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rphelps27 01-28-2013 06:31 PM

Renee & Trae's 4/4/13 WP & GF Wedding

Well Like most brides on here I have spent some time checking out everyones PJs so I thought since I am 65 days out... it's time to post my a PJ myself.
Our Story:
I am a Spanish teacher and field hockey coach in NJ. I met Trae one night when I brought my field hockey team to his training facility. He trains athletes of all ages, 10 year olds, high school kids, college athletes and some professionals. Clearly I went looking my worst with a side pony tail and sweat pants (JK about the side pony). Here was this guy who I thought was a typical "Gym Rat". Well the facility he works at offers adult classes so I started taking them and after 2 months of being "tortured" and flirted with by Trae, I finally agreed to go out with him. Once I got to know him, he was not the "gym rat" I thought he was. LOL
The Proposal:
As a high school teacher, one of the perks is being asked to chaperone the Senior Trip to Disney World. So in 2011, I was on the Senior Trip and came up with a brilliant plan. I wanted to take Trae to WDW because he had never been and I know he would love it. He decided that he wanted to bring his parents since they had never been either. So I said, ok I will bring mine as well. This was our Christmas present to our parents that year. The trip was booked for the 1st weekend in December 2012.
Since I'm a major planner, I started making an itinerary and wanted to make reservations. I totally got made fun of by the way, but I knew that we would have a difficult time finding somewhere good to eat. So my mom called me a week before our trip and said "I always wanted to eat in the Castle, do you think we can make a reservation?" My first reaction was laughter, I said, "There's no way we can get in with a week's notice, I'm sure it's booked." So she said that she was going to call and wouldn't you know, 20 minutes later she called and told me we have a reservation for Thursday (12/1/12) night. I was shocked but thought nothing of it. (Here's the real deal: Trae and decided he was going to propose and wanted it to be somewhere special. He called Disney and spoke to an event planner who totally hooked us up.)
So it's Thursday morning and I am ready to go, we decided to go to the MK because that's the best place to take 1st timers. I was of course like a little kid and Trae was a little cranky (I now understand why). At one point I thought, if he is going to act like this at WDW, we are breaking up when we get home. (LOL) Towards the afternoon, I did not feel like going back to the room to get changed and finally my dad put his foot down and said he wanted to rest for a little bit. I hated the outfit I was wearing because it was a little bit colder than I planned for at night and of course was a little cranky.
Now that we are seated, next to the window no less, we order our dinner and I could tell there was something wrong with Trae, he ate 2 bites and was like "I'm full." I loved getting my picture with all the princesses and was having a blast so I really wasn't paying much attention to him and then dessert came. Everyone got their dessert except for us and I thought that was strange. All of a sudden a covered dish was put in front of me and I thought, "what is this, I only ordered the chocolate mousse." Well as soon at the waiter lifted the cover I think I screamed and Trae was beside me on one knee. I was completely taken by surprise when I saw a diamond ring in a glass slipper on top of a bed of roses, while the fireworks were happening behind us.
Of course I said yes and then found out there was a Disney photographer there. I literally had no clue it was going to happened because we had talked about engagements and even went ring shopping but 2 weeks before the trip, Trae told me he wanted to put the engagement talks on hold because he is extremely busy with work in the winter. So thus begins my Fairy Tale... engaged in the castle. :love:
I will post pics of the ring ASAP
More to come soon...

rphelps27 01-30-2013 08:29 PM

Proposal Video
So after we got home and my brain was running in circles about the wedding and planning and dress shopping and you all know what I am talking about.
Trae surprises me with a little video he put together of the engagement and our trip. Here's the link:

So trying to start thinking about the wedding and where it will be... I was looking all over New Jersey and Philadelphia. One of the perks of being a high school teacher is chaperoning the prom. So I had a good idea of what a lot of the places around here looked like. I silently had my heart set on the Please Touch Museum in Philly but DF stepped in one night and sent me a text while he was at work and told me to look into Disney Weddings. I sent "LOL" back to him and thought they don't do weddings there. So curiosity got the best of me and I googled "Disney Weddings" and that was it, I was sold. I replied to him with a "OMG, Yes let's do it!" His response was "Let's complete our Fairytale!"

So the next day I contacted DFTW and go the ins and outs and they sent us some information. The first person I spoke with told me that we had to wait until 1 year from the day to put our name on a list... I was a little upset so called back another day and Stacey put our name on the "Waiting List". She sent us all kinds of information and the planning began...

bradleyjess 01-31-2013 05:07 AM

How cute! I love the video :)

rphelps27 01-31-2013 03:52 PM

Pictures from our Castle Engagement
Ok so here are some pics from the big night:
This is a close up of the ring. I only gave him a general idea of what I liked, he did this all on his own!
This was my expression after he popped the question.

CinderALLIE 01-31-2013 04:29 PM

What a cute story. I love the engagement pics and OMG that ring.

rphelps27 03-07-2013 07:15 PM

Total Slacker
Ok, so I've been a total slacker with posting but with 27 DAYS until THE big day... We've been busy.

So we went down on November 30th for our planning session and I will tell you this... YOU HAVE TO DO IT! If you are not sure you want to have a PS - do it! It was the greatest thing for me to get DF on board with the wedding planning. He's very visual so I would ask him questions about things and he couldn't help me bc he wanted to see it. Anyhow... DF turned Groomzilla and was totally involved and excited about planning.
We met with Rev. Tim Herring first and ironed out the ceremony details. DF thought he was funny and we both knew our families would get a kick out of him.
Then we met with Diane Bowen and the fun began! DF was all about it and at one point, he was picking flowers and centerpieces. It was actually comical. We accomplished so much and it totally got us both more excited about the wedding. The cake tasting was awesome too. DF ate most of it, but I did get to try enough.

We did get a few minutes to check out the WP b/c they were setting up for a wedding. Words just can't describe it. Of course, the first thing I looked at was the carpet b/c so many brides complained about it. Luckily, they replaced that one! This is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend!
After the PS, we had sometime and went back to our room to relax before we went back to GF for the taste-testing. Diane showed us where the cocktail hour and reception would be and then we headed to the kitchen. Everything was set up for us and we felt so special. The food was great and we decided to go with a buffet-style but we didn't want people sitting and waiting so there will be stations set up around the room so people can eat whenever they want and not waste time sitting.
When we left, we were on cloud nine.
The next day we met Regina Hyman at the Boardwalk for our engagement pics and we just loved her. We took so many shots, I could not believe only an hour had gone by. She totally captures the style we are looking for and we were so excited to see our pictures. Here's a link to the video she put together:

Bewitch324 03-07-2013 07:33 PM

Congratulations!! You are such a beautiful couple!! I love the engagement story! That is so special that your families were there with you for that moment!

The video of your engagement pictures is really good, Regina got some great shots of the two of you!!

Looking forward to reading more about your wedding!


LittleKittyMarie 03-07-2013 10:37 PM

I love your engagement story, so romantic! I love the video!

You must be so excited, your wedding is coming up so soon! Really looking forward to reading more details! :goodvibes

pkdang 03-12-2013 09:58 AM

Congratulations! I love your proposal story and how the ring was presented to you! So beautiful!

rphelps27 03-20-2013 10:49 PM

14 days
We are officially 2 weeks away from the wedding and I never thought this day would come. Here's an update (I'm terrible at this, now I know why I don't blog, LOL)...

DRESS: Today was my final fitting and I love love love my dress. It felt so good to finally have it fit me... no more pins or clips. (Sorry ladies, no pics... but you will see it after the big day.) The bridal salon is shipping my dress to the same store in Orlando and they are pressing it... so no more stress about how to get the dress to FL. I am still going to use Carolyn Allen's for cleaning and preservation and they can just ship it back to NJ.

BACHELORETTE PARTY: Was last Saturday, this Irish Bride needed to celebrate St. Patty's Day style. We had a blast and I had T-shirts made for the girls.

SEATING CHART: I went OCD and pulled a total teacher move. I made a mock design of the reception and got colored post-its and put labels on them... I made life so much easier for me. (I will post a pic).

KIDS NITE OUT: So I am one of those brides who cannot tolerate kids at weddings. They run around and their parents think that someone is watching them, but no one is watching them and trouble happens (once again, teacher in me). So we contracted Kids Nite Out to host a Kiddie Party during our reception. There will be 7 kids (4 are in the wedding party) and for 2 chaperones it's only costing $575. For me, to have no kids, that's worth it. I have yet to tell the parents of these children that they will not be in the reception with us, but I'm pretty sure the kids will have more fun doing kiddie things.

BUDGET: We have paid our balance and it was such a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. We are paying for this ourselves and have saved up all the money in a year, no debt for us!

REHEARSAL DINNER DRESS: I have been stressing over a dress for the rehearsal dinner, I wanted ivory/white, short, fun and if possible one-shoulder. I really wanted a one-shoulder wedding dress but ended up without one so I thought I could get one for the RD. After months of looking for a dress, I finally found one thanks to Nordstrom. I love it and it's totally me...

WELCOME BAGS: So DF's boss' in-laws live about 45 min from WDW and they have volunteered to make us Welcome Bags. Contents: Famous Amos cookies, peanuts, cookies, water, iced tea, FL orange (I couldn't resist), and a small one time sun screen packet. (I believe there's more, but I can't remember). I just finished making the Bridal Party Itinerary and am now working on the Brochures for the Welcome Bags. I will post when they are complete.

I think that's about it for now...

If anyone has a cute poem for the bridesmaids gifts, something thanking them, etc please pass it along...

rphelps27 03-20-2013 10:59 PM

Bachelorette Party - I'm the second one from the left in the bottom row. (With the wacky mini hat)
Here's my Seating Chart - color coding was awesome! (I'm such a teacher.)
Rehearsal Dinner Dress! Sorry I'm not good at selfies!

If someone could explain to me how to upload smaller pictures that would be very helpful!

WittyAmb 03-21-2013 09:20 AM

Ok first of all, the video your DF made for you is precious! I absolutely love it!

AND... your RD dress is hot and I love the shoes you're wearing with it!!!

You must be so excited that the wedding is so close!

wiigirl 03-21-2013 09:31 AM

Congratulations! :)

rphelps27 03-24-2013 10:03 PM

When we first got engaged, my mom who is really into card making was all about making our wedding invitations. As time got closer to getting them ready my mom was not into making them at all. We were kind of last minute and DF came up with the best idea. We created a video invitation. We used pictures from our engagement pics and some other pics and video from when were there for our engagement. Here's the link:

The password is disney.
Being the teacher that I am, I had the guests reply to a Google Doc form. Most people replied, but like paper invitations we did have to call a bunch of people. So unfortunately I can't tell you that this worked better than a paper invitation. But it is unique and that made it special for us!

LittleKittyMarie 03-25-2013 09:22 AM

I love that seating chart, haha. I'm the kind of person to do that too. It's just so organized!

I loved your invite video! Very clever idea and cost effective too! :goodvibes

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