Friday, September 5, 2008

Wedding Book

I created this wedding book with some of the pictures we have compiled from the wedding. If you would like to flip through it or order a hard copy on-line, please click on the cover below. We gave this book as a thank you gift to our wedding party, parents, and grandparents.

Want a wedding like ours?

Just in case someone has come across this blog and is interested in some of our wedding decorations, I have some listed for sale on Craigslist and eBay. Please feel free to check out the listings by using the links below. (Posted 9/5/2008)

Craigslist Ad

eBay Items


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Professional Wedding Photos

If you would like to purchase professional wedding prints from our photographer, then you can go to James and Cherie did a great job!

However, if you can't afford to buy the pictures, we did get the digital rights to the photos for personal use. Send me an email or give me a call, and I will figure something out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wedding Vendor Reviews - Charlotte, NC

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
Pros: Beautiful garden, unbeatable location
Cons: Event service coordinators are not very accommodating (when you can actually get a hold of them). All requests were pretty much promptly met with a "no." Preferred vendors for catering get charged by garden and that charge is passed on to the customers. Extremely expensive. Nothing is included, everything is extra.
Overall Rating: Okay - better value if you go with one of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg parks

Sheraton Hotel Charlotte Airport

Pros: They had a competitive group rate and offered online reservations
Cons: Everything else. Some guests were not given the group rate initially. The contract tried to make us liable for guests' damages. It also made us accountable for 90% of the rooms we booked for the group rate - meaning if enough guests didn't reserve rooms, we would have been charged. They did not notify us that they would be doing CONSTRUCTION during our wedding event. They promised us a suite where the bridal party could get ready, and I had to personally walk down and talk to the hotel manager (don't mess with a bride on her wedding day) the day-of because they still did not have a room ready for us. Extremely unhappy.
Overall Rating: Horrible - never again doing business with this hotel

All the Right Grooves DJ Services
Pros: Less expensive than other DJs. Did a great job. Didn't upcharge for extra microphone, etc. Gave us a CD of songs from our wedding which was a nice touch. As promised, she wasn't all cheesy.
Cons: Hard to get a hold of right before wedding to confirm details.
Overall Rating: Excellent - would definitely hire again

Heather A. Hawkins, Make-up Artist
Pros: She has a great personality and does a great job on both hair and make-up.
Cons: We were running a little late for pictures before the ceremony because hair and make-up got a little behind schedule.
Overall Rating: Excellent - Just make sure you allow extra time for bridal party to get ready

James Mendez Photography
Pros: Amazing engagement photo session, great guest book layout, extremely easy to work with, got some great shots of the wedding, gave us digital rights to pictures for personal use
Cons: A little on the pricey side, we were a little disappointed that we didn't get all the shots of just the two of us we wanted at the wedding, but to their credit, everything was kinda rushed at that point. Accidentally took most of the cake pictures from the wrong side.
Overall Rating: Excellent - Just pre-plan all the formal shots you want to get beforehand

April's Floral Expressions - Silk Florist
Pros: Everything came out wonderfully. She did our cake decorations for no charge. She is very easy to work with and was dedicated to making sure I was happy with what I got. She even came to set up all the decorations and decorated our arbor.
Cons: She works full time during the day so can best be reached after regular business hours. At first, she sent me some ugly pictures trying to gauge what I was looking for. That made me a little worried, but she pulled everything off perfectly in the end!!
Overall Rating: Excellent - Would definitely hire her again, no question!

Brenda's Cake Gallery

Pros: Located in Belmont close to the garden which made for a lower delivery fee. Almond cake with butter cream frosting is delicious!! Faith is very friendly and easy to work with. We got exactly what we wanted.
Cons: Brenda is a little distracted when you try to speak with her. They tend to be very busy during wedding season, so it is sometimes hard to confirm details on your time schedule. They weren't able to do a simple floral cake topper that we wanted, so we had to have our florist do it.
Overall Rating: Good - having a yummy cake is important. Must check to see if they can do the design you are looking for.

Head over Heels Wedding Planning
Pros: Took off a lot of stress the day-of wedding and during the rehearsal. Got our food for us from the buffet and added a few nice touches like personalized guest baskets in the bathroom. Successfully pulled together all the details.
Cons: Didn't do too much before the wedding, but helped a lot for day-of set up. Some family complained that favors and other wedding decorations were thrown away instead of saved.
Overall Rating: Good - Make sure to let them know if you want to keep everything that is left over from the wedding

Joan Johnson Harpist
Pros: Fairly priced, played well
Cons: Initially friendly but later hard to reach as she was traveling. Wanted us to rent a tent as cover for her harp which would have cost an extra $100 or so dollars.
Overall Rating: Good - didn't go above and beyond but did well enough

Lily Rose Bridal
Pros: Carried the Casablanca 1831 dress that I wanted. Cute little boutique.
Cons: Denise, the owner is pretty rude. The seamstress, however, was very friendly. Price wasn't the lowest, but was reasonable enough.
Overall Rating: Okay - had I been looking for better customer service or a lower price, I might have shopped around a little more

Creative Solutions Event Rentals
Pros: Lindsay was very detailed in making sure our contract was correct. They were extremely familiar with the garden so we didn't have to worry about that aspect.
Cons: They were the only vendor we could choose from for DSBG. They weren't very creative, they just gave us what we asked for and didn't really make any suggestions.
Overall Rating: Okay - they got the job done

Karen Warren Catering
Pros: The coordinator Dottie was great because she had worked for the garden before. They were much lower priced than the other preferred DSBG vendors. They were very flexible and let us buy our own alcohol. Plates, napkins, glasses, and silverware were included in their price.
Cons: They started serving the appetizers a little late. The food was good, but it wasn't so great that it knocked your socks off.
Overall Rating: Good - value was right

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wedding - Family Portraits

Family Portraits courtesy of James and Cherie Mendez our wedding photographers are now posted.

View All Family Portraits

Watson, Mom, Kim, Tony, and Max (isn't he too cute?)

Wedding Pictures from Guests

Here, I will be adding links to the wedding pictures from various wedding guests if they chose to upload their own digital albums or send me picture CDs. What did people do before digital cameras and the Internet?

It is cute because you can tell whose pictures are whose by the number of pictures of that family's kid. So far, the kids in my family take after me - they are definitely camera hams. :-)

Kim and Tony's Pictures

Kristin and Gary's Pictures

Kevin and Melinda's Pictures

Haya and Mahdi's Pictures

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Honeymoon Pictures

Honeymoon (and a few pre/post-wedding) photos are now posted.

View Photos

We really enjoyed the cruise to Sicily, Athens, Kusadasi, and Crete. Rome was awesome too! It was my first trip overseas, and I am lucky that it was with my wonderful husband!

Wedding pictures will be posted soon. If everyone could do us a favor and mail us a CD of any pictures taken at the wedding or pre-wedding, that would be great! Then I can post them all for everyone to enjoy.

Wedding Favor Photobook

We made a photo book story of how we met and our life together up 'til the wedding to share with our wedding guests as a wedding favor. I think they were very much liked.

Any wedding guests who did not bring one home or who would like an extra one can order a copy on-line from Or if you just want to flip through the digital version, you can use the link as well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Frankie's Italian Grill

I can't wait to see everyone this week! For those in town Wednesday 8/6, I have a reservation at 8 PM at Frankie's Italian Grill in Charlotte. I have been there before, and it is has a good atmosphere and great food. They have family-style Italian and also individual entrees. I will be in the Sheraton lobby at 7-7:30 PM to meet those who want to drive over together. Otherwise, the above gives you the address as well as the menu selections at the restaurant.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rehearsal Celebration

Everyone attending the wedding is invited to the rehearsal celebration on August 7th, 2008 starting at 4 PM at our house.

The rehearsal was originally going to be a cookout, but we decided instead to have it catered so everyone can experience authentic Carolina Country BBQ. We will be serving pulled pork sandwiches and chicken "cooked slowly eight to nine hours with Hickory Wood and served with famous souther style barbecue sauce." Sides will include cole slaw, baked beans, hush puppies, and sweet tea (Hey, Ya'll come on out!).

My mom is also going to provide fresh fruit, various other sides, and dessert while Mike's Mom Barbara will provide the alcohol including beer and sangria. Can't wait to see everyone!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mom Dresses

So, my mom is going to be the accent color in our wedding - a burgundy red. Not quite the traditional Chinese, red, but close enough for me. She will match the bows on the programs and the burgundy in the middle of the cream colored moth orchids in our bouquets. She will be walking me down the aisle. I bought her dress on Ann Taylor's website on clearance. She had to get it taken out, but as of yesterday she could get into her dress. Yay!

Mike's mom originally bought a latte colored dress, but I don't think she was in love with it. So we went shopping at Cache and found her this dress. The ivory and black will match perfectly with our sand ceremony and the ivory satin table cloths and black river rocks on the tables. I showed Mike this picture, and he said, "my mom is wearing WHAT?" I had to reassure him that the dress was actually knee-length on his mom, not a mini-skirt like the model. :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

License to Wed

Mike and I went to the Mecklenburg County Courthouse today to apply for our marriage license . . . and they gave it to us! Now we are licensed to wed!! Woo hoo! Evidentally, you have to go to the Register of Deeds to get a marriage license. Mike was concerned that meant I was going to have a deed on him now. Hehehe.

We have quite a few more details to work out before the wedding, but everything is starting to come together. Unfortunately, I think I am starting to come down with a cold. Argh.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hair and Make Up

Originally, I was going to have the bridal party get ready at William Henry Salon in Belmont, NC. However, I did a bridal consultation, and I really did not like the Bare Escentuals make up that they used. I even had to wash it off and redo my own make up before our engagement portraits. Yes, it was that bad.

So after being not-so-impressed, I decided to search out another solution. Since we really love our photographers and Cherie is actually also a model, we asked them for a suggestion. They referred me to Heather Hawkins who is a make-up and hair artist. She mostly does make up and hair for models and commercials, but she takes bridal customers with referrals. She came and did a consultation, and it passed the test! One very cool thing is that she uses airbrush make-up with lasts for 16 hours. We tested it - my make up was done at 10 AM, we took a afternoon nap, and my make up was still good for dinner that evening.

So, Heather is going to do my hair and make up as well as Kim, Michele, and Lisa's. Jill, Mike's cousin, is also a cosmetologist, so she will be helping out and doing hair and make up for my mom, Mike's mom, Rachael, and Emily. So, all in all, it works out for the best!

Here are some pictures from my consultation:

Monday, May 12, 2008

88 Days Until 8/8/08!

We officially have 88 days until our wedding on 8/8/08!

See you soon!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bridal Shower

I am very thankful to have such great friends! Amy is Matt's wife, and Matt is the first friend that I made in Charlotte who started the PhD program with me. Anyway, Amy offered to throw a bridal shower for me. I thought it was very sweet!

(A picture of Matt and Amy)

The bridal shower will be at their house on May 24th at 2 PM. I just gave her a list of local people who I thought might be able to make it. I wasn't sure if I was supposed the invite far away people who wouldn't be able to make it anyway. I know they have books for etiquette about all this stuff!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Charlotte - Things to See and Do

    Top 7 Sights to See Excerpted from Charlotte City Search
  1. Bank of America Stadium

    S Graham St, Charlotte, NC
    Spend an autumn afternoon with the rest of Charlotte and root for the 2003 NFC Championship Carolina Panthers.

  2. Price's Chicken Coop

    1614 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC
    Pick up a box of the best fried chicken in the Carolinas and head to Latta Park for a picnic lunch.

  3. Double Door Inn

    218 E Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC
    Catch a first-rate blues act at this famous Charlotte haunt, winner of the W.C. Handy Award for best blues club.

  4. Lowe's Motor Speedway

    5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC
    Forget the luxury box: Snag a pit pass and watch your favorite racing team work its NASCAR magic.

  5. Discovery Place

    301 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
    Walk through a giant replica of a human eyeball and watch fascinating electricity demonstrations at one of the best hands-on science museums in the nation.

  6. Metrolina Expo

    7100 Statesville Rd, Charlotte, NC
    Hunt for treasure at the biannual Antiques Extravaganza, the biggest antique show in the South.

  7. Ranch House Steak House Of Charlotte

    5614 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC
    Feast on fiery shrimp "cocktale" and a juicy steak while basking in this Charlotte institution's old-school ambiance.

Our Compilation of Things to Do

If you are willing to take a bit of a drive, here are some other great North Carolina attractions:

Additional Suggestions from our Wedding Planner at Head over Heels

There are several vineyards in Albemarle if you wanted an all day activity
Lake Norman Comedy Club:
Queen's Landing (boat ride around Lake Norman):
You can also check out the other museums downtown. The art and design museum has a free event with live jazz music every Thursday night.
Birkdale Village (has free outdoor concerts in the summer):
Dan Nicholas Park:

You can also check out Visit Charlotte for more ideas about our Queen City.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wedding Event Timeline

We are still finalizing some of the details, but here is the latest as far as the agenda of events for the wedding (since Matt couldn't find it in the novel below).

Wednesday August 6th

1:30 PM - Mike's Bachelor Party at the US National White Water Center. Michele (Mike's sister and best man) has sent out an eVite for those who are invited to attend.

7:30 PM- Bridal dinner for Pam's family who will be arriving that day. Hosted by the bride. Location TBD.

Thursday August 7th

1 PM - Rehearsal for wedding party at DSBG
4 PM - Rehearsal Cookout at our house for everyone!!

Friday August 8th

6 PM to 11 PM - Wedding Ceremony, Reception immediately follows

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bamboo Fans

We just purchased these bamboo fans for the wedding ceremony from Bliss Wedding Market. Here is a Photoshopped version of the program design that we are aiming to do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Favor Frenzy on eBay is Evil

I purchased a tiara on eBay at a store called Favor Frenzy, and I never received my tiara.

3/23 - I purchased and paid for my item
4/4 - I inquired about the status of the item
4/8 - I inquired about the status again
4/14 - I inquired again
4/17 - I have not received any response to my inquiries and have not received my product

Left negative feedback on eBay, and the seller had the nerve to leave ME negative feedback then request for a mutual withdrawal of the feedback. How absurd!

Don't buy stuff from Favor Frenzy on eBay, ladies.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wedding Officiant

I didn't even know what the guy who performed the ceremony was called until all this wedding planning started! However, JR Carrel (and his wife Bonnie) are coming all the way up from Clearwater, Florida to perform our ceremony. I feel really blessed that they will be able to make it.

JR was the pastor at NE Christian church which was a non-denominational church I attended when I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. He and his wife were there for me when Sean and I broke up and hurricanes Frances and Jeanne flooded my house. I was going through a very tough time, and they were literally a God-send. Bonnie calls me her adopted daughter, and we spent some quality time together going to lunch, painting pottery, and going to a Christmas tree expo. I am looking forward to seeing them again because I only had the chance to visit them once since I moved to Charlotte three years ago.

Having JR perform the ceremony is also special to me because he was the one who baptized me. I made a special request to get baptized at St. Pete beach instead of inside the church, so they invited the whole church to my baptism in the ocean. It was very moving to have a church family care so much about me.

In fact, that wasn't the first church family I ever had. Pastor Patrick and his wife Linda are also making the trip from Gainesville to attend our wedding. Pastor Patrick is a deacon at the family church who first prayed with me when I became a Christian, and Linda is a Christian counselor who mentored me as well.

I might not seem as "religious" as some people, but God is a very important part of my life. He has always brought people into my life at the exact time I really needed them. Although I have had many struggles over the years, somehow God has kept his promise not to give me more than I can bear by bringing loving people into my life to help me through. Amen!

Dance Lessons

So Mike and I are taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray Studios so we can know how to dance at our wedding. We are trying to learn a rumba dance to Ingrid Michaelson's song The Way I Am. We are still in the early stages, but at least we are having fun doing it.

Our instructor is this young Welch fellow named Stirling. He is probably 6'3'' and has hair that stands up another 3 inches. He is very fun to work with. Mike and I feel old, but sometimes we are just like, "aww, he is such a cute kid."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Engagement Portraits

James and Cherie Mendez from James Mendez Photography did a great job on our engagement portraits. I am really glad we booked them as our photographers for the wedding. They are very easy to work with and got some really great shots. At first, we were both really nervous, but they did a wonderful job guiding us as far as what we should be doing. They took their time and made the session all about what we wanted. They come highly recommended!!

We received over 3 GBs of digital images from the engagement session. Click the picture below to look at a slide show of some of the untouched pictures.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gift Registries Revisited

We broke down and decided to get a mainstream wedding registry with Target along with our other gift registries with and Lowes Home Improvement. So, here are links to each of the gift registries:

Savannah Bird Girl

Although she will not exactly be part of our wedding, the Savannah Bird Girl is one of our stories . . . Mike and I recently purchased a Savannah Bird Girl statue from Savannah Statues which is a retailer of one of the authentic replications of the statue. She will sit in our newly landscaped yard for our rehearsal guests to see when they come over to our house for the cookout. She is a special reminder of our trip to Savannah with both of our moms, where we got engaged.

Reception Napkins

We are done with most of the big planning items, and we are working on all the little details. Here is one of them - we have ordered dark brown and ivory napkins that are imprinted with our names and the day of our wedding.

We ordered these from The Party Block.

Sand Ceremony

Mike was raised Catholic so it would be traditional if we did a unity candle lighting during our ceremony. However, since we will be getting married outdoors and because trusting us with fire is probably risky, we have opted instead to do a unity sand ceremony. It is nice because the sand ceremony will also serve as a great keepsake from our ceremony. The sand comes in two different colors and is mingled together to represent our wedding union.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wedding Planner

We met with Laura Massie from Head over Heels wedding planning today and decided to hire her services to coordinate the day of the wedding. She seems fun and easy to work with.

She is going to help us coordinate the vendors and take care of the little details of the wedding. Mike knows how organized I am so he was worried that I would be all stressed out the day of the wedding. He feels better knowing someone else (other than me) will be ironing out the kinks on our special day. :-)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wedding Bands for Abroad

Mike wanted to get inexpensive wedding bands to take with us on our honeymoon. Even though my ring is insured, he didn't want to take the chance that a pick pocket would try to lift it while we were abroad.

So we got matching titanium infinity groove bands from e-weddingbands. The 08/08/08 and the infinity kinda go together, so I liked the symbolism. His rings says "Pam & Mike Always ~ 08/08/08 ~" and mine says "Mike & Pam Always ~ 08/08/08 ~." Mine is 6mm and his 8mm. It was a bit difficult to find a titanium band that came in a 4 1/4. The smallest Jared would make a titanium band was in a size 5.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Emily's Flower Girl Basket

Here is a picture of Emily's flower girl basket. She will be tossing orchid heads instead of rose petals while coming down the aisle. The basket is in ivory to match my dress. The men in the bridal party will also be wearing ivory shirts instead of white.

I purchased the basket online from Beyond Bridal because it had the cheapest price out of all the bridal retailers that I saw online. Some vendors were selling the basket for up to $45.

UPDATE: We got the flower girl basket in the mail today, and it is T-I-N-Y. I guess most flower girls are younger than Emily, but this basket is just silly. I think I will have to list it on eBay and find a new basket more suited for an 8 year old.

So, I found this basket at Michael's on clearance. It isn't a traditional flower girl basket, but I think it will go well with the dark brown color scheme we have for the wedding. We may try to dress it up a bit with some ribbon or something.

UPDATE UPDATE: So we decided against having Emily throw any kind of flowers. Instead, we are having our florist make a kissing ball (aka wedding ball, pomander). This will work well because the garden requires you to pick up anything that is thrown on the ground after the ceremony anyways.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Meet Pam and Mike

I realized that some of you may need introduction to one of us, so here are brief bios to serve as introduction.

Meet Pam

Pam is 28 years old and was born in Gainesville, Florida. Her father passed away when she was seven, but her mother Helen is alive and well - currently visiting Pam's middle sister Kim who recently had her first baby Max! Kim and Tony live in Chicago while Mom and sister Lisa live in Florida. Pam has two sisters, Lisa and Kim, who are 18 and 7 years respectively her elders. Lisa and Steve have three children - Rachael, Ryan, and Emily (Pam's nieces and nephew).

Pam graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters of Science in Decision and Information Sciences in 2002. She has worked as a systems developer in the financial services and medical consulting industries. She is currently a PhD candidate at UNC Charlotte in Information Technology as well as a part-time business analyst for a large financial services organization.

On a more personal note, Pam is a non-denominational Christian. She is half Cantonese from her mother's side. She has two cats named Chiaroscuro and Ra. Strengths include proactiveness, a commitment to self improvement, and organization. Pam values loving God and others and is very happy that she is on the path toward building her own family.

Meet Mike

Mike is currently 31 years old and was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His parents are Barbara and Joseph Wisniewski, who are divorced. Mike's dad and wife Julie live in California while Mike's mom lives here in Charlotte. Mike has one sister who is about 3 years older, lives in California, and has a PhD in Biochemistry; her name is Michele.

Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for IBM for eight and a half years in various roles from consulting to technical sales. He currently works from home for a software services company as the Strategic Services Manager for the Southeast US. He sells embedded software solutions.

Mike was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school all the way through college. After having religion beat out (or in?) to him, he recently began voluntarily practicing his Christian faith again. He has a one year old adolescent Australian shepherd named Uluru. His strengths include intelligence, sense of humor, and versatility. Mike values hard work and close family.

Afterward: All animals mentioned above - Scuro, Ra, and Ru - have since been adopted by both parents and are loved as one big, happy family.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wedding Party Attire


The females in the wedding party will be getting their dresses from David's Bridal. They are probably the largest bridal chain with the most locations. We decided to let the women of the wedding party decide their own style for their dresses except they will be wearing truffle (brown) knee-length dresses. We figured knee-length would be a lot cooler for the summer and my mom just looked silly in tea-length.

Color: Truffle
Style: Knee-length
Deadline for Ordering: July 1, 2008 (need to give 8 weeks for delivery)

Here is an example:


The guys are going to be wearing tuxedos from Men's Warehouse or MW Tux because they carry the coordinating colors with David's Bridal. It is also nice because they are a national chain with a pretty good reputation. We decided to go with ivory shirts to match my dress instead of the bright white. Mike will be wearing a champagne colored vest while the groomsmen will be wearing truffle.

Group Name: Wisniewski-Karr Wedding
Group ID: 1665931
Fitting Deadline: 7/25/2008
Pick up in Charlotte, NC: 8/6/2008 - 8/7/2008

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

I told Mike even before we were engaged that I wanted to get married on 08/08/08, and that if he wanted to get married at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (which he has always liked), then we needed to reserve about a year in advance. (I am gutsy, I know!) He thought about it, and he thought some more, and then he decided that we should go for it! So he went to the garden on August 10, 2007 to put down a deposit for the garden. (We got engaged on September 22, 2007).

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont, NC 28012
P: (704) 825-4490 | F: (704) 829-1240

It is the best botanical garden in the area even though it is still fairly young. They recently built an orchid conservatory which opened to the public this year. Along with the garden, DSBG has a really nice building for events which is where the reception will be held.

Some negative points we have encountered since booking:

-You have to choose out of 4 caterers that work exclusively for the garden.
-The caterers pay a fee to the garden to be a preferred vendor, so this fee may come straight back to the customers (namely us).
-The rate to reserve the garden is pretty high, but it does not include anything other than access to the garden. We still had to pay for catering, decorations, event facility/equipment rentals.
-Management at the garden has recently changed. At first they were going to give us a price break on renting the orchid conservatory, but they will no longer hold up what they told us.
-Reaching anyone in the sales department at the garden is nearly impossible. I think they have so much demand that they really don't have to care about their customers.

The rental company we have to work with is called Creative Solutions. So far, one benefit is that they are very familiar with what is needed for the garden. We haven't had any problems with them.

Creative Solutions

So, in retrospect, we may have chosen somewhere else for the wedding. However, we still love the garden itself.

One neat story about the garden is about the beautiful stained glass dome on the main building. A company called the Looking Glass restored a 22-foot antique stained glass dome which was found at Great Gatsby’s in Atlanta. It was disassembled and the panels were shipped in crates to The Looking Glass for restoration. The stained glass is now one of the beautiful accents to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.

April's Floral Expressions

We chose April to do our flowers for the wedding. She actually does silk arrangements instead of real flowers. I liked the idea of having silk flowers to keep as a keepsake. They are also cheaper.

April's Floral Expressions

(704) 536-5111

We are going to have phalaenopsis orchids as our wedding flower possibly with bamboo accents.

Orchids can impart a wide variety of messages, but historically the meanings of orchids have included wealth, love, and beauty. To the ancient Greeks, orchids suggested virility, and after the rise in popularity of orchid collections in Victorian England, the meaning of orchids moved towards being symbolic of luxury. Orchids have also been believed to carry various healing and protective properties, allowing them to ward off disease. The Aztecs were said to drink a mixture of the vanilla orchid and chocolate to give them power and strength, and the Chinese believe orchids can help cure lung illnesses and coughs.
Today, the meanings of orchids are generally regarded as a symbolic of rare and delicate beauty. Orchids are the most popular houseplant, a top honor they share with the peace lily. Their charm and mystique delight those who receive them, for few other flowers have the ability to impress their recipient in the same way that the orchid can. Among the many different types of flowers available, the orchid holds a special place as one of the most alluring and captivating, making them a special choice for the treasured people in your life.

Mike and I both really like orchids. I also like the fact that they have an Asian influence to them. One website I found said that orchids were the Chinese symbol for "many children." As long as "many" means two, we are very cool with that! :-)

Wedding Insurance

Since we will be getting married at a very nice garden and are providing guests with alcohol, we decided to buy wedding insurance. We don't want Uncle so-and-so kicking over a $10 K plant or anything!

WedSafe Wedding Insurance Program

We purchased the following policies:
1) Special Event Cancellation Insurance Policy - $ 221.00
2) Special Event Liability Insurance Policy - $176.00

Wedsafe was the most highly recommended and largest wedding insurance place we found, so we went with them. After the wedding, I will post a review if we had good/bad/indifferent experiences with them.

Wedding Transportation

We are using CLT Express for our wedding transportation. We talked to the owner Jeff today, and we will be having a shuttle service from the hotel to the gardens for the entirety of the wedding. I think we are also going to get a limousine for part of the wedding party.

CLT Express
3929 Morris field Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208

Here is a picture of the 25 passenger mini bus:

Their prices were relatively affordable, and the owner was easy to work with. I have never ridden in a limo before!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Important Guest Information


If you are flying, you should be flying into the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT). Charlotte is a US Airways hub, so you can definitely find a US Airways flight to our Queen city.


Main Wedding Hotel: The main wedding hotel for our guests will be the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel. The group rate is $89/night, and we have reserved a block of 25 rooms. You will be able to get the group rate as long as you tell them you are with the "Wisniewski-Karr Wedding" party. Please book your rooms by July 1, 2008.

>>Reserve your hotel room.

Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel
3315 Scott Futrell Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28208
Phone: (704) 392-1200


We have arranged for transportation so that you will not need to rent a car while you are in town.

Hotel/Airport Shuttle
When your plane arrives, simply follow the signs to the baggage claim area. There will be a courtesy phone labeled "Sheraton Airport" that you can pick up to have the shuttle come pick you up. It is important that you call because pick ups do not continuously run, and the hotel needs to know you have arrived. However, when you are leaving the hotel for the airport, the shuttle runs every half hour. You just need to be in the lobby 5 minutes before the shuttle departs.

Hotel/Our House

We will have family members who have vehicles help carpool guests without transportation from the hotel to the rehearsal cookout on Thursday. Please email us if you need a ride.

Hotel/Wedding Ceremony and Reception

There will be a professional shuttle bus service (provided for free to wedding guests) to bring guests from the hotel to the wedding. The shuttle service will run back and forth to the hotel for the entirety of the wedding for guests who may want to leave a little early.

Shuttle Bus Schedule:

To make it ON TIME to the garden for the ceremony, you will need to take the shuttle listed at the times below. However, each shuttle ONLY CARRIES 25 PASSENGERS at a time. Therefore, you will need to plan accordingly because not everyone will be able to take the last bus. There simply won't be enough seats!

Pick up from Hotel: 4:15 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:05 PM, 5:35 PM, 5:55 PM (times may vary by a few minutes depending on traffic)

Continuous Shuttle: A shuttle bus will be making trips back and forth from the wedding to the hotel. It takes approximately 50 minutes for a round trip (25 minutes each way). If you need to leave early or forgot something and need to come back, you are welcomed to take advantage of the free shuttle service.

Pick up from the Garden: 9:40 PM, 10:10 PM, 10:30 PM, 11 PM, and 11:20 PM (times may vary by a few minutes depending on traffic)

Since the reception ends at 11 PM, guests will need to also coordinate which shuttle bus they would like to take back to the hotel. Again, not everyone will be able to leave exactly at 11 PM and fit all on one 25 passenger shuttle bus. By that time, Mike and I will have better things to think about, so please make sure you don't get stranded at the garden!

Bachelor Party - August 6, 2008

Michele, Mike's sister and best man, will be throwing Mike a bachelor party the Wednesday before the wedding at the US National White Water Center. Those invited to the bachelor party will be receiving the details via eVite.

Rehearsal Dinner - August 7, 2008 @ 4 PM

EVERYONE attending the wedding is invited! Since we are blessed with many out of town guests flying or driving in for the wedding, we decided against having an intimate rehearsal dinner for only the wedding party and will be having a cook out at our house on August 7, 2008 - the day before the wedding. In town guests are welcomed to bring a side dish. Out-of-town guests need only to bring themselves.

Wedding Ceremony/Reception - August 8, 2008

Both the wedding ceremony and reception will be held at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC. We are planning to have a shuttle running between the hotel and the gardens for the entirety of the wedding. Guests are expected to arrive at the gardens at 6 PM. This should give you a few minutes to enjoy the garden before the ceremony begins. We will have access to the whole garden (which is what we paid for!) for the ceremony and reception so please take the time to walk around the beautifully landscaped gardens between eating, dancing, and generally being merry. We have DSBG reserved until 11 PM at which time they will kick us all out. And yes, Mike has made arrangements to make sure there will be alcohol at the reception.


Believe it or not, it is really HOT in Charlotte in August. However, since the wedding ceremony will be outside in the evening (and fairly abbreviated) and the reception will be held indoors, it should be bearable. Suitable attire would be nice summer dresses for women and slacks and button up shirts for men. No ties or jackets are necessary if you don't want to wear them. However, Mike and I will be in formal wedding attire. The groomsmen will be wearing tuxes, and the bridesmaids will be wearing knee-length formal dresses.


Directions between all points of interest concerning the wedding events will be posted here for your convenience. We have to figure out a few more details through before posting maps with driving directions. Stay tuned!

How We Met

Pam's Version

For two geeks, it is pretty appropriate that we met on-line at I actually had my profile hidden and sent Mike an email. I think he thought I must have been a porn site advertisement at first because I included the link to my website, However, either in search of some good porn or actually genuinely interested, Mike went to my website and wrote me back pretty quickly. His first e-mail back to me had the subject line "Never too geeky" because I had mentioned in my email that two techies might be a little too much. Within a few days he gave me a call. At the end of the call, I asked him if he was going to ask me out or not. ;-)

So we officially met on his 30th birthday for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The first time I saw him, he was opening the door for some Asian girl in the coffee shop. I smiled because I realized he probably thought that was me. We had a nice conversation, and he asked me out again for the upcoming Friday. As we were leaving he said, "I won't try to kiss you since you warned me that you might duck if I tried to kiss you on the first date." It was cute, and we had a good time. As Mike put it, "I had a wonderful Birthday, I met this really incredible woman for a two hour cup of coffee ;-)."

I like to think that I was what God gave Mike for his 30th birthday present.

Mike's Version

I had been on for a few years and meet a number of interesting people but never the "one" until one day I received an email from a girl with no profile, just a website stating that we may be way too geeky to be together. This had always been a bad thing in the past, but I decided to check her site out... I'm glad I did. I decided to write back and then call her. Pam sounded perfect, though a little more forward than I was use to... she stated that she actually "ducked kisses on a first date" and actually ended the call with; "are you going to ask me out for coffee or something?"

So we met for coffee on my birthday at a Starbucks by Northlake Mall. I was there a few minutes early and got a tea (because it was afternoon and I did not need the caffeine). So I was looking for an "Asian-looking" girl at Starbucks in Charlotte... what was the chance of another Asian girl to arrive at Starbucks at exactly the same time Pam was suppose to arrive. So I opened the door and asked "Pam?" though she did not exactly look like her picture and she was not Pam... I looked toward the other door and there was Pam, not a good start! I walked over to Pam, who had a questioning look on her face asking; "who was that?" In the end I stated that Pam was a lot cuter than the other girl (which is VERY true). Pam proceeded to buy a mocha and we decided to get some dinner at Moe's.

At Moe's, Pam spilled her drink on herself and I ran to get her napkins. I knew she was a good one. We ate dinner (starting outside and ending inside, because it was cold) and she had to leave early to read to elderly people... very sweet and thoughtful. At the end I asked if she would duck if I tried to kiss her and she laughed. I asked her out for another date and we went our separate ways.

I will always remember that day as the best birthday present ever!

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Wedding Dress

I know, I know, it isn't very traditional to show Mike much less EVERYONE my dress before the wedding, but, heck, why not?

We ordered my dress from a Charlotte Bridal Botique called the Lily Rose. We decided on the Casablanca 1831 in ivory. I think it is simple yet very elegant. It is a rich taffeta with buttons down the back. It gathers around the waist and has a very minimalistic bead work on the front. One of the things I was looking for - which was surprisingly hard to find - was a dress that had straps. I didn't want to feel like I needed to pull up my dress all night.

So now I have 22 weeks before the wedding which means I need to lose a pound a week! I ordered the dress to fit me now, but I am hoping by the time the wedding comes around, we will have to take it in, not just up!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Honeymoon - Hotel St. George Roma

We booked a hotel room for after the honeymoon cruise in Rome at Hotel St. George. It has a great mix of the old world style and new world comfort. It is centrally located near the Vatican, the Pantheon, and the Forum. And they have high speed Internet.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Current Guest List (Updated Weekly)

We are starting to get respond cards back which is very exciting! Here is an up-to-date list of the guests that will be attending the wedding (or at least those who have RSVPed so far).

Oh, by the way . . . if you have received your invitation and are planning to bring a guest, that is perfectly fine. Please just make sure to include the person on the response card so that we know the expect him/her! Thanks!

Pam's Guests

Herb, Esther, and David Ho
Wil, Beverly, Jenny Dang
Steve, Lisa, Rachael, Ryan, and Emily Burroughs
Pedro and Jamie De Jesus (still hoping!)
Melissa Haynes and Guest
Jim Bridges and Guest
Robert, Christina, Diana, and Nicole Dominguez
Dora Ng
Kevin, Melinda, and Kamryn Lee
Tony, Kim, and Max (Peanut) Pauley
Jackie Kerr and Guest
Helen Karr and Dick Watson
Betty Burroughs and Dick Landers
Jennifer Wingfield and Guest
Melanie Halk and Guest
Gary, Kristin, and Katelyn Lee-Hesson
Raymond Lee
Anna Lee
Doug Ng and Theo Posselt
Haya and Mahdi Ajjan
JR and Bonnie Carrel
Dave Price
David Atkins
Matt and Amy Campbell
David Arthur
Liz Wiley and Guest
Su and Yiming Dong
Angela Smith and Guest
Jay Parillo and Guest
Muhammed Blanchett
John Dwiggins and Vicki Mogensen
Phillipa Addison and Guest
Orson and Donna Lucas
Joel Reynolds

Mike's Guests
Cheryl and Dan Kurek
Joe and Julie Wisniewski
Stephan Ortman
Barbara Wisniewski and Donna Thompson
Michele Wisniewski
Barbara Berry
Angie and Jon Anderson
Gabe, Kristin, and Conner Seaman
Maryann Sipkovsky
Dave and Elaine Zimney
Bobby Greene
Anna and Bob Jonatis
Norman and Jennifer Liang
Andy, Vicky, and AJ Wisniewski
Rob and Judy Hinman
Tom, Britney, David Berry
Chuck and Carole Berry
Thomas and Jill Berry
Pete and Pam Schwailler
Terry Hansen
Ryan Hansen and Sarah (Guest)
Joan, Ken, and Kenny Schwailler
Emily Schwailler and Guest
Jill Wisniewski and Guest
Lisa Harmon and Guest
Daniel Sipkovsky and Guest
Joe and Christine Fleury
Joe and Cindy Fleury
Kristine, Scott, Zoe, and Alana Melanson
Scott, Christine, Grace, and Emma Sipkovsky

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gift Registries

We have decided to register with Amazon and Lowes for our wedding gift registries. At first, we worried that we weren't being very traditional. Then we thought about it, and decided we didn't care. We aren't 20 year old kids just starting out life. I mean, when Mike sold his house in December and moved in, we had at least two of everything. We sold quite a bit of stuff on Craigslist just to be able to fit everyone (Mike, Pam, Scuro, Ra, and Ru) into one house. So, really most of the things we need are things to fix up the house itself. I know door knobs, sink faucets, landscape lights, etc. seem pretty boring, but we would really be excited to get that sort of stuff! I am admittedly addicted to HGTV, and Mike is working on refacing the kitchen cabinets as I type. :-) So, with that, here are the links to our registries: