Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

The year of the wedding has arrived! 2012, holy cow!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Engagement Photos

Outdoor Photo Shoot with Lara Coughlin Photography July 2011.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's Left....

I've been feeling very list-y so here's another one:

  • Finish Day of Timeline
  • Book Hair and Make-up
  • Buy Shoes & Undergarments
  • Paint Cake Toppers Hair Blonde
  • (Once I receive it) Make Map Copies
  • Bridesmaids Night to Stuff Invites
  • Mail Invites
  • Collect RSVPs and Song Requests
  • Finalize Playlist
  • Start Slide Show
  • Guest Book Quilt
  • Chalk Boards for program
  • Centerpiece protype to florist
  • Mens attire
  • gifts, favors, etc
  • Finalize ceremony
  • Supplies for unity ceremony
  • Purchase rings

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. 80ish days to get it all done...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Order of Things

This is by no means final. It's just an idea of how things will go based on my MOH's old wedding timeline and what I want/venue requires. I'll get more specific when the ceremony's done and I talk to the caterer again. I'm not really sure how long things will take. I also have to do a timeline for the beginning of the day for the wedding party, but this one was the first step in making our playlist for the reception.

  1. 5:00pm Family, Wedding party and Photographer arrive for pictures
  2. Pictures End/Guests start arriving
  3. 6:30pm Ceremony Starts
  4. Ceremony Ends
  5. Guests Enter Reception, (?More Pictures Bride and Groom Only), Dinner Begins, Slide Show of Engagement Photos Playing
  6. Bride Groom Introduction: “64” by Beatles
  7. Toasts?
  8. Bride/Groom First Dance: “And I Love You So” by Don McLean
  9. OR Toasts?, Real Slide Show
  10. Dancing
  11. Parent Dances? : Song?
  12. Cake Cutting: “Bella Note” Disney (Lady and the Tramp)
  13. Lucky Bouquet Toss for Everybody: “ Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” by Pat Benatar
  14. Lucky Garter Toss: It's a surprise.
  15. 11:00pm Reception Ends, Play the Last Song: "Get Along Little Sheep" Arrested Development

Comments, concerns and feedback welcome. I can't believe it's less than 3months away!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's Good Enough For Kermit

Is good enough for me. Seriously, let's review:

  • Long Engagement
  • Eccentric Partner
  • Collection of Characters at the Wedding
  • Music written for children during the Wedding
  • Some wise words from Mr. Henson
  • Surprises!
  • Putting on a show for the guests aka audience
  • And I'm willing to bet, good time had by all

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Christmas Wedding FREAK OUT

I'd love to tell you I'm as together as I wish I was, but prevents it. The occasional melt down has to happen. Especially, post holiday stress when I've had all I can stand of quality time with the kids and it's another week before school starts again. This time Mike went to Target and spent money on something we didn't need and I...well I wasn't very nice about it.

I sent him out today (the day after Christmas) for toilet paper, Coke and batteries. He came home with some sort of photo electric sensor smoke detector. Now, understand we have a functioning smoke detector which is essential, especially with kids in the house. He just wanted a fancier one. This one he claims will not go off when we cook. What Ever. He also brought me a very expensive new pillow. We have at least 10 pillows right now. This one is foam he tells me hastily tearing it from the packaging before I can return it.

In the same trip he also brought home fast food which for budget reasons we said we wouldn't do anymore. On top of which everyone else had already eaten lunch and as a former minimum wage employee I try not to frequent places when salaried workers are off with pay. I was pissed off. We just went over budget on Christmas, borrowing money from our wedding account which we've yet to put back. Rent is due shortly and the first of the vendor balances are creeping up in February. I'm concerning skipping the observance of my birthday (for anyone who knows me, you understand how serious this is). All that and he has the nerve to buy me an expensive pillow I don't need?!?

The inconsistency of what he says and how he behaves really confuses me sometimes. We didn't get each other gifts this Christmas to help save for the wedding. So, why on Earth would he buy something I neither want nor need? All the the other stuff he bought is annoying, but I can't really be mad about a smoke detector and food.

I yelled at him. I threw his words back in his face and reminded him how much money we owe ourselves (aka wedding account). I even cried a little and asked him what would happen if we couldn't pay everyone? I guess we'd do without and eat some deposits. The show would go on, but it's still a crappy thought.

Bottom line there's 85 days and counting it's all getting a little too real. I feel unprepared which I HATE and broke which is stressful. I think I'll feel better if I really believed Mike and I were on the same page with the budget. Maybe we'll get there now that it's sooooo much closer. I also think I'll be much calmer once these invitations go out. I think it'll give me a sense of acceptance.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

89 Days to go! Nerd Love.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MOB For Real

We have a winner! My mom found it at Kohls. It's purple which will look pretty with all the greens and lavenders. It's tea length. I'm very happy about that, spring time outdoor wedding certainly calls for shorter rather than longer dresses. Also, we're not very tall and tend to get swallowed up if there's too much dress. It's very soft, stretchy fabric, so it'll be comfy. It looked great on and was even on sale. We tried one or two others. but she had her eye on this one from the website.

While we were browsing we even found a great necklace with three strings of purple, clear and black beads to go in that pretty V neck. I'm happy that she found a dress she's happy with. I know she'll be radiant because not just because she is beautiful, but because she feels beautiful.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Through all kinds of injuries, family drama, major life changes and so much more they have been there in planning and my life in general. Thank you, ladies. For being there from the beginning. I'm so glad you all signed on for my offbeat weekday wedding.

Thank you for showing up to my pre-wedding events and surprising me with one! Thanks so, so much for liking my dress choice. Also, for responding to multiple emails about jewelry and shoes with feedback. I appreciate it. Thank you for letting me know when you were chopping your hair off or signing on as bridesmaid in two other weddings. Love the communication and support, go team.

Thank you for bearing with me through all the dresses being too big and shoes selling out. You are all rock stars for always going the extra mile.

When people rant and rave on message boards that to expect anything other than purchasing a dress and standing with you on your wedding day is unreasonable, I can see the roots of their point. I'd never want to stress anyone out or make selfish demands, but mostly it just makes me sad for all the brides that don't have the support I do. I love you girls!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Random Inspiration Photos

This is exactly the style I picture for my hair. (Whitney Lee Photography)

Perhaps bouncier curls, but braided and half up for sure. I Wish I could have seen it without the viel, but even so it looks lovely.

This is so cute. It's like a mini version of the cardbox I made. Maybe I should rethink the moss pillow and make a tiny nest. Then again I don't want it to bird themed...

This is alot like our favor idea. Although I hope ours are not presented in clear plastic cups these still look super cute.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Update Monday!

  • I took a vacation!!
  • Our countdown entered the double digits
  • I got a little disability heavy in my posts
  • I got Mike to briefly discuss men's attire
Still Looking Forward To
  • Sending out invitations in January!
  • Having another bridesmaids get together
  • Christmas!
  • More DIYing
  • Handing the reigns over to my more than capable wedding party and day of coordinator.

My prediction was pretty accurate my thoughts did not often venture down wedding related avenues last week. It was all trip and Christmas preparation. Which was fine by me. There's so little time left now. It's all about paying balances and working out minute details.

I think getting down to details and logistics is why the blog's gotten so disability-y lately. That's just my reality and the set of physical challenges (oh, if only life were more like Double Dare) I'll confront the wedding day has come into sharper focus. Yuck, this is boring...

I think I told you awhile back I wanted Mike to wear a Great Gatsby period suit. Something with maybe a light pin stripe. He vetoed that hardcore. He said it looked like a Halloween costume and then remained mute (and grumpy) about the subject for many weeks. I get that he's a boy and they can wait until the last minute, but I needed to know what he was picturing.

Turns out he wants a brown suit. I don't like brown. I wanted gray or black. He thinks brown goes with the earth tones we're using. Fine brown is the color of dirt, but do you have to wear it? So much for being on the same page or feeling better once I knew what he wanted. Maybe I'm imagining a poopy-er shade than he is. Maybe, we'll skip suits all together...

93 days

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Disabled Bride Vs The Camera

Ok, so after my post the other day and all the uncertainity about just how many wheelchair users will be in the family photos on the wedding day with my dad and I both post op I started searching for wedding photos that feature at least one person in a wheelchair.

So far I turned up this beautiful outdoor engagment session by Sweet Caroline Photography. I think the hammock ones are my favorite.

Here's a bit of humor for you from Derek Pye Photography
One thing I have noticed over the years is that even the best clients will have an elderly relative in a wheelchair. This isn't a problem if you're shooting Reportedge™ as you can get some dramatic action shots using the chair. It´s a different matter with Traditional wedding photography as no one wants an ugly wheelchair in the shots and it messes up the composition, having someone sat down when everyone else is stood up. One solution is to carry a spare wheelchair in the boot and coerce a willing guest to sit in it on the opposite side, to balance things out. Alternatively if the cripple can stand a bit then get them out of the chair and prop them against a nearby wall. You can then set the group up around them.

Under no circumstances should you Photoshop the spastic out of the chair and onto made up legs. You will get complaints if you do this. Trust me!

So, there's the old photoshop new legs solution, in the worst case senario. In all sriousness I kept looking and while images are scarce I did find this wedding party shot by Whitney Lee, it has a very pleasing composition. Levels and distances (forgive me I do not know photography terms) and you almost miss that there's a wheelchair in the picture. I think the rich colors help too.

I also really love this one by L'amour Photography:

There's something to be said for that happy glow that makes even the most obsessive bride-to-be stop scrutinizing the chairs or bridesmaids dresses and think "wow, they look happy". I felt that looking at Stacy & Daniel's wedding pictures for sure. No, I wouldn't have worn those shoes or let two people support me down the aisle, but damn if I don't get warm and fuzzy looking at these pictures.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Little Bit of Humor

I think this button is funny, that is all. I have nothing else to say wedding related as I am on vacation in Orlando with Mike the kids enjoying Christmasy things.

Oh, I lied. I think having a sense of humor is key to a successul marriage. Being honest and laughing a whole lot. That is all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Disabled Bride vs The Uninformative

When I started this blog I did some message board surfing and found pictures from two beautiful weddings where the bride happened to be disabled. I largely forgot the weddings of other disabled brides except for the occasional image search. It occurred to me a few weeks before the hip surgery (while Google-ing myself, busted.) to see what was out there as far as advise for a bride who happens to be physically disabled. Boy, was I disappointed!

I assumed I'd find some posts about adapting the aisle walking and dancing elements. Perhaps overcoming height differences in photos. Something, anything practical that I may not have thought of. Nope.

One of the first links was this ditty Enabling Disabled Brides on getting married's website. Let's start from the beginning, I hate the title it sounds like a bad work place seminar, ick. Their first gem? Tell the venue what you need. That seems to apply to every bride, no? Doesn't every wedding have it's own unique needs? Sigh.

Their second piece of advice: Go see you're venue. Yup, I think that one is universal too. Whether you're looking for ramps and elevators or the number of outlets every couple should take a stroll around the venue. Obviously, you want to enjoy you're own party. The way they talk I have an image in my head of a bride in a wheelchair sitting at the bottom of the steps of a beautiful old cathedral unable to get to her groom. I hope this kind of thing doesn't happen. If it did you better be marrying someone would would bring the ceremony to you.

The third piece of advice is something I talk about ALL the time. Screw "Supposed To's". You don't HAVE TO walk down an aisle. Your guests don't HAVE TO stand. You don't HAVE TO wear a long dress. You don't Have TO have a first dance. That being said if you want it, adapt. Most of us with life long disabilities are professional adapters by now. Don't get sucked into the wedding etiquette and the expectations of others. I want to see eye to eye with my groom. So, either I get higher of he sits, both are good solutions. I don't want to walk down the aisle so we're using semicircle seating.

There's plenty of adaptation going on not at all related to my disability too. I don't want a cocktail hour because it's a weekday evening and everyone will be hungry so we're doing group photos before the ceremony. Neither of us was keen on being stared at while we danced with our parents alone so we're doing it together. We don't have a lot of unmarried friends so we're doing a "lucky" bouquet/garter toss for everyone instead. You get the picture, make the wedding fit you not the other way around.

Their last piece of advice approaches usefulness and much like the article itself falls short. Talk to your photographer?!? Yes, please all brides everywhere talk to the person who is going to capture your day for eternity. Talk to the person who out of the kindness of their heart or a big check is documenting one of the biggest days of your life. Be specific and get their professional feedback. As far as this article's horribly vague assertion to "mix it with different set-ups" specific examples or actual picture would be very helpful here!

Just so you know it's not all vague advice written by the able bodied I did find this lovely Dear Abby responding to a disabled bride's worries about her wedding day. It echoes the what I was just saying, don't bang your head against the wall trying to "fit" make it yours. It's great advice for your wedding and life in general.

In conclusion I leave with pictures from a wedding I found on the knot (shocking I know) featuring a disabled couple. Wheelchair Wedding

My Real Wedding from The Knot and The Nest.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Dance

This is our song. We will have our first dance to it. What that will look like, I haven't a clue. I'm still a over a foot shorter than my groom with a fused back and a freshly remodeled hip. Sigh...I suppose time will tell. I was lying here writing this post while Mike was busy in the kitchen and he just came in and kissed me. He made a joke about feeling kiss vibes from across the house maybe it was the song playing.

And I Love You So
And I love you so
The people ask me how
How I've lived till now
I tell them I don't know

I guess they understand
How lonely life has been
But life began again
The day you took my hand

And yes, I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me
And the night won't set me free
But I don't let the evening get me down
Now that you're around me

And you love me too
Your thoughts are just for me
You set my spirit free
I'm happy that you do

The book of life is brief
And once a page is read
All but love is dead
That is my belief

And yes, I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me
And the night won't set me free
But I don't let the evening get me down
Now that you're around me

And I love you so
The people ask me how
How I've lived till now
I tell them I don't know

It's a lovey song. I hope it's a lovely dance too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Love For My Photographer

This picture is amazing. I adore it. Is it the groom pre-wedding kiss? Or Ex of the brides bemoaning her soon to be married status? It's such a fairy tale illustration. Wow, Jason.

Speaking of magic...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

99 DAYS...

Ready, Set, Go!


Tick, Tock...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Update Monday

  • My sister (and only out of town bridesmaid) booked her ticket!
  • Found out I do not have to have surgery before the wedding and that I was allowed to walk on my left foot again.
  • I apparently lost a day last week because there's no post for the 7th?!?
  • I discussed the ceremony with the officiant
  • Researched unity ceremonies
  • Ate lots of cookies (:
Looking Forward To
  • Sending out invitations in January!
  • Having another bridesmaids get together
  • Christmas!
  • More DIYing
  • The countdown going below 100!!

This weekend was all birthday and Christmas festivities. I have been madly trying to keep everyone on track because we're going on vacation this weekend. I have a stack of Christmas cards to attend to, a suitcase to pack, physical therapy to do, wrapping, more baking and kids underfoot all the while. I doubt the wedding will get much attention this week. Maybe that's a good thing.

Maybe a week of regular life and a weekend of vacation will rejuvenate me and I'll be tying up my planning lose ends with gusto. I hope...

My sister booked her ticket this week and I'm still jumping up and down. My mom may have found her dress for the wedding (courtesy of her sister's closet). Aren't sisters great? In other family news my dad shattered some bones in his leg and had to have surgery and pins put in it. I hope we're both up and around by March, but I'm glad I wasn't planning a walk down the aisle. We may have to adjust our father/daughter dance a bit though.

100 days...Unbelievable.

100 days

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Statistic Sunday

By the 2000s, only 18 percent of women were keeping their names, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Social Behavior and Personality. Now, according to TheKnot, it's at just 8 percent.

Average age of first marriage in America: 28.4 for men, 26.5 for women. (2009) Wikipedia

The number of unmarried couples living together soared 12-fold from 430,000 in 1960 to 5.4 million in 2005. Marriage Savers

There are 99.6 million unmarried people over age 18 in the U.S., representing nearly 44% of the adult population. U.S. Census Bureau. "America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2010"

Under outdated and rarely enforced state laws that have been on the books since the late 1800s, “cohabitation” is actually a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by $500 or up to 60 days in jail. The same penalty applies to adultery – which one Florida woman tried to have enforced for her cheating husband in 2006. Sun Sentinel

Longest Living Married Couple according to Wikipedia: 82 years, 308 days (Marshall Kuykendall & Winnie (née Macnab) Kuykendall in New Mexico)

Longest Marriage Ever according to Wikipedia: 91 years, 12 days (Daniel Frederick Bakeman & Susan (née Brewer) Bakeman, New York)

A Chinese bride got married in a wedding dress with a train more than 1.2 miles (2 km). It took guests more than three hours to roll out the gown. The previous record holder in Romania, where the dress measured just over 1.5 km.

Most expensive weddings: 1)Diana and Charles take the cake with a wedding costing $110 million when adjusted for inflation. Read more:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Officianting Odds and Ends

Today I went to a cookie party at my cousin's house (Hi, Nedi!) and since I'm related to my officiant (Hi, Aunt Nancy!) we had a brief unofficial officiant meeting. I told her I hadn't made as much headway with the ceremony as I'd hoped (ie finished a rough draft). She's going to email me some options which is exciting. I also, discussed a unity ceremony. We're limited by our venue so we can not use open flame, but that's no biggie since I want the kids to take part and I don't trust either of them with fire.

I don't like the idea of using sand, dirt or food (coffee, wine, etc). So, something we can all four do together, safe for kids and not messy...Ideas?

Mike wants to combine chemicals that glow:

Lotus Bloosom Photography
But I haven't the foggiest how that would work..

I kind or like using water. Maybe water into a watering can and the watering a plant? It'd certainly be kid friendly and do-able in a botanical garden setting. I like the flowing of one family into another like rivers coming together and forming a larger body of water. I'm just not sure how that would work.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bride Check In

I'm fine. Healing well and the screws don't have to come out for a while, click here for a whole post about it.

Still feeling a little overwhelmed by the eminent holidays and immediate quick approaching wedding combination. I suppose that's the down side to being a spring bride. Lovely weather lousy timing financially. I suppose every season has it's issues. We're gearing up for a weekend full of holiday events, the last week of school for Isaac and I'm going a little stir crazy not being able to run around as much as I want (or drive).

I'm sorry for getting a little mopey and distracted lately. I promise tomorrow's post will be more fun...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Bump in the Road

We've hit another snag in my recovery. They happen, but it's harder to be patient when you have a wedding looming. I may need (gulp) another surgery. To pull the pin holding my bone together out. It would be minor as far as surgeries go and recovery would be quick, but I have no idea what it would mean for my time line. If the issue continues to cause me pain I don't know if it could be postponed until after the wedding. It's all very up in the air just now.

I'm frustrated because the whole point of having hip surgery last month was so I wouldn't be in pain at my wedding. I'm really worried even without considering another surgery in the near future that this issue will slow down or stop physical therapy which means my cushion of time between being recovered and my wedding will dwindle or disappear.

Like I said it too soon to know for sure, but the wedding is mostly paid for, invitations have been printed, people have made travel arrangements and so on. There's no stopping it now and I wouldn't want to. Especially not for this nonsense. I should know what the deal is later today. Fingers crossed this bride doesn't fall apart completely before the wedding.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bridesmaid Bio: Miss Jess

I got the best news today! My sister is coming in the week before the wedding. She booked her ticket! It's so exciting. If nothing else all my bridesmaids with be in attendence and have their dresses.

This picture was taken almose five year ago now when we both lived in California. More specifically one exit apart in The Valley. It was a great thing, but we've never lived that close to each other before or since in our adult lives. I miss her alot and she misses seeing the kids grow up. I'm thrilled that she's really coming. I didn't doubt that'd she'd show up it just feels so offical now.

I'd been toying with the idea of doing extended wedding party bios in March, but this seems like a good time to tell you about Miss Jess. She's my only sibling. We're three years apart. I alway knew she'd be a bridesmaid if I ever got married. She is my go to person for hair and make-up help because I'm terrible at that stuff. I miss her more everytime I get dressed up for something and don't have her feedback. I'm super excited for getting dolled up together on the wedding day.

She's one of my biggest fans and she'll be indespensable on my big day. She's very sweet and has a fantastic sense of humor. My first memories of her are funny ones. Sometimes Riley reminds of her so much. We're very different in a lot of ways, but we're very close. I can't wait to see her in just over 100 days for a whole week!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update Monday

Done Looking Forward To
  • Buying my shoes and undergarments now that I have the dress.
  • Settling my somethings (old, borrowed and blue. New's covered).
  • Seeing my finished map and getting invitations out!
  • Finals: headcount, payments, decisions, menu, decor, etc...
  • Holiday Festivities

What a week! Received my long awaited cake topper was fun, but being able to touch and wear my wedding dress was indescribable. It's just amazing. It fits perfectly and makes me feel pretty. Now for the finishing touches like shoes. I looked for earrings for my something borrowed, but my bridesmaids want me to hold out for emeralds so we'll see...

Speaking of dresses the bridesmaids all have them. Unfortunately, I think they are all a size too big, but at least there's time for alterations. I can't believe them came together and surprised me like that! What a bunch of sweeties. Go team bride. Now that they have dresses, shoes and jewelry it was the little ones turn. Dresses and shoes look good on the flower girls. They are also a size to big, but they'll grow into them perfectly in 3mo. If not toddler alterations are called safety pins.

The annual December money stress has been really compounded by wedding budget stress (and being stuck in a wheelchair without driving privileges with two kids isn't exactly helping). We had our first holiday spending verses saving for the wedding fight yesterday. I feel like I should have put that on the done list. Seriously it's kind of a relief now we can go forward knowing we're on the same page. It's just so darn hard not to spend money at Christmas. We'll get through we just have to pretend we don't have any and squirrel as much away in the wedding account as we can with utilities in tact and bellies full. I'm pretty sure if we don't touch what we have in that account and continue to deposit money at the current rate we'll manage to pay everything without too much trouble. Let's hope.

It's starting to freak me out that it's only 107 days away as in 100 + a single digit number. Like 3mos and just over 2wks this blog will end. Sad and exciting. Technically, I've been waiting 4ish years even though the planning really started this summer. Goodness, any minute now it'll be the year I'm getting married in, Woah. 2012...

107 days

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Money Matters

I know, I know budgets are boring especially after all the fun posts about dresses, but if I don't talk about it I'll explode! Remember all my conjecture about how the holidays would be a hard time to save which is bad since balances are due so soon after. Well, I was right.

It turns out one of the fundamental differences between Mike and I is that he likes to buy things for himself and I like to spend money on other people. This makes Christmas a very dangerous time for me. It's just so fun to give gifts, especially to the kids. I'm always the one with my feet on the ground and my eye on the budget. I'm very responsible I just have this generosity problem.

I paid the last installment on my wedding dress this week and replaced every penny in the wedding account as soon as I had it. I bought the flower girl shoes on sale and under budget. I'm not going on spending sprees here. This morning I made a list of things to get at Target. Christmas related things. Decorations, clothing for the kids for holiday events and gifts. When Mike saw the list he got super grumpy. He said something like "we don't need any of this crap! We have a wedding to pay for." I was stunned.

Mainly, because he's the spendthrift not me, but also because nothing on my list was over $10ish. I want to have a turn to be laid back about money. I want to just go get what I want (granted what I want is usually something for someone else). I was just stunned. I shopped early for my kids to make December less stressful. I can't even drive right now or stand on both legs. It's not like I'm making trips to the mall. Sigh.

On the plus side Mike gets it (at least for the moment). It's relief to be on the same page about spending especially at this crucial a point. We'll have less than 100 days until the wedding by next week. I guess what stuck with me about today was fear. If we're both afraid does that mean it's possile it won't all be there? Shudder.