glows" and I have been feeling much happier (and more hydrated). If you live in a dry climate, I highly recommend it!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Asking the Bridesmaids

I wanted to do something original to ask my best gals to be my bridesmaids. I also thought that the asking would be a fun way to reveal my engagement (which was hard for me, because anyone who knows me knows that I have a terrible time keeping good news secret). I turned to I had seen the idea in a bridal mag (hard to say which one because I subscribe to so many); I sent jeweled tanks to all of my gals with their title (BM, MOH) on them that came in an adorable box that said....Will you be my? The girls love them (My 17 year old sister is already wearing her MOH tank!) and I think that they will be fun for the bachelorette festivities. Of course I also ordered one for me that is white and says bride in script :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

Today is my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. I wish that I could be home to celebrate with them, but alas they are in Chicago, and I am in Denver. I did send them a gift, however. I racked my brain for what exactly I could buy for the couple that has everything, and finally settled on a CD of the Billboard Top Hits for the year that they were married. When in doubt, I figure that sentimental is always good:)

My mom and dad have a marriage like the one that I want with Andrew. They are obviously in love, making time for "dates", giving each other surprise gifts from time to time, and kissing in public on occasion (which used to gross me out as a kid). They even have nicknames for one another which they hoarde protectively. It got me to thinking....What do I want my marriage to look like years from now, and how will I cultivate that kind of a relationship?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Exercise and Fun

The sweetheart tasting on Friday was a blast! It was wonderful to see all of our vendors in action and to see how well put together the whole place looked. We sampled appetizers (including a cute and delcious salad in a martini glass with a sugar rim), drank wine, ate from the gorgeous and scrumptious buffet, hovered around the chocolate fountain and even took some free dance lessons(okay...we waited until they were over to get onto the dance floor, but we did get a few good slow dances in)! I'll post pictures soon:) All I know, is that after spending last night at the tasting with Andrew, I am even more excited to get married!

But...what I really meant to write about was snowshoeing! After the tasting, Andrew and I spent the night in Estes Park and spent today snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). RMNP is breathtaking; if you ever find yourself in Colorado, I highly recommend that you visit. In any case, we took in gorgeous views, ran through a majestinc snowfall, and ended the day on a sweet note by holding hands.

Snowshoeing is amazing exercise! It is basically like hiking, but the fact that you are walking through snow adds extra resistance (read extra calories burned). Not only that, but it is such a peaceful way to spend an afternoon. If you've never been, it's another activity that I highly recommend. Here is a link to a site if you want to read more about it: Happy trails!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Love (and Valentine's Day)

How do I love my venue? Let me count the ways....

As any bride-to-be knows, planning a wedding can place a major strain on one's budget. The usual upscale dinner and huge bouquet are often expenses to be spared for an engaged couple. That is why I LOVE our venue, Lionscrest Manor. Each year, they host a "Sweetheart Tasting" for couples who will be wed at their venue. The tasting is from 6-9 and includes a cocktail hour, a sit-down meal, dessert and dancing. The best part is that it is completely FREE and the vendors providing services at the tasting are the same ones the venue works with for their all-inclusive package. What a great way to get a vendor preview and to see what the hall looks like all dressed up.

We decided to celebrate by going to the tasting tonight. I can't wait! And, we used the $ we saved on V-Day to get a hotel room in gorgeous Estes Park, so we can go snowshoeing at Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday.

And, in case you wondered, Andrew came through with a gift anyway. A beautiful black dress from Banana Republic and a bouquet of 12 pink (my favorite color) roses awaited me last night when I got home from work. I'm going to wear it tonight!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry Parties

Great news for brides and grooms to-be! You can attend a Crate and Barrel Registry Party on Sundays from now until March 2nd and revel in your newly endgaged status. My fiance and I went the weekend before last; we enjoyed a captive audience from store clerks, free food and mimosas, and an opportunity to register in a less crowded Crate and Barrel. Though registering still has its stressful moments, this was the way to go. And, we got a bowl like the one in this picture as a free gift!

Ways to Save

While the trunk sale is on my mind.... I thought I might share; I have several friends who are newly engaged and I thought they might appreciate this scoop!
Having a wedding is expensive! Here are some ways that I have saved some money in planning my own:

  1. I bought my dress at a trunk sale. It was 10% off. I also had a friend who bought hers as a sample. She got 50% off. Stores often sell samples at the end of a season.

  2. Sign with your vendors early. I got engaged in late summer 2007 and am getting married in 2009. I signed many contracts in 2007 and locked in the rates for that year. So far I have saves $1,000 on my hall and $200 on ceremony musicians!

  3. Shop for favors and wedding paraphanelia at the end of the high season(late summer). I got my favors for 50% off at the Knot Shop and a matching cake cutting/toasting flute set for half price at Things Remembered.

  4. I have two friends who are each saving mucho dinero on their venues. One is getting married on a Saturday afternoon(less popular time) and the other is getting married in December(off season date). Bonus for the December bride-she doesn't need decorations for the church because it is already beautifully decorated for the holidays!

  5. Use a credit card with a "bonus" program if you can pay it off right away. I have already gotten $100 back from my Charles Schwab Visa, and it has great interest rates!


So....before I looked for anything else, I looked for myself! I actually bought my dress before I secured a venue, took engagement pictures, etc. And I don't regret it one bit. Not even a little. Here is a teaser picture of the detailing. I am a sucker for beadwork and detailing and this dress makes me feel like a princess! It is by Kenneth Pool for Priscilla of Boston, from the Platinum line. I highly recommend trunk sales; I saved 10% on my dress, which was enough to cover a custom fitting!

Eye Candy

I heart our photographer! Ross Bothwell of an Elegant Image was the first vendor we met with. We chose Ross from a list of photographers that is affiliated with Lionscrest Manor's fabulous all-inclusive package. Choosing Ross was a no-brainer. I loved his style (photojournalism with a great eye for detail), his price was right, and he creates gorgeous coffe table style albums for his clients. However, being the type-A gal that I am, I had to try him out before "officially" signing him as our photographer. Meeting Ross went better than I could have imagined. He is engaging, funny and laid back. He allowed us just to be us (with the occasional suggestion), and the photo shoot remains one of my best memories yet with the future husband. We did our engagement pictures at Red Rocks Ampitheater (after having a great time at a concert there this summer), and Ross saw things I have never seen before in all my time there; he chose some of the most amazing backdrops. Here are some of the beautfiul pictures he took! I am very excited for the wedding; on the wedding day his wife, Kammi, will also be with us for 8 glorious hours! If you would like to contact Ross, here is his website:http: .

Rocky Mountain Views

Our wedding will be held at Lionscrest's outdoor ceremony site. Here is a picture. I plan to use a decorative arch with pink gerbera daisies and other pink seasonal flowers to match our pink/brown theme. I will also use galvanized buckets with daisies as aisle arrangements. Here is a picture of our ceremony site.

Choosing a Venue

Like any overly organized, slightly perfectionist, wedding-obsessed bride-to-be, I set out to find our wedding venue almost immediately after becoming engaged. Luckily, my fiance is one of the world's top 3 most patient, understanding and tolerant people and he humored this whim of mine.

Though I am not getting married until June 2009, I was determined to get the majority of the wedding details in place by August 2008, as I hope to be accepted into an administrative licensure program next year; if I am, I will be working and going to school full-time. I did not feel like adding the stress of planning a wedding onto an already packed schedule would be a wise choice for me (or my waistline or my pocketbook, for that matter). So, Andrew and I set out in late August 2007.

There are so many beautiful places to get married in Colorado that it was hard to know where to start! Both Andrew and I agreed, however, that we wanted to get married outdoors, and that we would like to hold the ceremony/reception in the same place in order to have a more "green" wedding (by cutting out transportation and such between the sites) . This narrowed our options down a bit. We also wanted to get married in a place that was no further than an hour from the airport; I didn't like the idea of guests flying in and then having a long drive to the area where our wedding would be held.

In the end, we chose Lionscrest Manor in Lyons, Colorado( We reasoned that it was near Boulder, a great place for guests who had never been to Colorado to stay(and it met my driving distance criteria). We (Or I should say I, since I knew I would do the majority of the planning.) also loved the all-inclusive package, that seemed to make wedding planning a breeze (It certainly didn't hurt that the majority of the vendors were on the Knot's "best of" lists for Colorado, with our venue consistenly being voted the "best of" Colorado).

I have to say that Lionscrest has been the best choice we have made so far! The have been super organized (they sent me a folder with a timeline for planning, list of vendors, ideas, etc.), the vendors we have chosen have been amazing to work with (and are used to working together, making a co-ordinator unnecessary), and are even hosting a *free* sweetheart tasting tomrrow for all couples being married there which includes drinks, food, decorations and music from their all-inclusive vendors. Andrew and I are so excited! The tasting will be a great way to celebrate V-Day without having to spend anything, which is a blessing for newly engaged couples saving for a wedding!

So, for all of you Colorado brides out there...I highly recommend Lionscrest Manor!
Also, a tip for all of you other Type-A brides....if you are planning your wedding in advance (We were 21 months out at the beginning), don't hesistate to book with your vendors early! I saved about $1,000 by putting a deposit down because I am being charged for the 2007 rates (even though I will get married in 2009)!

Bling Bling

Andrew is an adept romantic, and his proposal did not disappoint. I arrived home from a musical with my mother to find my house aglow with candles galore. I followed the candles downstairs to a table with a card on top. The last line of the card read "and I know I want to spend my life with you". As I read the card, Andrew stepped forward from the hallway with a bouquet of calla lilies (my favorite flowers that will be included in my bridal bouquet) and asked me to marry him.

The ring is actually what most people would consider to be a wedding band. It is channel set diamonds and sapphires in white gold with a filigree border. I told Andrew that I did not want him to worry about the ring; I just wanted to be engaged to the man of my dreams. Because he recently started a business, I did not want him to add an additional bill or financial burden to his life; I just wanted him to officially be mine! He will pick out a larger diamond for me and will give it to me on our wedding day. I am excited for what I am sure will be a perfect ring( I adore his taste and he has had plenty of coaching!) and a lovely surprise on our wedding day!

Getting Lucky (in love) in Kentucky....(Or How it All Began)

"Are you Italian?" These are the first words that my now fiance said to me. You might find this hilarious if we were to meet, as I am very Irish (I am named Erin, after all) and I very much look the part. Nevertheless, Andrew is quite taken by Italian women, and I can see how I might have passed for one that day with my deep tan (for once in my life), freshly dyed chocolate brown hair and trendy new shoes that were by (you guessed it) an Italian designer.Though our first conversation was relatively uneventful, the remainder of that weekend would change my life in a way I could have never predicted at the time.

When Andrew and I had our first conversation, we were sitting( actually, I was sitting and he was standing) at the kitchen table at our friend Paul's parents' house in Louisville, Kentucky. We had both come in for the weekend(among other friends of Paul's) to partake in the annual Kentucky Derby festivities. I was just starting with Teach for America and Andrew had met Paul at Accenture Consulting, where they were in a start group together. I was not looking for love and Andrew was just beginning his life in Denver. However, fate had other plans for us.

The next day, we were separated from our group of friends on the infield of the Derby. Having left my cell phone at Paul's (it was supposed to rain and I didn't want to lose 2 phones to water damage in 2 months), I panicked and told Andrew not to lose me. He didn't. We spend the day together and I had an amazing time getting to know this fabulous man. When it started pouring after the first few races, we ran through the rain, laughing and splashing in puddles. Spontaneously, Andrew pulled me toward him and kissed me. The next day, before parting, we discussed trying to make a long distance relationship work. It did and we got engaged nearly 3 years later.

I decided to start this blog as a way to chronicle the next journey that Andrew and I will take together-planning our future together and the big day that will join us as man and wife- our wedding. The name of the blog, Mint to Be Together, comes from the famous unofficial beverage of the Derby, the mint julep, which I plan to serve at the cocktail hour of our wedding.