View Full Version : Patty and Alex's PJ ->1/31/09<- WP/Citricos/Italy Isola

11-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Ok, I've lurked enough....its about time I start a PJ...:surfweb:

So here goes...

Story of Us:

We started out as neighbors at Rutgers University back in 1996...I was better friends with his roommate but I would always join him outside when he wanted to have a smoke break. I never saw him again after that school year, but I kept in touch with a few of his friends. We met a few times over the years to help our friend move, parties, etc. It wasn't until our mutual friend conferenced us in on a phone call in June 2006 that I got an invitation to go to his 30th birthday dinner in NYC. I work in the city and Alex said, yeah come on by...I figure why not, I could meet up with our mutual friends from college. I had a great time and we exchanged phone numbers. After a few weeks, we started talking on the phone and hanging out, but only as friends. We enjoyed going out to dinner and movies and we even went on shopping trips (yes girls, he loves to shop!). Six months go by and we became really good friends...so good that all my girlfriends are wondering why we aren't together...I say he's not my type and I'm not his and I believe he thinks the same way. We went to a concert to see an Australian band (Cat Empire) and afterwards we went to eat Korean BBQ; we didn't realize it until after the food came that it was after midnight and technically it was Valentine's Day...so we spent it together :flower3: . Flash forward to March 2007: by this time, we had a few moments that were awkward...he'd put his hand on my knee in the car for a moment longer, hand at the small of my back, he'd tickle me, just little stuff. We went out to dinner at the Jersey shore one night after shopping and later we walked to the boardwalk and looked out over the water. We stood there for a moment, silently shivering in the cold wind, hearing the waves crash on the beach. I turned to him and said, what are you thinking. And he said, I'm thinking of kissing you. I said, really? :love: He asked if that would be a bad thing and I said, no I don't think so. So under the moon on the boardwalk, we shared our first kiss. :lovestruc We actually both freaked out because we thought "how are we going to explain this to our friends?" We got in the car and I sent him home after he kissed me, telling him that I needed to clear my mind and come to grips with what happened. Then I went to my mom's and hugged her and told her the story. My stepdad walked into the kitchen and said, "Its about damn time!"...lol...so everyone knew it was meant to be before we did....lol. That was all she wrote folks...we've been together ever since and on our one year anniversary dinner, he officially proposed. (I say officially because there is a story behind that too! One that I'll tell later)

So since I have so little time left before my wedding, and I've waited to start this PJ so late...I'm going to try to go in time event order, but if I forget anything, please don't hold it against me...

(I'll insert pics in my next entry....I'm also slowly learning, so I have to open up a photobucket account. )

11-21-2008, 03:12 PM
Welcome and congrats! your wedding is close-WOW! Looking forward to hearing more of your story and your plans!:goodvibes

11-21-2008, 03:55 PM
I know I'm sooo late in starting a PJ!

I had been meaning to do it and never got started, so now I'm going to play catch up. I've learned so much from this board and from all the fellow brides, I just wanted to share and give some back. Plus the advice from everyone has been so great. Ok...here's some more

So we got officially engaged at the Rockefeller Center Cafe, overlooking the skating rink in March. http://i475.photobucket.com/albums/rr117/puffpatty2000/rockefeller.jpg

That weekend we went out to dinner with friends (Hi Vicki! [I know she's lurking!]) and they shot a million pictures.

Here we are, the happily engaged couple...
And here's the ring

There is a band that goes inside of that that is encircled with smaller diamonds (about 10 of them spread out)

11-21-2008, 05:39 PM
sounds romantic.... very pretty ring!:goodvibes

11-21-2008, 11:24 PM
So, at this point I should say that I knew about the ring before he officially proposed...like I said...its a funny story, but I'll share that a little bit later...

We had talked about marriage fairly early in our relationship, but we had decided to wait until our relationship hit the one year mark, just to be certain that we weren't rushing into anything. We'll be together for 2 years officially come this March. We don't count our 6 month friendship prior to our first kiss as a courtship, though most of our friends do...:goodvibes

So we wondered where to do it. We both like to travel, and have already gone to Las Vegas and Jamaica. We went to Jamaica for my cousin's wedding and I was talking about how great a destination wedding must be, but its so expensive for guests. I thought that getting married at Disney was bound to be cheaper for guests as a destination wedding because you don't have to pay for an all inclusive, and the airfare is less expensive. Also, I have loads of family in Florida and they wouldn't have the expense. Alex just looked at me and said, sure. And so I put in the call. (Of course, this is last year's mentality, not with the markets floundering like they are and gas prices going nuts now)

Now, I had ordered the wedding DVD from Disney a few weeks before, and we decided to watch it, with Alex falling in love with the Atlantic Hall. I reminded him that the bill would be outrageous and would crush my dream of a dessert party. I also told him that if he wanted a dance hall, that he would actually have to dance. He quickly relented and said where ever you want dear, as long as I don't have to dance in front of everyone...hehe. (Have I mentioned he's shy?)

So we were set. We agreed on getting married during the off peak season to save on hotel costs. I said let's have a morning ceremony, a lunch reception at a restaurant (thereby cutting down on the price requirement), and a dessert party (to splurge). I had first thought of California Grill, but changed my mind later when thinking of how to transport guests from the WP. (I had no idea that buses had to be rented for 8 hours) . I spoke to Heidi at length and then the next topic comes up...to allow kids or not to allow kids.:scared:

11-21-2008, 11:28 PM
Your ring is beautiful! Can't wait to hear all your details!

11-22-2008, 11:31 PM
So when I speak to Alex, he starts mentioning scenarios of us saying our vows, looking deep into each other's eyes, and then hearing some little child making noises, whining, crying or crashing into a pew :scared1: , ruining the ceremony. That send waves of fear down any bride's spine, so I said, ok, no kids. But we didn't think it was fair to have a wedding at DISNEY WORLD without letting people bring their children, so we thought we'd do the best thing. Host a children's party during the ceremony and reception. I mentioned it to Heidi and she started to work right away...we quickly found out that no rooms at the Grand Floridian are available for a children's party, so she could only hold a room at the Contemporary. Gee...having your child a monorail ride away...I think I need feedback.:confused: BOY, was I sorry I even tried to be nice. We talked to our friends who are parents and got all different ranges of answers. I'm not a parent, this I know, but I completely hate getting the whole "You're not a parent so you will never understand why we feel this way" type of speech. We got downright disgusted grunts from parents at the thought of leaving their child at a supervised function. Some parents told us they would never leave their children in day care, and that they would never put their child in the hands of a stranger. Some even said that there is a great big conspiracy at WDW and that children aren't well taken care of there...that anything can happen and that it would be swept under the rug if it did. While I understood some parent's concerns, at the same time, the level of disbelief at our suggestion was surprising. We had some parents who said it was fine to offer that but that it wasn't our responsibility to watch out for their children. Some parents told us they would go out on their own and hire a babysitter while others said that they might reject the entire idea of attending the wedding if they couldn't bring their children. My in laws to be said that they heard horror stories of friendships gone sour because the newlyweds had asked for no children at their wedding.

Is it this critical??? I agonized over whether or not to shell out a lot of money to keep a lot of kids entertained. In the end, a parent friend of mine told me that a true responsible parent would know whether or not to remove themselves before becoming a disturbance during a ceremony and that little children were always a welcome distraction during a reception. Since I'm not a hog for the limelight...I like the idea of a small child being the center of attention...then maybe they won't notice me almost tripping on my train. Ok, I'm ok with the idea of kids now. And with a good number of our friends being fairly new parents, I certainly did not want to shut them out of being a part of our day. I bring Alex on board and we decide, no children's party...bring kids at your own risk. However, we make sure to tell a few groomsmen and a few family members to quickly and quietly escort those who don't recognize their own need for discipline. So the first decisions are made. Time to relax and enjoy our engagement! At least for a month....

11-24-2008, 12:16 PM
Here comes April! :goodvibes
We were relaxing, enjoying and basking in the glow of our engagement. :love: My birthday passes and the day after is our engagement party. His parents host a lovely party at their house and we invite only my parents, the bridal party and his family. As an only child, he is very much the celebrated groom to be...We have a great time and I even find a way to Disney-fy the cake! :tink:

At this point I really just want to relax and enjoy the moment, but we had been planning a bit. I was in contact to book my photographer (Randy Chapman), and had sent out for samples of wedding invitations. We were also gathering up all the addresses we could find to compile our list for the save the dates. We weren't 8 months out yet so we had some time yet. Now I hadn't really done too much research in bridal planning...I got a few mags as a gift for my birthday. I took out the insert and wound up subscribing to 3 (the price was really great; I think it was $25 for 3 mags for a full year) Now I'm reading up on all these things and I see these boards and I start getting hooked. I'm learning more and more...and I'm getting nervous. No fear, because we are headed to Disney in May. Alex has a work conference and we have booked ourselves an appointment with Heidi for a site meeting and hopefully we will work it all out.

11-24-2008, 01:23 PM
Being older when I had my daughter I have to agree with your friend that stated "Not being a parent you do not understand" I personally think you were doing a very thoughtful thing for the parents. You might provide the child party venue and have each family provide their own baby sitter. I used to have a helper travel with us so that I could enjoy trips and not be chasing after a 2 year old, ( Oh, that was so long ago.) but I was always with in shouting distance should there be an issue. I bet the kids would have a grand time. Maybe give each parent information so they can check out what you have planned for the kids. GL with this issue. I hope it all works out for you.


11-24-2008, 03:56 PM
We had 100 guests at our wedding and if we would have invited everyone's kids it would have bumped our headcount to 135, so we only invited adults. We had a welcome party the night before and invited children (since it is Disney and we knew people would want to bring them on the trip). We also had characters there so the parents were thrilled and grateful. The day of the wedding the guests either brought there own sitter or used the daycare at the yacht club (our reception was at Atlantic Dance). All the parents who used the daycare said their kids loved it. Some even brought them back the following night!

I sent out all the information ahead of time and people were fine with it. We only had two people not come because children were not invited. So I think your kids party is a great idea. We only had them at the welcome party and people were happy enough with that.

11-24-2008, 11:11 PM
Maybe give each parent information so they can check out what you have planned for the kids. GL with this issue. I hope it all works out for you.


Thanks! I have to start looking up the child care info, so I can post it up on my blog!

We had 100 guests at our wedding and if we would have invited everyone's kids it would have bumped our headcount to 135, so we only invited adults. We had a welcome party the night before and invited children (since it is Disney and we knew people would want to bring them on the trip). We also had characters there so the parents were thrilled and grateful. The day of the wedding the guests either brought there own sitter or used the daycare at the yacht club (our reception was at Atlantic Dance). All the parents who used the daycare said their kids loved it. Some even brought them back the following night!

I sent out all the information ahead of time and people were fine with it. We only had two people not come because children were not invited. So I think your kids party is a great idea. We only had them at the welcome party and people were happy enough with that.

When I was working the numbers out for the children's party, we had at most 28-32 children, with the majority of them still in diapers. I'm 31, so most of my guests are all fairly new parents. The price jumps dramatically when kids need potty help. But I'm glad that you mentioned the welcome party.

I'm not having a welcome party, but we decided long ago that a farewell brunch would be nice to have, so I waited and waited and almost 6 months to the day I made a ton of reservations for most of the guests to have breakfast at a popular character breakfast spot the next day. I thought that would be a nice way of letting the kids have their fun and ensuring they get character time. :mickeyjum

Want to hear something funny that has been happening? The closer the wedding gets, the more I hear that most parents don't want to bring their children! They are searching for alternatives so they can go and have fun on their own! It's funny the way life works itself out. Right now I'll be surprised if I see more than 10 kids, 3 of which are in the bridal party.

And I actually wanted to see most of the little children enjoying themselves, at least at the reception and dessert party, so I'm a bit disappointed I won't get to see some of them at all....

11-25-2008, 10:39 PM
So here I’ll start with May. Alex’s work conference was coming up and I was super excited. It is, after all, our first trip to Disney together. Quick background on our Disney experiences: Alex has told me that he used to come down during summers in his childhood with his uncle and cousins. I also ventured down a few times (with my grandmother), met up with family in Tampa and trekked WDW with a load of cousins. I’ve also had trips when I was a bit older (16+) with my father and my stepmom and my two sisters. He turned work events into longer trips. For a while, we went to WDW almost every year, staying for 2-3 weeks at a time. (We bought annual passes at that point) I’ve gone when I was old enough to enjoy Pleasure Island too! (I miss it :sad2: ) But the funny story is my dad’s subsequent trips without me. He’s been in the parks, and called me on the cell phone to find out which way to get to a certain ride…and without too much hesitation, I can guide him there. Sigh…I just love Disney.

Now, I should explain that I’m not one of those “vacation-‘now it’s time to relax’” type of people. Everywhere I go, I surf the web and do research of where we are going, what sights are appealing, and I make a little booklet (thanks to Frommers and Fodors for going online) to bring on every trip, complete with walking tours, restaurant suggestions, etc. Alex always rolls his eyes at me because he’s a go-with-the-flow type of person, but I always tell him that we would never get to explore as well without doing some kind of research. I’m old school that way…kind of GI Joe (or Jane in this instance) in the whole “knowing is half the battle.” We have traveled a heck of a lot since we’ve been together (Vegas, Montreal, Jamaica, Hawaii, Disney, San Francisco)…and I’m very happy to report that we’ve seen and done a ton of stuff at each place.

So our trip was from a Friday night to the next weekend, with his conference eating up time from Sun-Thurs. This is my first “spouse” trip, so I don’t necessarily know what’s in store for me, but I’ve traveled with my dad on numerous work conferences, so I’m familiar with the drill. We arrive late Friday and drive to Disney, checking into All Star Movies. We figured we would stay somewhere we would choose for our room block for the weekend. We were pooped since we had left after work, so we just went to sleep. The next day I jumped out of bed saying “Time for Disney, time for Disney” (ala “first day of school” from Finding Nemo). So we got ready and left, enjoying the look of the resort. We stayed in one of the Fantasia buildings.

Now it was our plan to get annual passes despite the free certificates we knew we would receive (knowledge courtesy of the boards!:idea: ) because I had reasoned that during this trip we would want to go to the parks, we would fly back at some point for our planning session, and we would definitely go to the parks during our wedding trip, so why not start now. I had waffled back and forth, but in the end, the freedom of having passes and being able to go into a park for a few hours a day won out. Unfortunately, since we arrived so late on Friday, and the office is closed on weekends, I couldn’t get a AAA discount. So, we went to downtown Disney and plunked down the $$$ for annual passes. (I didn’t want to wait in line at the TTC or a park) We had breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express (LOVE that place), took a brief walk and hit up a park.

11-26-2008, 08:08 AM
You’ll have to forgive me because now my trip memory gets a bit hazy. (my fault for starting a PJ so late). I can tell you that during that first weekend we went to MGM and made an appt to tour the DVC and we also went to Magic Kingdom during their evening magic hours. It was completely surreal to walk around the parks at midnight when it was so empty. But we loved every minute of it and could feel the magic even more without the people and the lights dimmed. It was a rare peaceful moment, I’m sure.

So we went to tour the DVC (I’m pretty sure that was either Sun or Mon). Alex had been sending me DVC info since April, so I knew he wanted to buy into it. He said that he had almost bought it himself a few years back. Now my father has done timeshare tours and hated them, and hated the idea of timeshares all my life, so I naturally grew up believing that timeshares are a waste of time and a bad investment idea with no resale value whatsoever. So we took the tour and we both really enjoyed it. Then they said they were making plans to build a resort in Hawaii. My interest dramatically increased. (Quick background: because of my father’s work, I’ve tagged along on trips to Hawaii numerous times. His free miles/points have allowed 3 week vacations over there. It is simply paradise and my favorite place of all time!) I am familiar with how expensive lodging is over there and having an opportunity to stay there now has my complete attention. We say goodbye to our cast member and start to contemplate. I say we need to do more research. Before we had left on the trip, I had agreed to take the tour, but told DF that I would be more interested in getting a deal for it, so I had looked and seen the resale store and figured that would be our way in. But we would think on it for a few days.

So his conference began, and I tagged along, enjoying the fruits of his labor. Most nights that week were booked with various vendor parties and the ultimate treat was left for last…a concert by John Mayer! We had a great time.

Now, while he was working during the day, I did my work too. My mornings were spent online, doing research on the DVC. Then I got ready, grabbed my camera, and drove off, determined to check out every resort Disney had to offer so I could make judgements on which to use for our room block. I literally went to every hotel and asked every manager if I could see the rooms so I could make an informed decision. I took a look at every food court, restaurant, and pool. (If anyone wants pics, just ask and I'll dig them up) I brought the pictures back to show Alex, but later in the week he was feeling left out so we went to visit a few together.
I did take a day to drive to Tampa and visit with my cousin and great uncle. My cousin had just returned back that month with him, after moving out of Spanish Harlem down to Tampa. He was 85+ and living alone, but it was obvious that he needed help. After a falling episode landed him in the hospital, she flew up and gathered his things, closed out his apt, and they flew back. During my visit, we drove over to the funeral home, where he was picking out all of his arrangements. (Yeah, imagine my happiness at this) I spent 2 hours in a freezing meeting room with my great uncle picking out his casket…sigh. I know that its better to have the arrangements made, and that she was putting him on the plan now so his income could start contributing to the bills, but gee….I hadn’t seen him in a year or so…not exactly the way I would have chosen. (UPDATE: unfortunately, that was the last day I would see him alive. He had fallen again while in a store and went to the hospital a month later and never was released. He passed away a few months after our trip. We flew down June 27 for his service.)

Anyway, back to happier thoughts. So DF's conference finished up that Thursday and Friday we were set to check out of his hotel and check in to Port Orleans Riverside. We were crunching the numbers on the DVC and lo and behold, found ourselves thinking, we should do it. I tell him that if we are going to go ahead with the purchase, they should give us some kind of kickback or discount for staying on Disney property this weekend as an added incentive (cuz the $ off per point and $ gift card weren't enough). So we put a call in to our guide, asking him what can be done. He completely floored us and said, well we can't give you a discount but we can cancel your reservation and just put you into your "home" this weekend with no penalty. That had our attention, because we got Riverside reservations with no discount. So with all the incentives, plus the opportunity to apply the money we would spend on the hotel this weekend to go towards the DVC, we called up our guide and became DVC members Friday morning! Then we went to Port Orleans Riverside to cancel our reservation (without penalty!). Ok, time for our site meeting with Heidi!

12-05-2008, 05:53 PM
So we shook off our new excitement as DVC owners and replaced it quickly with wedding day jitters as we drove to meet Heidi at the Wedding Pavilion. She was wonderful and took us to Italy Isola so we could tour our dessert party location


We had already snuck into the pavilion earlier, so we didn't have to revisit that location but she did take us into Citricos, which is only open for dinner, to allow us to take a look. We loved it. They were setting up and we knew we were allowed to use their dinnerware but we noticed multicolored bread plates at each setting and thought that would be the perfect complement to the table.

So we returned back to Franks and set up our room block, which at this point included 4 resorts. She did encourage three, but let us have a value, moderate and 2 deluxe resorts. Well, that agonizing part was done.

We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the park, shopping at downtown Disney and feeling relaxed and content with our new "home". :cool2:

We were eating on some lounge chairs on the boardwalk one afternoon and as I took a bite of my fried ice cream, I said to Alex, "we actually own a piece of this." Alex said, "We sure do. Look at that brick, we own about 1/8 of that one brick." :rotfl: We both cracked up as we finished our dessert and watched the people walk by…

So we get back from our trip and get back to everyday life. I should say that by this time, we had received (upon my request) an estimated budget proposal. I had told Heidi over the phone to max it out. Get me the works (top floral, centerpieces, the rolls, top photo/video package, etc.). I needed this because as an economist, my father doesn't like to work with estimates. He needs numbers, and I wanted to give the highest number I could, so I could show him how much we could cut. He's easier to deal with this way. I remind him that the groom's parents are covering the rehearsal dinner, as tradition calls for (or so I read), and that we were covering the breakfast the next day. He was only responsible for wedding day expenses. Throughout this time, there are many fights and many tears. Sometimes I sit and wonder if every bride goes through periods of misery.

We wrap up collecting addresses and have them ready by the end of June. Our save the dates go out and our contract is signed by July. People receive them over the July 4th holiday weekend!

So now its July, and while talking about room blocks, DF's parents want to stay where we will be staying (which we hadn't yet decided), so we start looking into DVC's that have a hotel. We decided to add the Wilderness Lodge to our room block as a result. We fill out our addendum to our contract and a few days later I book our reservations. We'll be at the VWL while our close family will have the option of staying at the same resort.

So I'm in planning mode, reading the boards here, and then I notice a sale at staples. Hand sanitizers for only a penny! Welcome bag fodder on the cheap!
I quickly recruit my bridal party and my sister and her friend, who are staying at my dad's in Manhattan. For three days, we all hit up Staples and bought purell bottles, 2 at a time as per their limit. Since I work in Manhattan, I spend my mornings, lunches and evenings by walking to 4 different Staples every day. I come home with 24 bottles every day. My sister and her friend are able to nab more than 50 bottles. DF is able to get more than 20 and in the end, we wind up with almost 200 bottles! No extra gas was used since I was walking for it (I could use the exercise). And we also picked up folders for a penny each to include in our welcome bags.

We received a packet in the mail for our music and cake selection and now we are in it to win it. Let's plan a wedding!:bride:

12-06-2008, 07:53 AM
So people had been constantly asking me if I had gotten my dress and I was always saying not yet...but one day, my bridesmaids forced me to go shopping...I had no idea that it took so long for a dress to get done...I thought that most brides were just eager, anxious and excited so they went shopping early.

Both DF and I are not fond of formality...its December now and he hasn't reserved his tux yet. But we at least know the exact style, color and salesperson at this point...we just haven't signed the dotted line.

I'm also not looking forward to going out and spending potentially thousands of dollars on a dress I will only wear for half a day. When we were first engaged in March, there was the running of the brides at Filene's Basement and I forced both my mom and DF (my shopping partners) in my pursuit of a bridal bargain. Yes girls, I really let him see me try on gowns. I'm not superstitious in that way (a saleswoman once told me it was an American belief; I think she was Russian). So I did the sale with no success. It was everything they advertise on TV and more. They don't tell you that some dresses are ripped, without zippers, or downright dirty. The perfect ones are in the smaller sizes (love you little girls :rolleyes1 , but I'm not one of them).

So its July and I decide its time to focus on a dress. I went out and some of the sales staff gasped when I told them my wedding date. I took this seriously and began my mission. Time to get this done and over with. It took me two weekends. I documented the story in pictures and sent it to my bridesmaids. I have 6 of them and in their defense, they aren't the diehard shopoholics that I am, so I didn't lug all of them with me on these trips. The only maid that is a shopper is currently living in New Orleans...so I went with DF. Two of my maids did join in the fun for a few trips though.

Hope you enjoy the pics!


12-06-2008, 07:56 AM
I should mention that I have been looking at magazines, figuring out what styles I wanted, just narrowing the field. I am very very busty, so I knew that strapless, the style that is EVERYWHERE in the magazines, is not for me. So that narrowed it down a lot. I was only looking for tank or halter styles.


12-06-2008, 07:59 AM




01-09-2009, 03:25 PM

And so ended my wedding shopping adventure back in August 2008. That was closely followed by a bridesmaid shopping adventure but in the interest of my girls, I won't post up those pictures.

01-09-2009, 04:04 PM
So the girls got their dresses one Saturday afternoonin August at Macys as well, after a not so success trip to David's Bridal.


Here's a formal shot of my dress...

and some not so formal shots

01-09-2009, 04:29 PM
So I'm left now after all the dresses are ordered (we got them all in dove gray with lighter gray buttons in the back) with some down time, so I figured that I should do something to give to the little children who are attending the wedding...I get to work and put together a Disney coloring book, complete with images from their website! They have a great page geared towards parents ands kids that allows you to print out a page, or color it right online using a digital coloring palette. I have a copier here at work that is a fast scanner, so I printed out all the images, scanned them into a pdf, then reprinted them into coloring books! Our copier does it all, complete with fold and center stapling!

I even personalized the back page!


During this time I also found a sale at Office Depot for crayons. Twenty five cents for a pack of 24, so I went and bought my limit of 5 every day until I had 25 packs. One thing less to do.

Ok, I know I'm still sorely behind...I'm pretty much only getting up to September, but I had some down time and wanted to complete a little more...

Brief step into the present...my bachelorette is tomorrow night with 6+ inches of snow expected in the NYC area... hopefully it'll be a good time!