Friday, December 12, 2008

The Story

OK. I'm sure this story is better conveyed in person, but many of you have asked, so I'll type it up for you - but just try to imagine me speaking it - I'm not a great writer!

An August 6th, 2008 at approximately 7:00pm in the evening... (kidding!)

OK. So, I got stuck late at work (shocker, I know) and Jason and I were going back and forth as to whether he was going to pick me up or I was going to take the train home. So, I called him on my way to the train and he said he was already on his way to pick me up. So we agreed that I would walk toward the highway and meet him. Then he called me back and said traffic was bad and he was going to be a few minutes. So, I walked over to the highway and stood and waited on the corner of Washington and Jefferson reading a novel.

Jason arrived and I hopped in the car and we started driving. In that part of town, there are highway entrances every other block. So, he passes the entrance, and I was like Honey, that was the way back on to the highway. And he was like I'll get on at the next one. So, we get to the next turn, and he passes it too. And then he turns east on Lake . . and he's like, Oh, I'll just go to Ontario.

So, we cross the river heading toward the next entrance (Ontario) and he turns right on Kinzie. And I'm like, Honey I'm not sure if you're aware, but you're going east and we don't live in this direction... and he says, well I thought we'd go to dinner.

I say, Okaaaaaaay...

So, Jason pulls the car over and tells me that the restaurant we're going to has a dress code.

At this point, I'm game... and you have to realize that I was dressed like a total schlub that day, jeans and a burgundy knit Target polo, so needing to change to go to dinner is totally reasonable to me...

Jason pulls out a name tag and pins it on his shirt... "Plaidman" ...

A little back-story...
Jason and I met in the summer of 1996 while working at Ed Debevic's. Ed's is a character diner where the staff is goofy and rude and has personas. Jason was a loud, obnoxious guy who wore all plaid - shirt, pants, suspenders - and was called "Plaidman" ... I had 2 personas - one was Ginger, who was sweet and girly and frilly, and the other was Sparkles, who was basically a Vegas slut.

Restaurants have labels for the days of the week that they use to label when food was open or stored or whatever. On my Sparkles nametag, Jason had taken a "MON" label and turned it upside down... so my tag read "Sparkles NOW" ...


Back to the story...

So Jason pins on his nametag and I notice he's wearing a plaid shirt... and he says, "I couldn't find your Sparkles NOW nametag, so I thought I'd give you a sparkles now..." and he pulled out my ring! Then he said all kinds of nice things to me and I told him I would marry him!

Then, we went to dinner at Ed Debevic's, since that is where we met.

Adorable....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Site Update!

Please note the new "Wedding Info At A Glance" section at the upper right. I'll fill in the pertinent info as it becomes available/finalized. Whee - technology!

Where To Stay . . .

I am working on getting rooms blocked at two hotels - one hotel in Chicago, and one hotel in a nearby suburb, probably Oak Brook. There is a convention in Chicago the weekend of our wedding, so hotels are pretty booked already. Also, Chicago hotels are not the cheapest...

Thus far, I think I will have a block of rooms at a Chicago hotel for about $180 a night (plus tax) - and parking will be about $30 a day. The rooms will be available for Friday and Saturday night. This hotel has a pool and fitness room and gorgeous views of downtown. Because the hotel is in Chicago, it will be close to all Chicago offerings -and about 5 minutes via cab/car to our reception site.

The suburban hotel is looking like $100 a night (plus tax and parking) and will be about 20 miles, 30-40 minutes from Chicago. The rooms will be available for Friday and Saturday night. We don't recommend this option for our guests who will be flying into town and thus carless - but it may be a less expensive alternative for those driving into town who don't mind being outside of Chicago and who don't mind the bit of additional travel time.

I think I'll send out a survey to the out-of-towners to see what option people guess they will choose... the hotels require a deposit and room guarantee.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ready? Set!

We did it. We booked our venue, and thus have set a date!

Watch your mail in the next few weeks for our Save The Date postcard...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long Island, NY

Last weekend, we went to Long Island to see Arleen and Ed. We played some games (Arleen is a Scrabble master) and ate some excellent food. We went to the cemetery to say goodbye to Alan, hung out with Eric & Paula and argued about politics, and of course I got some more family tree low-down.

We had a great visit, and we can't wait to see you again in Chicago!

PICTURES


-Jason

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not Wedding Related . . .

We went to the OBAMA Rally last night in Grant Park. It was awesome!

Some pictures:


Yay!

~Gretchen

Monday, October 20, 2008

Potental Potential Potential ! ! ! ! !

We *may* have found a place to have the shindig!

We're working on the details and getting a contract and such . . .

We should know soonish . . .

Cross your fingers for us ! ! !

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dress No More

I'll just put it out there - I will not be wearing a wedding dress.

It's amazing the variety of reactions I get to this statement. But I have to tell you, I tried on about a million different wedding dresses and they all had one thing in common - I would look at the dress, but not at me in the dress.

Guess what? I'm just not a wedding dress kind of gal. I just don't fit that mold. So, easy solution, I will not be wearing one.

Instead, I'm planning on wearing a fabulous dress that suits me - and I'm planning on wearing it many times in the future.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dress Stress?

Who knew? Finding a dress is difficult! Especially since I'm not one of those gals who have a binder ready to go before they've met The Right Person. I met my Right person 12 years ago and I'm still SO unprepared for this wedding schtuff! Before we were engaged, I could not name a sinlge wedding dress designer. Now I have websites bookmarked and favorites saved and a stress headache!

I've visited 4 dress shops thus far and tried on MANY dresses. I'm getting a better idea of what I want . . . but I'm having a hard time embracing the traditional . . . I want to be different! I've always told Jason that I won't be wearing a white wedding dress, and I don't want to renege on that . . . but color choices are difficult.

So the Madre and I will be heading out to Naperville on Sunday to continue the search. Thus far, I've been going it alone. I think having my Mom with me will help considerably. Another set of eyes - and someone to bounce ideas off of. Though I must say, I'm a speedy tryer-oner. The sales gals will bring me three dresses and I"ll be in and out of them (hey?) before they have the next round ready! I know what I like - and don't like - so I'm quick.

So . . . if you've been through this part of the fun before and have any words of wisdom for me, let me know! Or if you know a good seamstress who could custom make a dress for me that I would love at a reasonable price, let me know that too!

Back to the dress-ing board . . .

~Gretchen

Friday, August 29, 2008

Location Location Location

Geesh. We’ve been scouting sites for the ceremony and reception, but thus far we haven’t hit on one. It’s quite difficult to find a space that will hold 200 people in the City of Chicago and in our price range. Maybe we should just cut you off the invitee list!

Seriously though, we had our eye on one venue . . . one of our favorite restaurants . . . they can hold all 200 of us . . . and they don’t charge a room rental fee, or tables and chairs, and they have good food, but expensive drinks . . . but we’re not sure the room will really work. We were really hoping it would work out, but neither of us felt it was the right place.

We did find a really cool space, but it would only hold 150 people and it has three levels and no elevators and we both have family members where stairs are not an option.

So, the hunt is still on. We’re open to suggestions . . . but we pretty much want to get married in Chicago. We’re really attached to this place and it means a lot to us. We would also consider Evanston, since we both went to Northwestern and we’ve both lived up there. But Chicago is our top choice.

We’ll probably visit some other places over the weekend, so keep your fingers crossed for us! We’d love to get the site secured so we can have a set date!

~Gretchen

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wedding Info?

Hi!

OK. There's going to be a lot of information swimming around in my brain and I may forget to mention some of it to you. So far, that information has to do with our upcoming WEDDING!

So, here's a blog where I can put stuff as I think of it and you can look at it. Yes, you. You may be bored out of your gourd reading about how the planning and scouting and dress hunting is going - but I don't care! It's here anyway!

Also, we're trying to finalize a date . . . right now it's looking like the end of May or beginning of June 2009 . . .

~Gretchen