It’s so hard to say goodbye

Guys, I really suck at coming up with blog titles.  (Which I know is super obvious).  Anyway, this was the first thing that popped into my head.  And, now I’m singing Boyz II Men in my head.  This song played at my 8th grade graduation.  #Old.  Anyway, sing along with me!

It is really hard to say goodbye.  Where do you start?  What do you say?

To say that I have treasured my WeddingBee blogging experience is an understatement.  Blogging for this community has been a (minor) dream come true.  It’s been a wild ride, and I’m so honored (and very, very humbled) to have shared my wedding planning experience with you.   But, the party is long over (I’m an old married lady of 72 days.  Where does the time go?), all of our wedding stuff has been put away, I got my post-wedding chop, and my recaps are done.  I think it’s time for me to let the other bloggers take it from here.

What’s next for Mr. BC and I?  Who knows!  He’s still settling back into the hustle and bustle of life back on the mainland, and we’re plotting our course for the future.  I have no idea where we’ll end up, but at least we have each other. I don’t see myself continuing to blog because, honestly, my life is totally boring and I have no idea what I would even write about.

Here’s a farewell toast to you, hive!  This cocktail is called the Bees Knees.  I made it using honey given to me by another bee blogger (Thanks again, Mrs. Magic!), and I toasted to you!

Bees KneesI heart Mr. BC.  Although, the creeper thing was totally staged.

The recipe:

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz honey

Instructions: Warm the honey in a microwave until it liquefies (you can skip this step if you’ve got fresh honey).  Mix the honey with the other ingredients in a cocktail shaker until combined.  Add ice and shake vigorously until cold.  Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry in the bottom of the glass.

Cheers!

As a fan of WeddingBee for years, I can’t see myself quitting the community, so maybe you’ll see me pop in from time to time.  But, until then…

Peace OutGif via BigBangMemes

This entry was posted on March 25, 2015. 1 Comment

Secret Life of Bees: Border Collie Edition

You know I wasn’t sneaking out of the hive without participating in the Secret Life series, right?  I love ongoing series(es?), and who doesn’t want to know more bee “secrets”?

Here’s my version:

I love Harry Potter

Given the names of my cats (Sirius and Bellatrix), I’m sure that wasn’t a huge stretch for you guys to make.  But, I’m seriously a big fan.  I’ve read all the books multiple times, and  my (lame) claim to fame is that I have seen every single movie in the theater on opening day.    Mr. BC  is such a good sport about it too… I dragged him to he saw four out of eight HP movies with me!  We also got all dressed up and went to the Deathly Hallows midnight release party at Barnes and Noble.

Harry Potter 1Halloween 2006

Also, Mr. BC and I went to Orlando in 2010, the summer The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened.  We had a blast and loved it!  Now that they’ve expanded, I can’t wait to go back.

HP 1Here we are at the Owl Post drinking butter beer

I have tattoos

You probably noticed in my recaps, that I’ve got a tattoo on my shoulder.  I’ve actually got a total of three, and all of them were inked in Hawaii.  The first was the plumeria flower on my shoulder.  Next, I got a (admittedly  cliched) dolphin on my ankle.  And then finally, the gekko around the plumeria flower.

Tatoo 1

dolphin 2

I’m obsessed dolphins

As cliche as a dolphin ankle tattoo might be, I got it because I deeply love dolphins.  Dolphins are my spirit animal.  I love, love, love dolphins.  I’ve got dolphin paraphernalia all over our apartment; I’ve got figurines, stuffed animals, candles, knickknacks, pictures, etc.  I’ve gotten the lucky opportunity to swim with dolphins twice (once at an eco park and once in the wild), and it was magical.

Dolphins 3Photo by Xcaret

DolphinsI never miss a dolphin photo op | Cozumel, MX

My SSB

My favorite things to eat when I’m engaging in secret single behavior is a Totino’s frozen pizza with a side of Tostitos chips and Queso.  Throw in a glass of red wine, and I’m a happy camper.  I do not know why I love this so much.  I’m not proud, just honest!  ;)

pizza 1 quesoImages via Totino’s & Tostitos

I am terrified of sharks

I saw Jaws when I was super young, and it traumatized me.  I wouldn’t swim alone in the pool in our backyard when I was a kid because my brother told me an invisible shark was in there.  (OMG, I was such a dumb kid.)

Sharks

My cats are toilet trained

I totally stole this one from Mrs. Bicycle.  We also used the CitiKitty to toilet train Bellatrix and Sirius.  It took forever, and the toilet still isn’t their favorite place to go (note: we no longer have a bathmat, or leave any clothes on the bathroom floor), but it was worth it.

Beaky ECollar 2Gratuitous Bellatrix photo.  She was six months old and just got spayed.  But hey, the toilet is IN the picture!

Sirius BathroomPoor Sirius.  No privacy in our house.

Do you have any deep, dark secrets?  What’s your SSB?  Do you still have any irrational fears left over from childhood?

Total Re-Collie: The Not Right

Hive, as much as my wedding day was perfect to Mr. BC and I, I’d be lying if I said everything went absolutely right.   But, in my (biased) opinion, it didn’t necessarily go wrong.  It’s all about perspective, right?

I hesitated with whether or not to write this post because I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but I always try to be authentic, and this is the real deal.  I also wanted to share my experience with you all, in the hopes that you don’t make some of my mistakes.

MCKAY WED-1041Photo from Phil Steingard Studios | How could this be anything but right?

A destination wedding was my dream wedding.  A huge plus about destination weddings is that they are all-inclusive!  Someone else does a bulk of the heavy lifting for you.  Unfortunately, there are also some con’s to a destination wedding: the time difference, language barrier, and working with “island time”.  All of which can lead to a lack of communication and confusion.

I had some communication snafus on the wedding morning.  Prior to the wedding, Phil had asked that I order lunch in advance.  There was a long gap in between breakfast and cocktail hour and he wanted to make sure everyone was fed.  While getting my hair styled, I asked the wedding coordinator if we could have food delivered to the spa, and she said it was fine.  But, when I attempted to order lunch, I was told they wouldn’t deliver to the spa.  We ended up making an unscheduled trip to the buffet to eat lunch, so it all worked out.

Another island time issue  came into play with the bouquets.  They were supposed to be delivered by noon.  I’m not sure when they actually arrived, but I had to run around the spa and try and track down the wedding coordinator to figure out where they were.  Not exactly how you want to spend the morning of your wedding, but what can you do?

Also, in all the hustle and bustle of the day, I ended up losing a few things.  My “Mrs” hanger never made it back to me.  I also lost my grandmother’s hankie.  I checked all over the resort, and with multiple concierges, but sadly both items are gone for good.

Also, with a destination wedding, it can be difficult because you’re unable to see the spaces you’re working with, or test run anything.  My nails (which I’ve mentioned before) and my hair fall into this category.  I went into my wedding day with no hair or make up trial.  I sat in the chair and trusted the staff to do their thing.  I got to pick my hair style out of a book, but had zero input on my make up.  I loved my make-up.  I mostly loved my hair, but there was one piece in the back that was loose and eventually fell out.  I didn’t even realize it until I looked at the pictures.

The next few are not destination wedding specific, but I’ll still share in the hopes that my follies can be your successes:

  • Stick with trusted beauty guru’s!  Unfortunately, my regular hair (color) guy moved a month before my wedding.  I had to go to someone new and her work was not quite what I had envisioned.
  • Communicate with your guests.  I wish I would have explained the mad libs guest book rather than just saying “please sign our guestbook”.
  • Make a must-have photo list.  I realized after the fact that I have no 1:1 pictures with my girls.  This is my own fault.  I figured Photo Phil had standard shots, so I never gave him a complete list of pictures I wanted.  My bad.

Most of that stuff is pretty negligible and not that important. Plus, a lot of the things that went not right were unavoidable, and in those moments I really didn’t care (too much) that things were derailing from the original plan/schedule.  The actual day was full of love, and happiness, and smiles, and laughter.  Photo Phil gave me some great advice, he said “Enjoy every moment of the day.  It will go by fast.”  He then told me about how he met many brides who were so concerned about the details, all day long, that they didn’t start having fun and enjoying themselves until later in the evening.  And then it was over!  That really stuck with me.  I woke up that morning and really tried to enjoy every moment of the day, even when things were stressful.

Mrs. Gloves said it best:

“I just wanted to share one thought. I’ve helped to organize about six weddings in the 13 months that McGlovin and I have been married, and one thing has proved true in each wedding: your day will be exactly what it needs to be, if you let it.  Sometimes we get caught up in the tiny details of our wedding days, and that’s fine! It’s good to acknowledge the huge amount of work that needs to be done, and all of the seemingly unimportant things that need to come together to make our weddings what they need to be. What I’m suggesting, though, is that you plan everything to the best of your abilities, and then choose a specific day and time where you delegate what you can, and let life handle the rest. Fill your wedding day with as much joy as possible, and let that bliss carry you through the entire day. It’ll be the exact version of perfect that it needs to be!”

degiralomo_web_0228Image by barefeet studio | Photo from Mrs. Gloves on Weddingbee

I read this after my wedding, and nodded my head along as I read.  Even though stuff may not have gone exactly right, it was still the best day ever to Mr. BC and I.  Once we were home I asked him what he thought of everything.  His response: “It was the best day of my life”.  My response:  “Me too”.  And, that’s good enough for me!

bordercollie wedding graphic

Total Re-Collie: The Honeymoon

Early on in the wedding planning, my travel agent asked if we wanted to stay at the Excellence for our honeymoon or switch to another resort.  Without a moment’s hesitation I replied: “I totally don’t want to re-pack and haul all our junk to another hotel.  A honeymoon at the Excellence sounds fantastic.”  Now that I’m on the flip side, I can say that this was an excellent decision.  The Excellence is a fantastic resort and it was very easy to spend a full two weeks there.

I’m so glad we stayed the second week because even though we spent a week at the resort prior to the wedding, we had been so wrapped up in wedding related activities and entertaining our guests, that Mr. BC and I had still not seen the grounds, done any activities, or eaten at all the restaurants.  We hadn’t even been to the beach yet (aside from wedding day related activities).   Plus, we were tired.  I had the best time with our guests, but being a host is exhausting.  The day everyone left I was glad to not have to deal with packing all of our stuff and worry about checking out / into another resort.

So our honeymoon was spent exploring the resort and enjoying all of the amenities we had missed during our first week there. Because of that, it was pretty unexciting.  And, kinda perfect.  The day all of our guests left I asked Mr. BC if he wanted to do any excursions and he replied: “No”.  To which I exclaimed: “Thank God!”.  So we spent seven days lounging at the beach or pool, wandering around, getting massages at the spa (Confession: I got three treatments during our two weeks at the resort.  It was heavenly.), eating at all the restaurants, going to the party nights, and generally being total slugs.  It rocked.

We explored the grounds:

explore (That turtle is fake, but looks so lifelike!)

We hit the gym!

FullSizeRender  (HA!  Just kidding.  We didn’t.)

We relaxed in the Club Lounge:

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We hit the beach:

Beach

We did one excursion at the resort:

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We relaxed in one of the beds by the pool:

pool

We went back to the beach:

beach 2Mmm, beach side pizza.

We went to the parties, shows, and did some activities:

nightlifeThat picture on the upper right was the day everyone left.  That’s how tired I was.  haha.

We ate…

Food

And drank…

drinks

Perfection.  I highly, highly recommend the Excellence Punta Cana, along with the Dominican Republic.  The DR was gorgeous, the resort beautiful, the staff fantastic, the food delicious, the drinks plentiful, and the service top-notch.

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the Border Collie Wedding!

bordercollie wedding graphic

Total Re-Collie: The Days After

The days after the wedding were awesome.  Don’t get me wrong, the days before the wedding were great too, but post wedding I could finally relax and let all of the wedding stress go.  The wedding had gone off without a hitch and I was happy!

The day after the wedding, we had our private brunch at Spice restaurant.  Confession: I was a little disappointed with the day after brunch.  The resort was late setting up, and the food was just okay.  Also, drink service was kind of slow.  But if that’s my biggest complaint than I am doing well.

The upside to hanging out at the Martini Bar for so long (while we waited for brunch to be ready) was that I could finally have an espresso martini! (Okay, I had two.)  Before the wedding I tried to avoid day drinking (and I completely abstained the day before the wedding) so I wouldn’t look bloated or puffy.  Post wedding, all bets were off.

Eventually we made our way to the restaurant and were able to eat and drink!  The pics:

Brunch

Post brunch was a catamaran excursion. My MIL and MOH M organized this, and it was a blast.  I was hesitant to organize an excursion because I didn’t want to over plan our guests entire vacations. I also didn’t want them to feel obligated to spend any additional money.  I was so touched that my MIL and MOH planned this, and also that so many people joined in!  I think we had 15 (out of 21) people go on the catamaran.

The excursion included pick up / drop off from the resort.  Once on board the catamaran, they took us to the Caribbean side of the island where we went snorkeling.   Next, we boated to a shallow sand bar.  The sand bar was waist depth, and warm and calm.  We all hung out in the Caribbean sea talking, laughing and playing.  There was even a floating bar… we all did mama juana shots while standing in the sea.

Everyone loved the excursion and I have hundreds of pictures from the boat.  So here are the hard-to-narrow-down highlights:

Catamaran Summary

Group Shot:

Catamaran 3

After the boat returned us to the dock, we drove back to the resort and broke up into smaller groups for dinner.

The next day (Wednesday), was our guests last day at the resort.  So, we had an epic pool party by the pool bar.  I’m pretty sure that everyone who was still at the resort (we’d lost a few guests by this point) joined us at the pool.  We played cards, ate pizza IN THE POOL (waiters who bring poolside pizza, yes please!), drank delicious cocktails, and ate the last of the wedding cake… It was SO.FUN.

The pics:

Pool Day

That evening, we met up again for one last dinner at the tapas restaurant.  Unfortunately, because of our group size we were split up into 3 tables.  I ended up at a table with my parents and Mr BC.  Once dinner was in full swing, everyone started playing musical chairs.  While I was circulating, I looked over saw and my brother was sitting at the table with my parents, and I noticed that the other seat at the table was empty!  I ran over to the empty seat and sat down.  While sitting there (completely full of ooey-gooey feelings of love and happiness  *barf*), I wondered out loud when the last time my immediate family had last sat at a table together, just us.  Nobody could remember, but we realized that it had been at least 15 years.  So, of course we took a picture:

IMG_5022Terrible photo, but this was us: my parents, my brother, and me.

Next, we went outside for one more family picture:

Family Photo

It was a stellar last day!

The next day (Thursday), everyone left to return home.  Like when they arrived, Mr. BC and I were there to say goodbye as everyone departed.   We had a pretty big lobby party while everyone was leaving.  Our friend M (who I went to Jr. High and High School together with) was the last to leave.  We took this one last photo right  before he left:

IMG_5063Blurry selfie.  Oops.

And so our wedding week came to a close.  But, our honeymoon was just beginning.  Woot!

bordercollie wedding graphic

Total Re-Collie: The Budget

I LOVE reading what amazing, beautiful weddings cost.  The budget post is one of my favorites (How much does all that gorgeousness cost???), so here you go… the Border Collie budget.

Our budget evolved a lot over the two years we were engaged.  We went from a $10k Hawaii wedding to a (hopefully less than) $20k Dominican Republic wedding.  Honestly, I wasn’t super strict with the budget.  Especially toward the end.   I knew we were okay financially, so I was fine splurging on the decor.  We were very lucky that Mr. BC and I were both able to save a lot of money when he lived in Hawaii.  His cost of living was super cheap, and I saved money because it was just me at home.   Also, I took on a roommate a couple of months after Mr. BC moved to Hawaii.  A friend was looking for a place, and we had a second bedroom. I put all of the rent money into the wedding account.

I kept our budget kind of loose, and we paid cash.

Our breakdown is weird since it was a resort, with an all-inclusive wedding package, so I will do my best to organize it in a way that hopefully makes sense.

All photos by Phil Steingard Studios

MCKAY WED-0772

Wedding:

  • All-Inclusive Gold Wedding Package for 20 people: $2400. (This included basically the entire wedding: wedding coordinator, hair/make up for bride, bride bouquet, 4 corsages or boutonnieres, ceremony space, officiant, photographer, 24 pictures, video of the ceremony, cocktail hour with hot and cold appetizers & open bar, music trio which played at cocktail hour, 4-course dinner and open bar, wedding cake, etc.  Basically… everything.  It also included a couples massage, honeymoon package, etc.)
  • Additional Headcount: $300.  (The wedding package covered 20 people.  Since we had 24 people, we had to pay an extra $75 per person)
  • Officiant: $400. (The wedding package included a ceremony in Spanish <that the wedding coordinator translates into English>.  I don’t speak Spanish, nor do most of our family & friends, so I hired an outside officiant)

Flowers & Decorations:

  • Bridesmaid Bouquets: $180.
  • Ceremony/Reception Flowers: $335. (Two half heart flower stands, plus chair bows)
  • Reception Decor: $125. (This was everything I brought: candles, red jewels, escort cards, toasting flutes, napkins, straws, corks, etc.)

MCKAY WED-1006

Rings:

  • Mrs. BC’s ring: $0.  (This was a gift from Mr. BC, that he surprised me with.  He bought it very early on in our engagement, so I don’t count it into the budget.)
  • Mr. BC’s Ring: $281.

MCKAY WED-0378

Favors & Gifts:

Photography:

MCKAY WED-1541

Travel/Accomodations:

  • Airfare: $1100.
  • Two weeks stay at the Excellence: $5400 (we upgraded to the Excellence Club)

Attire:

  • Dress:  A gift from my mother
  • Alterations: $450
  • Accessories: $150 (shoes, belt, jewelry)
  • Grooms Outfit: $90

MCKAY WED-0851

Cake:

  • Cake Topper: $200  (A total unnecessary splurge that I LOVED.)

Misc.

  • Welcome Reception:  $0.  (Because we did a room block)
  • Day After Brunch: $600.
  • Save the Dates: $104.
  • Invitations:  $0.  (We suck and sent an email.)

Grand Total: $16,254.00

So, all in all we were under budget.  Although, let’s be real… I’m sure there is stuff I forgot to add into the wedding wire budget tool: stuff from vistaprint, random amazon purchases, one of the many trips to Michaels.

You can definitely do a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic for a lot less.  We splurged a lot.  A bulk of our money (half!) went toward staying at the Excellence for two weeks, and the photographer.  But, we both have decent jobs, and we’re older and more established in our careers.  We also purposefully planned a two year engagement to save up for the wedding. I purchased the wedding “stuff” bit by bit, over the course of the two years.

I absolutely loved our wedding, and we put our money in places that mattered to us.  If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  It was perfect for us.  And, I know that our guests had a blast!

MCKAY WED-1000

I’m not quite done with my recaps.  We had a lot of fun days in the Dominican Republic after the wedding.  Up next, the last few days with our loved ones in paradise.
bordercollie wedding graphic

Missed a post? Catch up here:

Total Re-Collie: TTD on Sand

Disclaimer: My dress was not trashed at all.  I just like the name “Trash the Dress”.  HA!

When we last left off, sunset was approaching, so we left our friends property and headed to the beach.  Phil took us to Macaw beach and we took the next series of pictures.  I don’t really think any commentary is needed.   Really, all we did is wander up and down the same stretch of beach, as the sky/sun/clouds changed.

All photos from Phil Steingard Studios

MCKAY TTD-0517

MCKAY TTD-0299
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MCKAY TTD-0350 MCKAY TTD-0362

MCKAY TTD-0607MCKAY TTD-0610MCKAY TTD-0389MCKAY TTD-0407MCKAY TTD-0495
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This was our last shot in the ocean!  We packed everything in and hit the car.  While we were driving back to the main road, Phil drove past a huge puddle, and was like “I really would love to get shots with that puddle and the reflections”.  So, we got out and took a few more pictures.

MCKAY TTD-0670

All of the sudden a man with a guitar appeared.  Mr. BC gave him some $1’s and he serenaded us while we danced.  These are some of the sweetest memories I have of the day, and I absolutely adore these pictures (Sorry, I can’t narrow them down, so you get them all.)

MCKAY TTD-0677 MCKAY TTD-0680 MCKAY TTD-0683 MCKAY TTD-0685

Swoon.  I am SO HAPPY we did a TTD photo shoot.  This was one of my best wedding related decisions.  The pics from this day are some of my absolute favorite pictures.  I have a hard time believing that is Mr. BC and I in them.

Next up, the budget.bordercollie wedding graphic

Missed a post? Catch up here: