Hi Girls, I know I havent been around much and I wasnt all that well known before I vanished for a while, but I thought it would be nice to put a planning journal together and get to know folks a little bit better. About us: Greg and I met through comedy. Were both actor-types who specialize in improvisational and sketch comedy in Toronto. Id met Greg here and there through the scene, and always thought he was pretty cute. We did a show together (an improvised whodunnit) and during the course of the show I was surprised to find that although my character started out flirting with Gregs, before long it wasnt the character anymore. I was flirting with him. After the show, he introduced his girlfriend. Well, darn. Months later, we met again at the Canadian Comedy Awards (where my improv troupe won Best Improv Troupe for the second year in a row, thank you very much!). We were backstage and he greeted me with a hug and a What is that intoxicating perfume youre wearing? I laughed, and told him I wasnt going to tell him what perfume I was wearing so he could go home and get it for his girlfriend! He replied, What girlfriend. Apparently they had broken up. I didnt believe him so he enlisted the help of many people to prove they werent together anymore. He had to leave the Awards weekend early, and I spent the rest of the weekend flirting with others, thinking that pursuing Greg made no sense, thanks to the 9 year age gap. I swore Id never date a younger man. Seemed pointless, since wed be at such different points in our lives. But, in an uncharacteristic move, when I got home, I emailed him to see if he wanted to get together and watch football. He did. We had a wonderful time. Long story short, never say never. Turns out Greg is the most wonderful, generous, kind and loving man Id ever met. And Scooter, my dog, loves him! The Proposal: Disney World, where else. I had been working on a cruise ship (actually, working for a comedy theatre called The Second City, doing shows on NCL cruise ships) and we had a week off since Rosie ODonnell chartered the ship we were working on and brought all her own entertainment. I took that week and met Greg at Disney World. We love going there. It was where we took our first vacation together, and I had recently bought into DVC thinking that Id like to bring kids there someday (if I ever have them). It was the week after my birthday, so Greg had planned a special Birthday night for me. All he told me was to bring a dress, and so I did. We got ready and hopped in the car and drove from Saratoga Springs over to the Magic Kingdom area. When we pulled into the Polynesian, I figured we were going to the Luau. Greg parked me at the bar by Ohana, and said he was going to check in at the Luau desk. I ordered drinks, and when he came back he said we had time to watch some of the fireworks, so we walked to Sunset Pointe. This is where Greg started to get agitated. There were people already there, sitting on the grass. He didnt want to stand close to them, so he pulled me back a bit. Then more people came. He didnt want to be near them so we walked down the hill on the grass. I slipped my shoes of and walked barefoot on the cool, damp grass. We stood there in each others arms, watching the Electrical Water Parade. I didnt think it was possible to be happier. We had been apart for almost 3 months, I only had to go back to the ship for one more week and then I could go home, but we got a trip to Disney in the meantime! What could be better? Only one thing. Before I realized what was happening, Greg was down on one knee asking me to make him the happiest man in the world by being his wife. I dont think I even let him finish, I said yes so fast. We watched the fireworks for a few minutes more, happy tears in our eyes, when Greg said, Wed better get going if were going to make our Victoria and Alberts reservation. Just perfect. Our menus said Congratulations on your engagement, which makes a wonderful souvenir. A perfect end to a perfect night. The Aftermath: If you could call it that. Our parents were thrilled. Our friends were ecstatic. Happiness reigned. We just had to decide on where to have the wedding (as if there were any doubt), what kind of wedding to have, and when to have it. The Planning: We took a look at dates we wanted to work around we didnt want to get married in the summer too hot. We needed to wait until Greg was finished school, though, so that ruled out spring. I wanted to keep the date sometime in low season, to help keep costs down (which also meant avoiding a weekend). In a perfect world, I also wanted the wedding to coincide with the Food and Wine Festival a favourite of ours. Originally we chose September 29th, but when I contacted Randy Chapman to book him, he had just received a deposit from another bride for that day. Well, boo! So we bumped the date to the 30th, and all was right with the world again. On a visit in September of this year, we met with Bill Barchik at Disney, and set up plans to be married in the Wedding Pavilion at noon on September 30, 2008, with a lunch reception to follow in the Whitehall Room, and a dessert Party later that night at French Island, Upper. I am thinking of keeping the dessert party as a surprise for our guests. The Clothing: As soon as the idea of an engagement was even hinted at, I started looking at dresses. I knew it was going to be a chore, because Im not into the whole princess for a day thing. I dont like big and poofy, and the idea of this imperfect, bumpy body being coated in white satin seemed to be a bit more than I could handle. It wasnt long before I came across a photo of a Jenny Packhams Claire design. I fell in love with it. It was perfect - kind of Art Deco, kind of vintage glamorous. Love. This. Dress. I went to the only shop in Toronto that carried it - $2900, pre-tax (14%) plus alterations? Ouch, and no. And so I kept looking. Boy did I look. But I figured if I wasnt going to settle on the man, why settle on a dress? Ok, Im really trying to justify spending more than twice what I wanted on a dress its corny, but itll make me happy. I found a place in New York that has it for less, and theyll ship it. So. Thats how its going to be. The Dress: Not sure about a veil possibly a birdcage. Definitely no tiara. Probably will wear blue shoes. Greg will wear a morning suit for our daytime ceremony and reception, and may change into a tux with tails for the Dessert Party. The Flowers & Décor: Absolutely no idea. Im totally lost. The Food: Again, no idea. Something awesome, though. The food is very, very important to us. Entertainment: I would love to have a jazz trio at lunch. The Wedding Party: I will have my sister, Rachael, stand up for me, Greg will probably have his sister, Kathryn, stand up for him. The Officiant: Rev. Randall Miller. I saw Caitlins sneak peek on STVSs website, and I knew I wanted him. Gregs family is Catholic, and since a Catholic ceremony wasnt an option were having a blessing at home before our at home reception. The Photographer: Randy Chapman, of course. Hair/Makeup: Id like my step-mom to do my makeup and I know shed really like to do it. She sells Mary Kay and has done my makeup for other things including a photo shoot. Shes really good, and I think itd be nice. Problem is, my mom really dislikes her, is afraid of her, or is intimidated by her, or some weirdness like that. Either way, bad blood. And I think my mom would want to be around, and have her makeup done too. Hair no idea. Maybe Ill just have someone come and do everything for all of us, and find another way for my step-mom to be involved. The Politics: Yes. At every wedding there is always some form of drama or another. And mine is that my parents are divorced they separated 5 years ago. Time has passed, but things are still raw. Ive told my mom that she needs to figure out a way to be able to be in the same room with my dad without having an emotional breakdown, but she hasnt figured out how to deal with her feelings yet even after all this time. Its the only thing that worries me. And its a doozy. Im already stressed out about it and the wedding is still 10 months away. Invitations: No idea. Favors: No idea. Gift Bags: Seems like a nice idea. Well see if its in the cards. And by cards, I mean budget. Budget: Interesting that you should mention that. The minimum for our day/time of year is $10,000. Well have no problem hitting it, Im sure. We decided on a Custom Wedding after talking out the differences between the two. Ultimately, we figured wed rather have the option of having more than 18 guests and would prefer the structure and planning that goes along with the Custom (Wishes) wedding option. For me, it was all about the cake tasting. You think Im kidding? Did I mention, we love food? Money?: Im currently halfway through the first of my two, four-month contracts on the NCL Spirit. Its hard being away, but Greg and I recognize that this is the best (and only) way for us to come up with the money we need for the wedding. He has some money saved, and I am paying down my own debts and generating savings to fill up our wedding budget goal. Being away from home for 8 months sucks pretty hard, but my life on the ship is pretty easy, and it is very rewarding to actually be a working actor for a change. Our current home port is New Orleans which Im falling in love with, and in March well be making the trek back to New York which will be our home port for the rest of my contract. And Tah-dah! That is my planning so far. Ill try and update when I have more info, and are in a port with free internet!