Thursday, June 30, 2011

Perspective Adjustment

I got a new binder, The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner Deluxe Edition. I read all the reviews and got all excited, but I had very little time to peruse the alternatives with Riley in tow. So, with my new planner I begun a fresh start. I threw out all the unnecessary magazine pages and vendor info I know I don't need. I took a few deep breaths and began the budget spread sheet anew. Once catering and venue were all written in there was almost nothing left. Mike advised I check into pricing on my top priorities first. I regrouped, rings and photography. My dream ring is discontinued and my second choice is not cheap. At that point I started to cry.

Mike made it worse by suggesting waiting a year and or maybe even 6mo before we collectively realized we don't have to pay everyone in full up front. We have enough to knock out or make a dent in the venue and food. We'll start there. We have several months to work out rings and such. We made three lists: 1. The most important big ticket things we need to do right away. 2. The smaller stuff that's more fun and can be picked up as we go 3. The stuff that can wait until the end

Most big things are in 1. deposit and 3. remaining balance. Small stuff like guest book quilt 2. Small but pressing like save the dates are in 1. All the misc stuff that be acquired a little at a time in 2. You get the picture. It's a little less daunting now. I waited a long time for this and I want to do it right.

Now we have a big picture. We will arrange venue and food first within the next two weeks. After which we will put a deposit down on the photographer. That seems to be my only vendor list that grows instead of shrinks. Now that we've had a healthy dose of reality and done some research we're on the same page and ready to roll. I can't wait to finish these save the dates!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not Tonight

A little Midsummer Night's Dream and an apology is all I have to offer this evening. I'll post as soon as I can.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gatherer Instincts Meets Wedding Planning

My brain is abuzz with all the possibilities, but my rational side is screaming about the time ticking by. What have you gotten done? Well, sorry to disappoint, but girls are hard wired to be gatherers. I needed to have tangible objects to make me feel in control and the beginnings of preparedness. All the green ones are clicky to show you pictures in new tabs.

Wedding purchases so far:

  1. Alfred Angelo Gown-Goodwill-$70-4 years ago
  2. Pattern for Flower girl dresses by Simplicity-Goodwill-.50-June 2011
  3. Second Hand Dress for Reception-Goodwill-$30-June 2011
  4. Lantern-Ikea-$4-June 2011

Assorted flower girl baskets, ring pillows, cake server set, bridal book, magazines. I even had one of my amazing friends offer me her wedding dress to cut and alter as I pleased as long as I return some of the fabric to her. I have amazing friends.

Stuff I tried to buy, but the universe denied me:

  1. Fairy cake topper-$30-Online Wedding Place-OUT OF STOCK (until Sept)
  2. Corset-?-?-Haven't found the one, but not for lack of looking
  3. Bridal Headband- Etsy-$N/A + $6 shipping (unless I buy two items)-Indecision/lack of confidence

Decisions Made:

  1. Venue-It's unanimous!-Sunken Gardens
  2. Theme/Colors-Midsummer Night's Dream/Enchanted forest, Emerald and ivory with accents of lavender
  3. Flower Girl Dress Inspiration-Now if only fabric/color were so easy
  4. Officiant-It's going to be a beautiful ceremony
  5. Wedding Party-You guys are amazing!
  6. Bridesmaid Dresses!-This one was all me, much to groomzilla's chagrin. He's been the color police insisting certain shades of green (like emerald and sage) will clash and "ruin everything!"
  7. Caterer-Another Unanimous Easy Pick-I'll post all about it when they're booked.
  8. Florist-Friend of the family and absolute wonder woman. I can't wait to work with her.

If I made a list of what was left to do I'd probably throw up. Our date remains in limbo, sadly. Once that mess is resolved we'll have date, venue and caterer resloved in one masterful stroke. Do you see how dramatic being in limbo makes me? This has to end. Our cake maker is waiting to see if her husband's job relocates him in the next month before we're good to go, fingers crossed for staying put. We have a second choice for cake, but really doesn't every bride want their first choice as much as possible? I'm also waiting for word from my day of coordinator who I've begin to think of as my unofficial right hand even before she's excepted the job.

I've also begun pondering kid wrangling, vows, photography/videography, Mike's attire, the groomsmen attire, bridal accessories, flowers and music. All the details and logistics come and go in my eager-to-be-selfish-for-even-a-second mom brain.

We did sit down as a couple for 4ish hours over the weekend and work on our kick ass save the dates. They still need tweaking, but we're darn close to a prototype (and me hand cutting 40 sets of magnets). Have you ever noticed that when you tackle a project in photo shop you always go in thinking the images and editing are going to be tricky, but then we just add the text. Yeah, right. Deciding which font out of countless billions that are download ready (or in our case multiple fonts) and then the exact right shade and hue of the exact right color. The size and storke. The placement and semantics. Anyway, we'll get there and I expect to post about it by week's end.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Capable Hands

I have entrusted the rather daunting task of altering my dresses to my future Mother and sister in law. I never learned to sew. I've been working to correct that shortcoming, but so far I'm only cofident enough to make puppets and pillows for the kids. Years ago, when I found my dress the first phone call I made was to tell Lara to get her butt down to Goodwill.

She found her dress that day too:

She snatched up this designer sample from a boutique that went out of business for a cool $70.

Here's the dress on her:

A close-up of the lace:

The top and sleeves:

The train

It was the right silhouette and the lace was pretty, but what she wanted was this:

A beautiful Claire Pettibone design with lots of lace and sleeves that seem to float unattached to the dress. She and her mother worked six months altering her dress and made this:

I'd call that DIY project a roaring sucess. She looked amazing. I'm so excited that the duo that made that stunning dress is putting their heads together for mine!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Toss: Garter Version Revised

Some time around the 14th century, wedding guests used to believe pieces of a bride's wedding dress was lucky. So much so, that they'd just help themselves tearing off pieces here and there. Can you imagine? Over the centuries the groom started tossing the garter to appease the crowd.

Aside from general good luck apparently if a man gave the garter to his love she'd be faithful forever. Again, I think the bouquet and garter tossing traditions are fun. Although, I had to wrack my brain to think of unmarried guests and am now considering a short dress for the reception. How high do you wear those things anyway?

Here's the one I originally liked:

The lace is in the pattern of the Celtic Love Knot.

I found myself thinking, "I guess I'll order two. One to keep and one to throw." Really, what the heck would I do with it after the wedding? It doesn't seem like I'd have a lot of occasions to wear it.

I also like:

The more think about it, it will just never do to single out our very few single guests for this. I think we'll call all the men up for a shot at the "lucky" garter. Everyone could use a little luck. One magazine I read suggested making a bouquet out of lottery tickets or gift cards to throw. I think attaching a prize will motivate a fun competitive spirit especially among the guys who don't necessarily long to be the next to marry.

Either way I will NOT be making the garter catcher and bouquet catcher do anything more than pose for a picture together. Although, I wonder if the people who did the catching at wedding ever ended up married? It'd be a romantic story to tell later. Now that I say that it is kind of the plot of Picture Perfect.

However, Mike's parents wedding was responsible for three other marriages so maybe there is something to taking a piece of luck and love home with you however intangible. I myself was a participant in at least 3 bouquet tosses. I never caught a single one, but I did get knocked on my ass every single time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bridal Style Meets Katie Style

I think most wedding dresses are hideous. I have seen first hand that the thrift stores are a flood with yellowing 80's wedding dresses that you wouldn't look at twice unless you needed a Halloween costume to coat in fake blood. Wedding dresses just seem to date themselves quickly. I've certainly figured out a few things about my previously non-existent style in this process.

I think there are a lot of things that look amazing on other girls that I just don't like on me. Like antique buttons:

Maybe if I wasn't so short I'd have a different opinion, but I hate them. In general I'm opposed to fussy impractical garment embellishments. The sight of that makes my fingers ache. In my book they're right up there with fake pockets. You know the ones they sew into skirts that look like a pocket, but aren't. Ridiculous.

You've caught on by now that I am not a fan of excessive beading either. My bodice is a great example:

Before there was way too much for me.

Now it's much better. Cleaner and the eye goes to the main decorative element without being overwhelmed.

I don't like form fitting silhouettes. I feel like on me it just emphasizes my short stature and makes me look boney. Which isn't very feminine. I just don't feel sexy in something like that.

Beautiful on her, not so much on me. It would probably be a whole other ball game if I could walk in heels. At least two brides I know with similar builds to me pulled this silhouette off spectacularly, but I just don't feel pretty in something like this. Maybe it's all the fairytales, but I prefer a pincessier cut.

Last on my list of dislikes was the most confusing to the bridal consultants at the dress shops. I hate trains. Dragging extra fabric behind me, pass. I thought they all looked better bustled, but a bustled train is heavy. I wanted it hacked right off.

All that fabric designed to drag on the ground sounds like stains and missteps waiting to happen. Again, it might have appealed a little more if I had better balance and was planning an indoor ceremony. I can just see someone stepping on my train and then bride down!

Now that the picture's getting clearer I'll tell you what I love. Anything, fairy or ballerina inspired like tulle and a little bit of sparkle. Like my soon to be shortened reception dress:

This a good example of tulle and a little sparkle as well as bare shoulders. What can I say? I'm a Florida girl who's always had to rely on my upper body heavily. I love to have bare shoulders!

I'm pretty girly, but also (not just for the sake of being so, but because I truly am) unconventional. I like color on a wedding dress. This is what really got my wheels turning on the subject:

Amazing dress. I always describe it to people who haven't seen it by saying it looks like she waded through a pool of Kool-Aid. It also has my other favorite touch, a little asymmetry. Beautiful.

I enjoy a sparing use of lace or appliqué. If I had had an unlimited budget for a dress I would had bought this one:

It doesn't hurt a bit that it was inspired by Disney's Sleeping Beauty. If Mike didn't get a vote I'd have pursued a Disney wedding. I've decided it's ok because we'll just renew our vows there ten or so years down the road.

Last but not least, I love a simple sophisticated 50's silhouette. It's probably because I love Audrey Hepburn and am similarly built. How can anyone not love this:

Girly and fun without being to fussy. Hopefully I'll be able to weed out all the elements I don't want and incorporate all the ones I do between the two dresses on a budget.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Put Off By A Pushy Preacher

I was raised attending an Episcopal church up the street from my house. When I told my dad a few years ago that I planned to marry Mike one day he immediately suggested taking Mike to meet Father C. from the church I grew up in. Mike and I had already agreed on an outdoor ceremony. We wanted a Christian ceremony that was very personalized. We both have similar beliefs, but I attend church and Mike chooses not to.

I had never intended to get married inside, but the idea of going back to that church after so many years of living out of state was very appealing. Mike wasn't raised attending church and has the uncomfortable feeling I get in a hospital when he enters one. I told him I just wanted him to meet my old friend, that's all.

This man oversaw baptisms in my family, my first communion and came to the hospital more than once to pray with me before going into surgeries. He was a fixture in my life for a long time. I envisioned being greeted warmly and welcomed back. I thought it would be an important moment for me to have him meet the man I was goint to marry. Beyond that, I had no real plans as far as getting married in the actual physical church, but Father C. as the officiant was a possibility. Mike was hesitant, but came for my sake.

Mike's social anxiety causes him to constantly question everyone's motives on top of which organized religion in general makes him nervous. I reassured him countless times that Father C. was a great guy and there was nothing to fear. However, it did not go well. Father C. greeted us kindly if not in the way I'd imagined, but without a moment's pause he set in on how we had to both be in regular attendance at the church or he wouldn't even consider marrying us. It was very pushy almost threatening.

I was floored. I felt like I was being hassled for my lunch money rather than being welcomed back to my church family. It made me queasy. This was not the caring man I remembered this was an embittered bully. Faith can not be forced upon people and the sacraments are for everyone. This is no way to spread God's love.

The worst part is it confirmed all of Mike's negative feelings about churches. I had hoped we'd have a great visit and it would loosen him up a bit. I also lost a support system I thought would always be there that day.

Not to worry we found an officant that means a great deal to both of us and we're very happy, but that's a whole other post.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


My mom bought me this magazine today. I was thrilled even though I swore off wedding magazines now that I'm thoroughly engrossed in internet wedding planning sources. It was always so much more ads than content and it's hard to see all the things I can not afford. I opened this one up to the first article: Getting Started....

It was well written and one of their first suggestions was to make a list your ideal wedding elements. They suggest taking your time and really thinking about it. Once you've got them on paper you should rank them by importance.

Prior to reading the article on the advise of a been there done that bride I wrote my priority list:

  1. Only things that have significance to us. Meaning no empty traditions or "supposed to's"
  2. Great Pictures They are the piece of your wedding day you keep forever.
  3. Unforgettable Good Time I don't mean keg party good time. I mean the kind of wedding where everyone joins in and participates and leaves all glowy.
  4. Full Bellies I went to three weddings in a row where I was either pregnant or postoperative and I want everyone to be stuffed. I'm 100% in favor of a full dinner, just not a super formal one.

My list is an overall general list and they were suggesting a more item specific list to assist budgeting and time lining the planning. I had to chuckle when they said:
If your list consists of 75 items, make peace with the fact that you can accomplish (and probably afford) only the first 25 and don't even build the others into your time line. So, I took a deep breath and began a list. I ended up with 16 items and I ranked the items by their importance to me. I knew full well Mike would agree with my list, but not my priorities. So here they are in order:

  1. Rings we will be happy with forever.
  2. Not working/being in charge on my wedding day
  3. Great photographer
  4. Botanical garden venue
  5. Meaningful ceremony
  6. Great meal
  7. Lovely flowers
  8. Amazing artistic cake
  9. Beautiful gowns
  10. Great music
  11. Beautiful maids
  12. Themed decor
  13. Kids activities
  14. Comfortable groomsman
  15. Surprises!
  16. Slideshow

I'm not sure how things will change as planning progresses, but I'm sure my original core list will remain at the heart of things. I know it sounds like a long list, but some of them will take care of themselves. They won't all cost money and some will be down right fun to pull off. Nine-ish months and counting...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

DIY and Family Ties

Other People's Weddings: Lara & DJ

Lara and Daniel were married on May 15th, the anniversary of the brides' grandparents' wedding. They had an outdoor ceremony officiated by the bride's uncle and an indoor reception catered by another of the bride's uncles. The bride did a lot of DIY projects as well as incorporating family for her big day.

She and her mother altered her gown themselves in the style of Monique Lhuilier. It was breath taking. The bride hand painted the invitations with water colors and the bride's mother drew custom maps to accompany them. The bride also made the flower girl dresses. The couple exchanged wedding bands that had once belonged to the bride's parents.

The six month planning period was a restart of planning that had started years before. The bride decided to set priorities rather than a budget for her wedding with 75 guests at the St. Petersburg Woman's Club. For example, she asked five different friends to snap pictures instead of hiring a professional and ended up with hundreds of beautiful shots.

Some of her plans derailed during the chaos on the day of. Several items didn't make it to the venue including her veil that had to be replaced last minute. Her DIY photo booth that did make it to the venue was never set up, but overall the event ran smoothly. She shined in her gown and was very pleased with her vegetarian reception spread. I was pregnant at the time and one of my only complaints would have been not enough food. I suppose feeding 75 guests on a budget, without meat is tricky.

The bride's only regret was not designating an MC for the evening to keep things moving along and make sure the appropriate MP3 was playing. She also speculated that having a day of coordinator would have lightened her load quite a bit. Having one person checking in instead a handful would have made it more relaxing for her. I agree on both points whole heartedly! When the ceremony ended Lara changed out of her gown and into jeans and begun cleaning up her own wedding! I don't think that should ever be the case. A little delegation would have gone a long way towards ending the evening in bridal glow rather then cleaning lady style.

They started their lives together surrounded by things they made themselves and in the company of loving and actively participating friends and family.

A Family Affair

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dress Success!

Today mom and I went to look for a dress for her and bridesmaid options. We went downtown to a place I had a good experience with a few years ago. I called to make sure we didn't need an appointment and they warmly told me to come on down, anytime. We ended up bringing Riley, but she was an angel the whole time.

Upon arrival, I said "Hello. I'm the bride, this is my Mom and she needs a dress." We walked into to the Mother of the Bride area with purpose. Mom told the sales lady what color she was hoping for and a few options were pulled. I informed them I preferred she have tea length. That little comment caused the sales lady to pull this:

There was a collective sigh as my mom and I agreed it was lovely.

Here's the dress live and in person. I prefer it without the sash (so does mom).

Here's a close-up of the collar on the lace jacket. I love the lace jacket and mom loves the silk cuff and collar detail. Her dress will have straps in the same sage color as well. I think it's classy and color appropriate. I felt like her pervious picks were too ballroom formal. This is going to be so pretty on her. She held it up and put in arm in the jacket, but due to sample sizes being what they are she couldn't try it on. We'll be back to order it a couple months down the line, YAY! Watch out, Moms and Stepmoms you're up next for dress shopping with the bride.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, I found a bridesmaid dress! Here's the picture I showed them:

It's Jim Hjelm Occasions.

Here's a picture on a standing person. It's even lovelier in person. The sales lady pulled it for me and then wasn't sure it was the right one. I had originally been set on black strapless dresses with emerald sashes, but I reconsidered once I picked my maids. I love how 50's it is.

Here's a close-up of the beautiful detail on the top. It's so different. I have a bit of an obsession with asymmetry so I LOVE the top of the dress. It also comes with pockets! How fun is that?

All the pictures show it in strawberry pink, but I poured over swatches a long time today to make sure that had it in a color that worked for me. I originally loved mindori in swatch form, but when I looked at a dress in that color it looked lime green to me. She also showed me turquoise in the dupioni fabric, but it was too blue. Too blue, too yellow I feel like Goldilocks! I landed on emerald; it looks beautiful in the sunlight because of the shimeriness of the fabric. Here's the swatch against the dress:

It's not the best picture, but you can see it is a truer green. I wish you could see the shimmery quality in the green. In this one you can see the pink one turning to almost an orange.

The best part is it's going to look beautiful on all the maids! I texted them the style number immediately after I left the store and all the responses have been super enthusiastic. I am so glad because I'm in love.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Retail Therapy

I went "wedding shopping" today and came home empty handed. I was feeling kind of down about life in general and still not having a date. I thought going shopping (even if it was just a fact finding mission) would cheer me up. I invited my mom to go see what we could find at the mall.

First, I found this cute little dress. However, they did not have it in my size and it was on sale so it's doubtful I'd be able to get my size. I thought, "Hmmm...I could handle this as a reception dress." So, I tried it on to see if it would fit.

Cute right? Cuter if it fit a little better.
Here's a close-up of the top:

This is the detail below the hem:

Maybe a little too low key for the reception, but it would have been good for the rehearsal dinner or something. Anyway, it didn't fit quite right. I sadly left it behind.

I soldiered on with my mom looking for anything she could wear, the maids could wear or I could wear. I looked in all the department stores, Victoria's Secret and Hot Topic. I was thinking if I found a corset/bustier I could wear it as the top of the reception dress with the tulle skirt from the thrift store wedding dress. It would be pretty and already fit. Apparently, there's slim pickings in my size. I found a beautiful option at VS, but the smallest size it came in was a C and I haven't been a C cup since I weaned Riley.

At JcPenny's they had one option, you heard me uno. It was kind of pretty, but again a size too big. It looked like this:

Nothing spectacular, but pretty. It was too big, which is a real self esteem killer. If your trying to shop as a means of cheering yourself up don't try on underwear that's to big, it has the opposite effect.

In hindsight neither were exactly what I was looking for. It's just a bummer when I'm already sad and I get a reminder that world isn't built for little people. Onward and upward, mom and I are hitting the racks at a boutique tomorrow to see about a dress for her and investigate bridesmaid options.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Have A Concensus!

Not on the date, sorry. Although, if it will help matters we've narrowed it down to four possibilities: March 3rd, March 10th, March 24th or April 14th. The remaining April option is my first choice (unless St. Patrick's Day suddenly becomes available, a girl can dream). We've decided on a save the date format!

We were toying with the idea of a wheel and window thing something like this, but magnetic:

In the end, it seemed too complicated. Beyond that I feared for its durability and how easily it would mail. We decided to do something in the style of magnetic poetry instead:

We wouldn't ask the recipient to cut it apart though. The whole magnet will break apart into individual words. Ours will be from Shakespearian quotes, mainly Midsummer Night's Dream. On an irregular size square we'll have the important info non-break-apart-able. Viola!

I get my simple magnetic save the date and Mike's gets something interactive and as an added bonus it goes with the theme. My first task is sussing out which quotes to use, that are both appropriate and will provide the best poetry fodder. After which point Mike and I will design the background. Neither of us wants to use a picture of us especially since it'll be broken apart. Hopefully, by the time that's done the date will be set. Then we will price out hand making them or submitting our design to Vista Print. I have a feeling the latter will be more cost effective.

I'll post pictures once we have a prototype and then again once the final product has been mailed.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ready, Set, Stall...

Today we attempted to get the fabric for a test dress from the flower girl pattern and supplies for our interactive, magnetic save the dates. I had been fretting over the mechanics of the save the date so long I hadn't even considered what they would actually say. It occurred to me last night I didn't need the right words because Shakespeare's would do nicely. Enchanted fairy forest wedding inspired by Midsummer Night's Dream should include a word from The Bard here and there.

While we were prowling the overcrowded aisles of Joann's discussing things like what color brads to use, etc the air conditioner came on. I remember that is was loud and then very dramatically the power went out. They sent us to the front of the store and then encouraged us in no uncertain terms to leave our stuff and get the heck out. Jerks.

I came home empty handed. I decided instead to work on t-shirts for the wedding party. I'll post pictures when they're done. I considered painting champagne flutes for the wedding, but Mike explained how complicated a process it was and I opted to buy some on Etsy. Something like these:

I'm thinking pretty champagne flutes for the maids and beer mugs with initials for the men. Something like this:

I want everyone in the wedding party to have some kind of glass with their name on it to take home. I may do a good old, custom Etsy order.

As for the shirts I can't finish them until we decide our Bests and Of Honors, so I'm just getting a start on them. I'm designing them and having them silk screened. I also want to do some fun kids cups for the kids table. I think we have ten-ish kids on the guest list. If anyone has a suggestion for those, let me know. I'm thinking something with lids and straws since they'll be dressed up.

Also, I've decided not to buy the metal lanterns and distress them, but to press on looking for rustic wooden ones. The metal ones are more budget friendly, but after copious internet research I'm not happy with the unpredictable nature of distressed metal. I'm thinking I'd like two lanterns (four if it's a great deal). I'd love help finding those too (if anyone's still reading).

More crafty stuff, dress updates and vender discussion to come as soon as the date drama is resolved, I promise.

Friday, June 17, 2011

And Then What?

A few things occurred to me recently not the least of which is: I need a way to sit during the ceremony that doesn't look stupid in pictures. As I was cutting up a wedding magazine that was still kicking around from last winter I saw a picture of a bride and groom sitting in white monogrammed directors chairs. That's the answer. Something like the first picture in this slide show:

Boundless Photos

I like it because it won't cover the whole back of my dress, my actor roots, it's super portable and I'll use it after the wedding. Don't you love those photos? I wish I were in the UK. I like the groomsmen reflected in the sunglasses and the wedding dress with the bridesmaids dress hung in a row, among others.

The other issue on my mind recently is our not so insignificant height difference. It used to be annoying to reach Mike or dance with him, but ever since the metal rod in the back it is painful. I had originally thought I would get a small stool and put my dress over it to hide it. That was fine until I landed on a short dress for the reception. I'm still stumped on this one. I want something just high enough, not like a step ladder or anything that won't be ugly in pictures. I figure Mike may not be the only person it would be more comfortable to dance with from a more reasonable height. Also, I'll find use for it after the wedding for sure.

That's very much where my mind is right now. What will I do with it after the wedding? Second bouquet, nah. Guest book? When would I ever look at that? I should order green champagne flutes. Wait, what the heck would I do with 80ish green champagne flute afterwards? Never mind.

It led me to a great idea though. We talked about how people have had guest book tables or wish tree stations, etc and everyone ends up crowding them and you feel pressure to come up with something witty and get out of there. About a month ago Mike suggested we leave postcards on the table for people to write well wishes on at there convenience. I loved it and pictured big ribbon boards for guests to deposit them on the way out.

I was still thinking that was the way we'd go until I saw this idea in Martha Stewart Weddings for a guest book quilt:

We'd have a box of fabric on each table in different colors and patterns and fabric markers. Everyone could write or draw us a message, even the kids. In the end they'd all get sewn into a quilt. Cute and useful! I am sold on this one. So, look forward to that, friends and family. Also, if my out of town folks can't make it I can send them a piece of fabric to sign (much cheaper postage than mailing a whole book).

Hurray! On to bigger and more pressing problems (and the continuing stool search). Ten-ish months and counting...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Umbrellas on the Beach

Other People's Weddings: Dad and Joanne

It was the second marriage for them both so they kept it simple. They chose a June wedding on the beach. I believe there were ten of us including the officiant and the bride and groom. It ended up being a stormy day and we were a small group huddled under umbrellas on the beach. After their intimate ceremony we drove over to a restaurant and all had dinner together.

I loved the intimacy of the small group. I thought sharing umbrellas only made it more so. I don't remember any of the words they spoke, but I remember feeling moved and a good bit of laughter. I think the laughter had something to do with wet sand complications during the sand ceremony. I also liked Joanne's dress. I have a picture of it, but I'm on a loaner computer for now. It was a short white dress with a subtle red floral design. My dad wore a Hawaiian shirt with dress pants. It was very beachy causal.

I remember that it was a pretty nice restaurant we went to, but nothing about the food. I'm sure it was good. I'm pretty open minded myself and I knew their wedding would be low key, but when dinner ended and everyone left I felt sad. There had been no cake, no dancing, no happy send off. They spent their honeymoon at a hotel on the beach within walking distance of the restaurant so a send off wasn't necessary. I'm sure my dad was more than relieved not to have a first dance. I just felt like I wanted more wedding stuff.

I don't think hospitable weather would have made it any better. I have a feeling it was exactly the day they both pictured. No fuss. Just a meaningful exchange of vows and dinner with friends. Small weddings definitely give you a sense of being a VIP. It was also the first wedding Mike and I went to together so it's a warm fuzzy memory.

Sweet Small Seaside Ceremony

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Wedding Notebook

I started a wedding notebook years ago and for the most part I'm still drawing inspiration from the same images. Here's the collage I made on the front:

And here's the back:

It's just a three ring binder full of pages ripped from wedding magazines, pages printed from the internet, drawings and lots of hand written notes. Before even the first divider are two plastic sleeves holding those comical fantasies I had the nerve to call budgets once upon a time. There's also a clear pencil pouch containing the highlighter and paper clips with which I attack every wedding magazine. That pouch also contains business cards representing the good, the bad and the mysterious venders I have dealt with thus far. Under all that is the first tab which simply says "Dress".

This is the very first thing I did when wedding thoughts seeped into my brain. Before I even knew it was a possibility I designed this dress online. Everything else in the dress tab is loosely based on this.

Including this picture Lara did of me in my altered Alfred Angelo gown.

This ended up being one of the dresses I tried on at my appointment with the troll if you recall, it was the one that made me cry. It looked much better on me.

There's even this gorgeous pale green designer gown that costs more than my car, sigh.

The next tab is called wedding party. This tab has what you'd expect it to. Pictures of bridesmaid's dresses and flower girl dresses. It also has an amazing picture Mike made in paint shop of himself and some groomsmen:

That's some funny stuff! We had originally liked the idea of lizard lapel pins instead of boutonnieres, but I'm pretty sure we've scraped that. We were imagining lizards here and there before I don't remember why and Mike made this just for laughs:

There is of course a tab labeled "Rings/Vows", but you've already seen those. Beyond that is the "venue" tab. It contains a well worn blueprint of the space and copious hand written notes on cost breakdown, rules and impressions. The next page is crisp and neatly titled in red ink "Plan B Venues" which has then been highlighted in yellow. It has a list of 5 alternative venues. They are listed with their names and prices, but the only one with contact info and indepth notes is the first one which has 2 stars next to it. USF Botanical Gardens the only place besides Sunken Gardens we really considered.

After that somber and straight forward group is "Cake/Catering". It is important to note in that case I wrote cake four years ago and only a few weeks ago added catering. In the original planning process we never settled on a caterer and it was an emotional subject for us (being told who we could use). This go around I have picked and budgeted the meal and need only confirm my date (once I have it (twitch, twitch)). Here are some cake inspiration:

Of course I have one from Ace of Cakes! It's actually pretty simplistic for them. Too bad I'm not getting married anywhere near that bakery.

I'm very much in love with a climbing vine and very opposed to fondant that looks like play dough.

After cakes is the second to last tab titled "Flowers and Decor" it's full of lovely things that the florist informed me are not in season, can't be cut for bouquets or were unidentifiable. Darn magazines. I'll get into all that in its own post. Look at this pretty stuff:

I originally wanted lots and lots of green flowers. I think I've changed my mind completely on that.

Flower girl head pieces. So, beautiful. After green purple is my favorite color (depending on shade).

Anemonies remind me of Alice in Wonderland for some reason. They make me happy, they are in season and can be cut. Phew!

This had to cost a fortune, but it's breath taking.

The only non-floral thing in the bunch. I'd love to have hundreds of lanterns with twinkling candles, but candles are a big no, no and there are budget restrictions. Hopefully, we'll have one or two with led candles to light our way. Writing that flooded my head with quotes from Romeo and Juilet. Nice to think of, but not the Shakespearian work I'm trying to conjur.

Last of all is the "Invites/DIY" tab. One of the only things behind it that I was sticking with was this awesome idea for making your own cake stand:

Thanks Martha! Such a simple, but fun idea. That was until I saw this:

Amazing! Perfect for my enchanted fairy forrest wedding with my climbing vine cake atop it. I get chills just thinking of it.

I hope you enjoyed your guided tour of the notebook that was. Soon it will be striped of inspiration to make room for reality. It'll soon hold contracts, recpits and pictures of the actual dresses and flowers. It's sad, but no less exciting.