Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hand Stamped Envelopes

My save the dates are going through the postal system in style. One of my lovely bridesmaids came over and hand stamped the envelopes for my save the dates (all 45 of them!) this weekend. I bought a box of plain ivory invitation sized envelopes (A2, 4 3/8x5 3/4in) at an office supply store. I also got a free black ink return address stamp from Vista Print. Obviously, some prettying up was in order.

I got the leaf stamp at Joann's a long time ago and the dark green ink pad. Miss L just basically stamped around the edges of the envelope creating a layered effect by varying placement and pressure.

Riley crafted too:
Here she is making one pretty for us, what a helper.

I will say, do notstack them. Give yourself plenty of space to lay each one flat not touching anything. Mine were prematurely stacked because I had two kids running around and the backs all have ink smears. The fronts however look beautiful.

I added up hand addressing them with a brown fine tip Sharpie. I did on the advice of the same lovely bridesmaid keep a paper under my hand to prevent smears. This is a good tip especially for a lefty. I thought I had lots of different green inks, but it turned out I only had the one. In the end varying amounts of pressure and ink worked great.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crafting Calendars: Part Two: For Real.

So, through trial and error (see previous post) I discovered a few things. First check your printer's functionality and ink levels before beginning the project. It's a real buzz kill to design your masterpiece and have no way to realize it. Second Microsoft Publisher is the way to go on this one. I used Word to make the documents before I realized it wasn't my best option so I copied and pasted into Publisher for mine.


  1. White Cardstock 8.5x11-(4.5 pages per calendar x 5 calendars)
  2. Patterened Cardstock 12x12- 1 sheet
  3. Eyelets 1/8in-(2per calendar)& craft tweezers
  4. Crop-a-dile
  5. Thin Ribbon
  6. Double sided tape
  7. Stapler
  8. Scissors/Paper cutter
  9. Sticker jewel embellishments

Make sure you resize your page before you start! The book recommends 4x9 with .25 for margins. I did 4x9, but was weary of not having space for my patterned paper at the top and made my top margin 1in instead. It is completely up to you how big you what them. I liked this size for portability. Remember your only do the months from now until the wedding so if you’re a few months away and have a lot of events, go big.

Go nuts creating your calendars I used the most feminine versions of my wedding colors and a fairy tale-ish font for month names. Do whatever makes you happy. As you can see from the previous post, the book example is super basic. I started with August and went forward to the month of the wedding writing "months until wedding/wedding month" under each as appropriate. Above my calendar I made a "Done Last Month" & "To Do" section and left space for notes. I kept them pretty general except for the dress fitting and all the wedding month events. I started trying to fill in all my appointments, when packages (ie lanterns and Save the Dates) would arrive, bridesmaids birthdays and anniversaries and it quickly became overwhelming and cluttered. Keep it simple. I also added a "thank you from the bride" on the last page. I used a font that looked like handwriting and told them they kick butt.

Once the design is too your liking make sure you check your print settings carefully. Make sure if you select print 2 pages per sheet if that's what you want. Also if you have an odd number like I did print the last page 2 per sheet at the end so you don't waste a whole page. Please do a test print on printer painter, we all know how precious cardstock is.


Next carefully cut your pages apart and put your months in order. If you made a thank you page don't forget to add that. Once the pages are trimmed and in order staple them. The book reccommends: To secure the stack, staple the pages about 1/4in from the top, in center of stack

Next, cut your patterned paper into 4x2in stripes. Fold them in half lengthwise and score them. It should come down evenly on both sides. Once your happy with your fold put a piece of double sided tape on each side and press down.Then comes my favorite part! Using my brand new toy, the Crop-a-dile I punched 2 1/8in holes in the top of each calendar. Now because this was my very first time using this tool I ended up with extra holes, uneven placed holes, and squashed eyelets. In the end it was nothing something pretty ribbon couldn't hide. Test you hole punching and eyelet setting prowess before you attack your pretty calendars, if you’re a newbie too.

That's all there is too it!
For fun I added a large jewel sticker on the wedding day and a small one for bridesmaid dress fitting day. I like my little bit of sparkle. I also color coordinated my Vendor and Wedding Party contact sheets with the Bridesmaids Calendars so everything matches (:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Crafting Calendars: Part One: The Snags.

One of the first craft ideas in my DIY Bride Crafty Countdown book is a calendar for bridesmaids. I loved the idea. I love calendars and lists! I'd been planning an evening get together with my girls and wanted to make them each a calendar and contact sheets to take home. An organized wedding party is at least a slightly less stressed wedding party.

This was meant to be a fun Friday evening de-stress kind of project to ease me into the bigger and better wedding projects to come. Unfortunately the craft gods were not smiling on me for this one. Maybe the word processing/printer gods were the ones not smiling...either way someone had their undies in a bunch. This project is supposed to take an hour, mine took about 8hrs spread over two days. Don't misunderstand it was a lovely project and I'm glad I did it they come out great. I just thought the amount of to-do was comical in the end.

The book recommends using Microsoft Office to make the calendars. I didn't have that so I was using a free download, word processing program I got from the internet. Hitch number one: I had to find and download a calendar template. Hitch number two: It only worked in their spread sheet program. Spreadsheets don't often allow for cute, have you noticed? I made a month in the spreadsheet program copied it and pasted into a document. It was time consuming and (Surprise!)not so pretty in the end.

Then I upgraded to Microsoft Office. This made life easier for a while because the calendar template was built in. Hitch three: Getting the pages to print correctly. The pages are 4x9 so I wanted two pages to print on each sheet. Mike and I racked our brains and wasted paper. We never got it right with Word and had to switch to Publisher. That's right girlies I started from scratch three separate times so excuse the typos because I'm not re-typing squat.

Before I made my second attempt in Microsoft Office we were having printer issues. Hitch number three: we needed ink. I volunteered to run out for some, but Mike insisted on cleaning the printer first and broke it. You'd think after doing IT for so long that wouldn't happen. Then again maybe he just told me it was broken to get a new one...hmm... Hitch number four: broken printer. I ended up buying a new one because we're going to be doing a lot of printing. Not just silly crafts, but lots of other stuff for the wedding and my family's onslaught of birthdays.

After all was said and done we had everything we needed to get these done, but I was too tired to try until the next day. See my next post for instructions and pictures of the finished product.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Like Christmas Around Here!

I can't tell you how stressful planning an event this size can be. It brings out the worst in people (often when you least expect it), but I want to talk about the other side of things. Sometimes stressful events in your life really show you who your friends are. I, for one feel really loved by all the offers of help and support so far.

These kind folks do things that span the gamut from keeping their eye out for deals and emailing me links all the way to hosting major wedding related events. I am equally grateful to all of them for their help in all the ways they give it. Some days just offering an ear and retaining a sense of humor has been a lifesaver. Even getting a lively response to a wedding related Facebook status is a helpful thing some days. It makes me feel like I have my own cheering section (again it's often where I least expect it) or at least makes me consider my opinion from other angles.

On top of the love and support aimed my way there are other sources of joy in this process. I'm so happy with my frienders and vendors so far. What an all star team, truly. Everyone is on the ball and on board to realize our vision to the best of their considerable abilities. I'm so pleased and again, I feel very supported. Of course I couldn't mention all star teams without specifically thanking my bridesmaids, you guys are amazing. I may have upset some people and made some not to perfect decisions up until now, but picking my girl was absolutely an A+. Go team!

As if that weren't enough there's the actual presents from me. Oh, the packages! I ordered lanterns online and I was thrilled when they came. The save the dates are due tomorrow and I can't wait. Even small stuff like the swatch for my dress is a thrill for me. Who doesn't love non-bill mail.

Here's hoping there's as much (or more) bright side than dark time in the months ahead. Thank, you one and all way to get involved and make a girl feel loved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making a List, Checking it Twice

We've been moving right along in our planning and I love a list! So, here's what I've accomplished of the goals the knot set for me.

Ok, so I haven't sent the save the dates yet, but I earned a check for that step for designing and ordering. I'll get them out soon. Some of the things on here are worded differently than my reality. Like "hire" an officiant should say make sure Aunt Nancy's still game for officiating. Interview wedding coordinator should say decide which one of your lovely friends and family who offered can accommodate the schedule. You get the point. Pretty good for a gimp with a toddler.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Behind the Smash

People get pretty worked up about weddings. They all have deep rooted feelings about the event and all it's various parts. I never know (and am often surprised by) which things get the most reaction. I knew not wanting to be escorted down the aisle would upset people, but I think having my dad perform reading, participate in the ceremony and possibly play music is far more meaningful. There are other things I've mentioned like seeing Mike before the ceremony for pictures which hasn't really caused a ripple. When I told the florist I was just going to throw my regular bouquet she was not pleased which is understandable. I just wanted to save the money and couldn't think what to do with it afterward. I am no longer throwing the real deal if anyone else is worried. It's just hard to predict is my point.

A few days back I posted a Facebook status asking for people's first dance song. It was really interesting, I think all total there was 21 responses. Today while editing my last post a question popped into my head and I thought that it might be fun to get feedback on that the same way. I posted "Cake squashing (into each others faces')...Yay or Nah?" Honestly, it wasn't really on the table, but I thought the responses would be interesting, possibly humorous. Oh, boy was the overwhelming response negative.

I got some very rational responses like "Nah, you'll ruin your hair and makeup." I got some actual advice about discussing it before hand as well as some lighthearted jokes. There were some people who were very offended by the suggestion. I kept thinking of this scene on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding where the bride smashes the cake in the grooms face and then tries to run away, trips over her enormous dress and falls on her face! I remember thinking "Karma!"

The gypsy bride I'm referring to.---------->

Honestly, I would be pretty livid if Mike smashed cake in my face a)because wedding cake is expensive and delicious and not for wearing b)because it'll be the only time in my life I have a professional make-up artist making me look good (as opposed to making me look old, scarred, or an unnatural color) c)I would surely fall over backwards which would be painful and embarrassing.

I don't have any strong emotion about it though. I do not feel that it would be disrespectful. I do think it's a bit immature, by the way that gypsy bride was 18yrs old. I will be 30 when I get married and I have two children at home. I think basing how well a marriage will go on cutting and serving cake to one another is ridiculous. I know exactly how well we function as a team we've been one for years through some of the worst things a couple can go through. We'll be fine.

Monday, July 25, 2011

We Have Lift Off!

My to-do's are shrinking with every vendor we book. Today was the one I'd been looking forward to most, the photographer! I could barely sleep last night for excitement. It felt like Christmas. I'd been pouring over this man's beautiful pictures for years and now I was going to meet him.

You know how brides fall in love with the first dress they try on and refuse to believe it could really be the one? They try on more dresses and ultimately none can measure up and then in the end they buy the first one. That's how it was for me and my photographer. Years ago when we started planning I was on the local knot board and someone gave him a glowing review. I looked at and bookmarked his site back then.

When I came back to wedding planning for real I remembered that I had wanted this guy, but it couldn't possibly be that simple. Could it? I researched (looked at galleries online, read reviews on the knot and wedding wire and sometimes emailed) about 15 or so photographers. I Narrowed it down to 5 choices, but he was still #1. Out the 5 two were amazing and about a $1,000 over my max budget so they were out. Another one never replied to my email so she was out too. That only left two.

In the narrowing down process you do start to feel very self important. It's easy to see were people could easily take it to a dark place. For me it more like working again and hiring employees or better yet being a team captain at PE class and picking the best team mates. I hated PE and I was never picked any sooner than dead last, but I digress. This decision was the most crucial he or she would document everyone else's work and my day so I could keep it forever. BIG DECISION.

In the end I went with the one I loved first because he had the best deal. Flat rate for 10hrs of coverage. When I typed that I heard Don't Wanna Miss A Thing playing in my head! No purchase requirements at all. He comes and takes pretty pictures all day and when the proofs are up I can decided what I want to buy. Makes sense to me. My second choice would have covered 4hrs at a discounted rate and cost more per hour (plus who wants they're second choice?).

His name is Jason Angelini he's been a photogrpher for over 8yrs and shooting weddings for 4ish years. He told me he's about to hit 500 weddings. Here's his website: Jason Angelini Photography

Love this. And...


My favorite.
And so many, many more. Hurray! We have a place, a date, a time, a meal, a florist and a photographer. That's everything that needed to be figured out now. In the next few weeks the guests will get their save the dates and can start tasting some cakes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wedding Hotdogs

When Isaac was younger he was the ring bearer in his aunt's wedding. It can be difficult trying to get a 6yr old boy excited about a wedding. Mike and I showed him videos of ring bearers on you tube and told him what an important job it was. He was impressed, but not truly excited.

Until one day he asked:
What happens at a wedding?
Well, they'll promise to be together forever and give each other rings.
Is that it?
No, after that there will be a big party.
Oh! With cake?
Yes, there will be a cake, but no candles.
Will there be hotdogs? (he says hotdogs like it's something amazing)
(I found the thought of wedding hotdogs hilarious. It took me a minute to stop laughing) No, buddy, but there will be other food. People don't usually eat hotdogs at weddings.
Why not!
Well, they just don't and beside they are vegetarians.

More than once when discussing catering I thought of wedding hotdogs and smiled. We are (I'm sure to some 6yr olds chagrin) not having hotdogs. We decided to look into (duh!) seeing if our favorite restaurant, which happens to be next door to our venue, would serve our favorite dishes. We had assumed we couldn't afford them and then, low and behold they were more reasonable than a catering company.

Carrabba's will be serving chicken bryan and sirloin marsala along with sides, salad and bread buffet style. They're also serving chicken fingers with pasta as a side for the kiddos. They have been amazing to deal with and I absolutely can not wait! It's a very good example of not getting yourself all caught up in the "wedding box." Sometimes you have to open your mind to hit on the obvious choice.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Deal

Other People's Weddings: Sandy and Joe

Now, I loved this wedding and part of it was that it gave me an excuse to break several months of bed rest to be there. I was so glad to make it out and it wasn't a moment too soon because I gave birth to Riley the next day!

It was downtown in the Lyceum (a historical old building that used to be a library/lecture hall) and inside for a change! Howdy, air conditioning the hormonal and pregnant salute you. I also have to say I wore my bridesmaids dress from Lara and Daniel's wedding mostly because it's pretty and a little because it was the only thing that fit! So, way to go Lara you actually picked a dress that could and did get worn again.

The bride looked stunning in a Demetrios gown. She wore her hair down in soft curls. She was breathtaking which was expected, but considering she lost a dear love one that morning, quite the accomplishment.

A friend of the couple preformed a brief and meaningful ceremony against the backdrop of the beautiful proscenium arch. After which there was a cocktail hour downstairs in the lounge. There were tons of hor derves. I haven't got the foggiest whether it was an an open bar (I was 8mo pregnant), but everyone seemed in a party mood. The staff was super accommodating and even though it was an old building they managed to get me where I needed to be just fine.

There was music playing during cocktail hour, I think. Nothing that disrupted all the conversation. I was happily eating and aside from a few rambunctious under dressed children I had a very pleasant time despite being it being the eve of Riley's birth.

I did stop eating long enough to take some pictures with Mike in the photo booth. I have to say those are some of my all time favorite pictures of us. They gave us two copies of the four photos and a clear frame to hold them. Mine are still (almost two years later) displayed on my desk.

The reception was held in the same room as the ceremony. It really is a cool old building. Dinner was great, again plenty of food (which is a big compliment from a hugely pregnant guest). I remember their first dance was to a slow acoustic version of Happy Together which was just one of many unique music choices. It was a fun night.

Probably a little too fun because about 12hours later I was having a baby. It was soooo worth it! Thank you, Deals.

Warning: Having Too Much Fun May Result in Labor

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wrong Again...

I know you're all tired of hearing about the Save the Dates, but it's my blog and thus I vent. Before I get into it (forgive me if I've told you this already) I want to share something that made me laugh. We ordered 10 magnets as a test to make sure they were right before we bought the rest. I made a note on my calendar on the day they were supposed to arrive. On the message boards Save the Dates are commonly abbreviated STDs. Well, I wrote "STD test" on my calendar! I realized what it said laughed until I cried and then scratched it out and wrote "test magnets." Whoops! When I posted my little funny on a message board a mother of another bride responded that she had thoughtlessly sent an email saying "the rhinestones and tassels have shipped." After she sent it she realized it sounded like they were outfitting strippers rather than making table number and place cards. Hee, hee.

So, I paid rush shipping on the magnets and they came in as promised today. I was still kind of glowy from my meeting yesterday, but the magnets burst my bubble. They were still cut off on the bottom! The frame around the image has the important info on it so this is a huge deal. I was so frustrated!

I asked Mike to fix it and order more since I want them to go out next week. He shook his head and said something to the effect of "we've got plenty of time." I lost it. I insisted it was life or death that they go out next week. It is in reality crucial that we send them soon, but we probably have a window of two-ish weeks or so before we're in trouble. The other thing was I wanted to get them out and get the reactions to some of my unconventional choices over with. The longer we wait the longer I imagine the back lash. The anticipation is almost more stressful than the reaction will be. Mike said he would take a look at why the bottom was cut of this weekend, but I was pretty upset by then.

I told him we should scrap the whole thing. I told him I'd just do a simple one (like I wanted to from the beginning) and be down with it. After I calmed down we realized the we had enough for the out of towners for the most part. I'd just cut and assemble them anyway. I'd send them to people flying in with a note explaining what the cut off part said.

Simple enough? Well, 8.5 out of the 10 were destroyed in the cutting process. Good thing they weren't right. I have one and a half usable (but cut off) finished save the date. Sigh, we ordered 40 more after Mike "fixed the problem" and then realized exactly where we went wrong. Vista Print lists their large magnets as being 5.59 x 4.33, but the actual size is 5.47 X 4.21 (because of the bleed). This explained our cut off image and why my cutter keeps cutting my magnet poetry wrong. Whoops!

Hopefully, we'll do better with the next 40...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Floral Element

This is the inspiration for my bouquet, it just happens to have been taken by my photographer. Mine will not have lilies. It will have black and white anemones and lavender roses and darker greenery. I want my flowers to pop against the green stuff. The steams will be wrapped in sheer ivory ribbon. It'll have the same loops of lily grass I really love those. I told her I wanted it to be neat and compact, but with a little bit of chaos. I'm really excited.

My bridesmaids will not have bouquets. Instead they'll have a wrist corsage something like this:
They'll each have two anemones and an emerald bow the color of their dresses. They will carry a white distressed wooden lantern with an led candle inside it. The led candles the florist has are wax on the outside and they look really authentic. She's going to attach an anemone and some greenery to each lantern as well. I picture all the flickering lights like fairies in the woods. Also, they'll have their hair up something like this:
with, you guessed it, an anemone in their hair.

I also picked flowers for the moms' corsages. They'll have ivory spray roses and lavender wax flowers. I think they'll be pretty. I kept them pretty neutral with a little pop of color so they'd go with their dresses. I also gave her the picture of the flower girl halo I want and we're going to make it with lavender and heather.
In the picture they used a kind of fern she'd never heard of so we'll be using some plumosa instead and have more green and sparser flowers. Surprisingly the flower girls' halos ended up being one of the more expensive items on the list. Overall though our estimate was on budget (Hurray!). All the stuff I've described so far was what's referred to as "personals." I had my say there with complete confidence, but the other set of items falls under decor which is Mike's territory.

We have a great "blank canvas" in our reception space. Since we're not allowed to put anything on the walls and there are about a dozen wooden frames around scones we have a challenge. We needed some combination of willow branches, fabric and lights to pretty things up. I was afraid of a "prom look" with potted plants and Christmas light, but between Mike and my brilliant florist that would never happen. She also came up with a beautiful solution to the lonely pillar in the center of the room. Now as soon as Mike finishes my beautiful lighted centerpiece prototype we will figure out how many willow branches each needs and be in great shape. I promise to go into decor in another post, but trust me it will be beautiful!

I'm elated that everything is coming together! Last time I met with her (years ago) every flower I wanted was either out of season or wouldn't survive if it was cut for a bouquet (or both). It was deflating, but today was empowering. She's so resourceful and creative I can tell working with her will be a blast.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dance Your Cares Away...Worries for Another Day

I forgot to mention my celebrity sighting at the bridal show over the weekend. I saw Marvelous Marvin! I have been listening to oldies since I was about 7 or 8yrs old. In fact whether I liked the music first or the movie Grease is a bit of a chicken or the egg question. Marvelous Marvin has been a local DJ since I was a kid. There he was live and in person.

Maybe I'm the rare bride in the 20-30yr old set set that a)recognized him b)got excited, but it was very exciting. We have planned from the beginning to make our own play list and have a family member MC. For budget and control reasons. But this sighting made me consider for the first time, the possibility of a DJ. Well, not a DJ this DJ. It's not in the cards, but I'm still hanging on to his card.

It's all the warm fuzzy childhood memories and my deep love for oldies music. I always thought if I got married my first dance would be Stand By Me. Mike and I will have our first dance to our song And I Love You So by Don Mclean, but we will dance to Stand By Me before the end of the night I assure you.

The other plus (besides $ and complete control) is we included a song request form on our website so that when guests RSVP they can submit 5 songs at a time they want to hear. It should be a great mix of music. No chicken dance or electric slide. I am insisting on The Twist and the Crocodile Rock, though. There will be a lot of oldies, Beatles songs, 90's music, 80's pop and maybe a Disney song or two.

It's going to be a great party. I urge and implore everyone to wear their dancing shoes. I will take it as a personal insult if every guest doesn't find at least one song to dance to. For those of you who have known me that long (lucky people) I'm finally going to top my 15th birthday dance party! It only took 14yrs.

I want to hear everyone's first dance songs!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cake Alternatives

It's just my nature that I want it exactly the way I picture it or something completely different. I immediately started pondering alternatives to cake when I found out plan was a no go. I ran through the possibility of cup cakes...

See, nerds do it too. However, I can't picture the exact right display of cup cakes and out of solidarity with Duff I'd say they're on the bottom of the list.

I love cannoli, but there would be nothing to cut. Even though they'd compliment the dinner menu it would also be really hard to make them cohesive and pretty. I have a legendary fondness for pie as well, but I've never said "Wow! What a beautiful pie." I did see/sample some cake pops at the bridal expo.

I thought they were really good. They seemed different and fun. Would they work as a wedding cake substitute? That's still up for debate. I ate my sample before I was considering my dessert options so Mike has never seen or tasted one. Aside from that Mike has stumped most bakers I've spoken to by requested a white cake flavored like mint chocolate. Leave it to Mike and I to stump 'em.

I am very much open for suggestions, folks. Does anyone know a great baker who would be reasonable and up for a challenge? I'd still like a three tiered cake. Or does anyone have a cake alternative? Something different that we can make pretty. Of course there is the distinct possibility at this point that we may skip the whole thing. Who knows?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Now We're Cooking With Gas!

I met with the venue (see updated Vendors tab) today. I read and re-read all the literature, my notes from the initial meeting and their reviews to make sure I knew what I needed to ask. I scrawled all my question onto the worksheets in my planner and liberated them from the binder. I was ready. I was nervous. I was excited.

I wanted to be there when they opened, but much like the process of getting down there with the deposit, I was delayed. At least this time it was hours instead of months. I got there late in the afternoon with lots of questions, my checkbook and my mom (for moral support). I was greeted warmly, but it turned out the event manager had an appointment in a few minutes. I confidently replied that I didn't have an appointment and I'd like to go up to the reception room and take pictures in the meantime. She showed us up to the reception space and left us to it. I remembered the room being smaller because I saw it with all the tables set up last time. I was glad to have seen it as a blank slate this time. We took tons of pictures and marveled at the view. I was 100% confident in the space before, but now so was my mom. I was worried we'd have to kill time for a while before we could get down to business, but the bride with the appointment was pretty late and I was there so, I won.

N., the assistant event manager, laughed at my energy and decisive statements. She didn't bat an eyelash at any of my odd requests or ideas. I calmly went down each list of questions, taking notes as she answered. It was a little stressful knowing I'd have to recount every detail to Mike later. My memory's good, but the adrenaline was pumping hence the notes. When I was done she remarked "you're the most organized bride I ever seen." Way to go, me! I was relieved to get a date with significance to us, for a good rate. I was super relieved that our one and only source of concern was a non-issue. In general the whole experience was a huge relief. Phew!

I know that a few of my decisions will require a family press conference to explain, but it is my wedding. I am thrilled with my choices so far. I also got a return phone call from the caterer last night and they're in! Now if everything else goes south we have a place to be and an amazing dinner! I'm really on a roll now. The emails are flying now. It won't be long before all these pesky water fowl are in linear formations. Go, team!

Because we have labored long and hard over save the dates I won't be sharing the date at this time, but rest assured friends and family you'll see those amoung the junk mail and bills in the next week or so (finally!). I had a good day and checked off some major items on the to-do list, but the best part was when I was signing the contract:
"Go ahead, sign and date. We'll be your witnesses. Your title is bride."
"That's right!"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Cattle Call

Aka the Bridal Expo! It's a strange place. It reminds me of going to the big folk fair in Middle school, but instead of going booth to booth getting your passport stamped you go from booth to booth signing up to win engagement photos and bridesmaids jewelry.

The best part (just like the folk fair) is the food!

Here I sit happily sampling a cupcake and perusing their flavor options like “margarita and princess”. It was really yummy. They seemed really nice, but when I asked if they did custom flavors (assuming they did) they said No. Not just no, but "we only do the corporate mandated flavors." Lost a potential customer there, ladies. Too bad your such corporate tools. Of course I'd be totally conformist and trendy if I had cupcakes anyway, so pass. They did, upon seeing me shake my head and abandon the flyer, stammer "we can do different colors..."

Here's some beautifully displayed hors d'oeuvres. They even wore cafeteria gloves for my protection. I had something with garlic and goat cheese. It was good, but not amazing. Later I had a crab cake I can't stop thinking about. If that crab cake hadn't come attached to a hotel on the beach I would have been sold. Also, I already decided on a caterer that's special to Mike and I. That being said maybe we'll visit that beach hotel someday for crab cakes...

This bakery was trying to sell me on "wedding cookies" that was lost on me, but...

Aren't these mini pies adorable?

Don't you love pretty food?

Besides eating I talked to quite a few photographers (like this guy: Chi Photography). I still have my first choice, but I'm afraid he's so brilliant he'll be booked so I keep looking for acceptable plan b's (although, I think I found that already too). The other thing I was concerned about (I know it's early) is hair and make-up that will come to me.

The name of this place made me giggle. They gave me a coupon for a "$30 Blow" no kidding. They're an express salon which means no cuts just styling. They were too pricey for me in the end which is too bad because I would have loved to tell the maids to meet me at the Blow Bar.

These lovely folks were doing a demonstration of their hair skills. It's a supervised hair school so their rates are super reasonable. The bridal up do includes a trial in the price and they gave me a 20% coupon. The downside is they obviously can't come to me.

There were all manner of vanity-centric businesses there, but you have to giggle at this:

"What did you do today, Hank?"
"Went to the convention center and got my teeth bleached"
I prefer privacy when altering the hue of my chompers, maybe I'm alone there.

I got a lot of SWAG, but by far my favorite was this little beauty:

Squeezy stress bride, oh yeah. Love it. I squeezed it all the way home thinking about all the hissy fits I've endured with 8mo until D-day. Of course when I brought her home Riley claimed Mommy's "doll" for her own. It was about 30mins before my squeezy stress bride looked liked the estranged halves of a magicians assistant. Poor thing. Mike said "now you have one for each hand!"

There were a few odd booths like ADT security, really? When I think of weddings I think panic button. Also, Costco...

Here's me pointing out the Costco brochure has 20ish pages and only one half page of wedding stuff. Scheisters. Not that actual wedding vendors are much better.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back to the..Er..Oven

My friend who was going to make our cake is moving out of state for her husband's work. I'm sad to see her go and bummed that I have to find another source for wedding cake. So, it goes the ups and downs of planning. I'm really starting to get my ducks in a row now, but my original second choice baker is pricey. Mike and I have a vision fit for an Ace of Cakes episode, but on the priority list budget-wise cake has slipped down in the ranks.

I wish Mike had friends in poession of wedding related skills. I always have helpful friends volunteering to help me with things. I wish he did too. So, now I'll make sure I haven't over looked any talented baker friends and press on.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Monsoon Wedding

I saw the movie for the first time when I took a womens studies coarse in college. If you haven't seen Monsoon Wedding I recommend it. I remember the vibrant colors, infectious music and beautiful henna. I love that Indian brides marry in vibrant red dress and ablaze with bling. It's so bright and joyous. I envy their 3day parties although I know I don't have the stamina.

I think a wedding is a serious commitment, but than have a serious party. I love all the tradition and family togetherness. Part of all the partying is the Mehndi party. It's kind of like a bridal shower. All the women get together with the bride and that's when they put on her henna. It's an ancient tradition that is supposed to help release the soul's inner light. I'm not quite sure how plant dye on your hands and feet does that, but what a beautiful thought.

"Depending on family traditions, some brides have their husband's initials hidden in the designs, and the couple is not considered officially married until the groom finds them. I've also heard that as long as the henna remains on the bride's skin, she doesn't have to perform any wifely duties (like washing the dishes and doing the laundry). Too bad henna only lasts less than a month." ( Sounds good to me and I'm not the only one. American brides have adopted henna as part of their wedding festivities.

It's even beautiful in white. I like this one too.

I, like the bride fitsugar talked about, am not a bar hopper. I never was. Bad balance plus drunk equals bad plan. Plus, it's expensive and I have plenty of fun without it. So, I'm planning a sleep over for my bachlorette party with henna tattoos. I want to get them palm side only so they're not distracting in photos a week later. I love the idea of a night of girlyness borrowing from the Mendhi tradition so much party than a drunken night on the town.