Posts filed under ‘Planning’

I Puffy Heart Macy’s

… or this post could be alternatively titled “How to get a Le Creuset for free!”

Today the UPS man rang the doorbell. I scared the crap out of the kitties as I flew down two flights of stars to retrieve my packages from the stoop.  I lugged the heavy package up to the kitchen and unwrapped my “prize”.

Ohhh… Kitchen Aid Mixer meat grinder attachment and the 5 qt enamel cast iron Le Creuset dutch oven… my knees just buckled a little.

 

What super generous wedding guest sent this belated gift? Why, that would be my girl “Macy”!

Source

Thanks to Macy’s Registry Star Rewards we received a gift card from Macy’s last week which covered the purchase of both the meat grinder attachment and the Le Creuset.

It works like this:

Scenario 1: Aunt Jane purchases the Joseph Joseph 5-Piece Index Cutting Board Set off of our registry for $64.99. (btw we seriously we love this cutting board set) 5% of the value  ($3.25) of this purchase goes into our post wedding gift card.

Source

Scenario 2: We purchased Mr P’s wedding suit from Macy’s for approximately $175 using my Macy’s card.  10% of the price ($17.50) goes on our post wedding gift card just for using my Macy’s card.

Image by Amore Studios

Scenario 3: A couple of our guests give us cash gifts for the wedding. We decide to purchase our Calphalon Unison Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set (also a big favorite of ours!) of the registry with my Macy’s credit card.  The set is on sale for $599 and we get 5% of the price for it being on my registry AND 10% of the price for using my Macy’s card (89.95).

Source

With those three purchases we have just earned $110.70 towards a Macy’s gift card. $110.70! That is half of a Le Creuset! Obviously, buying items off of your own registry with your Macy’s card earns you the biggest bang for your buck.  If you are going to go this route, Mr P and I figured out a few tips to help maximize the reward you receive.

  1. Register early- all of your Macy’s purchases (non-registry included) earn 10%
  2. If you are at Macy’s and see something you like and want to pick up that day make sure you scan it to your registry first.  For example, I found cute placemats on sale and we hadn’t registered for them.  We grabbed the gun and scanned them, then took them to the checkout and purchased them from the registry- hello 15%!
  3. If you are giving a household item as a gift, put it on your registry first and then use tip #2.  Bridesmaid H got married the month before me, she registered at Target but really wanted a crystal chip and dip bowl (yes, it is as funny as it sounds) that we saw at Macys, so I added it to my registry and purchased for her as a wedding gift, earning Mr P and I 15% of the purchase.
  4. Use cash gifts and gift cards to buy high priority items on your list. Use your Macy’s card for items purchased with wedding cash but make sure you are disciplined about paying your credit card bill with your wedding gift money.
  5. If you are having a second reception have Macy’s change your wedding date to the reception date (after you are already married) to extend the time that you are earning rewards.  This makes sure that any gifts you receive off of your registry for the second reception are included in the tally.
  6. Use any gift cards that you get immediately after your wedding to buy things that you haven’t received. Purchases made just after your wedding count too!

Registries can be a hot topic.  I’m a firm believer that there is no “right” answer about where to register or what to register for.  Depending on where you are in life and where your interests and values lie different registry options will fit better.  I feel strongly that Mr P and I selected the best registry combination got us.

Mr Pretzel and I are in our thirties (ok- he’s 29 until next month but close enough), we are established in our careers and have already replaced our college housewares at least once (in my case, two or three times).  We had not one, but two receptions (about 250 people attended these combined) and needed registry items in a range of price points for our guests.  We love to cook and definitely wanted to upgrade to top of the line cookware, knives, and small appliances. Easily 70% of our registry was in the kitchen and cookware departments.  I previously mentioned that we had an Amazon registry which contained items from various online retailers like pampered chef, urban outfitters, and REI.  For our main registry we researched the registry programs at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, and Williams-Sonoma.  All offered similar high quality cookware options, completion bonuses, and registry incentives but the Star Rewards program made Macy’s the clear winner for our situation.

For the Pretzels it was clear, if we had registered at Bed Bath and Beyond instead of Macy’s we would have left money (or a Le Creuset as it were) on the table.

Ok one last pretty picture of my kitchen buddy, Molly.

I cannot wait to cook some Noms with Molly!

What type of registry fit your needs best?  What rewards do other registry programs offer?

Advertisements

January 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment

Here We Go Again: What to do at part deux?

An alternative title for this post might be: “Sew much help!”

A couple of months ago I started to feel a little anxious about our hometown party.  What does one do at an “Its NOT a Wedding”  reception?  I think I clearly documented what I didn’t want (bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance) but what did that leave?  Booze, food and dancing?  Would that be enough?  At first Mr Pretzel thought so.

Thankfully we knew another Bee couple who were having a hometown reception a month before us. This couple happened to be our all time favorite Bee couple (yes, I know it is not nice to have favorites), a couple we had never met but with who we felt a strong connection.  It all came together over the internets one night.

Mrs Pretzel: Babe, the Sewings invited us to their hometown reception in California. I wish we could go. It’s gonna be awesome.

Mr Pretzel: Why can’t we?

Mrs Pretzel: Seriously?

Mr Pretzel: Seriously.

*Pretzel fingers fly at keyboard to search airfare from SEA to SFO*

Mrs Pretzel: That is CHEAP!

Mr Pretzel: DO IT! DO IT!

*click, click, click*

Mrs Pretzel: WOOT! WOOT!

*sends message to Mrs Sewing: “We’re coming!”*

*Mr and Mrs Pretzel do a celebratory dance around the kitchen*

Call us crazy, but we jumped at the opportunity and I am glad we did. We had the most lovely time at the Sew’s second reception and it helped us to see how second receptions flow.  I don’t want to spoil Mrs Sew’s recaps of her 2nd party but I can’t resist sharing some photos.

Mr P checks out the tea favors (he approves!)

While I found Pretzel appropriate buttons– W00T!

Mr P loves Pi(e)!

Nom, Nom, Nom

I was lucky at BINGO and walked away with a coveted Sewing chair cover/bag (with prize inside!)

We goofed off in the Faux-to Booth…

… and spent a little face time with the guest of honor!

In addition to finally meeting the Sews, stuffing ourselves with the yummiest Chinese food, and having an all around kick a$$ time- Mr Pretzel all of a sudden realized that we might want to plan something other than just booze, food and dancing.  Thank goodness! On our flight home we discussed some ideas an options.

  • Faux-to Booth- we loved our photo booth at our wedding and we want to bring the fun to the second party (plus we already have all the props!)
  • Instead of a bridal party table (most of my BM’s won’t be there) we’re having a long family table in the middle of the room for the newlyweds and immediate family. My immediate family won’t all be there so my dad and I invited his sisters (my aunts) and their husbands to sit with us.  I cannot wait!
  • Alongside our guest book we will have an album of our wedding photos for guests to peruse.
  • Addressing our guests.   Mr P and I are going to share a little bit about of big day, our favorite memories of the wedding and the things we have learned in our first four months of marriage.
  • Slide-show of wedding photos (set to music) during dinner and then looped on the flat screen tvs at he bar.
  • A newlywed-like game that elicits participation from our guests.
  • An anniversary dance.  Mr P and I will have to sit down when the DJ says “who has been married over 4 months?”

To me, this feels like the right balance of acknowledging the wedding while not trying to recreate it.  Call me a happy Pretzel!  Thanks to Mr and Mrs Sew for helping me get my husband’s head into planning party #2 and for the most amazing time!

Did you find inspiration for your wedding or wedding reception from attending someone else’s wedding/reception?  Anything the Pretzel’s might want to add to their part deux?

November 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Here We Go Again: Its Not A Wedding?

OHMYGODITSNOVEMBER! Mr Pretzel and I have been married four months and in a couple weeks I am going to squeeze slip into my wedding dress again and party once more.  I’ve become BFFs with the post office and their flat rate shipping boxes as of late.  A steady stream of packages are arriving at my In Law’s doorstep each day. Details are getting hammered out but we keep bumping into this one little problem.

Its not a wedding.

Source: Altered by moi

We’re married. We planned and had the wedding and reception of our dreams. We were introduced as husband and wife, had (cup)cake, danced our first dance, were toasted by our dads, tossed the bouquet, took pretty pictures and all around partied our arses off.  It was kick-ass and wonderful but I have no desire to do those things again at our hometown reception… OK I want to take pretty pictures and party our arses off… and I might be convinced to be introduced as “the newlyweds”.

There seems to be very little protocol in the wedding industry for a second reception, especially a second reception that happens over 4 months after the wedding.  I realize that in absence of protocol for this situation wedding vendors fall back on what is familiar: Introduce bridal party, first dance, toasts, bouquet, etc.  May I say that I am not a fan of this?  There is no bride, there is no groom. There is wife and husband and maybe newlyweds.

It might sound like I don’t want a second reception- I do!  What I don’t want is a second reception that pretends it is the first reception.  The second reception is primarily for most of Mr Pretzel’s family and my dad’s side of the family.  For the most part these two groups weren’t able to make it to Seattle and celebrating with them is important to us.  We aren’t going to be able to recreate the event for people but we will be able to give them a glimpse into the day we said “I do”

Mr P and I discussed this dilemma: make it “wedding-y” or make it “something else”.  Wedding-y is easy because it is familiar and comfortable for guests and vendors alike while “something else” has no blueprint or boundaries and is thus more time consuming to figure out.   We need to figure out what “something else” looks like.

Things we don’t want:

  • Be referred to as “The Bride and Groom”
  • Bouquet Toss, cake cutting, speeches/toasts, etc
  • Any distinction of bridal party (some of our bridal party will not be there)
  • To pretend that we were *just married*

Things we do want:

  • Our guests to feel like they got an intimate glimpse into our wedding day
  • Celebrate our newlywed-ness with people we love
  • Laughter
  • Dancing
  • Nom, Nom, Nom

It feels good to break away from “wedding-y”… now if I could only get all of my vendors on the same page.  Mr P and I are sitting down to “re-write” our DJ’s info sheet because when I crossed out all the aforementioned things we didn’t want to do there really wasn’t much to the sheet besides start time and end time.

Did you do a second reception?  Where did it fall on the wedding-y -> “something else” scale?  Any tips for “something else”?

November 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

One Foot in the Past, One foot in the Future

A well meaning friend posted the following on my Facebook wall today:

I heaved a  heavy sigh as I read it and felt bad typing back, “maybe after Thanksgiving”.

I feel like a Facebook bride fail.  I uploaded one photo from our wedding, I shared it with you in my “I’m back” post… and then I got stingy. I didn’t upload any photos to Facebook when my photographer sent us a sneak peak or when he sent us our gallery, or even when he blogged us.  I definitely haven’t started recaps.

“WTF Pretzel? ”

Part of it is I’m not ready.  Outside of pro photos there are other important photos from the wedding week that I  just don’t have yet.  We created a share site for our guests to upload photos but only a few have and apparently by family suffered from “blurry camera” syndrome – which is sad because they took lots of amazing pictures, just a little out of focus.  I expect to get some photos from my in-laws of the wedding week but that won’t be until the end of the month.  Our “rocktographer” friend Jason took photos at our rehearsal dinner and our wedding but has been busy taking concert photos and getting said photos published in the Wall Street Journal (YAY!).   We had other pro Photographers at our wedding who have indicated that they have some shots that we would love. The bottom line,  these folks are our friends.  I am so excited that they took photos and I refuse to pressure them when they have editing to do for paying customers.  So photo wise, I’m just not ready.

Who am I kidding, emotionally I’m not there yet either. I loved our wedding, L-O-V-E-D!  But I’ve been having feelings about blogging the wedding similar to the feelings described by Mrs Seahorse, “The whole thing was so magical and important and special that part of me has been afraid some of that will be lost if I let it out in to the world.”  She captured my feelings so much better than I could have. I want to save all the magic to share with our hometown reception guests.

“Ummmm Pretzel, you are a wedding blogger, and that means you’re gonna have to share pictures and recaps with us sometime”

I know, I know and I will.  But to me being present is more important than photos and recaps.   Being present means being able to focus my full attention to something. There are times that I am guilty of “being somewhere else”.  I want to be present when I start to write recaps, which brings me to the title of this post.    I feel like I have one foot in the past, wrapped up in a beautiful summery Seattle wedding, and one foot in the future, frantically planning a fall themed hometown reception from half way across the country.  If I had another foot it would be planted firmly in being present in my bright and shiny new marriage with my new husband.  Every time I sit down to blog I am torn between wrapping up project posts from the July wedding, writing about the planning that is happening right now, and turning off the computer to be present with my husband.

The fact of the matter is I only have two feet. I choose my husband and wrapping up the planning for the second party.  So, yeah… it’s going to be a while before we revisit that sunny day in July Mr P became my husband.  It also means that I am going to have some focused posts on planning a second reception, while becoming accustom to being a wife.

Ok,  I won’t leave you totally hanging.  Here is one of my favorite shots from our ceremony.

Do you struggle with being present? Did you share photos of your wedding right away or did you wait?

November 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm 2 comments

Lets Start Planning Again

“You’re so * insert adjective {creative… craftydetail oriented crazy}!  What on earth are you going to do after the wedding and all the planning is done?”

Mr P and I got asked this question by virtually every person we knew who knew the effort and planning we were putting into our wedding.

“Plan our second wedding reception in Indiana,” we would answer.  Virtually 100% of the time we were greeted with *Blink… Blink…*

Source

And then finally the person asking would shake his or her head and smile as if to say- “you guys are certifiable.”

Forty two days ago Mr P and I had the wedding and reception of our dreams.  We poured our hearts and creative juices into crafting a day that reflected us.  But only a small portion of the people we hold near and dear were able to make the trip to Seattle (100 or so out of 340 invited guests) and we knew this would be the case.  We aren’t sad that only a third of our invited guests celebrated with us.  Wanna know why?

We are taking the party to them.

From the beginning we have planned on celebrating our marriage with our friends and family in the midwest.  We booked the second reception venue last Christmas.  We looked at menus and made tentative lists.   We tried to plan our decor for Seattle so it could be re-purposed at our 2nd reception.   But we didn’t really have the energy or focus to plan reception number deux while preparing for the wedding.  It seemed so far away (November) so we just put it off.

But now we are married, we are settling into married life and looking forward to November. This is where reality smacks me in the face.  We haven’t planned much anything for our second reception.  Now that the wedding dust has settled, I hate the idea of recreating our summery Seattle wedding in Indiana in November.  We are back at square one, knee deep in inspiration boards and color schemes. Its different now though. I am a Mrs and at night we come home to the same house instead of dividing our time between two houses. We’re struggling to combine two households into one home (OMG did we have a lot of stuff) and sometimes all I want to do is snuggle with my husband instead of pursue wedding blogs for inspiration.

Slowly we are getting back into planning mode.  The next few months are going to be a strange mix of posts on pre-wedding planning and details, wrestling with reception number two, and hopefully wedding recaps so I may at time appear schizophrenic. Hang with me hive!

Are you planning two receptions? Will they be similar or different?  If you are married, what did you do “after the wedding planning?”

August 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Mighty-Moon

Two weekends ago we were in Vegas for Bridesmaid H’s little white chapel wedding, the last of three weddings in four weeks.  When we arrived home we tried to keep the momentum going but my body had another idea.  I’m not sure what happened but I re-injured my neck and landed myself in a lot of pain and discomfort- just in time for the weekend.  Despite muscle relaxers and pain medication I am unable to work on the projects I had planned.

I’m nursing my neck back to health and should be back to normal in a few days. In the meantime I am dreaming of our mini-moon.  To recap, I’m vacation poor, so we put our plans for Hawaii on hold, and toyed with the idea of a road trip with a tear-drop trailer.  The trailer thing didn’t work out so i started my research again.

If you live on the west coast, or if you are hoping to visit I highly recommend using the resources at Sunset Magazine.  We subscribe and Sunset was where I first saw the tear-drop trailers.  I decided to return to their website to see what sort of hidden gems they could offer in the Oregon, Washington, British Columbia area (AKA driving distance).  They did not disappoint.  I marked all the possibilities for Mr Pretzel to review.  I’d love to tease you along with all of the great destinations that we found but who am I kidding? I just want to show the beautiful pictures of the resort that was hands down the winner.

The Rockwater Resort at Secret Cove


We’re going North of the border!  Located 2 hours north of Vancouver on British Columbia’s sunshine coast, this resort was awarded 2nd best Seaside Hideaway by Sunset Magazine.  Eagles soar nearby and the water is smooth as glass in the cove.  The resort offers hiking, kayaking, sailing and other activities.  But perhaps my favorite feature is the Tenthouse Suites. * all photos courtesy of the Rockwater Secret Cove unless otherwise noted.

“For the romantic escape that truly inspires, the Rockwater Tenthouse Suites offer the ultimate experience. The enchanting silence of the arbutus forest combined with the awe-inspiring view of Malaspina Strait provide a perfect setting of peace and serenity.  Each private luxury Tenthouse is appointed with deluxe furnishings, from fine linens on the king-size bed to the hydro-therapy tub with a view, rain forest shower, propane fireplace, shoji screens and radiant floor heating. The private verandas include outdoor furniture for your relaxation while you enjoy the expansive ocean views. For your convenience, each Tenthouse has two luxurious Warm Buddy bathrobes, coffee and tea maker, clock radio with ipod hook-ups, complimentary high speed wireless internet service, mini refrigerator, board games and a small library.” – The Rockwater Secret Cove

Yes please, order me up one of those!  Let’s take a closer look at the tenthouse.

Your own oasis…

…with a view from bed!

Even some of the tubs have a view!

Romantic dinner for two?

Private deck.

There was no question, WE WANT A TENTHOUSE!   A wedding almost threw a wrench into that plan.  The whole resort was on hold for the the week after our wedding because the following weekend they were hosting a wedding.  The bride and groom had reserved the whole resort for their guests from Tuesday until Sunday. The meant that we could book ourselves a tenthouse for Sunday and Monday night but we were on a wait-list for Tuesday night (we are only taking a three day mini-moon).  I booked the tenthouse for Sunday and Monday and said a quick prayer for Tuesday.  Not even a month later the lovely people at Rockwater called me to tell me that we had a tenthouse for Tuesday night! YAY!

We’ll be newlyweds, but I am sure we’ll venture out of our tenthouse a time or two.  To take advantage of the beautiful location I booked us the summer adventure package which according to the website includes:

  • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay
  • Two 60 minute Bliss Massages at Rockwater Spa Without Walls
  • One hour horse back ride for two people at Malaspina Ranch
  • A four hour kayak rental for two.  Explore Smugglers Cove Marine Park and Secret Cove. Travel along the beautiful shoreline in a tandem or solo kayak. Pack a picnic and pull into a bay to sunbath and enjoy your time together.

Humm… spa without walls.  That sounds amazing right now.

Mr P and I are excited to take out some kayaks to go exploring.

The thought of three relaxing days in this beautiful place keeps me going.  Mr P and I are pretty happy with how our mini-moon is shaping up.  The only thing that we are less than excited about is the 5+ hour drive from Seattle to the Rockwater.  Mr P in particular isn’t looking forward to this part of the trip.  He asked to look into flying to Vancouver and renting a car but that would still mean 2+ hours in the car… BOOOO.  Just a couple minutes ago I called Mr P and told him I had the most rock-star solution to our driving problem.  I just said one word: SEAPLANE.

Source

Needless to say, he’s excited.  We’ll see if it will work out.  This mini-moon is shaping up to be a mighty-moon!  It might only be three days long but it isn’t short on excitement or luxury.  Are you planning a mini-moon? How are you making it special and relaxing?

June 20, 2010 at 11:11 am 1 comment

Mr Pretzel’s List of Demands

Back in October I was reading my daily dose of Wedding Interwebs I read this post by the Unbride’s husband.  Any time I read a blog where the fiancé/husband was very involved in planning, or when the unique elements of the wedding would “speak” to Mr Pretzel I e-mail it to him.  Mr Pretzel is in love with the Rock ‘n’ Roll bride, is convinced that Grooms Groove is written by women pretending to be men, and overall thinks it’s silly for the Mr to hand all wedding planning to the Miss and just “show up” at the wedding.

Amore Studios

Even though  he was already super involved in our planning, I wanted to get a glimpse into what he really was hoping for. So I sent him the following e-mail:

From Miss Pretzel to Mr Pretzel

10/1/2009

Subject: Please do this … cause I lub you

http://theunbride.com/2009/09/ungroom-or-groomzilla-you-decide/

Basically even though we are knee-deep in planning- please put together your list of demands.  This will help me be more sensitive to your wishes and not steam roll you… cause if it is important to you, it’s important to me.

Love you!

Miss Pretzel

As sometimes happens with e-mails sent Mr Pretzel that require him to do something, it sat in his inbox until he had formulated his list.  I had already forgotten about it so imagine my surprise when I opened my Gmail this weekend and found the following e-mail. (my reaction to each is in italics)

From Mr Pretzel to Miss Pretzel

2/6/2010

Subject: Re: Please do this … cause I lub you

Order is not indicative of importance…

1. Do I have to shave, completely? At the same time, I don’t want to look like a scrub in pictures. I’m so conflicted… (whatever makes you happy babe, I like you scruffy and clean)
2. Can I wear a three piece suit that doesn’t look like what I think of when I think of a 3 piece suit? http://www.johnvarvatos.com/collections (in theory YES! Let’s work on the actual execution so it fits with the rest of the wedding)
3. I don’t want said suit to be terribly expensive… (AMEN!)
4. We should have a band. (Duh) But I want to pick a band that will make it a better party, not the cheapest band or the best sounding… (I agree!)
5. I really like short veils. (me too babe)
6. I may need a pair of Ray-Bans for our wedding day. Just saying… (haha! Ok  I really need expensive under-things that nobody will see- so I guess we’re even)
7. I’m really happy your wedding dress has blue in it! 😀 (me too!)
8. I’m also really happy about the custom-dyed Chucks. (Me to- provided we ever get it to work out)
9. I think the ushers should have custom-dyed suspenders to match their ties/shoes. (Stress meter going up slightly but if you handle it and we have black ones as back up knock yourself out!)
10. Have I mentioned that I like short veils? (Oh you are too funny)

Love you too,

Mr Pretzel

This e-mail cracked me up for many reasons- one of which being Mr Pretzel sent it on the day that my Mom and I went Veil shopping.  More about the great Veil debate of 2010 coming up.  The other reason is that he kept the e-mail since October and put a lot of thought into his list.  So far my favorite part of wedding planning has to be working with Mr Pretzel on the details.

How is your FI involved in your wedding planning? What elements were of particular importance to him?

February 7, 2010 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


I am Mrs Pretzel

On Weddingbee

Archives