#FoxYeahIDo

On Saturday, January 23rd, 2016, the entire greater metropolitan Washington DC area was buried under multiple feet of snow. Snowzilla blew in, and it blew in HARD. So what did I do?

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I got married, of course!

What, you think little things like near-hurricane force winds, 20 – 30 inches of snow, and sub-freezing temperatures were gonna stop me from marrying the love of my life?

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Please.

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Was it perfect? Was it the wedding I’ve dreamt of since forever? Did it go off without a hitch?

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FOX YEAH!

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Okay, I mean, sure, I didn’t PLAN for it to snow like the world was ending, adjustments had to be made, and alternate plans had to be put into effect. But it was an absolutely, undoubtedly, rip-roaringly magical night. Every tear I cried that entire day (and you guys know I cry A LOT) was a happy tear. And I’m gonna go ahead and throw it out there that it ended up being all the more memorable due to the, ahem, circumstances. ūüėČ

Alas, not all of our guests were able to join us, of course, but even with Winter Storm Jonas crashing the wedding, over half of my guests moved Heaven and Hell and mountains of snow to be able to attend. I fully recognize how extraordinarily lucky I am.

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I am so incredibly blessed to have family and friends who changed their plans, made contingencies, pitched in, and helped pull off an absolutely spectacular night. My dad & mom, siblings, bridesmaids, and basically every person I came across did more than I ever could have asked to ensure Sean and I were still able to get hitched, and I am eternally grateful.

A lot of people put in a lot of extra work to make this day happen, and special props go to some of the most absolutely incredible vendors in the entire DMV. These guys got me through this most epic of days and honestly, I’m so lucky to have found them:

Jon Fleming Photography, for not only camping out with us during the storm, but for turning around these amazing sneak peek photos faster than I could even blink!

Doug Stanford Videography, for giving up seeing his baby boy play in his first snowstorm to capture every loving moment.

Classic Occasions by Caitlin, for going ABOVE & BEYOND in every possible way. Forget day-of coordinator, or even week- or month-of coordinator. Caitlin was my salvation. This needs a much longer post to explain, and it’ll get one, but just know that she is EVERYTHING.

Main Event Caterers, for not only showing up to serve bomb ass drinks and delicious food, but for not even batting an eye when I said the show was going on, blizzard or nah.

Chad Schwartz of Triforce Quartet for literally walking 2 miles (!!) in the raging snow to represent the other three members of his string quartet and give me the ceremony music of my dreams.

And the absolutely awesome staff at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, who spent Friday night and all of Saturday plowing and shoveling and sweeping snow to ensure my wedding would actually happen. Roger & Kevin — you guys were our guardian angels!

I promise I will go into detail on how exactly we managed to pull off a wedding in the middle of a blizzard in a later post (let’s be honest, it’ll probably take a couple of posts, hahaha), but seeing as how I’ve got a honeymoon to prepare for (we leave for the Florida Keys and a Caribbean cruise tomorrow!), for now, I’ll just say this:

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Mischief officially managed.

Love,
Gretchen Fox

A Rose By Any Other Name

Hola!

Sorry for the long hiatus, party people! Things have gotten a little bit crazy ’round the neighborhood lately (I’ve had four Yelp events already this month, and another two to go!), and so both my blogging AND my wedding planning have been pushed to the side for a bit.

But my parents are returning from their amazing 3-week vacation in France (lucky sons of…) which finally means that a lot of the things I was waiting to do with my mom can finally get done! So I’ve got a full week of catering tastings, floral meetings, and the like set up. Hooray!

For those of you who were wondering, by the way, I did end up deciding on that Save the Date. By overwhelming response, the winner is…

So yes, Save the Dates are done and have been sent out (to all the folks whose addresses I was actually able to get, haha), which means the rest of planning is going full-steam ahead! My Big Item Wedding Checklist now looks like this:

Date: ‚ėĎ

Venue: ‚ėĎ

Dress: ‚ėϬ†(and I ordered¬†my veil, too!)

Caterer: ‚ėź (tastings this week!)

Photographer: ‚ėĎ

Videographer: ‚ėĎ

Flowers: ‚ėź (consultation this week, and see below)

Centerpieces: ‚ėź (in-progress)

Ceremony Musicians: ‚ėĎ

DJ: ‚ėź

Cake: ‚ėź (tastings scheduled)

Day-of Coordinator: ‚ėĎ

Save the Dates: ‚ėĎ

Invitations: ‚ėź

Lol, notice how the list keeps growing? Hahaha. I hope to have DJ (and lighting) locked up soon, and I also have scheduled a couple of cake tastings, which, along with the catering tastings happening later this week, officially marks the start of the “fun” stuff, I’m told! Our¬†wedding website is also live (although not 100% complete, as I’m meeting with potential hotels to book¬†room blocks this week), which is fun (and gives me a use for all those engagement pictures, hehe.

I also am continuing to deliberate on what to do with flowers. When I first blogged about trying to figure out my priorities for the wedding, I had flowers pretty far down on the list. In fact, I didn’t even think I was going to have any flowers in my centerpieces at all! But, of course, the more planning and research (and Pinning!) I do, the more I do want some fresh blooms at the wedding, haha.

I’m meeting with a florist on Thursday, but am also still heavily considering DIY-ing the flowers, especially since I have hired a day-of coordinator to help get everything set up, AND I found out from the venue that I will be able to store things overnight on-site (though we won’t be able to set up until a few hours beforehand.)

Everyone I talk to thinks I am a bona fide crazy person for even considering DIY-ing the flowers, but I just honestly don’t think it’ll be that bad! Costco sells bulk flowers (and, as you can see above, their roses are gorgeous, I bought some off their flowers the last time I was there¬†and they were beautiful and lasted a week!) and I am fortunate to have access to more than one wholesale flower market in this area as well. I’ve also found a site that will portion out flowers in smaller amounts than you’d be able to order online, so you can get a wider variety of flowers instead of having to buy like 200 of one kind.

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I’ve also already DIY-ed some brooch flowers to include in my bouquet anyway (more detail to come on this in a later post), and I’ve watched a lot of tutorials on putting together bouquets, which can be done the day before. And my centerpieces are not going to be big floral centerpieces in a vase like you see at a lot of weddings, but instead will only require about a dozen loose flowers per table, which I think will be pretty easy to set up (esp. if we can stage them the night before and just have the coordinator transport them from the storage room to the tables.)

But, again, I don’t know if I may be taking on too much. At this point, it’s still easy for me to evaluate all the various DIY projects I have going on (centerpieces, ceremony backdrop, flowers) and say “I’ve got plenty of time!” but since flowers cannot be done in advance, I may be¬†taking on more than I’ll really be able, or even want, to handle in the days before the wedding.

I dunno. I guess I’ll have a much clearer idea after I speak with the florist later this week — maybe her prices will be fairer than I’ve been seeing from other florists in the area. Who knows?

Did you DIY your flowers, or do you know anybody who has? How much did you end up spending on wedding flowers?

Engagement Paparazzi

I gotta say, one of the real perks of having a wedding photographer duo as your brother and sister-in-law is a lightning quick turnaround time on your engagement photos, hehe.

 

That’s riiiiight, our engagement photos from Taylor & Ben are back, and I’m in lovelovelove! So many great shots of Sean and me together!

See, whereas I basically put my entire¬†life¬†on the interwebs for all to watch, observer, and comment on, Sean, um, doesn’t. He changes his Facebook profile photo like once every other year, the only thing even close to social media that he participates in is Reddit (and even then, he mainly¬†lurks, never comments). What this all equates to is a¬†high level of resistance to the number of selfies I try to take of us. In fact,¬†trying to get him to pose for a photo with me often¬†results in, well:

Heh. So, imagine how wonderful it was for me to have a built-in excuse to take a plethora of pictures together with him! He was a¬†very good sport about the entire thing, putting up with an outfit change (we literally changed in the street, hahaha) and multiple locations. Although, to be fair, he certainly¬†got his jollies out of the whole experience too¬†— telling me I had an imaginary bug in my hair, or bear-hugging the crap outta me, for example.

Of course, that being said, I was not without a few bloopers of my own, hehe:

Is it weird that these are some of my favorite ones? ūüėõ

We shot our photos outside the US Botanical Gardens, as well as at Blind Whino, this really cool old church-turned-art gallery/event space in SE DC.

 
Now, it’s admittedly very difficult¬†for me not to be super critical of myself in every photo, zeroing in on flaws that I imagine nobody else really cares about. Even with all of my preaching about loving thyself no matter your pant size, body love, and whatnot (all of which I really do believe!), I am still my own worst critic.

But I think having these photos taken is genuinely helping¬†me live those things.¬†I love these pictures — I love what they represent, what they portray, and I even love the way I look in them. I feel like they really showcase how truly happy I¬†feel (cheesy, I know, but true!). Do I still wish that I didn’t have a back¬†roll in one¬†picture, or that my chin was jutted a little further out in another? Sure, but not enough to make me stop loving¬†each photo nonetheless.

These pictures are a¬†true, perfectly imperfect account of who I am now. The me that is¬†getting to marry the man that I love. And¬†I would much rather show the photos¬†off than hide them away just because I don’t like the way a certain specific part of my body might be¬†looking.

Anyway, enough with the heavy. Back to how much I freaking love the photos we took at Blind Whino! So colorful, despite the chain-link fence surrounding the building that I definitely did not realize would be there, hahaha.

 

As an extra bonus, the building is located in this really quiet neighborhood in DC, so we were able to get a few street/crosswalk shots as well! I loved the way the trees arched over this street. Made for a pretty perfect picture, I tell ya.

Also, a fun thing¬†about shooting photos in the middle of the street is that you will get people shouting “Congratulations!” from their cars as they drive by, hahaha!

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I was superextraspecial¬†excited (hard to imagine something beyond my normal level of excitement, I know, but it’s true!) to get these photos back because I have been¬†chomping at the bit to send out our Save the Dates!

I know that January is still relatively¬†far off, but since we have a lot of friends and family¬†from¬†out of town, plus with the proximity to the holidays, I want to give people as much notice as possible. Plus, I think I’m just looking to how¬†official¬†it’ll feel¬†to have something printed with our wedding date on it, y’know?

Not without difficulty, we have narrowed down the Save the Date photo to these three, and I’d love your input! I definitely want to use a photo with the ampersand in it, so what do you think of the following? 1, 2, or 3?

I love all¬†color going on in #1, but the overall image of #2 seems more striking. And while part of me thinks that #3¬†might be a little silly, well, so I am. So it’s definitely the most personality-ish one. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m like 99% positive¬†we’ll be doing a magnet Save the Date if that makes any difference.

I also can’t wait to get some of these photos uploaded to the wedding website that I’ve been working on! And to replace basically every profile photo I’ve ever had on any website ever. And to make it my phone wallpaper. And computer screensaver. And basically just pore over them obsessively forever and ever and ever and… okay, I should really go.

‘Til next time!

Well, OF COURSE I Said Yes!

Yesterday brought some pretty¬†big news around these parts…

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I’M ENGAGED!

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Three years, two months, and one day after I first laid eyes on Sean, he popped the question and I, of course, without a second thought, tearfully accepted.

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Needless to say, I am totally, completely, and utterly blissed out. It brings me endless joy to know that I’m going to get to spend the rest of my life with my main squeeze, and even though our engagement is barely¬†24-hours old, I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy¬†being engaged¬†to this studmuffin.

Opposites Do Attract:

I’m sure it comes as no shock to the majority of you that I’m not exactly a, er, subtle person. In fact, I would often describe myself as having a rather ostentatious personality. I enjoy being the center of attention, I like making a splash, and I make no apologies (hardly any, at any rate) for living my life, well, loudly.

Sean, on the other hand, is the opposite. He’s much more introspective, much more reserved. Where I am loud and oftentimes obnoxious, he is quiet and respectful. Where I am all emotion, he is logic and reason.¬†And where I am over-the-top, he is subtle and deliberate.

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That’s not to say that we are total and complete opposites. We do, in fact, align on a lot of things — we have common interests, we both acknowledge the¬†importance of family, we communicate affection similarly, we have the¬†natural bond that exists between Whasians (jk, jk), and we’ve both got¬†a touch of¬†weirdness¬†(okay, maybe more than a touch in my case.) But, that being said, we do have fairly different natures that tend to balance each other out.

Sean’s proposal to me was the¬†embodiment of everything he is: quiet, intimate, romantic,¬†and subtle.

As a self-professed insane consumer of wedding-related media (damn you, Pinterest!), I’ve always tended to stray more towards the big, the loud, and the ostentatious. I imagine that if I were the one planning a proposal, it would include¬†things¬†like scavenger hunts, flashmobs, and solid gold pi√Īatas. And while sometimes that sort of thing is totally fitting and appropriate, I do know myself. And I know that if I were on the receiving end¬†of all the hubbub and pomp and is-this-Pinterest-worthy-ness of¬†a¬†proposal like that, it would totally eclipse the actual point of proposing at all.

Thankfully, Sean’s personality leads him more¬†towards things like quiet moments, small surprises, and heartfelt words — all of which his proposal had in spades.

The Proposal:

Okay, so we’ve covered that I’m totally crazypants, right? Good. Because I feel like¬†that is going to be an important point to remember as we move forward.

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See, I pretty much knew I wanted to marry Sean like, oh, I don’t know, six¬†months into our relationship? That’s probably being quite¬†generous, actually, but I’d like to try to keep myself in the category of “humorously crazy” rather than “batsh*t insane.” I mean, in my defense, they do say that when you know, you know, and what can I say?¬†I knew.

That being said, I¬†do believe that relationships require time to mature, people need time to grow together (and prove that they aren’t going to grow apart anytime soon), and so our decision to get married was one that grew out of our love and companionship, over time.

Once we reached a certain point, we started talking more seriously about getting married, ultimately culminating in Sean purchasing a beautiful loose tanzanite stone while we were on vacation last November. I’ve always known I wanted a tanzanite engagement ring (it’s my favorite gemstone), so¬†I was thrilled when Sean suggested we take a look at some rings when we stopped in¬†Nassau during our cruise. We didn’t end up purchasing a ring, of course, but Sean did set his eye on¬†one particular stone and I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that!

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So we flash forward a couple of weeks. I knew he had a stone, and I knew he had intentions of designing a ring to go along with it, but that was pretty much where my knowledge ended. I had no idea what his timeline looked like, or what to expect. (He did tell me that¬†he wouldn’t be proposing on a “traditional” day, like our anniversary, my birthday, Christmas, etc.) But, of course, I did have a general idea that we were going to be taking this next step at¬†some point in the not-too-distant future.

As you can imagine, that didn’t actually sit super easily¬†with me. Crazypants McGee over here basically spent from mid-November until, well, um, yesterday, wondering, fretting, endlessly questioning when Sean was going to propose. Sean loves surprising me, so I knew¬†it would probably happen when I least expected it, but that didn’t really stop me from expecting it… all the time.

I mean, okay, I wasn’t really expecting it ALL the time. It was just kind of there, hovering in the background of my brain. There was really only one time that I genuinely thought he might be getting ready to pop the question:¬†Remember that amazing early Valentine’s surprise dinner he took me to at Sushi Taro?

Yeah… I may or may not have left the post-dinner breakdown I had in the car¬†out of my original¬†blog post, hahahahahaha.

Aaaaaanyway, given that I was still just generally aware of the fact that the whole engagement thing was sitting somewhere on the horizon, I really wondered how surprised I could possibly be when the time came. But, lo and behold, Sean did achieve that surprise factor. Somehow, he still managed to pull a fast one on me.

By proposing at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Yep.¬†If you’re asking yourself,¬†“Who in tarnation proposes to someone at 7 AM on a Friday morning?” Well, Sean does. And I love him for it.

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Sneaky punk.

I woke¬†up to¬†an absolutely breathtaking ring hovering in front of my face (attached to Sean’s hand, of course.) My eyes were half-filled with shock, half with sleep,¬†as he launched into an amazing (and tearjerking) speech about¬†love, the two of us, and our future together.

Most of what was said is an¬†emotional blur at this point, but I do remember him saying he chose the morning¬†not only to surprise me (mission accomplished, fyi), but because he wanted me to know he loves me just as I am — bedhead, smudged makeup that I definitely did not fully take off the night before, and all.

And then, of course, I remember the part where he said, “Will you marry me?”

I’m pretty sure you guys can guess what my answer was.

The Ring: 

As mentioned above, I’ve known for a very long time that I wanted a tanzanite engagement ring. The reasons follow as thus:

A) I enjoy being slightly unconventional (I mean, you have seen my various hair colors, no?)
B) I’m not a big fan of the whole De Beers diamond monopoly engagement ring scam thing. (This hilarious College Humor video¬†explains it all.)
C) Diamonds are actually my birthstone (April baby), so if I do ever change my mind and want a diamond, I figure I have a lifetime of potential gift opportunities to get one.
D) Helloooo, have you seen that color?? Is it blue, is it purple… who knows? Who cares?! It’s a different color every time you look at it, and it’s so beautiful. I love it, I love it, I loooove itttttt.

And Sean, the lovely, wonderful, attentive listener that he is, knew that tanzanite had me by the heartstrings. So, after procuring one seriously gorgeous round tanzanite stone, he set out to design a special setting to go around it, just for me.

And. Dude. Special it most certainly is. I honestly cannot picture a more perfect ring for me! He done good. He done reeeeeeal good, y’all.

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My ring is comprised of a round bezel-set tanzanite stone in a cushion halo, set in a platinum split shank twist band, and some very special, custom, made-just-for-me details included. On one side of the ring there’s a surprise diamond, and on the other…

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… there’s a teeny weeny little lightning bolt!

It might be a little hard to see in these pictures, but I promise it’s there. I mean, does Sean know me, or what? Some of you might think it’s silly to have anything to do with The Boy Who Lived on her engagement ring, but true love is as true love does, my friends. And if I love it enough to have it tattooed on my body…

Anyway, it is a super thoughtful touch that makes the ring extra special to me (and unique in general!) There’s also an inscription on the inside of the ring: “Until the very end.” ::sob:: ::sniff::

Tanzanite is much more fragile than diamonds are, so I’ll need to take extra care with it (hence why the bezel setting and the halo are so great — they help protect the stone!) but I could not be happier. As most people who have seen the ring seem to say, it just feels very “me.”

Sooooo, there you have it! I’m engaged! I’M ENGAGED! Man, that sounds weird to say. I mean, I’m somebody’s fiancee! Which means I’ll eventually be someone’s¬†wife. WEIRD.


Here’s to a life filled with unintentional outfit matching!

As if the proposal itself wasn’t enough, Sean finished off what was already the best day ever with another amazing experience: dinner at uber-romantic Alexandria restaurant, Restaurant Eve. Sean treated me to the tasting menu there, another thing that has been on my restaurant bucket list for a while, and it was absolutely perfect. I just can’t believe that I get to marry this Fox! ūüėČ

Admittedly, I am pretty stoked to get started¬†with wedding planning and whatnot, being that I definitely come¬†from that whole “has been planning her wedding since she was eight” camp of thought, but I also¬†hope to spend some QT with my love, just enjoying this phase of our relationship — and our life! After all, if what I hear is true, it’ll be over before we know it.

Let the whirlwind begin!