Well, I'm very sorry, but I'm back now and more than ready to tell you about the last few days!
First of all, Honeymoon!!! I told you that I had not heard back for a week and was ready to write the serious e-mail. Well, I looked through all my e-mails the next morning and I noticed something: My first e-mail that the customer service person responded to immediately was sent to the general "info" e-mail address at Casa Chameleon. When the woman responded to me, however, she responded from her personal e-mail address associated with the hotel; I wrote to "info@hotelCC.com" and she responded from "her.name@hotelCC.com." Well, I just hit reply to reply to her, and when I saw the difference in these two e-mail addresses, it struck me that I bet I could get a quick response again if I went back to e-mailing "info@hotelCC.com."
Well, I did just that, I tried it out. Monday morning I wrote an e-mail to info and said something to the effect of 'We have written a couple e-mails that have not been answered. We love your resort, we really want to stay there for our honeymoon but we'll have to choose another destination if we don't hear from you in another couple of days.' Dude, I heard back that evening! Now, while I got no explanation as to why it had taken a week for her to respond or why her e-mail wasn't working or whatever, she finally responded with the same sweet enthusiasm that she did initially.
And guess what... OUR DATES ARE OPEN!!! I wrote back to say thank you so much and please put them on hold for us, she just wrote back to me with the credit card authorization form and the guarantee that the Ultra Luxury Villa aka Honeymoon Villa is on hold for us!! When I told Kyle he promised that this weekend we would sit down and book the flights and fill out the credit card form.
I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!
Whew! But I need to calm down, on to flowers!!
I met with Tara from Splints and Daisies yesterday, it's literally a hop-skip-jump from our venue, so that's great. Her style is more contemporary but she's also rustic and doesn't do cookie cutter- what she calls- lollipop bouquets. Here's a little taste of her style:
Moss... love moss...
She's as in love with fiddlehead ferns as I am... Score!!
She likes making bouquets that look lopsided or flow a little, not just balls of perfect flowers in pinks and reds. Anyway, as I hinted before, if I had to have a florist, she's right up my alley. She's very nice and for the area, seems to be well-priced. Especially because I found out that she can do a lot of the things I wanted to do with my centerpieces (moss, wood slabs, candles) because she already has those materials. I was hesitant at first, but then when I factored in shipping and what I was going to do with 12 wood slabs after the wedding, I thought 'hey, maybe I should just let this nice lady make my life easier.'
Here's what I came to her with:
These are the flowers I want incorporated in the design (the ranunculus is there just in case, but not my favorite, because the calla lilies are better).
It's been so much easier for me to find boutonnieres that I like, and so hard to find bouquets that I like, so basically, I told her that I love the balsa wood flowers, the feathers, the twigs, the fiddleheads, winter berries or pussy willow, and the calla lilies. These things are well represented here on these bouts, sooooo, just make the bout first to represent what's here and then make a bigger version as the bouquet.
Here's all I could find as inspiration for the bouquet:
I know it seems like there's a lot here, but I don't actually like any of these. I like the deep burgundy callas (but not the other stuff in those top left and middle bouquets), I like the succulents (but not the white callas or the grasses in the top right bouquet), I like the feathers (but not the dusty miller in the middle left bouquet), I like the wheat and balsa wood flowers (but not the fabric flowers in the middle right bouquet) and finally, ALL of them are TOO BIG!! I want the bouquets to be the size of the bottom row bouquets.
Shoo, got all that Tara? Here's some more stuff:
Centerpieces was very straightforward: I'm currently collecting wine bottles (I actually have enough *Squee* already but still collecting so I can use them elsewhere if I want to) and I want just a fiddlehead fern or two and few wheat stalks sticking out. I'd like herbs at each place setting, and that's it. Then of course I still want the burlap on the table, moss on the burlap, the wood slab on the moss, and a few candles and the wine bottle on the wood slab.
Again, she has these for me to use.*
*Now of course I don't get to use them for free, I would be renting them, but if renting them from her still costs less than buying and shipping them to myself, then we've found ourselves a winner. Now, I say all this now, she hasn't yet given me a breakdown of how much this is all going to cost, but she has assured me that it's on the lower end budget-wise from the average Lancaster flower budget, which by the way is $2000!! I told her my budget was $1000 not because it is but because I really don't want to spend $2000 on something that's going to die very soon after the wedding.
Needless to say, I've re-budgeted because I realized that I've not been using very good tools to figure out my budget (theknot said flowers should cost me $300... what the frick?!). There's a website that shows average wedding cost for your zip code and breaks down how much you should expect to pay for each element, and it's making me feel a lot better about how much we're spending:
Average wedding cost in Lancaster: between $17,960 and $29,933! If we even manage to come in on the lower end of that range, I've decided I'm going to be happy. Here's a quick breakdown of why:
- We spent more than average on the wedding bands because Kyle keeps insisting on getting me whatever I want HOWEVER, according to the website, we're still spending below average for jewelry (I'm not counting engagement ring, I'm sorry, I just can't do it, it's not a wedding cost)
- We spent less than average on the invitations by DIYing
- We're right in the middle of the range for attire
- We're right on target for flowers (hopefully)
- We're actually on the low end of the average for venue and catering, can you believe it!
- We're spending a bit less on the DJ, because he's a good friend, but not to worry Nick, we're still not going to shaft you.
- Our DOC comes with the venue, and I'm too anal to actually pay someone to do stuff I'm going to want to do myself before the day of anyway
- We don't have transportation to pay for because booking 15 rooms at the nearby Hampton/Marriot gets us free shuttle service!
Anyway, I'm getting off my soap box. I go dress shopping tomorrow!!! All by myself, and I'm going to buy a dress, for real. I feel like it's best in the end for me to be there myself, even though that didn't work out so great the first time. Everyone has had different opinions and so I want it to just be me at the counter making the final decision. Plus no one else is around :-(
Oh hey, I found my long lost twin! And she's wearing my dress!!
How funny is that?! Now, a shift is happening here, it's ammo against my FMIL; is this the way you want my hair to look for the wedding?? Because this is the only way I would wear it curly... My mom is currently cringing. No worries Mama!! But still, doesn't her hair look almost right with that dress?? If I wore my hair curly for the wedding, I would actually be tempted to wear it like that! And that's the only way I would wear it curly.
So you tell me; curly and wild, or sleek and sophisticated and possibly boring???