Merry Christmas 2010!

Happy SITSmas day!

Just as we did last year we are showing off our Christmas cards at SITS. I am proud to say these bad boys were sent out yesterday! We have been deployed most of the year and the support we have received from everyone has been so great! I wanted to send them a picture we took here not to long ago and thank everyone for their support, love and prayers. 

Here is our card, now let me see yours!


Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so much, as usual I am thankful for finding The One, our families and friends who have been incredibly supportive while we've been away. I'm thankful to God for giving my mother the strength to deal with her mother's loss very gracefully. I'm also thankful for those that were part of my life that are no longer with us. Their presence helped shape my life and become who I am.

Many Thanks

This year has been an amazing year, were were both deployed, ended up in the same place and we were safe even in the midst of the many attacks we've had. Thankfully this is not Iraq circa 2007 but it's still Iraq. I also want to thank you, although my post frequency has been reduced considerably I often think about you guys and all the things I would like to share with you.  

I already had my Thanksgiving lunch and it was great, now back to work...there is nothing else to do around here.

Love you guys and please share, What are you thankful for this year?


How We Did It-Recap

As I planned to write the series I realized the way we chose our vendors was the same every time. Word of mouth from other brides, I would check out their website and hopefully their blog. I would email them, wait for the response by next day (since I am ahead of Vegas by 10 hrs), ask for what I wanted, wait for a quote, compare and make a decision. Wash, rinse and repeat for all the vendors.

I know vendors know this, they know word of mouth is worth more than any ad they can pay for. Having a nice website and hopefully a blog (not to mention participate in other social networks) is very important especially in this time and age of technology. The fact that they responded quickly was high up on my list. As an Encore Bride I was not hung up on the simple details.  My focus was having what we wanted, a nice ceremony along with a wonderful steak dinner among family and close friends.

We wanted and talked about eloping but I wanted to give everyone a chance to attend, to my surprise many of my friends had made reservations before we even sent their invitations!

To recap, this is how we did it:

1. We spoke to other brides getting married in the same area.
2. We asked for references
3. We checked vendors reviews and feedback
4. Emailed vendors to inquire about their services
5. Waited for reply
6. If they did I would go in the detail of what I was looking for but I let them do what they do best, offer the best suggestions for our event.
7. Agree to a price
8. I received all contacts via email, I signed them, scanned them and sent them back
9. DONE!

Who said it couldn't be done? We are planning a small, intimate but elegant wedding for 30 in beautiful Las Vegas and we did it all in about 3 months.

Now if Uncle Sam could only assure me that I will be there, it would be alright!


How We Did It-Part II Reception

After the chapel and date were secured we knew we wanted a small, intimate steak dinner along the strip, hopefully with a view. I went back to my 2 sites of reference, theknot.com and weddingwire.com. I asked other brides, I emailed almost every restaurant on the strip, and then I checked wedding wire. After every response from every restaurant I was shocked at the prices. The main purpose for doing this in Las Vegas was so that we didn't have to pay $100+ a person. It seemed all of the restaurants on the strip wanted around $100 a person without drinks and gratuity. 

After coming across the reviews in wedding wire I came across a restaurant that had the most and highest ratings; Lawry's the Prime Rib Restaurant. It met most of our requirements: steak dinner-check, intimate with private room-check, rave reviews-check, reasonable prices-check, and lastly I can bring any cake and flower vendors I would like at no extra charge-HUGE CHECK! The only thing Lawry's cannot provide is a view of the strip but that OK with us.

Another plus was the outstanding service I received from the Sales manager, she emailed me within a few hours (I am 10 hours ahead of Vegas) every time I had a question. To this date she still does as questions come up when planning the menu, etc.

Again, the key to booking this space along with the Chapel was the convenience and customer service they provided, in my book, those two things are priceless.

To recap, how does one plan a wedding in Las Vegas from Iraq, I would say: Internet, Las Vegas knotties and wedding wire. What helped you plan your wedding?


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