The Best Ideas are Cooked Up Over Cocktails

I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to come to my computer and blog something personal. It feels like I’ve been non-stop here lately on the blog with clients, business and all the other amazing “going on’s” in my photography world (which is AWESOME!!) but it feels great to take a breath and get a bit of me time and a few personal things off my chest. It’s about time as well because this wedding is taking on a life of it’s own. We are almost down to the three month marker and my to-do list is OUT. OF. CONTROL. Everyone has told me how organized I am and how well prepared I’ve been thus far…I feel like the total opposite and I can’t imagine the state of my union and household if I (I mean “we”) hadn’t already crossed off the things on our To Do List. Yeah…remember that blog post? It seems like I wrote it YESTERDAY. Not four months ago. I just had a mini panic attack after reading it, so we are going to move forward before things start breaking around here. (Can we say Drama Mama?)

However, I do have some exciting updates.

We had the most awesome “so-very-Megan-and-Drew” couples wedding shower in February, hosted by our amazing wedding party! It was at our favorite bar Gresso’s and it was during the WVU v. Notre Dame basketball game. AND, it was a SURPRISE for my fabulous, husband-to-be, Drew. PERFECT! Now, some of you may be thinking…hmm…that’s kinda weird. But it’s not. This idea was cooked up over cocktails. And that, my friends….is where some of the most genius and heartfelt ideas come from. My friend and bridesmaid Megan and I were at Gresso’s during the WVU football home opener game and decided we wanted to have a party at Gresso’s. That party turned into a couple’s shower. That couple’s shower turned into a secret surprise for Drew.

The whole wedding process is all about the bride. I really wanted to show Drew that he’s a part of this, I love him to death, and I didn’t want him to feel completely lost or forgotten during this hurricane of what we now know as The Planning of a Wedding. So the secret started to take shape and I knew I was in good hands with Megan, my mother and Drew’s mom at the wheel. Of course, I hired a photographer for the event. (I, personally, think you’re crazy not to. I’m not saying this BECAUSE I am a photographer – duh! – but because who wants to worry about someone with a point-and-shoot to capture all the important moments.) So I was in wonderful hands when Courtney Mason Photography agreed to help me out. I met Courtney through a fellow friend and photographer Kevin Keefer and we immediately connected because she too, is from West Virgina!! I knew she had to be the one to photograph our WVU themed wedding shower. And she did an absolutely fabulous job. Thank you Courtney!!

So, of course, the mother’s and Meg decorated the place like Bob Huggins himself would be showing up. Gresso said the place never looked so good. And I, hands down, believe him.

You can take the girl out of West Virginia, but you can’t take West Virginia out of the girl. And I can’t tell you how much it means to me and to my family that I’ve found someone that shares the same upbringing, values and passion for the Mountaineers (you thought I was going to say something meaningful like family didn’t you?)ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

So it was only fitting to celebrate in style at a place that we love, watching a team that we love, with the people that we love. I don’t think I need to tell you that Drew didn’t have a freaking CLUE what was in the works. My partners in crime were Mike and Emily. They came down Saturday morning from Detroit under the cover of lots of wedding chores to do. Emily was coming down for a trip to Macy’s and bachelorette and shower planning. (Like they don’t have Macy’s in Detroit!) And Mike was along for the ride to help Drew pick out his suit for the wedding. We told the boys that they could start the day off with a lunch, but then had to get to the mall for some shopping (HA!). Mike set the trap by saying he really wanted pierogies from Gresso’s. Perfect! And when I was upstairs getting ready…Drew happened to figure out that the Mounties play at noon. Drew is saying something like “Amazing, what a great day this is turning into!” We were lucky that Drew didn’t ask why everyone was wearing blue and gold. I had on a bright yellow shirt. Emily had on a striped navy blue top. And Mike was wearing a yellow hoodie. Drew did make the comment “Hey! You two match!” to Mike and I. And I nervously laughed it off. We all got in the car.

I was a little worried about the parking situation, especially after Emily sent me a panicked text about it on the way down. I had thought about this ahead of time and told everyone to park in the back alleys. Wouldn’t you know it…Drew drove down EVERY SINGLE BACK ALLEY he could think of on our way there. My heart was in my throat.

Then as we were about to make our last turn, Drew stops and says “HEY!! Let’s go to Claddagh’s instead of Gresso’s.” (That’s an Irish pub up the street.) Dead silence in the car. I don’t want to be the psycho in the back shrieking NO!! WE HAVE TO GO TO GRESSO’S!!! So I stay quiet.

Mike saves the day by saying “reaaaallly want those pierogies.”

Drew says “yeah, you’re right. Let’s go to Gresso’s.”

An audible sigh of relief from Emily and I in the back.

We arrive at Gresso’s and make it inside without seeing anyone’s car. (Thanking the heavens!) As we walk inside we see Gresso and the second phase of our plan sets in: Getting Drew upstairs where the party is.

Gresso: “Hey Guys! I got the Mountaineer game on upstairs why don’t youย  head on up.”

Drew: “Nah…we’ll just sit down here at the bar.”

Us: (Silently freaking out)

Gresso: “Uhh…I’d say there’s hot girls up there, but I can’t with Meg standing right here. Just go on up” Big grin on his face.

Drew: “We don’t really like to go up there for the games.”

Me: Appalled and dumbstruck “AHH! Yes we do!” I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings and Drew is RUINING this!! (so I say to Drew) “Honey…let’s just go up there and show Mike and Emily, then we can come back down.”

Drew: “Ok” then he SPRINTS up the stairs…I’m in heels, mind you, so I’m going up as fast as I possibly can behind him. As I’m running up the stairs behind him in my fabulous new shoes I hear Country Roads come on the stereo as loud as it will go. This is it….

When I get to the top of the stairs I almost slam into the back of a stunned Drew. In front of him is his family and mine along with a few of our closest friends. I burst into tears. And I knew they’d be there!! I don’t know what they yelled….SURPRISE or CONGRATULATIONS. All I knew is that we were surrounded by blue and gold, Country Roads was playing and I hugged my mama!

I love the middle photo of my dad and Drew. That is a CLASSIC Randy (my dad) face. I love, love, love it!! He’s saying…she gotchya, didn’t she. Love you Daddy! Courtney, you did an AH-mazing job!! I’m so happy that you were able to be there for us. I’m so lucky to be plugged into a fabulous network of photographers here in Columbus. Thank you! Thank you!

Here are a few pictures from our great day together with our friends and family.

After presents were opened (we were unbelievably spoiled! I can’t tell you how much fun running the sweeper, setting the table, and cooking casseroles is now that we have all new stuff!) the cake was cut and the game was over (Seeeeeeeee ya Notre Dame! WVU VICTORY!) we packed up our new things and headed back to our house. I was very excited to show my grandmother who made the trip in for the shower, our home. Olivia, Shay, Emily, Curtis, Brian and Noah from our wedding party also made the trip to Columbus just for our shower. You guys are simply awesome. We love you so much!

So needless to say, the party was a huge success. And even though it was non-traditional, a little south of “normal”, and what mostย  people would call unexpected (Drew!) it was perfect. It has definitely set the stage for an amazing wedding weekend that is fast approaching!

Speaking of fast approaching weddings!! I should be working on my To Do list instead of blogging about it! During my last progress blog post I had posted a To Do list….here it is with lots of things scratched off that I’ve accomplished:

  1. Hair and make up artist โ€“ I have a very good idea, but Iโ€™m still waiting on a few decisions and things to fall into place. Done!!
  2. Cake Done! Not elaborating…this is a surprise.
  3. Party bus and transportation This isn’t done, but it’s no longer my job…I gave Drew is FIRST TO DO!!!
  4. Favors Done! Thanks to my beautiful grandmother and mother! ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. Welcome baskets/bags
  6. Ceremony details and music
  7. RINGS! (I know exactly what I want)
  8. Wedding day present for Drew (I also know exactly what Iโ€™m getting him) This has changed….but it’s done.
  9. Shoes They are fabulous! And they are DONE!
  10. I stopped here…because I was overwhelmed…but I got over that and have since added on.
  11. My first fitting! I’m in-love with my dress. GORG!!
  12. Bridesmaid dress distribution – half done = half crossed off
  13. Bridesmaid shoe distribution – half done = half crossed off
  14. Bridesmaid jewelery
  15. Map of GH
  16. Directions to church and to reception site
  17. Shower invites
  18. Shower thank you’s
  19. Groom and groomsmen suits
  20. Reception book
  21. Cocktail hour photos
  22. Programs
  23. Now I will stop here because once again, I’m getting nervous….

So I know I’m a little all over the board here, but can you imagine what it’s like inside my head. C.R.A.Z.Y! The dining room is now not only full of wedding things and projects, but also wedding presents! It’s awesome!! Even Drew perks up a bit more when the Fed Ex guy shows up. It’s not always work stuff for me anymore! It’s now wedding presents!

And a lot of the To Do list has been fun. Megan planned my shower, but I asked to do the invites. I have this obsession with design. So my last thing to share are a few photos that I took of the front and back of the secret invites that went out without Drew knowing a thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

And so again…the paper products are the main theme. And will continue to be a shining star. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for letting me vent, be insane, slightly disorganized, and share all the exciting things that are going on in our little corner of the world right now.

Without the continued support of our parents and best friends, I really wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. You guys keep us going and we will forever be grateful. The countdown to W-Day is seriously on like Donkey Kong. (I didn’t even laugh or crack a smile after I typed that. That’s how serious I am….now I’m smirking. And now laughing. Thank you God for blogging.)

We are so excited and keep pinching ourselves to make sure it’s really happening. I can’t predict if the coming months will bring me more frequently to the blog or keep me absent. Only time will tell. In the mean time, if you have any ideas, suggestions, advice or just want to say hello…my inbox is always waiting!! Enjoy this beautiful Saturday!

March 14, 2011 - 1:02 pm

Jo Lynn - Once again Meg you have told a beautiful story as only you can. The day was perfect and we were so thrilled to be included. Meg R. and the rest of the wedding party did a fabulous job! Courtney did a great job capturing the day! It was so good to see all of your friends from the past and meet all your new friends. You and Drew were truley surrounded by much love as is it will be on your weding day and all the days to follow.

March 14, 2011 - 1:02 pm

Jo Lynn - Once again Meg you have told a beautiful story as only you can. The day was perfect and we were so thrilled to be included. Meg R. and the rest of the wedding party did a fabulous job! Courtney did a great job capturing the day! It was so good to see all of your friends from the past and meet all your new friends. You and Drew were truley surrounded by much love as is it will be on your weding day and all the days to follow.

March 25, 2011 - 5:10 pm

Lori - Oh Meg, Thanks for sharing your Love Story! I’ve been waiting for more chapters, so thank you writting again about you and Drew. I can hardly wait for the next post. Love you!

March 25, 2011 - 5:10 pm

Lori - Oh Meg, Thanks for sharing your Love Story! I’ve been waiting for more chapters, so thank you writting again about you and Drew. I can hardly wait for the next post. Love you!