Friday, November 19, 2010

We reserved our Hotel

Say hello to the Sheraton Orlando North.

Almost 4 years ago I stayed at this hotel when I interviewed for my job at EA SPORTS. Now they are helping to host all of our out of town guests, and any Florida guests that are looking for a small staycation.

**First things first DO NOT call the Sheraton to book a room. We will notify all that our invited how they can get the blocked rooms and reserved room rate.

The Sheraton is not only close to my job, but most importantly near the Winter Park Racquet Club. They will have both double bedrooms and king size bedrooms for us to use. They have a great pool, (yes March in Florida might still be pool weather). They have also agreed to use their 11 man shuttle to transport some to the ceremony and back to the hotel from the reception. That will be a huge help.

Above is the nice lobby and bar in the background. Where I am pretty sure you will find my middle brother Ryan Harper Gray. The best part about having this one central location is we will get to have all of the out-of-town guests and the wedding party together the night before the big day. That was a big thing for both PB and myself. We wanted this weekend to feel more like a weekend getaway. I know PB is excited to have all of her "girls" together in two adjoining rooms. (Not sure if all your bridesmaids knew that yet, but they do now). As for the boys most are with lady, but for the few single friends we will be locked up somewhere causing trouble.

Above or to the left you see the double room; all rooms have flat panel TVs, mini bar and a balcony. There is much more to list but this isn't

Above or to the left is the king size room.

This is just part of the honeymoon suite. This will serve not only as the honeymoon suite but if it works out (and we can check into it by noon-ish) this will be where all the boys get ready. (Don't try anything sneaky that night guys, the phone will be turned off, and no access to the club level floor). Sorry, I know my friends too well.

Not too give away too much of the weekend schedule but the day after the wedding we will be having a brunch from the Sheraton restaurant to close out the weekend. We are so happy this hotel will be able to help us host an amazing weekend for us, our friends and family.

In the coming months I will let everyone know how they can reserve their hotel room. Just know for now the rooms have been blocked and no one else can book them.

Lastly, here is the pool. Ahhh Central Florida!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wedding Dress Blog

About a week after Eric and I were engaged my mom and I went to Solutions Bridal. I tried on some pretty dresses, but I wasn't feeling any of them. So, my mom looked through her bridal mags and started making appointments to visit local bridal shops. My mom, aunt and I also have a weekend planned in Miami later in November to check out the fashions down in South Florida. This past Tuesday Nydia (my mom) and I went to my appointment at The Aventura. The owner of the shop helped us. She was so sweet, fun and very passionate about what she does. I picked out about 8 dresses. The first one I tried on was it. It was everything that I had always wanted and it looked good! Nydia knew that dress #1 was it as well, but I proceeded to try the rest on. After I tried on the last dress. I asked to put the first one on again. It keep looking better and better. So we chatted with our new friend, made a deal and now I have a wedding dress in my closet. I can't tell you anymore about it because Eric doesn't need details. Even though he thought that he could see pictures of the dress or the dress on a hanger just not on me. False! I'm way happy with my dress, I can't wait for y'all to see it, and it is another big task off the wedding planning list! KIT! Besos! PB

Howdy- this is Eric now. I wanted to add a bit of context to my expectations and my reaction to the news. I was under the impression the dress would take a few months to pick out. I thought she would drive dang near all over Florida looking for that perfect one. So when she came over to my house, and I asked, "how was your day?" and she said "Fine, I bought a wedding dress, and it's hanging in my house right now." I was thrown for a loop. I was all for it, and so excited she got exactly what she wanted. I just wasn't mentally prepared for that to be done already. Now that it has been a few days I am so happy it's done. That is another thing we can check off of my iPhone 4 Wedding Planner app, iWedding Deluxe.

Laslty, she was right I was not aware I could not see the dress. I just thought I wasn't allowed to see it on her. That is a bummer. Although, just to get even I WILL not let her see me in my suit. EG

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We have a Venue and a Date!

Patricia and I are so happy to have finally selected a venue and more importantly a wedding day. It has only been 18 days since we got engaged and the venue and day was our 2 biggest questions and concerns. I am pleased to announce that on March 12, 2011 we will get married at the beautiful Winter Park Racquet Club.

This past Sunday we met Alexis (who is great and a reader of this here blog) at the WPRC and she took us on a tour of their gorgeous facilities. The WPRC is the perfect place for us for so many reasons. The biggest thing for PB and I is being able to party late, check! I think another thing that stands is how much more we get with the WPRC as opposed to any other venue. So many venues in our hunt want you to be in by 4p to setup and start tear down at 10p. Here are a couple examples of the care you get from the WPRC.

1. They start setting up the night before, so no mad panic setup 1 hour before your ceremony.
2. Alexis told PB the girls could arrive as early as 8am and spend the day there hanging out in the bride's room getting ready.

Those are just a couple reasons why I know this is the right decision. Now what you have been waiting for. I am sure everyone knows I took tons of pictures with my iPhone. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: These are still phone pictures. This facility is so much better than these shots let on.

Main Dining hall (We will not use this unless it rains)

This is where we will be married.

Front of the main building

View of the outside bar, and another area where some other weddings have had the dance floor

I also wanted to add some cool shots I found from other weddings at this venue.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Venue Selection

The wedding planning is underway and our first big decision is the date and the venue. We spent all of last week searching the internet and talking to friends about possible venue locations. I have personally searched online for hours trying to find that one spot that no one knows about. Is it a state park, an empty lot, or a community center? I even went as far as driving by a few of the locations (without PB, She wasn't real happy about that. Sorry Bebe)

We both have some things we want in our venue but the main thing we want is to be able to stay and party late. Which is hard because most of the venue locations want the party over at 10p, and to be out by 11p. Below are some of the locations we are/were considering.

DISCLAIMER: These are the opinions of Eric and in no way should be considered the thoughts of PB. Also if you got married at one of these locations, I am sure it was wonderful. Good for you.

Cypress Grove Park

Cypress Grove Park is perfect visually. They are a bit expensive and you must use one of their three provided caterers which can be $$$. But at the end of the day you had to be done with the party at 10p. If you know the Brinkman's that just won't fly! I went and walked the grounds the other day. If you don't want to party late and want an outdoor wedding, this place is perfect.


This is at a restaurant/venue location on a Golf Course near College Park. The good thing about this place is some of the pictures I have seen of the Ceremony by the tree our awesome, but that is all. They don't have any more outdoor space for a reception and if you ask Miss Nydia the indoor reception area has an odd smell. I can't confirm nor deny that. All I can say is it's too close to the golf course, not enough outdoor area, and you can't stay late.

Orlando Historic Inn

This venue looks great on their website, but just would not work for us. The Ceremony area is nice but small. The reception area would have to be inside if the ceremony was outside. You have to be out by 10pm. Although, the biggest problem about the Inn is it is a stone's throw from 408. I mean 408 traffic is LOUD in the back courtyard area. That is too risky for a Wedding in my opinion.

Here are some other places we considered;
Maison Jardin in Maitland. (Too small and not enough outdoor space)
Leu Gardens (Didn't love the look of any wedding pictures I saw here)

The good news we do have a front-runner. Some of you already know where it is so SHHHH! We have an appointment to meet the people at the unknown location this Sunday. We will tour the facilities, and hopefully confirm the venue and the date. Our next post will be Monday hopefully with pictures and good news.


Our Professional Shots from NYC

I am so happy to have finally received our DVD of pictures from Benny our professional photographer from NYC. I added them all to my FB page, but below you can also see a slideshow.

Thanks to Benny for all of his hard work. You can visit his site here.