Spice Gets Married (AGAIN!)

Don’t let the title fool you. Two weddings, same man, under 2 years 🙂 Yup! Thats how life works sometimes when you are in a multi-cultural relationship like ours. I got double the wedding fun! And ever so fitting is that in 10 days we will be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary from our first wedding. A lot of people have asked us which day will we celebrate and the answer is both! Something German for our October 26th anniversary and something American for our August 18th anniversary. We’re lucky enough to have two awesome days to remember…why not celebrate both! 🙂

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Hit play on the video below and listen to the song I walked down the aisle too. This song is more of a party song from the 80’s early 90’s but this version lets you actually hear the lyrics. It was beautiful and made a bunch of us cry! Even Toblerone! But how cute is it that a man that has been with me for 6 years, married for 2 would still cry when he sees me walking down the aisle. Beautiful moments all around, people!

During the past two years I have had MANY expats ask me about the wedding planning process from 3,000 miles away. You want my advice? DONT. DO. IT.  Not only did things come out a bit differently than if I had actual time to do things but the amount of stress compressed into the few days before the wedding is just not healthy. Weddings are stressful but imagine seeing your decorations and things you ordered online for the first time one week before the wedding day. If I had a month to go home and organize all wedding things, I would have in a heartbeat. It would have saved us all from combustion!

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We held our wedding in a house we rented for the week in Cape Cod, MA. It was the most beautiful setting for our wedding day. It wasn’t on the beach but I didn’t really want that necessarily. We just wanted it to be in our favorite place on earth.

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We had over 65 guests and every single person there came from out of state or out of country. Think about that for a minute. 65 people (including kidlets) that came for this moment. This special day. It’s this kind of feeling that just can’t be described but that fact that our destination wedding pulled in that amount of love and friendship was just jaw dropping. We were speechless.

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My darling cousin did my hair and makeup and surprise!!!!!!…… My dress is PINK! Wouldn’t want it any other way! We took wedding pictures at the gorgeous Mass Audubon Nature park and wildlife sanctuary. It was a perfect spot. We had the ocean, we had sand, we had forests, we had ponds. So many different cool aspects for a great backdrop. One would even say magical.

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It was 78 degress, sunny (hot in a massive dress), slight seabreeze, and little tiny bugs just LOVED getting up in between the layers of pink tulle I was wearing! My groom looked crazy handsome in his blue suit specially bought in Germany. Our wedding party looked fantastic! It all turned out well considering this was all primarily discussed through email before hand. Everyone looked perfect for the part!

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The morning of our wedding I woke up around 7am and asked Toblerone to walk with me around the yard to take it all in. That was the one and only moment of “calm” that I felt! lol…but I suppose thats normal! Everything was slowly getting set up and we had lemonade and iced tea set up for our guests as they arrived. They got “fan” programs, noise makers, some got rice butterflies to throw in honor of our grandparents who were looking down on us.

Alot of what I did was DIY. I found a bunch of templates online and the real deal of it is…no one cares about the paper products at a wedding. The name cards, escort cards, programs, all of that gets thrown out or drinks spilled over it. I knew that going in so I did ALL of that myself. Even our invitations. I found a lot of great stuff over at weddingchicks.com. But doing a simple search for “templates” is very helpful! Don’t spend a dime on stuff if you don’t have to!

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The ceremony was perfect and personal. Private and intimate. Everything we wanted. AND…done in two languages thanks to our very good friend who did the whole ceremony for us. Just perfect! We had a “stone and time capsule” ceremony.  On each seat we placed gold painted stones that each person was instructed to hold tightly and say a blessing, prayer, wish, and simply put their love and energy in to while Toblerone’s Dad and brother serenaded us with a trumpet duet. These stones were collected and placed into a box with wine and a love letter for us to open on our first anniversary. This was my absolute favorite part of the whole ceremony.

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The reception started off with me sobbing basically while I thanked everyone for coming all this way just for little old us. Our Cape Cod Clambake was fantastic and people raved about the meal. It was a lot of food and for a great price. More importantly kind of fun! I literally was cracking a lobster in my wedding gown. I highly recommend it!

As for the music, I did it all myself. I spent WEEKS….no make that MONTHS working on a playlist long enough to keep the crowd going! I used an app on my phone called Wedding DJ which was great through all the testing but suddenly stopped working by cocktail hour. Thankfully I had the playlists on my computer in iTunes and we used that the rest of the night. I never left the dance floor. For some reason I felt like if the bride was on the dance floor…people would always dance. No one wants to leave the bride alone up there! Right?! I also didn’t have a sip of alcohol. I was sober through the COMPLETE thing! It was awesome! 🙂 Nothing classy about a drunk bride!

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The party ended around 2am and I ended the night with two of my best friends in my bed talking about the day and life in general while Toblerone hung out with the late-late night crew in the tent. Catching up and just loving the moment. It was the most stressful day of my life and I would NEVER do it again but it was the greatest thing in the world to have everyone we love there (and a few missing!).

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So again for all other expats out there planning a wedding from afar…take the time to sort out the big stuff as best as you can and be prepared for nothing and everything to go wrong on your special day. I received one piece of advice from everyone and that was “Just enjoy the day.” But as a perfectionist, that’s impossible and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Looking back at it now though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Wouldn’t be our story if it wasn’t a little bit crazy and out of hand!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

 

So Much To Share, So Little Time

Hi All! I have been MASSIVELY M.I.A. for over a month now. My deepest, sincerest apologies! But something tells me you didn’t even notice I was gone! 🙂

I have so much to share with you all and so much to tell about the wedding in the US and our vacation there, new hiking trip in the Alps and all that.

We have exactly 19 days until we step onto a plane to our next chapter in life. I’ve been busying myself with packing even though there is a moving company coming to do that for us on the 25th of this month. Keeps me focused though! I can’t sit around all day and look pretty now can I?!

We’ve been looking at homes to buy and researching things to do in the areas around us in Michigan. We can’t wait to start this chapter! Harley Jones has NO clue what is going on…thankfully! He will be going in to get all his shots updated and to pick up some good drugs to keep him calm during his excursion back home. I’m worried that he will remember what it was like coming over here for him and he may have a panic attack. At least, I know I will. Heck, I need drugs for this trip!

I’m going to start with throwing you a few pictures from our wedding and then the rest of the tales and stories will come later this week hopefully! Must.Find.Time.To.Blog.

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Luck Would Have It

Most of you know that I have been planning our big American wedding from over 3,000 miles away. And not only am I planning it overseas but we chose a location that we are familiar with but have never lived in. I’m from upstate NY but we chose Cape Cod as our dream wedding location. Good choices….all around good choices. ***sarcasm*cough*sarcasm**

This year has been filled with really amazing things. Toblerone got a job transfer to the US, we sold our house in a week without a real estate agent (That would have been an extra €20,000), and this wedding has been coming together pretty easily. All these really great things have been happening to us and I was always just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I never have good luck! Thats just not my style!

So far the only stress I really had was making our DIY invites. That was NOT fun at all. But I refuse to spend boatloads of cash on pieces of paper that people throw away anyways!
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And then 3 months before the wedding I get an email from the owner of the house we were renting for the week on the Cape. This house is where we planned the ceremony, reception, and our week vacation with our family. He said in the email that he had lost his job and was no longer able to pay for the home (his second home) and would have to sell his house in July. Which means, our wedding could no longer be held there.

INSERT TOTAL FREAK OUT MOMENT!
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Talk about a meltdown. We were 90 days out at this point and I have to find a house in the middle of a touristy island, during high season, and a place that will allow us to hold our event. Otherwise, we would have to change EVERYTHING we already planned. No caterer, no tent company, nothing.

I left work early and went home to start hitting the streets to get this under control. I searched like crazy and one house stood out to me. This house was GORGEOUS. And even stranger was the one week we needed just happened to be available still. This place was meant to be. It all worked out in the end and our new beautiful ceremony, reception, and family vacation spot is more perfect than I could have imagined it. Better than the last! Can you say “Blessing in Disguise”???

Take a look at our new digs!!!

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The worst part about all of this is the fact that on our invites that I worked so hard to put together, the incorrect address is printed on them. So, my job now is to send out a new updated letter to our guests to let them know of the new place. But, that I can handle especially since luck wants it this way. Luck be a lady tonight!

So tell me…did you have any massive meltdowns or drastic things gone wrong with during wedding planning?

Only 66 more days to go for us. I just hope everything holds together now!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Wouldn’t You Like To Know – My Life Lately

Oh my dear lovelies! I have been SO SO SO behind on blogging and every day I put it off the more I avoided it! I’m forcing myself to give you all an update on my life! Lots going on and its only fair I let you all in on the deets!

Back when I came to Germany in 2011. A brunette!!

Back when I came to Germany in 2011. A brunette!!

First and foremost…I celebrated a BIG anniversary. March 1st hit the 3 years in Germany mark. Can you believe that nonsense?! THREE WHOLE YEARS! IN GERMANY! Like wait….what? I’m not exactly sure how that happened. If you think about what you yourself have accomplished or done in the past three years you’ll realize…its a good chunk of time. It’s also enough time for life to go on without you back home and you start to notice it. People have asked me if being an expat gets easier but I think that depends on the person. Some people really have that travel bug and “want” or “need” to explore. I, however, just want to be around my family and things that are familiar. For me, in three years, I still want nothing more than to be in the US. This also has a lot to do with where we are located (far from cities, bars, bowling, clubs, great lounges, good restaurants, festivals etc.) We rely a lot on the company of each other and the family get-togethers. But even that, as special as it is, gets dull over time. I just keep trucking along though and try to soak in the experience and be thankful that I get this opportunity. Most people I know will NEVER get this chance in their life. Love makes us do crazy things and I would move around the world 100 times just to be with Toblerone. Harley Jones Noodle Butt Butt wouldn’t like that so much though…he’s not a fan of flying. 🙂

Harley Jones is NOT a fan of airplanes and he's here to tell you all about it!

Harley Jones is NOT a fan of airplanes and he’s here to tell you all about it!

Secondly…we have 5 months until our wedding! 161 days from this post! WHOA! I feel like I have nothing together and I probably don’t actually but thats ok. We have SO many Germans flying to the US for this, in fact I think the airlines should give us free tickets for 5 years considering how much money people are spending for this. But how cool is that? People are coming all the way to America just to see our wedding (and of course travel) but this fills my heart to the brim. And as if things couldn’t get better, so many unexpected people from the US are coming too! I thought for sure people wouldn’t come because it’s a destination wedding on Cape Cod. I’m just incredibly stunned and so overjoyed there are no words for how complete this makes me feel. On top of it all, most of these people are taking time out of their lives and staying several days or even the whole week on the Cape with us. I…I just….I’m speechless. Speechless from the outpouring of love. I get to spend a whole week surrounded by incredible people. How did I get so lucky? How do you thank people? How do you return the love you’re being given? Just such a beautiful time ahead of us and I can not WAIT. Mattespalooza here we come! Plus we are having a real deal Cape Cod Clam Bake and I can’t wait to watch people get down and dirty crackin lobsters! My dress will be a giant mess! A ceremony followed immediately by a rock the dress session! LOVE!

Mmm....clambakes!!

Mmm….clambakes!!

I’ve been bad with blogging due to work and just being utterly exhausted. However, Toblerone and I gave up drinking alcohol for lent and it seems to be a lot better. Plus we are working out together and such which makes the nights nicer. Strange how it does make a slight difference in our lives! Have any of you done that as well? I mean, some days I would just LOVE to have a glass of wine but its worth it in the end! Plus I better be 10 pounds lighter!

There is big news on the horizon but I have to wait to tell you in the middle of April or so. I hate to hold out on you BUT its important that I do for many reasons. And no, I’m not pregnant, sadly. This may/may not be equally as good though! Stay posted and in the meantime try to guess what it is! Thank you all for hanging by me while I pull my head out of the ground and get back to what I love – writing!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Engagement Pics Are HERE!!!

We only had to wait exactly one week for our pictures and I am SO excited to share them with you guys. Our friend is a great photographer and mostly did scenic shots but is just starting to get into doing people, weddings, etc. And in my opinion, he’s off to a great start! It certainly wasn’t easy with two languages flying back and forth plus a VERY rambunctious 3.5 year old puppy! Harley was playing with his frisbee all morning and being a big crazy. For the “picnic” shots I put his frisbee in our picnic basket to make him sit there! lol. It’s not as easy as it looks!!

The most special part about our pictures is that all were taken here in our little town. This way, no matter where we are in the world, we can always look back on these pictures and have a piece of this chapter of our lives with us forever. We could have gone somewhere else around Germany or even had the pictures done in the US but then Germany would just be a blurb. Somehow we have to mix both worlds in this whole process and this was the best option! I hope you like them!

Note: Images are not as sharp as they should be because I had to downsize the file! 🙂 But you get the idea!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

The Horrible No Good Search For “THE” Dress

As most of you know, When I was home in the US I was trying to pack in as much wedding planning as I possibly could. What a stupid idea that was. I ended up stressing myself out more than anything else! And who’s bright idea was it to have this American wedding anyways?!?! Oh…thats right….mine. Dummy dum dum.

Fresh off the plane, 5 hour drive from the city up to my parents house and in bed. A short 7 hours later I was in a car with my four best friends and my beautiful flower girl driving 1.5 hours to try on what I thought would be my dream dress. This was the only place within 250 miles that I could actually try it on and good thing I did because whoa…What a mistake that was!

Here is what I took the long trip for:
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The reason it didn’t end up being my dress was because where the ruffles start, they stick straight outwards, like a floating tube. They don’t lay down or taper down like it should so that was an instant, NO. Plus the color was just too pink. I knew I wanted a pink dress but blush pink…barely there, barely can see. This was not that!

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(Note: I blocked out my face because I looked horrendous. Jet lagged and annoyed, etc.)

First and foremost, this experience was supposed to be something great. Something out of the fairytale books. I had dreamed of this moment for ages. Coming out of the dressing room with a gorgeous gown on and all oooooohing and aaaahhhhiinngg at the sight. But that just did NOT happen. And it wasnt because of my troop that was with me, it was because the entire experience at this place called Juliana’s in Rochester was HORRENDOUS! My first time trying on a wedding dress and it was so horrifying, like out of a nightmare. Let me give you a little insight into how this all went.

It was a rainy day and after 1.5 hours of driving we arrive at this small little “boutique” where we were greeted with a woman promptly asking, “Can I help you?” like we were slobs off the street. So, I promptly reminded her that we had an appointment to try on dresses. She gave us snotty look and said she wasn’t sure where she would fit us all. Umm…ok. Then, we had to take off our shoes and go upstairs to a attic type place. This same rude lady told one of my maids that her daughter (one year old who was crying because mommy had to set her down for a second) shouldn’t be crying still at that age. Ummm…..ok. Then we go upstairs, and this lady starts pulling dresses that I never wanted to look at. UGLY, UGLY dresses. Like why do you even have that crap in your store?! Then finally, the woman who would be assisting us for the day arrived and she was kind but seemed to be in a rush. She couldn’t believe that the other woman pulled such ugly dresses and especially not even the one I had originally asked for.

I started to try on dresses, and all of them were like a size 4! Ok, what is happening here? How am I supposed to imagine myself in a dress when I’m squeezed in there like tuna in a can! What is that?! The sales lady really pushed the fact that I looked beautiful in every dress but I just wasn’t having that “Aha” moment. I was getting frustrated because I kept waiting to feel that “this is the one!” but I wasn’t feeling anything. The lady who originally greeted us came back around and asked me in German how long I’m here for and why I’m here. (She was apparently German…that explains the whole rudeness thing.) Then she told me, “I’m from Kaiserslautern” and I said…”oh interesting..” and she so elegantly replied, “I TOLD YOU THAT! IN THE EMAIL!” Umm…ok.
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So, there must have been a limit to what I was supposed to try on because I was able to try on 3 dresses. Then I asked the sales lady to see if she had anything in a certain color and she said she would go check. Well, she went off into space to look at jewelry with the German lady. She never went to look for dresses, so we sat there just waiting around and finally we went and pulled our own dresses. The sales lady came back to our room and told me I needed to hurry up and make a decision because she had another customer coming in the next 15 minutes. WELL, LADY….if you actually did your job I would have been out of here by now but apparently jewelry is more important than the customer. I tried on one last dress and actually liked it. It was the material that drew me in and that would be the material I would search for after the fact too. But as soon as I came out in the dress, the sales lady said…”Oh thats TERRIBLE on you! Im just being honest but that’s just terrible.” And everyone else loved it, even me. Imagine that.
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Needless to say, I left there feeling annoyed and disheartened. Something no one wants to feel. Not only was the service the worst I had ever imagined, the prices were too high! They even wanted me to buy one of the dresses I tried on. That actual dress, with the beads falling off, and strings everywhere, dirty even! So, to all of you, if you’re in the upstate NY area…do NOT buy your dress from Juliana’s in Rochester. I didn’t travel 4,000 miles to sit in hell for an hour. Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day.

More on finding my REAL dream dress later 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Throwback Thursday On A Friday

Yeah I know, I’m a bit late on this but all for a good reason! I was busy! That’s a good reason right? Ok ok…maybe I was just lazy and then at night when I went to do my post, random guests showed up and by the time they left I was doing the drunken stumble up to bed. Thats the truth.

SO….Today is Throwback Thursday on a Friday! And what a great Friday it is!! It’s July 5th, the day after a fantastic drinking and blowing things up holiday in the US. But today is a special day for two reasons.

The first is one of my best friend’s birthday!! This throwback is to 2008 when we met and became instant BFFs over martinis and broken wine corks! Happy 30th to you, dear friend!

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And the other special thing is the 61st wedding anniversary of my lovely grandparents! This is them leaving after their wedding. How classic is this picture? The way my grams cute little dainty gloved hand is just holding the brim of her hat! So darling!! Happy Anniversary to them!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo