Monday, December 28, 2009

Bride's Speech

Being a fairly talkative bride-to-be, I've been thinking about this for about a year now. ;)

I know it's not as traditional for the bride to give a speech as it is for the best man or the father of the bride. However, I love the idea of being able to take a minute to thank everyone - wedding party, family, and assembled guests - at our reception. So I'm definitely going pause the action for a moment, raise a glass, and tell my loved ones how much they and their support mean to me.

Now, I just have to figure out what to say . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Success (Mostly)

Well, the sea glass candy turned out pretty well! Above is a picture of the peppermint and cinnamon all mixed up in the tin we used.

The whole process is easier than I thought it would be, although our first batch didn't boil evenly and was therefore stickier and less brittle than we were hoping for. For the second batch, though, we were more careful and the candy cracked easily when it was done.

The final step - painting powdered sugar on the candy to give it that dull sea glass look - is fun, but very time consuming. I'll have to think about whether we still want to do this for the wedding. Maybe we could make a bunch and have our wedding parties over for a candy sugaring party!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Testing, testing . . .

Tonight's project in our kitchen is "Make your Own Sea Glass Candy!" I saw this recipe in a blog post at Intimate Weddings (photo above from same post). At the time, I thought right away that it might be a great idea for our wedding favors. Our favors will be presented in small galvanized favor pails (like these at Beau Coup for $0.80 a pop for the quantity we need, or these at Wedding Favors Unlimited at just $0.51 each!).

I had planned to fill the favor pails with chocolate sea shells or maybe salt water taffy or some other "beachy" candy. However, assuming our practice recipe comes out well tonight, I think lovely sea glass candy would be perfect!

I'm making two batches tonight (one red & cinnamon flavored, one green & peppermint flavored) for a Yankee swap at Justin's aunt's house on Christmas Eve. At present, we're waiting for the candy to cool to the right degree of brittle so we can whack it with a hammer and break it into small pieces. Will update on how that goes. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hair!

Now, hair is not something I pay much attention to. I think the only times I've ever gone to a proper salon to get my hair "did" were my high school proms and my sister's wedding eleven years ago. I still drive two hours sometimes to my parents' small New Hampshire town to get my hair washed, cut, and blowdried for $15 at the local salon.

However, I of course understand the importance of having my hair nicely done for the wedding. And on this point, my sister, who is my matron of honor, has been a huge help. She contacted a woman (my brother-in-law's co-worker's sister, I believe?) who will travel from the Boston area to Portsmouth to do my hair here at our apartment on the day of the wedding. Just found out that I'm meeting her at my sister's place in the Boston area on January 19th for a hair trial. Yay!

Now to figure out how the heck I want to wear it . . . Here are a few styles that I like. My hair is way too fine and straight to look like these styles naturally, but I'm hoping we can make it work!





Monday, December 14, 2009

The Bridesmaid Dresses

Oh, J. Crew, how I love you so. I can never afford your clothes, but I love to look at them and get ideas. And for something like my wedding, spring for the expensive stuff!

Some of you may remember that my dress came from J. Crew's wedding line. Well, they also carry a shorter version, which I've selected for my bridesmaids and one groomswoman. Behold the Sophia short in "Mediterranean Blue:"

However, this style of dress gives a little extra cleavage at the top and in case the girls might not be comfortable with that, I gave them the option of choosing one of the other styles in the same fabric and color.




I like all four dresses so I think they'll look good together if that's what anyone decides to do. I'm pleased with these dresses as I think they're reasonably priced (the Cecelia's the only one over $200 and at $225, it's not much over) and genuinely wearable. And I think my b-maids and groomswoman are happy with them, too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fancy Pants Wax Seals

So in my non-wedding planning life, I'm a museum professional. Most of you know this. And in the process of browsing a reproduction 18th century catalog for museum programs, I came across a beautiful wax seal set. And, as those of you who have recently been married or are soon to be know, the "wedding planning brain" is always thinking! "These," I thought to myself, "would be perfect for sealing our invitation envelopes!"

Thus, I ended up ordering a wax seal set, with eight extra wax sticks, from Jas. (18th century shorthand for James) Townsend and Son, Inc. Everything came within a few days and they look great!

Hardwood and pewter seal. I chose the anchor design, for our nautical theme

Lovely dark red wax

The end result should look something like this

I love our invitations, but they're fairly simple, so having this extra nautical/historical touch makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Great Expectations

Wonderful wedding wisdom (try saying that three times fast!) from a commenter, Abby-Wan Kenobi, on a recent post at A Practical Wedding:
If I thought our wedding day was going to be the happiest day of my life, I wouldn't be getting married. I see a future with my fiance because I know we'll have lots of happy days. Quiet Sunday afternoon days, big accomplishment days, days with babies, days with crying, days with laughing, days with Chinese take-out, days when we acheive [sic] one dream and immediately find a new one. And those days will all be special and happy and memorable because we spend them together, not because I spent $8000 on my outfit.
In a way, all these expectations we have for our wedding days to be "the happiest day of our lives" seem to short circuit a lot of why we're in this marriage thing in the first place. God willing, our wedding day will be a wonderful day, full of food, fun, and loved ones. But if it's going to be the pinnacle of our lives together, then what's the point of what comes after?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How NOT to Think about Your Wedding

First of all, if you're not already reading A Practical Wedding, you should be. Meg, the author, has a uniquely grounded philosophy on weddings, wedding planning, and marriage. She began the blog for her own wedding and despite her wedding date having gone by this summer, she's decided to continue the blog, showcasing others' real weddings and discussing the concept of marriage.

A couple of weeks ago, she was going through her archives and reposted this gem. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free Wedding Cake for the Military

Now, before I post this, I feel I should clarify that I'm not an "Army wife" by the normal standards of this role. I barely consider myself a military (soon-to-be) wife at all. Justin serves in the National Guard and until we received news of his deployment next year and this year's increased training schedule, the military only affected me about one weekend a month.

However, my family has a history of military service (both of my grandfathers and my brother-in-law served) and I've always been grateful for the sacrifices of American soldiers, whether or not I agreed with their military mission. And so, I wanted to note something I saw on the site DC Nearlyweds. A DC-area bakery has offered a free wedding cake to a member of the armed services serving in the DC metro area. I think this is a great way to help support service members - take something stressful like their wedding
and make it just a little easier (and cheaper!).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"The Thing that Started it All"

Also known as, my ring. For about eleven months now, this beauty has graced my left hand and I've been meaning to take some close-up photos of it for the same amount of time. This afternoon, the sun was shining in the window and I took advantage of it!

I used a lot of the tips in this article, posted by a photographer on Wedding Bee Pro. She suggests some good common sense tips like photographing in good natural light, using the macro setting on your camera, and not using the flash in order to get more detail. She also suggested shooting your ring on various interesting backgrounds/foundations. I took her advice and you can judge for yourself how they turned out. Here are my five favorites:





I think part of the fun was finding neat things to place the ring on. The top two, as you can guess, are mussel shells (collected at the beach with Justin and our best man over the summer). Then, a mini pumpkin we bought for Halloween, a mini globe that decorates our desk, and a pewter plate from an award I won in college. They all proved neat surfaces that helped show off the ring.

As for the ring itself, my honey picked it out himself at a local jewelry shop last winter. It's an estate piece and the appraiser estimated it to be from the late 1940s to early 1950s. My grandmother, who was married in 1950, had a very similar ring, so that makes sense to me. I think the side stones really add to the sparkle. I feel very lucky to have such a beautiful piece of jewelry with a bit of a history.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Engagement Photo Shoot Recap

We got our engagement photo CD in the mail today and they turned out great! We took them at Strawbery Banke, a museum in Portsmouth where I've worked for over two years. The site is about ten acres and has over thirty historic buildings on it that we used as great backdrops.

The photographer was a little worried about the brightness of the photos because we did them around sunset and it got dark very quickly. However, we ended up with 39 shots that had plenty of light and so we're pleased. I've picked out some of my initial favorites and posted them below. Enjoy!

This was our first shot, taken in front of the cooper's (barrel maker) workshop

Under an arbor by the strawberry patch. I do hearth cooking in the blue house behind us!

In front of the 1695 First-Period Sherburne House, one of the oldest houses in New Hampshire

And a nice shot as the light was fading, in front of the 1762 Chase House. I actually think I might use this image for our Christmas cards, as I think the lantern makes it somewhat festive!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Scots are Coming! The Scots are Coming!

Two lads anyone would want at their wedding, right?

The back story: I spent the fall semester of 2003 studying in Edinburgh, Scotland. On our first night out to the pubs, my new study abroad friends and I met the gangly gent on the right (David) and became fast friends with him in our time there. Months later, I went back to visit a friend who had spent the full academic year there and met the blondie on the left (Stevie), who was an old friend of David's. And thus two going-on-six-year-long friendships were born.

I've been back to Scotland a few times since and seen these guys (and some other Scottish buds, who will be mentioned later) almost every time. They've come over to the U.S. and stayed with me when I lived in Boston. Thanks to the wonders of the Interwebs, we've also stayed in regular touch via email and Facebook.

So when Justin and I were creating our wedding guest list, it was a no brainer for me to invite my Scottish lads. I wasn't at all sure they would be able to make it due to the long distance and expense involved, but I was really hoping they could. This week, I got pretty solid confirmation from them that they plan to be in attendance. As my silly soon-to-be husband is wont to say, "that squees me full of glee." And yes - in answer to your unasked question, those are the kilts they will be sporting in style!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Engagement Photos - TODAY!

In about an hour, Justin & I will be meeting our photographer to take our engagement photos!

It's kinda funny to me to be doing them now, when we've been engaged for nearly eleven months. However, the session comes free with the photography package we chose and who are we to turn down free, professional photos?

We're meeting Aaron (the photog) at Strawbery Banke, where I've worked for all of my time in Portsmouth and all of our relationship. The museum is mostly closed this time of year, but the grounds are open for walking and the historic houses are in all the same places. ;) I'll let you know how the session goes!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"her reaction of disdain the day he replaced the blue hydrangea with the climbing frame"

Flowers, flowers, flowers. Since the spring, I've been mulling over my flowers. Do we want to hire a florist or do them ourselves? Do I want Queen Anne's lace, black-eyed susans, hydrangea, or something else entirely?

Actually, it's been a tad easier than that makes it sound. If you had asked me when I was 18 what I wanted for my wedding flowers, I'd have said daisies, Queen Anne's lace, black-eyed susans, and thistles. Now, I've settled upon hydrangea (both blue & white), Queen Anne's lace, and ferns (with a few others to-be-determined). That suits me just fine.

Moreover, I'm going to do most of the flowers myself. I'm planning to arrange the ceremony flowers, the reception centerpieces, and the bouquets for me, three bridesmaids, and one groomswoman. I might use Ambrosia Gardens here in Portsmouth for the boutonnieres and corsages, though. Those seem a touch beyond my skill.

I've been researching wholesale flower companies for months and tracking down the best prices on bulk hydrangeas. The masses and masses of flowers we need will come in a day or two before the wedding and I'll have to get down to business. It's a big job, but I think it will be fun, interesting, and has the potential to save us hundreds of dollars. Besides, when the dust settles and I'm walking down the aisle carrying a bouquet I made, in a church that I decorated, I can be proud of my handiwork!

This is something I like for the church aisles (assuming we get
married in a church - this is still unsettled. A post for another day!)

Lovely white hydrangeas on the reception tables
of the estimable Holly of Nothing But Bonfires

My trial centerpieces, completed last winter and a cinch to make! I love how big & full hydrangeas are - you really can get away with just one or two

The model bouquet for the bridesmaids and the one groomswoman -
should look lovely against their blue and black silk dresses

What I'd like my bouquet to look like, only a touch darker blue, with Queen Anne's lace interspersed throughout, ferns around the edges, and a lovely ribbon tied around the stems (with maybe a little keepsake of some kind tied on - I know that's trendy now, but as an historian, I love the idea of a little family heirloom or something there)

So that's the plan at the moment. I know it sounds a bit crazy to try to do the flowers for an almost-200 person wedding yourself, but hey - Justin and I got engaged after three months, people. Maybe we're the right kind of crazy for this.

(P.S. The title of the post is a line from a song by mewithoutyou, pretty much Justin's favorite band ever. I like them, too, and especially that line.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Caterer - Very Nearly Done!

So there's a solid chance that our "caterers met to caterers hired" average is going to be 1.000. That was a weird, awkward metaphor, but the point is . . . we may have our caterer!

Our venue typically works with four catering companies in the NH Seacoast/Southern Maine area. We could choose an outside caterer, but that incurs an extra $500 fee and I didn't think that was necessary. So I ruled out one caterer based on their product (i.e. they specialize in on-site clambakes and my best friend/one of my bridesmaids is deathly allergic to shellfish) and emailed the other three for info a couple of weeks ago.

One got back to me right away and suggested a meeting in the next few days. One got back to me a few hours later, with a completely overpriced estimate that involved no input from us. One never got back to me. So . . . last Sunday, Justin & I drove up to Eliot, Maine to meet with the catering director at Muddy River Marketplace, the first place to respond.

We were running late and I wasn't sure if we were going to do any tasting, so we crammed bagels with peanut butter and
travel mug coffee into ourselves on the ride up. However, I needn't have worried. In the course of a three hour meeting with the director, we had two cokes each and an assortment of their BBQ specialties, including "fowl balls" (smoked chicken wrapped in bacon), pulled pork, cornbread, baked beans, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baby back ribs, BBQ chicken . . . There may have been even more, but I can't remember!

Now, I like BBQ. I like it very much. However, I was a little leery of doing an all-BBQ reception dinner. I know it's fun and casual, but my modus operandi thus far has been to attempt a wedding that is both fun and elegant at the same time. I wasn't sure that BBQ was going to do it for me. However, the catering director at Muddy River is a former executive chef and has catered at all kinds of top hotels. He can make pretty much anything you want, if you don't want BBQ.

So now we're looking at a proposed menu of:

  • Mediterranean appetizer display (above), including hummus, spinach dip, salsa, tomato & white bean bruschetta, sliced Italian meats and cheeses, marinated mushrooms, country olives, and assorted breads, chips and pita bread.
  • Three passed apps: Smoked Chicken Wrapped in Bacon drizzled with honey mustard (the "fowl balls"), Spinach & Feta in phylo, and possibly Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Summer tomato salad with fresh basil, mozzarella and virgin olive oil
  • Prime Rib carving station with horseradish sauce & au jus
  • Panko Coated Haddock Filet
  • Roasted New Potatoes with garlic rosemary butter
  • Roasted Vegetable Medley
  • Grilled Vegetable Dinners (the vegetarian option, which is a mix of marinated portobello mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and peppers)
  • Hot dogs, chicken fingers, and baked macaroni and cheese for the kiddos
  • And for dessert (this might be my favorite part of the whole wedding!), a s'more station complete with fire pits, wooden dowels preloaded with marshmallows, and chocolate & graham crackers on silver trays (below)!

I know, right? I love this place. My parents have pretty much given us the go-ahead, but they want to be fed, too, so we're all meeting with the catering director again in a couple of weeks. After that, we'll put our deposit down, start finalizing the menu, and that's one more item off the list!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lost Soldiers

So our Save the Dates mailed successfully the final week of September. They seem to have been a big hit, based on the responses we've gotten so far, which is great!

However, we have gotten two poor little lost soldiers returned to us. On one, the postal service marked "Address Unknown - Return to Sender." Hmmm. The address was one that was sent to me in an email by the intended recipient, so I'm unclear on how that works.


Another was sent back to us in a body bag. I went to the foyer to get the mail one day and found this:


A plastic bag with one of our STDs inside (hehe). As you can see from the photos, the portion of the postcard that had the address had been ripped off in one of the post office sorting machines. But, they cared enough to send it back with a bag saying that they cared. However, I haven't seen any reimbursement for the $0.75 stamp that ended up wasted as a result. Thanks, USPS!

Luckily, since the stamp was a seventy-five center, I knew the card was intended for one of our Canadian guests. So I emailed them all to see if they'd received theirs and one of them hadn't. In a funny coincidence, it was the card intended for a friend I used to date that didn't make it, which Justin thought was providential. ;) However, we sent him a new one and all's well in our Save the Date world.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Etsy Love

So it almost goes without saying for the modern, crafty, somewhat-DIY bride, but Etsy is bloody brilliant. I've been reading the Etsy wedding blog for almost the entire time I've been wedding planning. You should, too. Below are some of the fantastic handcrafted Etsy items I'm planning to buy for the wedding or just love to bits! Each photo links to the seller's shop.






Monday, October 12, 2009

Location, location, location

At long, long last - you finally get to see the place where we're going to celebrate our wedding! This view is of our reception location, in a state park in coastal New Hampshire. The center has a large 40' x 80' tent which seats up to 200 people. It's erected over that large green rectangle on the right side of the photo. I'll post more about the site soon, but just wanted to share a photo of our beautiful location!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vows

Popping in quickly to say . . . we're not writing our own vows, but if we did, I love this.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Photographer - Very Nearly Done!

Sometime over the summer, I began our photographer hunt. I found someone in northern Maine whose work I really liked, and she even had a package that included a photo booth! However, after crunching the numbers a bit, I realized that her most basic package, plus the extra $600 for the photo booth, would make the final tally for her services a bit more than we wanted to pay (well over $3K).

So it was back to square one. But not really, because now I had a better sense of what photographic style worked for us. After stumbling onto the New Hampshire branch of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, I realized I liked a photojournalistic style best. So even though our photographer is not listed on that site, I somehow managed to find him with that thought in mind (can't remember for the life of me how).

His name is Aaron Rohde and he's based out of Dover, NH (just 12 miles up the road from Portsmouth and where we used to live until June). His website is really well designed and has a sweet, fun playlist set up for the wedding slideshow. Justin joined me in looking at it and was equally impressed.

After some email tag over the summer, we met with Aaron a few weeks ago. He's a chill kind of dude, someone who seems like he'd be a mellowing influence on wedding day. He showed us a slideshow he'd set up for us of sample wedding photos, including some detail shots that hadn't been on his website, and we talked a bit about the nuts and bolts. Currently (this will change soon), his 8-hour package is $2K
and includes full rights to the pictures and a free engagement session!

After we walked out of the Dover mill building his office is in, I said to Justin, "It's a no-brainer, right? We like his work, he seems cool, and his price is really reasonable." So in a few days, when I've sent him the contract and paid the deposit, bingo! We'll have our wedding photographer. Below are just some of the images I love from his site:





Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Save the Dates!

So after much hemming & hawing, I finally ordered our Save the Date postcards! Justin's away this week, but we tweaked the design together last week and I placed the order on Saturday. According to the 123Print website, they should be delivered on Thursday, the 24th, which is our 1-year anniversary. That has to be a good omen somehow, right?

The front of the postcard is a picture we took on vacation to PEI (after writing the info & date in the sand, of course). While I'm happy to be having our wedding in Portsmouth, I always kinda wanted to get married on the Island. However, it helps to have some details in the wedding that remind me of PEI.

The back of the card - anonymized, of course. I bought a font that I love from My Fonts & will use those for the labels. Then, I'll make a trip to the post office this week to buy 100 of the prettiest $0.28 stamps I can find! Well, with some exceptions for the cards going to Scotland, Canada, and Ireland.

I'm really excited to send them out, as they're the first official notice of our wedding. I'm also really happy with them, because we personalized them, then got a good price for someone else to print them. Win-win!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wedding Planning Update

Days until our wedding: approximately 291 (I think that's right, but I can't be arsed to tot them all up again).

Guests on the A list: 203

Guests on the B list: 35 (ish)

Blog posts about the wedding: 16 (now 17)


Buckets of sand stolen from Canadian beaches for reception decoration: 2 (don't tell Parks Canada on me!)

Wedding nightmares thus experienced: 2 (in both cases, the wedding day was here & we were woefully under prepared)

Contracts signed: 1 (venue)

Photographers met, liked, and soon to be booked: 1

Dresses bought: 1

Pairs of shoes fallen in love with & budgeted for, but yet to be bought: 1

I think we're doing ok. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

That Girl (was) Gone

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I know - I've been gone forever. In my defense, I've been struggling to process the news about my grandmother as she starts palliative chemotherapy, Justin & I snuck up to PEI without telling you, our roommate/best man moved out (to Russia!), and I started a new job this week. And there's always wedding stuff. We're meeting with a local photographer we really like this afternoon.

However, I'm back, or I hope to be. Things will begin to settle down a little in the next few weeks & I really missed blogging here. I can't count how many times I sat down to write something & got distracted by other things (usually wedding related). So, with my apologies, forward into the breach!


I found two quotes recently that jumped out at me as the way I want to feel about my wedding day. The first is from one of the wedding blogs I read (and you should, too), A Practical Wedding. The second is from one of the "other parts of my life" blogs, Nothing But Bonfires.
  1. "It felt exactly how standing in the middle of a room surrounded by almost 100 people who love you should feel."
  2. "I can only think that it'll be like one of those wonderful dreams where suddenly everyone you love is in the same place. And all you have to do is walk towards them."
Because, as I commented on Nothing But Bonfires recently, ". . . isn't it the family time, the giggling time, the time with those we love, watching us marry the one we love, that is the most important part of all of this?"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saving Pennies & More Pennies

A couple of weeks ago, I managed to get our invitation and STD costs down by $135 in one evening's work! By buying our invitations from Invitation Consultants (great prices!), trimming the guest list by about fifteen households, and designing our enclosure cards, RSVP cards, and save the dates through 123Print, I was able to save that much. Pretty awesome. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Thoughts Elsewhere

I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately. Life's been a little hectic. I know, that's the lame apology of every procrastinatory blogger ever. However, last week, we got some very bad family news. My grandmother (dad's mother) has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. It's spread to the lymph nodes and the outlook is not good. So I may be around in the next week or so, but I also need to take mental time away to be with the family & think about things. Hopefully, I'll be back by the end of the week, though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gaining Some Perspective

So one day last week, I was having a bad day. Justin was still away & I was missing him. I'd also had a lazy day, which often makes me feel a bit guilty. Around 8pm, I headed out to the grocery store, but decided to take a short detour out to the coast to catch a breeze & feel like I'd gotten out of the house. I ended up driving over to the site of the reception*, realizing that I hadn't yet been there in the summertime.

The state park was closed, but I was able to park my car outside the gate (don't tell the parks department!) & walk over to the reception tent to check it out. My assessments?

  • The view = gorgeous
  • The tent = good sized, clean, elegant
  • The support poles = metal but not so very ugly
  • Existing lights = lanterns & string lights already there! These might come with it? Will check with coordinator
  • Paper lantern hanging options = inner poles!
  • Mosquitoes = bad! Must do something about this
  • Again, view = gorgeous!
My apologies for the short, bulleted post, but it's hard to describe the feeling of relief & joy I felt in getting to see the site around the time of year when the wedding will be. The sun was setting over a nearby cove, while the moon was rising over the open ocean. It was lovely and it made me so happy & excited for the wedding. Sometime, it's nice to get a little perspective.

*I realize I still owe you a post about the actual location. Will write as soon as possible!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Back!

Had a wonderful time on vacation, but happy to be back for a bit. Justin will sleep at home tomorrow night for the first time in two weeks & it will be good to have him back!

As you probably noticed, I did not have any internet connection on vacation & therefore did not post (well, except for the dress one, but I scheduled that before I left). However, I do have a bunch drafted, so expect to see more this week.

I also wanted to share this story that some of you can probably relate to. Sunday night, I fell asleep in bed, in front of my computer. When I woke up, I looked at the last page I'd been looking at and I thought to myself, "I'm so clearly a bride-to-be: I fell asleep to a webpage featuring purchasing details for satin ribbon with polka dots.
" :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And the Lady Wore Ivory

The dress! By far, this was the easiest party of wedding planning for me. I've actually been eyeing this dress, the Sophia long from J. Crew, for about four years. Then, just two days after we got engaged, the dress was on sale - for just $200 (normal price is $295). I ordered it to see how I liked it in real life, it came within a few days (go J. Crew!), I tried it on, it fit, I liked it, and that was that. ;)

Model, front view

Model, back view

And me. I like the non-boring elegance of the dress, which is exactly what I said last week about the shoes I'm eyeing. Non-boring elegance. Sounds like a good wedding mantra to me.

P.S. You might be thinking, "Now Justin will see her in the dress before the big day!" It's ok - he's already seen me in the dress a couple of times. I decided long ago that I was going to keep the wedding traditions that made sense to me & trash the ones that didn't. That whole "can't see the bride in her dress or you'll get bad luck" one - yeah, that ain't working for us.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vacation - Yay! Without Justin - Boo!

I'll be away from tomorrow (the 25th) until August 2nd, spending time with my family at our summer house on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Unfortunately, Justin is on a two-week military training, so he has to miss this trip, which would have been his first time at my family's summer place. However, he & I are planning a trip up at the end of August, so that thought is sustaining me through 2+ weeks without him.

I should have limited internet access while at the cottage, so I may pop in here for a post or two. I have ones partially drafted on the venue and my dress, hair, veil & sash. If not, see you the first week of August!

The Ones?

Three months ago, if you had asked me the wedding detail that I would have blogged about most at this point, I would have gone for venue or centerpieces. I would not would have said shoes. ;) However, here's another shoe post and this time I think I've really found "the ones."

After I decided the Rock & Republic shoes were not right for me, the shoe search was back on. I really want blue shoes, which are not so easy to find in ordinary shoe stores - online or otherwise. So I found a couple of companies that sell dyeable shoes. I don't even remember how now, but I stumbled across Dyeable Shoe Company, located right in Portsmouth, NH (where we live!).

Their website is a little basic, but it's easily searchable and I quickly found a style that I loved. It's from the brand Touch Ups, who make - obviously! - dyeable shoes. Anyway, I fell in love with this style, the Sharmain.

Can you picture these lovelies in royal blue? Because I can and I'm loving the image. I like how simple, but fun this style is. It's elegant without being a boring old shoe.

After ogling the Sharmain for awhile and daydreaming about it in blue, I happened to be sorting through some of the many, many wedding-related JPG's I've been collecting on my computer since we got engaged. And lo and behold - I found the self-same shoes! Apparently, I loved these back on . . . February 25th according to the file properties. ;)

Gorgeous!