Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Be Our Guest!

HUGE Disney fan - had to.

I have had a guest list spreadsheet created for about three years. Yes, I know that is way before being engaged, but when you know, you know.  So, when we first got engaged, I showed FI the guest list, which was small. About 40 people.  When we originally talked about getting married a few years ago, we decided on a small wedding and reception, with immediate family, and very close friends, and then a few months later, we would have a big party with more family and friends.  Unfortunately, we were not going to be able to go that route now that the wedding was coming sooner, and financially, it would be smarter to have more people attend one event than to have two different events.

FFIL has a large family, with four siblings, so each sibling and their spouses immediately added almost ten people to the guest list.  In addition to that, we made some great friends out in Indiana that we wouldn't imagine not having at our wedding.  Add in my co-workers (FI is still unemployed :( ), and a few close family friends, and our guest list quickly shot up to 80 something.  Not what we originally had planned, but I honestly can say that I can't imagine having a wedding without these people.

So, now that we have this list somewhat finalized, I can start figuring out the layout and approximate costs per person. Oh, and maybe I can actually decide on an idea for Save the Dates.  That would be good.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Is it possible for it to be practical?

Save the Dates. There are some really creative ideas out there, but the thing that is getting to me most, is practicality. I want our Save the Date to be practical to our guests. And not just some of them, but all of them. And that's where I am running into so many problems.

For example:

1. Magnets

Magnets are good to keep papers and pictures stuck to items, like a refrigerator. But, if you have a stainless steel refrigerator, magnets don't work. That nixes that idea. Plus, it's too overused at this point anyway, and I don't really want a magnet.

Image via MagnetStreet

2. Pocket Calendars & Save the Date Stickers

Pocket calendars seem like a really good idea, especially if you circle, or do something special on your wedding date, like a Save the Date sticker, that way your guests would remember.  Problem with this - who uses a pocket calendar? Probably 90% of our wedding guests have smartphones or other devices that they use as their calendars, so this would be useless and "just another thing" for them to put in a pile and lose.

3. Customized Seed Packets

Yes, this would match our venue perfectly, it being a Botanical Center and all, but there are a lot of our guests that don't have anywhere to plant seeds. Some of our college friends still live in apartment complexes, and everyone is spread out throughout the country, therefore, we would have to customize the type of plant they are being sent.  Sounds useless to me.

4. Pencils

I thought these were cute, but they just really aren't us.  We really don't have any ties to pencils, and on top of that, I heard that they aren't the easiest things to ship in envelopes, and shipping 50+ little boxes would put postage out of this world expensive.

Image via Junebug Weddings


If you actually knew us, you would know that this would be hilarious.  I haven't read a book since I was a sophomore in college, and FI listens to books on CD or MP3 since it's easier and faster for him. Bookmarks would make no sense.

See what I'm doing here? I find all these great ideas, yet I always find something that makes it not practical.  And I have been doing this for months now.

Am I overthinking this? Should I just choose an idea and go with it? Or should I ponder a bit longer until I find something that is totally us and is practical to all our guests?

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Awesome BM

BM A is awesome. And she knows it, but she should.

When she was planning her wedding, I was living 1000 miles west of her.  Even though I was part of the bridal party, I was unable to make it to both her bridal shower and her bachelorette party since I was so far away and didn't have a lot of vacation time from work and one of the events coincided with FI's graduation from graduate school.  She understood completely, although she did wish I could have been there for the activities.

Now that I am planning my wedding and she has done hers, she knows what I am going through, and is trying to be as accommodating as possible.  BM A and her husband work crazy schedules and have a lot going on in their lives (including just buying a new house!), so I knew that getting them to visit for a weekend was going to be a difficult task.  We originally planned a weekend for October, then that fell through with our schedule. The weekend in November we planned after that fell through on both ends, so then we tentatively scheduled a weekend in early December.  And after thinking it wasn't going to work out, BM A rescheduled some things she had planned and devoted herself to me for the weekend. I am so glad that I have a friend that cares so much about my planning, especially since she just finished doing all of hers.  So finally, after some finagling about the time and place to meet, we met at a little bridal shop in Connecticut, and FI drove back to the house with BM A's husband.

The trip was primarily to get BM A to try on dresses in the same color and fabric that my MOH chose.  We found a few that could be contenders and tried them on.  Now, while I didn't care if my MOH and my BM chose the same dress, I wasn't expecting them to, so when the dress that my MOH chose didn't look right on my BM, I was fine with it.

BM A thinks that she found a dress, but since it didn't fit well, it was very hard to tell whether or not it was really the one.  We didn't end up getting any pictures of BM A in the dress, but here is the one that we think is it.  We don't need to order until the spring, so hopefully we can get together again to dress shop.

Watters Bridesmaid Dress 7111 / Personal Picture *Not in this color

After looking at the dresses for her, we decided to pull some dresses to try on for me.  They carried a lot of different designers, including Watters, and more specifically, the dress that I tried on by myself a few weeks ago.  

I tried on only dresses from the Watters collection, as that seems to be the designer that fits me the best.  The first one I tried on was suggested by the consultant because of the way that it sparkles, but I thought that it was too much for what I was looking for, and would have been better for a more formal wedding.  

Watters "Mackay" / Personal Picture

Next was an a-line with some light detailing on the skirt and a lace-like top. Since lace is a no-no, this one was tried on quickly, and taken off quickly too. Don't get me wrong, I really think this dress is pretty, but it's not me, and the tucks in the skirt just don't fall in the right spots for me.

Watters "Napa" / Personal Picture

I knew that lace was not something that I wanted in a wedding dress, but both the consultant and BM A wanted me to try on lace since not all lace is the same.  I obliged, and really liked the seamless bodice of this dress, instead of having a defined waistband, but thought it was missing something, so we added a belt and I liked it better. But, it was lace, and even though it was different from some of the other lace I tried on, I still didn't really care for it.

Watters "Devenport" with unknown belt / Personal Picture

We saved the best for last, the one I tried on by myself. I wanted to get someone else's opinion on this dress, and I thought that BM A would give me the truth.  She said that it looked beautiful, but that it was unexpected, and may be too conservative, but that if it was what I loved, that it would look perfect.  Here is the picture from my first time trying on this dress by myself, just as a reminder.

Watters "Sterling" / Personal Picture

We also decided that the waistband was in fact too thick, and that it would look much better if it were thinner.  I asked the consultant if she thought that it would be possible to make the waistband thinner, and she said that the designer wouldn't do that, but alterations could.  So, the head of alterations came up and we tried to figure out what the dress would look like with a smaller waistband, and I absolutely love it!

Watters "Sterling" with a smaller waistband / Personal Picture

So, what do you guys think about the smaller waistband?  Also, please keep in mind that this dress was a size 14, and was way too big in the bust, which is why it makes me look really broad.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh yeah, I'm a student too

Oops. Yeah, I may have forgotten to tell you that in the beginning of this story, but yes, I am a student. I am currently doing an online masters degree program, which is supposed to take three years. I started at the end of May of this year, and the summer sessions were really great.  This fall semester though? Painful. But here's the reason why and also the reason why I have been missing for the last two weeks.

I am doing this three year masters program in one year and one semester. Yeah, I know. Crazy.  But I decided to do that because I wanted it done as soon as possible, and I knew that I had it in me to overload my semesters by taking as many courses as possible and just be done way sooner.  But, this past semester, that killed me.  Not because the classes were hard, because they weren't. But, because I was in newly-engaged bliss and wanted only to do things related to the wedding. Which means that everything school related was pushed off.  And pushed off some more, because the only due dates were the last day of the semester.

Yeah, I'm that girl who put of an entire semester's worth of school work for the last two weeks of the semester.  But, I got it done, and that's over and done with, and believe me when I say that will NOT happen again.

Today was the last day of the semester, and I just submitted my last assignment.  I think my hands have typed more in the last two weeks than they ever have. I should really tally up how many pages of text I typed up this "semester."

Anyone else out there a student and finding it difficult to balance wedding planning and homework?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do I Have to?

Anyone else play dress-up when they were younger? Did you ever get to try on your mom/grandmother/aunt/great-aunt/sister/cousin/etc's wedding dress?

I loved playing dress up when I was little. It was so much fun to pretend all sorts of things.

The day I went with my mom and MOH E, I wasn't really feeling it. Maybe because I have had my heart set on that dress that I tried on by myself first - Watters Sterling.  My mom hasn't seen me in it, and she doesn't really like the pictures a whole lot, and the closest place to where she lives that carries it os well over a six hour drive.  So, we are going to try to get her to see me in it, but while we were at the shop this past weekend, she and MOH E really wanted me to try on some dresses.

Since I originally made the appointment for MOH E to find her dress, I really wasn't prepared to try any on myself, and wasn't really all that excited about it.  But, I obliged, and tried some on anyway.

Since this shop was a Watters WToo carrier, we primarily focused on those dresses - I really loved the designer and felt that their style and fit was perfect for me.  The first one I tried on was a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline, ruching, and a skirt with some detail - sound familiar? Yeah, I think this is the point where I really started to realize what I wanted in my wedding dress.

Watters WToo "Dulconee" / Personal Picture

All three of us liked this dress, so we kept it on the list, but while it looked nice, it didn't really have the WOW! factor that I was going for. So, we moved on, keeping that one in mind.

This next one wasn't part of the Watters collection, but my mom loved the flowers on the skirt, mentioning that it was similar to the dress I ordered from The Limited, which we liked the fabric of, but not the shape.

Casablanca 2048 / Personal Picture

Casablanca 2048 / Personal Picture

It was a really nice dress, and the train was amazing, even though I don't really want a train, haha.  But overall, the beading under the bust was too ornate for my liking, and the sweetheart neckline was too deep. But, it was a really nice dress, and the sample fit really well - we didn't even use clips!

The last dress was one that MOH E chose for me.  As you know from my laundry list of things I do and don't want in a dress, pickups is pretty high up there as a no.  This dress had pickups, and I wasn't very happy about it, but MOH E teamed up with the consultant and made me try it on.  Here is the designer's picture of the dress, since you can't get a feel for what it's supposed to like like in my personal pictures:

Watters WToo "Yardleigh" / Image via Watters Website

Since I did not want pickups, and did not like the way they looked, I decided to roll that layer of fabric up to where the skirt started, since the pickups could be let out when purchased. The consultant also did not put the belt on me, and said that I could go without, and do a statement necklace instead. So, here is the first picture of me in the dress:

Watters WToo "Yardleigh" with no belt / Personal Picture

I thought that this dress looked really nice with the pickups removed, but I preferred having a belt to define the waistline, so the consultant removed the necklace and added a belt, which I don't know the designer of.

Watters WToo "Yardleigh" with unknown belt / Personal Picture

I liked this look much better, and my mom and MOH E absolutely LOVED this dress on me.  I really liked it, but I still had that other dress stuck in my head, and couldn't stop thinking about it.  But, I want your opinion. Do you like this dress better than the Watters "Sterling?" Do you like this dress better with the pickups or without the pickups?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Strike a Pose

My MOH E lives in Indiana, and moved there when FI and I were moving back to RI, so we didn't get to see each other very much while we were temporarily living in the same state.  Now that we are further apart again, it is hard to do dress shopping and for her to help out with different parts of planning the wedding.

So, MOH E was going to be flying down to our parent's house in Georgia for Thanksgiving, so I called up a few shops earlier in the month to make appointments to try on dresses this weekend, since I wasn't sure if there was going to be any other time that we could do this.

There were quite a few dress shops that were going to be open this weekend, but the primary problem I ran into was that a lot of designers are releasing their 2012 collections, so the bridal shops are either returning the 2011 collections to the designers, or selling the samples off the rack in order to make room for the new dresses.  This was pretty devastating, as a lot of the stores that I had previously confirmed specific dress styles with no longer had them in the shop to try on.

But, we made do anyway, and MOH E got to try on a lot of dresses.  What you need to know about MOH E and I is that even though we are sisters, we are completely opposite from each other.  While I have no chest and huge hips, she has no hips and a huge chest.  However, she is taller than me, and weighs so little, that I knew everything was going to look good on her.  The issue was that it was very hard to see what the dresses would really look like since they were clipped so much in the back.  In addition to all that, she is goofy. And I mean really goofy. And she loves to talk, so it's going to be funny to see her mid-talking or making some goofy face in these pictures.

This first dress we thought was really cute, but agreed that the pleats at the waist only on the hip looked kind of silly. It was very comfortable though, very light, and the fabric fell nicely and the dress did come in the green that I was looking for.

Watters Wtoo BM Dress 784 / Personal Picture

This next one was similar in style to the first one that we tried on, except there were more pleats in the skirt, and it's actually a tri-color dress, so if I wanted, I could choose a different color for all three parts of the dress: bust, waistband, and skirt.  It also had straps, which MOH E preferred since her chest is so big, and she hates strapless bras.  

Watters WToo BM Dress 986 / Personal Picture

I wasn't able to get the designer of this dress, I just know that it's not a Watters dress.  This one was really cute, and had the option of being strapless or using spaghetti straps, which MOH E has on in this picture.  The dress was cute, but it didn't come in the right shade of green, and we weren't sure if the pleats being only in the center of the waist may look like she is hiding something, if you know what I mean.

Designer Unknown / Personal Picture

I have loved this dress since I first saw it on the Watters website. I think it is sophisticated enough for anyone to wear it, yet it's modern and stylish.  I really liked the way that it fit MOH E, but her concern was primarily with how she was or was not going to be able to move her arms up and down.

Watters BM Dress 4417 / Personal Picture

Watters BM Dress 4417 / Personal Picture

This next one I thought was very pretty, and really liked it in the black color, too.  It was strapless though, and while MOH E would have worn anything I asked her to, I wanted her to be comfortable in the dress, and that was my next highest concern to me liking the dress.

Watters WToo BM Dress 854 / Personal Picture *Mid-blink with a silly hand motion

I liked this dress a lot from the Watters website too.  It was very modern, yet somewhat conservative and classic.  The belt around the waist added a nice detail, the skirt was a nice shape, and the pleats at the bust-line added a nice touch.  When MOH E tried this dress on, she said, "Oh, wow! I didn't think I was going to like this. AND! It covers my knees!" MOH E really really really HATES her knees.  So, this was a definite plus. And to top it all off, it comes in the perfect shade of green.

Watters BM Dress 8154 / Personal Picture

Watters BM Dress 8154 / Personal Picture

We have a winner. MOH E decided to go with this last dress, Watters 8154. I am very happy with this choice, and I think she is going to be very comfortable in the dress, and even better? She is going to look beautiful!

After MOH E chose her dress, it was time for me to try some on.  MOH E and my mom really wanted to try to get me to look at other dresses, and more specifically, less expensive dresses, so I obliged, even though I didn't want to try any on.  But, you'll have to wait for the next post to see those. :) 

Was shopping for your MOH's dress an easy task? Were you as limited on time as we were?

Monday, November 21, 2011

I need to buy stock in FedEx and UPS

I really do, because I have gotten a delivery from at least one of the two every single day for the last month, maybe longer.  All of the wedding related purchases I have made are arriving on the doorstep day after day, and I am so excited about it. A lot of it is DIY stuff though, so that means that I need to go through and organize everything to see what projects I have, and if any of them can be done in advance, that way the last month of planning isn't too hectic.

I'll be sharing all of the projects with you, and hopefully they will inspire you to do some projects for your own wedding. In the meantime, I will leave you with this picture of all the stuff I have gotten so far. And this is everything consolidated, because as you can see, we don't have a lot of storage space where we are living right now. Wedding is taking over the closet, so please ignore the clothes.

Yikes! What have I gotten myself into?

Please ignore the clothes, and sorry for the blurry cell pic - I can't find the camera / Personal Picture

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I literally just got an email from our photographer, Matt, and he has finished our engagement pictures. They came out so well! We are so excited for them.  As I mentioned previously, we started out the day at our Alma Mater, and then traveled down to the beach to get pictures at sunset.  I am so happy that we were able to do both, because we know that we will not be getting a chance to travel much to get pictures on the wedding day.  Both the amount of time we have and the sunset will really limit our picture taking to spots closer to the venue, so being able to do these engagement pictures in these locations was perfect for us.

Now I just have to go through them about a hundred more times to choose the rest of my favorites.  Since I know that you want to see them, and that's probably the only reason why you are reading this post, I won't keep you waiting any longer.

 All Images by Matt Ferrara Photography

So what do you think? Did you and your SO take pictures at places significant to you or your relationship? Do you find yourself changing which pictures are your favorites each time you look at your own?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Move your feet

A few weeks ago, FI and I met with a potential DJ.  This DJ had been on my list for a while, and while his services were great, he was priced much higher than we wanted to spend.  So, I looked around for some less expensive options that had great reviews and found All 4 You DJ.  FI and I liked the reviews that we read, and they had our wedding date available, so we booked an appointment with them to meet them and discuss their services in more detail.

We loved talking with them, and playing with their new puppy, but that had nothing to do with us booking with them.  Glenn and Anne were great, very personable, and work together as a team.  They showed us their sound system, and it was great. The speakers are slim line, and aren't eye-sores or take up a lot of space, but the thing is that they sound amazing. I seriously wish that I could have those speakers follow me around everywhere, because the quality is outstanding.

Glenn and Anne have a database of music that we can go through to choose what we want and don't want on our play lists, which will also really help us in customizing the reception.  They also have a smaller setup that they will be able to use in the ceremony space, which can be controlled from the main station in the reception space.

We are very excited to have someone booked to provide the entertainment for our guests, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone moving their feet to the music!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Yesterday we had our engagement pictures taken, and I can't wait to get them back.  Matt was great to work with, and let us really do our own thing, versus telling us what poses to be in shot after shot.

It was also great that we were able to take pictures at our Alma Mater, which is so special to us since it is where we met.  Matt was also great in following us down to the beach, about thirty miles away to take more pictures. I can't believe how flexible he is, and I can't wait to work with him again on our wedding day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jello is Delicious, But is it Beautiful?

Like I told my florist I would do, I tried to make the Jello centerpieces.  Unfortunately, I have to say that I somehow didn't get any pictures of this process, and I am so sorry that I can't share it with you right now. But, I will say, that it didn't come out much different from what the florist was able to accomplish.

 I used a much larger vase than the florist used, and filled it with six cups of Jello, whereas the florist only used two.  That alone made a huge difference, and with that I was able to get the flowers to stay down in the Jello, but that was only because I kept pushing them down with chopsticks.  When pushing them down, petals kept breaking off and folding in half, and the flowers looked terrible.

So, I think this idea wouldn't work with real flowers, no matter what, so maybe I will try to do it with fake flowers that way the petals have a less chance of falling off and folding.

But, no matter what, I promise that I will take pictures next time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's play dress-up!

If you remember from one of my earlier posts about dresses, my mom lives well over 1000 miles away.  She was able to be around for the first time I tried on dresses, and that was great, but having her miss out on the other shopping trips is going to be hard.

Now that we have decided a bit more about our wedding, and have an actual idea of what it is going to look like, my ideas on dresses have changed a bit.  While I still don't want the whole churchy wedding dress, I feel like the personality of the dress could come out a little more, and it could be a little more fun versus the plain and simple ones I tried on on my first shopping experience.

I asked FMIL to join me on this dress hunt, as she was there the first time, and is really the only person I have around that could go with me. MOH E lives in Indiana, and BM A lives in New York, so those options are kind of out of the question at this point.  But, FMIL said she would love to go, so we took a drive back to the first shop we went to, as they had they designers I was interested in.

I tried on more than ten dresses, but only got a picture of three of them, as they were the only three that were picture worthy.  Oh, and they let me take pictures this time since my mom wasn't there, so they weren't actually snuck this time.

Since this was the same shop I had visited earlier, I asked the consultant to pull the dress I liked best from the last appointment, the Jim Hjelm Blush 1103.

Jim Hjelm Blush 1103 / Personal Picture

I tried it on and really liked again, but then the bad news came from the consultant.  The dress was no longer available in white and could only be ordered in ivory. That was it for me, the dress was taken off of me and my list. I wanted a white dress, and while the ivory color looked good on me, it actually didn't look as good as white did.  So, we moved on.

This next dress we tried on was more for the style than the actual dress, as I wanted to try a one-shoulder dress to see how it looked.

Pronovias "Paris" / Personal Picture

This dress was very pretty, and I loved the one-shoulder look. It was very comfortable, but the dress itself was a little too drapey, and the pleats going down the middle of the back made my hips look really wide, and I wasn't too much a fan of that. They are wide enough as is, they don't need more accentuation!

The dress dress I tried on was a little more fitted, but had a fun personality in the skirt and on the bust, and a criss-cross bodice, which looked pretty good on me when I tried that on previously.

Pronovias "Papira" / Personal Picture

Pronovias "Papira" / Personal Picture

When I tried it on, we all agreed that the third boob (flower in the middle of the bust) would need to go, and that while the ruffles on the bust brought a nice detail to the top and made me look fuller, it was too much going on with the rest of the dress, especially since the bottom was so full.  After showing this picture to MOH E, she said the bottom scared her and looked like hair.  This one was officially off the list.

Last, I tried on another one with a fun full skirt, but less details overall. It had a corset back, and beautiful flowers on the skirt, with again, a pleated/ruched detailing on the bodice, and a sweetheart neckline.

Maggie Sottero "Alandra" / Personal Picture

Maggie Sottero "Alandra" / Personal Picture

Of all the dresses I tried on, the Maggie was the favorite.  It had some great detailing on the skirt, and the flowers fit well in with the venue, it being a Botanical Center, and the sweetheart neckline really looked great.  The only thing that didn't sell me about the dress was the corset back. I really don't like the way that they look, and while they do amazing things for the waistline, they just don't really appeal to me.  So, while we had another favorite, I still wasn't ready to commit.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Me, a Bridezilla?

So, I am determined to not be a Bridezilla, but what some people don't understand is that I have had ideas in my head of what I want this wedding to look like for more than four years.  When you have all these thoughts in your head and a vision of what things look like, and then people disagree with you, it's kind of disheartening, and makes you want to ignore them and do what you want.

Some people translate this to being a bridezilla. I disagree. For me, it's more of being a totally Type A person.

But, this is happening to me in regards to quite a few thoughts I have had about the wedding.  People don't think that I should have a short ceremony, and people don't think that I should use paper lanterns. Someone is always going to have an opinion about something I have or FI and I have discussed and planned for the wedding, so how do you deal with these people?

Any suggestions on what to say to these people when they disagree with one of your ideas?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In One Year

Today is October 6, 2011.  One year from today will be our wedding day.


I cannot wait to stand up in front of our guests and proclaim my love to you. These last almost six years have been a beautiful journey, and I cannot wait to make it even more special by becoming your wife.

I love you!

On a less mushy and serious note, HOLY COW! One year from today, I will be getting married!  That means that the countdown on my phone (What, you DON'T have one? Yeah, right!) will finally read under 365 days!

But, that also means that I really have to get cracking on all these DIY projects I have planned.  Yikes!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Choosing a photographer was one of the easiest vendor choices we have had to make - NOT.

I spent so many hours researching photographers, falling in love with their pictures and photojournalistic styling, and then being heartbroken when seeing their price lists.  While FI and I decided that photographs from our wedding were going to last forever and were extremely important, we could not justify spending over $2K for our package.  Because we wanted so much out of it, this was very hard to find.  It basically cut out all of the more popular photographers around this area.

So, I turned to a bride's favorite resource, Facebook.  Ok, so maybe not favorite wedding-planning resource, but it sure helped me in this task.  I put a post up to my recently married and wedding-planning friends about their photographers and price points if they were willing to share, and I got some great answers.  I took a look at their albums on Facebook, then on their individual blogs, and made a list of my top ones.  One comment I got on my post intrigued me though. My youngest cousin had just had her senior high school pictures taken by a photographer who also shoots weddings, and she gave me the password to see her pictures on the photographers website. I took a look and was floored at how gorgeous they were, and how different they were from traditional senior pictures.  He was quickly added to the list to consider.

FI and I set up three meetings with three different photographers, and spoke with each of them about the services and price points, and their favorite things about weddings in terms of photography.

I won't get into the boring details about each of the meetings, and instead, I will just tell you who FI chose (because I am a terrible decision maker).  We have signed a contract with Matt Ferrara Photography, the one who did my cousin's senior pictures.  His work was great, and with just a bit of customization, we were able to get everything we wanted for $2K: a two-hour engagement session, two photographers on wedding day, all-day photography, and full printing rights to pictures.

We are so happy with our choice, and cannot wait to have our Engagement Session at the end of this month!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Paper Samples

Well, you've already seen the first part of our invitation suite, but what about the rest?  We have decided to do pocketfolds, and while these may not be unique anymore, they are beautiful and easy to put together.  Since this is completely a DIY operation, I needed to decide what to do about paper for the other elements of the suite: response card, accommodations, and directions/map cards.

I did not want to go the traditional route of having everything be on a solid color paper, so I decided to go look at more scrapbook paper since it seems to be thick enough and big enough for me to get multiple of each size card out of one sheet.

In staying with our color palette, I decided to use green and yellow paper for the response card and accommodations card, but since there will be a map printed on the backside of the directions card, that I would just stick with white.

After ordering a ton of different paper samples, we have decided to go with these two:

Bo Bunny Press Double-Dot Paper - Kiwi Green / Image via Scrapbook.com

Doodlebug Design Petite Prints Collection - Dot Grid Bumblebee / Image via Scrapbook.com

Since these are the only pictures of the paper on the website, they don't really show you exactly what we'll be using.  The green paper has a swirly green look to it on the side they only show the corner of, and that's actually the side we will be using, not the one with the dots.  And for the yellow paper, we will be using the side with the grid. We felt that while the dots on both of the papers would make it match, it made it look a little too young, and actually reminded me of a baby shower, which I really didn't want to make our wedding invitations feel like.

So the paper is on it's way, and I'll take more pictures when it comes time to create everything, because I know you will all want to see the whole DIY process.

Anyone else using scrapbook paper or patterned paper for their DIY invitation suites?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pickin' the Ladies

Picking my MOH was easy.  I have a younger sister, and while we really didn't get along very well in middle school and high school, as soon as I left for college, our relationship turn a great turn, and we had a blast when she would come up to visit and when I would visit home for breaks.  I know that all siblings have rocky roads, and believe me, we've had ours, but there was no way I could ask anyone else to be my MOH.  So, I would like to introduce you to my sister, MOH E:

MOH E / Personal Picture

Now, as I mentioned previously, I don't have a lot of friends.  The group of friends I had from high school all lost touch after graduation when we went our separate ways, and while we chat now and then on Facebook, we don't hang out, and we just don't communicate that often. I think that happens a lot, or at least I make myself think that happens a lot, and that I'm just not a friendless loser.

The girls I was closest to in college were great until my junior year, when my class schedule was so overwhelming that I would rather spend my little amount of spare time with FI than them. They started really disliking that, and ignoring me, and that friendship quickly went down the drain after they asked me to be their roommate the next school year and I told them that FI and I were moving in together.  When this happened, I started reaching out to other friends that I didn't live with and saw on a semi-daily basis - those in my music program.  They were great, but again, we weren't that close.

So, needless to say, the only really close friends I have are the ones that I have made after college, which happen to be mutual friends me and FI.  After FI and I moved out to Indiana, one of my music friends from college got engaged, and asked me to be in her bridal party. I of course said yes, and that made me think about all the times we spent together in college.  I was there for her when she was having problems with her roommates, and she was there when I was having problems with mine. We really bonded over that, but at that point, it was really close to the end of our college years, and we didn't have much time left before we went our separate ways. But, the thing that I didn't mention, was that she was the one who introduced FI and I on that trip to New York in college.  If she hadn't been there and been my friend, I would have never met FI.

I decided that if there was anyone that I was going to ask to be a BM in our wedding, it was going to be her. And so I asked, and she was so happy.  Without further ado, here is BM A:

BM A / Personal Picture

 Did you struggle with choosing your bridal party, or did you know right away who you wanted by your side?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Extremely Untraditional

There are TONS of traditions that are supposed to go hand-in-hand with a wedding, but in case you haven't noticed by now, FI and I are not traditional in the least bit.

Outside of wedding planning, there are a few reasons we are not traditional: we have lived together prior to being married and we will likely be buying our first house before we get married.

As a part of wedding planning, and the wedding itself, there are a lot of traditions that we will not be taking part in:

  1. Spending the night before the wedding apart - This tradition really doesn't make sense for FI and I since we live together.  I wouldn't want to spend the night before with anyone else, and I want to wake up on our wedding day, and be able to spend those last few moments of calm with him.  Plus, I tend to sleep way better with him around than without.   
  2. Transportation to and from the ceremony/reception - Since our ceremony and reception are in the same location, there is no need for transportation between venues, and I also don't see any reason to spend extra money on transportation when we both have reliable cars that are also really pretty!
  3. Post-ceremony planned exit - The planned exit from the ceremony is typically a church tradition, and since we are not being married in the church, I figured we could nix this.  However, we will be having a post-reception planned exit - more on that later!
  4. Flower girl/Ring bearer - This goes back to the discussion about the size of the bridal party. Plus, we don't really have family that fall in the typical age range.  
  5. Veil & tiara - No, no, no.  This is so not me. I am not really a girly-girl, nor do I want to be a princess on my wedding day, so that means no tiara. In terms of a veil, I typically associate them with church weddings, and since I am not religious, I will not be wearing one.  I will have something else in my hair to embellish it though (DIY!).
  6. Something Old/New/Borrowed/Blue - I really don't care for this tradition either, although I'm sure that even though I'm not trying to have the tradition, it will end up being there. I guess I just don't really want it to be recognized or called the "Somethings" tradition. I know, I'm crazy.
  7. Matching BM Dresses - I'm not so sure that this is an actual tradition, but I've decided to let my two girls choose their dresses.  They have completely different body types, and I know that it would be difficult to find something that they both like, so I figured same designer, fabric, and color, and then they choose the style.  
  8. Announced entrance to reception - The wedding day is going to be hard enough on me as it is with being the center of attention, so I decided that I really didn't want an announced entrance.  This may still be debatable, based on what is suggested by the DOC and the DJ, but I at least know that we will not be introducing the wedding party.
  9. Bouquet/garter toss - I hate this tradition.  It is always sooooooo awkward. Single ladies hate being on the dance floor being expected to participate, and while I'm not necessarily a private person, I can't imagine FI getting a garter out from under my dress.  Plus, not so sure that the meaning of the garter applies, if you know what I mean.  
That's just a small list of what I think will end up being our list of traditions not happening.  I'll get into the ones that we are covering in separate posts, as those are more fun, and will actually have pictures!

Monday, September 12, 2011

No Such Thing as Too Many Colors

Choosing the color palette for our wedding was another one of those things that I have had done for longer than the engagement.  This was actually one of the easiest decisions made in the planning process so far.

I decided that choosing a random color palette would be not really "us," so I decided that nothing was better than choosing my favorite color, FI's favorite color, and a few other colors to help balance it out.

My favorite color is ORANGE:

FI's favorite color is YELLOW:

Those two colors together are a little to close to McDonald's, so we needed to add some other colors in there.  I have really been into the impact that gray has had on color schemes, and how modern it makes it look, so I started by adding in CHARCOAL GRAY:

I loved this combination, but everyone I was talking to was telling me that I shouldn't put my girls in orange dresses.  I have always wanted my girls in orange dresses, but they felt that it would be too much.    That really only left yellow, since gray dresses with gray suits would look kind of drab, even with colorful accessories and flowers. So, I started playing around with adding a fourth color. I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to add GREEN:

The color palette was essentially complete, but I thought that since we are not going to go overboard with table linen colors and place setting colors, that I would make everything (including my dress) match by adding WHITE:

So there you have it, our color palette! 

It may be a lot of colors, but there's no such thing as too many, right? Or wrong?

All images personal unless otherwise credited.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Blooms

A long, long time ago...ok, I won't sing, but really. A long, long time ago, I came across a picture from a wedding related message board and absolutely fell in love.

Image via Rachel Ray / Jello Centerpieces with Flowers

I have been obsessed with this picture since I found in (in 2007) and have had it saved to my wedding notebook since then.  

The reason I am showing this to you now, is because this has actually hurt me in my search for a florist for the wedding. A lot of them don't either have the slightest idea how to do this, or don't have the means of doing this (no stove to boil jello...etc.).  So, I was finally able to find one florist who said she would try to make the centerpieces before I signed a contract. I thought this was perfect.

I got a call a week ago saying that she tried it but it wasn't really that successful, and that she was saving her trial for me if I wanted to come see it.  So, I stopped by her shop after work that afternoon.  This is what she was able to accomplish:

Front side of rectangular vase / Personal Picture

Back side of rectangular vase / Personal Picture

Side view of rectangular vase / Personal Picture

So, as you can see, there was a huge problem in keeping the flowers to stay down in the jello while it hardened, and not to float to the surface.  The florist said that she was going back and forth to try to push them down as it hardened, but the process was too quick.  She also said that it was very time consuming and that she really didn't have the resources to do it in the shop.

She was very nice about it all, but it was kind of disappointing that something I have been so obsessed about for years may not be able to happen for our wedding. 

I let her know that I was very thankful that she tried this, and that it was helpful to know this early that this idea may not work.

The ideas that she had for the bouquets were beautiful, and I loved them, but you will have to wait to hear about those.  She said that she was still willing to do the rest of the flowers for the wedding, but she was adamant about not working with Jello.

So, I have decided to try the Jello centerpieces to see if there is some special trick to getting it to work, and to determine whether or not I would be able to do them on my own for the wedding.  But, in the meantime, I may need to start thinking of alternative centerpiece ideas.  Any suggestions?

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