Friday, February 26, 2010

Message in a Bottle, Yeah

My awesome mother sent me this idea from Yankee Magazine the other day: Photo Bottles (image above from article).

I think it's a great way to have some old family photos in the wedding decor without worrying about buying more frames (which can get costly). I also think it looks kind of like a "message in a bottle" so it fits perfectly with the nautical theme! Good work, Mum. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Wonder Brides Worry . . .

So, I was looking over a list of 13 "beauty don'ts" on The Knot the other day and five of them were just . . . frightening. Eight of them were just fine, mind you, but five of them made me want to drive to The Knot's offices, hold up the list, and say in a calm, measured tone, "Really?!? This is what you think I should be worrying about on the day I marry the love of my life? Priorities, people!"

Without further ado, here are the offenders. I refuse to provide commentary, as their silliness should be self-evident. ;) I will say, though, that I think the last one is the worst by far. Now we have to know how to weep correctly???

1. Don't drink wine or eat dark-colored foods like berries.
Unless you want to capture a stained smile in your wedding photos, you should avoid foods that can tint your pearly whites. To get 'em extra pearly, invest in a professional teeth-whitening service. On a strict budget? "Crest Whitestrips work magic!" says Melissa Roshan of Make-Up by Melissa Roshan in Columbus, Ohio. "Start any whitening regime about one month before the wedding."

6. Don't ingest excess sodium the week before the wedding.
That means no salty foods, sauces, dressings, or salty deli meats. Instead, choose low- or no-sodium everything starting at least seven days before the wedding. "Sodium holds 50 times its weight in water, so you can shed two to five pounds the week before the wedding just by doing this!" says Liz DiAlto of Fit, Healthy and Beautiful in New York City.

8. Don't sit around in your bra the morning of your wedding.
Makeup artist and hair stylist Nicole Francavilla, of Beauty by Nicole in Orange County, New York, says this is the best way to avoid those unsightly pink indents on your back and shoulders (especially if you're wearing a strapless dress!). And if you're wearing your hair up but don't wear your hair up often? "My suggestion is to take an Advil with your breakfast to eliminate the possibility of an updo headache," she says.

11. Don't forget to touch up!
It's okay to be a little high-maintenance -- bring a touch-up bag and actually use the products at the reception. "You may have hired the best makeup and hair professionals you could find, but if you're cutting a rug on the dance floor and drinking Champagne like France is going dry, chances are you'll break a little sweat and your lip color will wear off," says Chicago-based makeup artist Adriana Aude.

12. Don't cry off all your beautiful makeup!
Tears will happen, so it's important to know how to weep correctly. "Hold a tissue in each hand. Then press the tissues in the tear duct and let the tears run into the tissue -- and keep changing the tissue," says Catherine Sullivan of Fresh Face Chicago. "This keeps you from rubbing your face and eyes and ruining your beautiful face."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"I Think They Have a Very Happy Life Ahead of Them"

Haha, I love this. Bridezilla much? (click on it to biggify, although be warned - the language is colorful!)

Justin, I promise not to be like this! Although, just for fun, I named this season's fantasy baseball team "The Bridezillas." ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Non-traditional Ceremony Songs

In some ways, ours will be a traditional wedding. We are getting married in a religious ceremony in a church, I am wearing a white (well, ivory) dress, etc. etc.

In some ways, though, we are most assuredly not. The groom and his male attendants will be sporting Chucks, Justin's female friend is serving as "groomswoman," etc. etc. When it comes to ceremony music, I'm leaning more towards the non-traditional side of the scale. "The Wedding March" and "Pachelbel's Canon" are all well & good, but they're far from original. And in the end, what should our wedding be if not original and our own?

So, here are my thoughts at present. These may easily change before June, but I'm happy with them for now.

Processional for ring bearers, flower girl, and bridesmaids: "All You Need is Love." I dearly love the trumpets in the beginning and it's a good length (I think) for everyone to get down the aisle before we change over to my song. And come on - it's the Beatles! Telling us all we need is love! It's perfect.

Our recessional song will be "Sunny Side of the Street" by The Pogues. Justin introduced me to The Pogues when we started dating. A lot of their stuff is . . . well, perhaps inappropriate for a church is the right way to say it. However, this song sounds lovely, happy, and upbeat (though the lyrics are a bit otherwise). I see it as a wonderful celebration of being announced husband & wife!

Now, the bridal processional has been a bit trickier. I want a song that's dramatic without being pretentious, classic without being boring, and appropriate without being dry as toast. All in the first 30-60 seconds. ;)

Here are the current contenders:

"On the Sunny Side of the Street," by Louis Armstrong:

"Suffragette City" or "Rebel, Rebel," both by David Bowie

And the current top contender - "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire. It's been used a lot lately (in the trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are, on recent NFL commercials), but I really like it and especially like the first 30 or 40 seconds, which is all we'll probably end up using.

Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/questions?

(cross-posted at Hodeporicon, just for funsies)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Invitations - Check!

The invitations - they have been ordered! After months of thinking about these and saving designs to my 123 Print & Invitation Consultant accounts, I finally bit the bullet and ordered them yesterday.

We'd like to get them in the mail by March 19th (3 months and 1 week before the wedding), so I want them in the door well before that in case of any issues and to give us time to address them! So ordered they have been and they should arrive at the end of February or the beginning of March.

Here they are, with anonymization where appropriate.

The main invitation - dark blue, simple & clean, with a sweet sailboat at the top

The RSVP card - I did these through 123 Print, but used the sailboat image from the main invitation to match them. I think (hope) the RSVP design is clear for wedding guests.

The front of the enclosure card - the sailboat logo again & the link to our wedding website. After spending lots of time filling that site with helpful content, I hope people use it!

And the back of the enclosure card - a Google map of the route between the church & the reception site. The two are only about four miles apart, but it never hurts to supply people with more information when it comes to directions!

Our guest list includes 103 households, which means we couldn't order sets of 100 for everything. I think we ended up ordering 125 main invites, 125 RSVP cards, and 150 enclosure cards. In the end, that works out fine, because it's good to have extras in case we mess any up & I wanted some extra maps to leave out for guests at the church. Now, fingers are crossed that the invites will be printed properly & error-free when they arrive!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to one & all, in honor of my parents. Next Wednesday, my parents will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. This year, Valentine's and their anniversary are a little tough to celebrate, as my mother had hip surgery two days ago. Not that they're not going to recognize the occasions - Dad is bringing a Valentine's surprise to the hospital later today and they're planning to get Chinese for their anniversary to avoid cooking - but it's not ideal.

However, their relationship is one of the loving, committed ones I was blessed to grow up around. After thirty years, two daughters, two sons-in-law (well, almost), two grandsons, and the loss of three parents, it's easy to see how very much they still love each other and how important they are to each other. On Superbowl Sunday, they were sitting at one end of the couch at their friends' house, tickling each other. At 53!!! And I thought to myself, "If Justin and I can be like that at their age, we'll be very lucky indeed." Love you, Mum & Dad!

(cross-posted at Hodoeporicon)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Clothes Make the Man

Or men, in this case. Just teasing, guys!

As I mentioned in my "wedding week recap" the other day, Justin and I went to Mens Wearhouse recently and picked out his tuxedo ensemble. However, we took the tie and shoes off the package, because we have other plans for those . . . See below for the whole ensemble, from the shirt out & down!

Point collar shirt - will be in ivory, but this photo is of a white shirt,
because that's all they had on the website!

A seriously awesome tie from Cyberoptix. It's called "Topographical Error" and it shows "distressed remnants of 1900's sea-depth estimates taken in Scandinavian and Arctic waters. These levels are rapidly changing now due to climactic shift." We might get the ties dyed to match the b-maid dresses, but I haven't yet decided if that's worth caring about. ;)

Herringbone print vest, in silver. It's a dark silver, which is why we picked it.
No super-shiny 80s vests here, thanks!

A classic Calvin Klein two-button jacket in a lightweight wool

And the piece de resistance - good old Chuck Taylors in royal blue. Some brides I've seen around the blogosphere are apparently appalled at the idea of letting the groom and groomsmen wear chucks for the wedding, but to be honest, I think this was my idea when we decided on it months ago.

So, in the end, I think it's a nice mix of traditional stuff - tux, shirt, vest - and funky stuff - tie, chucks. Exactly the way we like it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Moon of Honey

OK, I alluded to our changed plans for the honeymoon in my post on Sunday. Now, here are the details!

First, we were going to the Azores. We love the show "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain. When he toured the Azores, ate great food, and drove through beautiful landscapes, we started looking into going there. The flights were reasonable, the accommodations were pretty & cheap, and they were islands! In the middle of the Atlantic! We were sold.

However, when we started really thinking about how much time we could take off work and how much money we could afford to spend, we started drifting closer to home. The Azores were out and the Isles of Shoals were in. Again with the islands! In the Atlantic! Except these islands are a mere ten miles away from our house, so that cuts down significantly on travel time & expense. Plus, they're gorgeous islands and despite living in Portsmouth for a couple of years, neither of us have yet set foot on them (I've cruised around them in a marine research vessel, but that's it).

However, there's only one place to stay out at the Shoals - the Oceanic Hotel. And they also host large Unitarian Universalist conferences in the summer. When I emailed to check on a room for the dates we needed, they weren't sure they could guarantee something because of a large conference that week. Cue sad trombone noise here.

So . . . we picked ourselves back up and started planning again. And somehow, this time, things came together. We were brainstorming locations that were close enough to drive or take a short flight to, that were far enough from home that we felt like we were getting away, and that were within our limited budget. And as we were falling asleep last Wednesday, it hit me! Montreal.

Montreal is an easy five-hour drive from here, it's in another country, they speak another language, and in just a couple hours of googling, I found a lovely inn at which we booked a swanky suite for around $200 a night! Bingo. :)

The inn, Auberge de La Fontaine, is located in a great part of Montreal (according to the internet). It's called the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood and it's famous for its shops and restaurants. Our inn is walking distance from most of the neighborhood and directly across the street from a big park (bottom photo). Our suite has a queen size bed, jacuzzi in the room, and a private terrace that overlooks the park! Photos below.

So glad this is all sorted out!