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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Procrastination does not lead to good things...

I have to admit something about myself: I'm a procrastinator. Big time. And I need to get my shit in gear or my procrastination will totally undermine this whole wedding thing.

How can I have 20+ blog posts labeled something along the lines of "wedding" and yet be behind in wedding planning, you ask? Weeell... Sometimes blogging about what I'm thinking for the flowers substitutes actually taking any action on the flowers... Or the officiant. Or getting something actually nailed down with the restaurant where the reception is planned to be.

Yeah. Those are kind of big things.

The shitty thing is that procrastination is mind-numbingly terrifying for me. It’s so self defeating… I procrastinate because I don’t know what to do first, but then when I’m in crunch-time mode I throw things together. Sometimes well. Most of the time poorly. And often with a lot less sleep. And I don’t want to be the week before our wedding to be crunch time for things that could have been done in advance. By the time we leave for the lake around the Fourth of July, I want to have everything I can have completed taken care of. I want that time to spend with friends and family who have spent their time and money to be with us.

So, in the name of getting the gears moving, let’s look at what we’ve gotten done to date:

  1. Booked a photographer (but not out down any deposits because we're broke and Anne is kind).
  2. Decided on a date, ceremony, location and reception location (hopefully. If they don't flake out on us. They won't flake out on us. Right? I didn't think so)
  3. Figured out what I'm wearing and how it needs to be altered. I have shoes too.
  4. Figured out who our bridal party is and what the maid of honor is wearing. Still no clue what the best man is wearing.
  5. Fotten the pamphlets 80 % of the way there. I say 80 because we have it mostly designed, I *think* I know where we are getting the envelopes from, and who is going to address them (Gretchen). We need to get the guest list finalized and the stamps ordered, If we do fancy stamps (bets we go the easy route and send American flag stamps?)
The tricky thing about the save the dates is that I'd kind of like the whole stationery suite to correspond. That there is some sort of correlation between the pamphlet, invitations and thank you cards (or post cards).

Which means I need to kind of design the invitations... or at least mock them up…

I asked DJ today what the best way to convey the to do list is to him. He wasn't sure... And I'm not even certain I know what the to do list is!

I think the plan is to write out everything (outline bullet-style?), and the break it down by what has to get done each month. Then print off the monthly list and hang it somewhere obvious.

Obviously, I understand that getting organized enough to get some traction going is important. It'll help me delegate, help DJ help me, and give me a way to track what we've still got to take care of.

We've played around with Google shared documents, but my spreadsheets are too sophisticated for their basic format. We can't seem to find a good way to share documents without having multiple versions of the spreadsheet of wedding folder.

Do you see all of those versions of the wedding planning spreadsheet. How the heck do other brides and involved grooms keep their information up to date?

And having to somehow merge the data (like mailing addresses) once we've both edited the spreadsheets separately is a major pain in the hiney. Does anyone know of a good way to do this?

Pamphlet Fonts

We’re closing in on the Save the Date pamphlet design. Like we’re pretty close. There is at least one version of a layout that we both like, and frankly, I’m not sure that I care enough to do multiple designs. I’ve been designing them in PowerPoint, and then “saving as” a jpeg to print. It’s not a super sophisticated method, but hey, it works.

One of the things I played around with tonight was fonts. I’d heard about dafont.com, a website that lets you download fonts for free. Dudes, it was fun to look through. They have so much stuff- I’ll definitely be a repeat (non-paying) customer!

For fonts we wanted something that was a bit vintage. Like a 1940’s or early 50’s vintage. Or National Park Service vintage. The first font set I came across and downloaded was Betty Noir for the headers, Dymaxian Script for our names, and Kelmscott Roman for the information boxes, where we need the text to be super legible. Here’s the front of the current mock up:

After fooling around with those two, I tried to find another font set to try. I’m not totally done with option two for fonts, but I did find a NPS 1935 text, which the Park Service started using before WWII! Check it out:

I might play around with other typewriter fonts for the text boxes tomorrow.

Overall, what do you think?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One Month Checkup

We’ve now been living in our home for four weeks. And let me tell you, it’s awesome. I think I tell DJ every day how much I love this house. I love how bright and sunny the kitchen is in the morning. I love the porch. I love parking in the garage. I love the wood floors in the downstairs. I love the Master Bedroom and Bath. I love the washer and dryer too!

There is still a list of things to get done. We handed over the “punch list” to the contractor last week. Things like hanging the pendant light above the sink, putting the downstairs lights on dimmers, getting DJ a garage door opener, and my critical item, gutters. Water from the roof drips directly onto the front steps, making it a slightly elevated ice skating rink. Luckily it faces south, so it melts pretty quickly.

A major item that we need to address soon is window coverings. We’ve procrastinated on them long enough; mostly because we can’t agree on what we want. DJ wants the two inch white blinds in every window.

I… well, I want a window covering which multi-tasks. I want it to insulate; especially in the 70.5 inch wide by 64.5 inch tall master bedroom window, which faces north. But I also want to be able to see in and out of them. And I want them to have texture. For the master bedroom and the downstairs area, I want to have the to-down/ bottom-up feature, to offer privacy while still seeing out. The same goes for the guest bathroom, and maybe bedrooms too. I’m leaning towards a cellulose shade, the double cells of which offer insulation, and when done as an inside mount they trap cold air between the window pane and the shade. The still let through a lot of light, which we’d mitigate in the master bedroom with outside mount curtains.

Because dudes, let me tell you, those double paned vinyl windows are not keeping the heat in!

We went into Home Depot a week or so ago, and browsed their books, which totally helped. We left feeling like we’d be able to come to some sort of conclusion. And I ‘m trying really hard not to dig my heels in. Stubbornness does not always win.

This whole conversation warranted a pretty sophisticated spreadsheet. When we started dating I often poked fun at DJ’s spreadsheet obsession. I mean, the man spreadsheeted everything, from our vacations to what to buy at the grocery store. Nearly two years later, I’m a convert. I mean, how else could I organize all of this information for us to make a good decision? See:

How else would I be able to tell you that a full set of cellulose blinds for the nine same sized windows we have in the living room, stairs, guest bedroom, guest bathroom and office would cost us $1,552.95? And adding the master bedroom window and the kitchen doors brings the total up to $2,091.00. Did I mention we just bought a house, have little in savings, and need to also save for a wedding? Sure. Gulp.

But, by manipulating the spreadsheet I can tell you that if we bought cellular shades for only the rooms we use right now (master bedroom big window, living room and stairs, and guest bathroom) we can knock it down to $1,106.70. Thank god Montana has no sales tax.

Now who is crazy enough to go into Home Depot on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to try to order blinds?

I mentioned we’ve procrastinated on this because we don’t immediately agree. This doesn’t happen to us very often. Usually my opinion is exactly what DJ thinks, and vice versa. So I guess in the name of not arguing we’ve just put off the inevitable. Interesting strategy, right?

Does anyone have the cellulose blinds? Or do you like the white two inch wood ones? Are they played out—so 2001?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stamp it out

I love personal snail mail. I love sending it and I love receiving it. As a historian, I often wonder how future historians will write biographies without personal correspondence to provide insight into how people’s lives. Totally nerding out, huh?

For some reason I always notice the stamp someone uses as postage. Given that we’re working on getting our Save the Date Pamphlets ready for printing by early December, I started thinking about how would mail the pamphlets. I think we’ll end up with a 5.5” wide by 4.5” tall envelope, about the dimensions the pamphlet folds down to. Once we get the first one printed I’ll run down to the post office and weigh them in the envelope; hopefully they come in at the postage rate of a first class, 44 cent stamp. Because I’d hate to spend tons of moolah mailing this!

One of my sister’s many talents is her very nice handwriting. Mine is chicken scratch, and DJ’s is worse. Gretchen has agreed to spend a portion of her Christmas Break addressing our StD Pamphlet envelopes. If things don’t get to harried, I might run the envelopes through the printer first in order to put our return address on the upper left corner. Or do I want to put the return address on a sticker and put it on the back envelope flap? Hmm.. thoughts.

While I was at the post office this morning I noticed all of the different stamps available. Of course, it’s the holidays, so there’s a dearth of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and general holiday stamps out there. Since our Pamphlets will go out right after Christmas, I’d like the stamp to be non-Christmas-y. I asked the Post Office dude what stamps they have available, and he recommended I check out the online options.

So off to the United States Postal Service website I went. And look what I found:

There is of course, the classic 44 cent American Flag stamp. Maybe appropriate given our July 10th date's proximity to the Fourth of July.

Then there are more wedding and love themed stamps...

This one, waaaaayyyy to cheesy to even show DJ. Although it'd be a good inside joke. Early on we agreed that we didn't want any (in our mines) hokey posed ring shots. And when I had breakfast with our photographer, one of the first things she said was that she doesn't do the photo of the two hands, with rings, sitting on the bible... HAHAHAHAH... thank god. Because that's totally not us.

But I digress...

This one isn't bad. Again, the rings hanging off of the L. But it doesn't really flip my skirt up, you know?

Ok, now we're getting somewhere. I like cake. Who wouldn't like cake on an invitation? however you'll notice that this is a 61 cent stamp... which adds 17 cents per envelope to the mailing costs. It's good to keep in mind in case our pamphlets and envloeps are overweight.

I kept clicking around and stumbled across an idea that I like. The USPS seells National Park stamps! What if we got a collection of them, from National Parks we'd each visited, and used them as postage to send out National Park Pamphlet-esque Save the Dates? This idea has merit... (are you reading DJ?)

The last idea I stumbled across was the 50's Fins and Chrome stamp collection. Since my dress is from the '50's... weell... maybe not, but they're cool!

Overall, I didn't see anything that was a decider, but we'll keep looking. Do you think I'm totally nerdy for even paying attention to this?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Envisioning before Planning

I was browsing through our wedding timeline last night and practically had another panic attack. Why is it that I don’t worry about if our wedding can be pulled off until I’m trying to fall asleep at 11:30pm? I literally lay there and think about all of the things that need to get done and work myself into such a tizzy!

The best way to combat the tizzy-ness is to actually do something related to the wedding. The last few weeks have been pretty packed, which has hampered time for wedding planning. We hosted a Housewarming party after the ‘Cat-Griz football game, and had guests all weekend. By the time the guests departed I just had time to go to the gym and make a batch of cookies!

This week we’re staying at home for Thanksgiving. I’m going to miss my family, and the Kramer Sausagefest on Friday. I mean, what’s not to miss about this:

The family in front of the Kramer Barn, the day after Thanksgiving 2007.

In addition to baking a 23lb turkey (LEFTOVERS!!! I’m so excited about the leftovers!), we’ve agreed to work on some serious wedding stuff over the four day reprieve. Our goal is to have the Save the Date pamphlet finished, or at least down to the final round of edits. Alli’s map-making ability rocks my face off! Especially the part where she had to make up an icon for the bar locations; apparently government run map making systems do not include an icon telling their readers where they can have a beverage.

Dusty’s mom has mailed me the first round of the dress alterations. I haven’t written much about my dress here because DJ doesn’t want to see it until the day of. I’m wearing my grandma Joyce’s wedding dress from 1953 for our July wedding. Those of you who know me would be amazed at the dress; it’s very… fluffy. Girly. Frilly. Totally not something I’d pick off of the rack, but I love the symbolism.

I’ll tell the majority of the story later, but DJ’s mom is doing the alterations for me. Let’s just say that a 1953 size 12 is NOT a 2009 size 12. Not by a long shot. Or half my body. So she’s expanding the bodice for me, and bringing the skirt up (it’s too long for me) to make the waist wider. Of course, we live 12.5 hours apart, so it’ll be a lot of care packages back and forth! But I think we’re on the right track!

One of the things I lie awake at night worrying about is how it’s all going to come together. So I took some time this morning (at home, not from the office) to build a vision board. Hopefully this will help me, DJ, my mom and his mom and any other assistants stay within the vision of what we’d like our wedding “feel” or “vibe” or “theme” or “whatever” to be:

From the top and left to right: possible hairstyle, Gretchen's dress, ceremony location, StD inspiration, wood boat (to leave the ceremony?), historic photo of Harrison, NPS Guide & StD inspiration, blue tinted hydrangeas, my shoes and the bottom of my dress, sparklers saying LOVE! (we'll be able to get fireworks on a serious discount!), strawberry shortcake dessert, my ring, bubble veil, Model A (to arrive to the ceremony in?), directional signs for the guests, grey suit, hydrangeas and dinnerware, another grey suit.

Doing a visioning board actually helped me a lot. I’d clicked and saved so many idea images, but putting them all together on the same page made me realize that while I loved the idea of putting holes in tin cans to make homemade luminarias was a fun idea, it really didn’t flow with the vintage-y ‘40’s theme we seem to be adapting to. A little too rustic. Same with the tea-lights in mason jars idea.

So, now with the general gist of things in place, it’s off to hem, haw and procrastinate more plan!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flower thoughts

Flowers are one of the things I’ve delegated to my mom. Although I love growing flowers, and gardening (and even considered adding to the madness by growing my own wedding flowers), deciding what flowers to carry during our wedding just isn’t on my “Important to me” list.

One of the “problems” of getting married in a small town like Harrison (population 267 people) is the lack of “vendors”. By this I mean people who make their living as a florist, caterer, hairdresser, etc. The solution was to ask my grandmother, who loves nothing more than to buy out Michaels silk flowers to make arrangements, to put together our (live) flowers together. Sidenote: At one point I counted 27 fake floral arrangements in their 500 square foot lake cabin… that’s a LOT of fake flowers!

We have two options for actually procuring the flowers; buy them at Costco in Coeur d’Alene (a two hour drive, round-trip) the day before or order them into the IGA Grocery in St. Maries (a 40 minute drive, round-trip) the day before or day of. There are, of course, the associated logistics, like where the heck do we store said flowers for 24 hours in July? We don’t have ample fridge space…

The only direction I gave my mom thus far is that I like hydrangeas. She knows that “our colors” (why does that term make me roll my eyes?) thus far are a deep, sapphire/ navy blue and cream- thrilling, I know.

With Gretchen’s Maid of Honor dress in mind, I started looking for flowers inspiration. JCrew now offers  photos of real-life wedding partieswhich used their dresses as part of their online store. While Gretch’s dress isn’t JCrew, I did check through their photos to see what other blue-inspired flowers other people used. Sadly, I couldn’t seem to find much!

I kept digging though, checking through flickr albums and sadly totally not referencing anything as I clicked and saved. Bad Blogger! I’ve sourced what I could!

So here is the inspiration I have so far...
I think I might want to go with wither an all white or white tinged with blue boquet for me.

And maybe something with a combo of blue and white for Gretchen; I don’t want the blue flowers to get lost against the background of her dress.

 Is that way too boring? Do we need an accent color (Not hot pink)?

I also like the idea of lavender, like this all lavender one:

I wonder if some people are allergic? It’d probably be my sister!

I also stumbled across this photo of a table piece. Very Cool. We probably can’t afford it.

So that’s my flowers inspiration, but I think it’ll be truly driven by what we can get into the St. Marie’s IGA or the Coeur d’Alene Costco. And frankly, I don’t really care!

And as for the man-flowers, oh sheesh- I haven't even thought of it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dressing Gretchen

Let me introduce you to my Maid of Honor, and only “attendant”:

Senior Picture in the fall of 2007. Photo by Kelly of Kelly Kuntz Photography.

Name: Gretchen Heitstuman Kramer
Age: 20 years old
Occupation: Sophomore at Washington State University- Go ‘Cougs!
Major: Journalism (?? this might be changing)
Interests: Music, men, college athletics, all things 'Cougs, her friends and sorority

Surfing over Spring Break, 2006, in my grad school apartment in Lexington, Kentucky.

It’s hard for me to begin to explain Gretchen. And I mean that in a good way; her outstanding personality and unique characteristics make it hard her up quickly. But once you know her, Gretchen can only be my sister Gretchen. And isn't she gorgeous!?

See those long legs of hers? I'm jealous.

She’s my only sibling, and one I waited six and a half years for. The large age difference between us definitely put us at odds for a long time. When I was 14 she was 7, and we were into totally different things. But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve gotten closer.

For me, she’s the only person I can turn to sometimes who knows exactly how I feel, and what the story is behind it. We lived in the same house, with the same parents and many of the same outside influences, and that shared experience makes her as close of friend as I have.

Why rent a hotel room when you can sleep on an airmattress in Courtney's apartment?

We’re also very different. I’m 5’ 5” tall with brown eyes and hair; she’s 5’11.5” inches tall with blue eyes and blonde hair. I’m into “Old Shit” and she’s more pop culture. She’s friendlier and more outgoing than I am, but I might be a little more self-assured than she is right now (but I was totally insecure at 20 years old too). She’s better at hair and makeup, and actually taught me the little I know about putting myself together. She’s a better friend to me than I am to her sometimes.

Wow! Our noses look alike in this photo!

Originally, DJ thought that three attendants apiece was the ideal number of people in a “wedding party”. He named his three quickly, but for me it went from Gretchen to twelve people in the blink of an eye. And I’m not a twelve attendant kind of girl. So I suggested demanded that we keep it to just our siblings. His brother and my sister. Simple, easy to coordinate, and with the added bonus of being super awkward! (Imagine Lucille Ball next to say… a punk rock Bill Gates).

Photo again of Kelly Kuntz Photography

In writing this right now, I just realized that I never formally asked Gretchen to by my Maid of Honor; it was always just an understanding between us. And there’s no one else I’d want to be around for the day. She’ll make me laugh, divert stress, and might even do my makeup, like any good littebig sister should!

See why I call her my LittleBig sister? We're standing on the same step... she's taller than me. She calls me her BigLittle sister.

Right after getting engaged in August I started looking for dresses for Gretchen. Weird, right? I mean, usually people choose the bride’s dress first. Well, I was hoping to score a sweet summery dress for cheap at the end of the season. And I knew I wanted to use some version of blue as a color. Preferably a deep, dark, rich sapphire-ish blue.

I started with JCrew, and had marked these two dresses earlier in the summer:

JCrew "Delores" Dress in a silk taffeta (?).

JCrew "Loreli" dress in the same material (maybe it's watered silk?)

But by the time I went to buy them, I couldn’t find them on the internet. And we were headed towards Eastern Washington over Labor Day, which is when I wanted GK to have a chance to try something on. So I kept looking.

I stumbled onto Nordstrom’s website, expecting to not find anything I could afford. Or that a girl like me would fit into. Suffice to say, after searching by color I was pleasantly surprised! Check out Gretchen’s dress, which she looks fantastic in, by the way!

A-Line skirt is flattering, strapless, and dark blue!

It hits Gretch in all of the right places!

We haven’t figured out what she’ll do for shoes or accessories yet. Maybe a strappy silver heel? Or is that played out? Frankly, I don’t really care; as long as she’s comfortable and confident in it! And able to dance.

Who’s with me on the “less is more” theory of wedding parties? Is the silver strappy shoe played out?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Music Moderation

DJ and I have eclectic music tastes. Somewhere right now my sister is reading this and saying “No Courtney, you guys have weird music tastes.”

My sister, you see, is very pop-country. Britney Spears? Went to the concert last spring. Drove 5 hours for it either way.

Gretchen. She owns every Backstreet Boys CD.

Jason Aldean? Totally there at the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Indian Casio. (I know, how the heck did he end up playing there?)

My mom LOVES Bon Jovi. LOVES. Like we have a pact that Gretchen and I will humor her and go to a Bon Jovi concert with her someday. Bought her the CD for her birthday.

My dad? Weeeellll… he runs the full gamut from Tool to CCR to Jethro Tull. He loves music. One of his favorite roadtrip games is “namethatsong”, where he flicks through the radio stations until someone can name the song. First person to blurt out the artist’s name gets to flick everyone in the car.

Dad rockin'  out to the speakers on the boat. Probably with Big And Rich on... and his half body wetsuit...

Me? Well… I’ve got a thing for Frank Sinatra. Van Morrison. Righteous Brothers. The Beatles. Okay… some Garth Brooks and 3 Doors Down too. Hello, I do work out! I need something with a BEAT.

DJ’s taste in music is all over the place too. Sinatra. Ella Fitzgerald. Bobby Darin. Trippy 1970’s stuff that Gretchen laughs at him for.

So suffice to say, we’ve had a number of discussions about wedding music. We’re planning to use the boat speakers for audio during the ceremony (Mastercraft + iPod ad anyone?), and the reception restaurant has a setup too. During the cocktail hour we’ll just turn the surround sound speakers in the lake house out towards the lawn to provide background music.

Wait… that’ll work, right? You’re totally thinking this is going to end in disaster aren’t you?

You’ve never heard of someone using boat speakers for wedding music? This boat has pretty muscular speakers...

We have pumped some serious Bon Jovi out of those speakers for Sandi.

The boat's speakers have played a pretty important role in some awesome dock parties.

Sometimes it gets pretty flippy around there...

Like country music flip you over my back flippy.
Naysayers shush.

Since DJ is such a music snob, he’s in charge of wedding music. He’s suggested, and I’ve agreed, that the wedding music should be jazzy and oldies and soft rocky (Coldplay?) through the cocktail hour and the dinner part of the reception (yep, I skipped ceremony music. We haven’t even begun to think about that yet. The Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” will be in there). After dinner, we’ll build up to more dancing music, and finally roll it all together at the end with some good 80’s butt rock/ fraternity party music for my mom.

We’re hoping that my cousin Blair will DJ with the help of an iPod for us, and be the impromptu MC.

We’re all about using family that way.

Here’s the catch though… I just lined out the kind of music my family listens to, compared to what DJ and I like. I’m afraid that the really awesome 1940’s French songs DJ just found are going to make our farmer-logger guests wonder what kind of hoity-toity people we aspire to be. French music? I love the song. DJ loves the song. Gretchen and her farmer boyfriend? Might wonder exactly how weird we are.

It’s tricky, to create a wedding that is a mix of about the bride and groom, while still being all about making the guests comfortable. And music sets the stage so much, you know?

So, with that said, what music makes for a fun time for you? Help me out here, or we’ll end up with Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places…”

Engagement Evolution

I wore my engagement dress on Saturday to a function at AOII. It’s a white sundress that I had on when DJ told me we had to meet the contractor on site to discuss grading the lot asked me to marry him. I wrote this post about how we got engaged back in August.

Monday morning in the shower (best thinking place) I thought about all the ways our relationship has evolved since we got engaged. In many ways it hasn’t changed, which is awesome. I didn’t want, and I still don’t want, to change a darn thing about our relationship or DJ.

We still usually fall back to potty humor.

DJ still dances around and sings.

I still have way too many opinions.

We both still love my engagement ring. (LOVE the streamlined Art-Deco feel of it!)

What's not to like!?

Through building a house together we’ve figured out what subjects we communicate well on, and which we don’t. Surprisingly, a house we can build; a wedding seems to take many more intense conversations…

I would say we’re becoming less shy with each other. Neither of us is one to prance around naked, but I’m finding myself more and more comfortable to talk about the root of what’s bothering me than I was before. And that feels like a kind of nakedness.

Not a very flattering photo of me, but DJ is definately saying "pooooooooop" in this photo.

I’m also finding myself tempering my words, and choosing carefully how I say something and how my body language speaks for me. Thinking before speaking!? ME? No shit… maturity does happen, huh?

I’ve said before that if I could fast forward to next fall when we’re married, I would. And it leads me to wonder how else I will evolve in the next year. Pulling off such an increasingly large event requires a lot coordination, skill, tact and patience. Yeah… those last two? Not exactly adjectives often associate with Courtney.

I wonder how other people have changed through the process of becoming engaged and then getting married?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Rooms

This summer while helping my mom paint the lake house we took a morning to walk over to the Lakeview Lodge in Harrison to check it out. Although DJ and I weren’t engaged yet, I was hopeful that I could convince DJ to get married in Harrison

Harrison has a lot of great aspects, but it is missing one big item: abundant hotel rooms. There are 15 hotel rooms in Harrison. Total. Plus four rooms at the Bed and Breakfast.

The “Where will people stay” issue really impacts DJ’s family and guests. Most of mine will stay at my grandparent’s lake cabin or camp, but DJ wanted to make sure his peeps would have a nice enough place to stay.

The Lakeview Lodgeisn’t much from the outside right now. Like a lot of businesses and commercial properties in Harrison, it’s been in need of serious reinvestment for a while now. New owners came in about two years ago and probably saved it from the brink of being a tear-down.

So when my mom recommended that I should go check it out, off Erin and I went to investigate. And I was so incredibly surprised! The manager Claire is such a sweetheart (Irish- how does an Irish girl end up in North Idaho?) and the owners are so great.

The owners have started out by redoing the interior of the guest rooms, and will move to an exterior remodel later. They figured the guests didn’t care what the exterior looked like if the rooms were nice. And they’ve done such a great job!

Most of the guest rooms are actually suites, with a small kitchenette and sitting area. Families often book a room in the hotel for a week since it’s so close to the bike trail and marina, and the cooking areas are used heavily.

Guest suite 1. I wonder where they got the bar stools... I like them for our house!

Full out KITCHEN!

The bed folds out, so this suite sleeps four.

Yes, I know this is a "bad" photo, but I wanted to show you the view out of the doors!

All of the guest rooms open up out the back onto a shared sitting area which has tables and chairs on it. The Lakeview Lodge is right above the bike trail, and right over the public docks and beach at the marina.

Shared patio area.

Public marina.

Bike Trail.

One of the coolest suites was the two guest rooms which opened inside to each other. The kitchen is VERY VERY nice!

Apparently they're also equipped for small chillun's.

This couch folds out too.

It's a hide-a-bed!

Functional bathroom.

Doorway into kitchen.

Totally outfitted kitchen.

Awesome view.

Seriously! Even my grandparents don't have a dishwasher at the lake!

They also have this patio area out front, which has a BBQ for use of all the guests. Pretty inviting, don't you think!?

I wonder if we should be having our reception here?

After visiting the Lakeview Lodge I was sold on a Harrison wedding. It was totally doable, and there are accommodations in town for people. The key, I think, will be begging people to bunk up as much as possible so that we maximize bed space and leave no room unoccupied. I feel like Eisenhower pulling the logistics for the invasion of Europe on this one. We’ve got spreadsheets identifying who has hotel room priority and who else is SOL.

The kicker is that in order to get this to work, I have to remember something crucial on New Years Day. The Lakeview Lodge does not take ANY reservations until January 1. None. Won’t even block off rooms for me. So I have to call at 8:01am on January 1 to do so. Claire knows to expect my phone call.

There is also a campground in Harrison, where we hope a number of our guests will stay. More on that later.

Logistics, especially when getting married in a SMALL town are difficult. I still have not a clue where our flowers will come from…

What do you think? Would you stay at the Lakeview Lodge for me?