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?
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