Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You're Invited!

(to wait around patiently while we finish our invitations)

Sorry for the silence over the last few days. We've spent much of the weekend printing, assembling, stamping, and embellishing our invitations - 101 in all! Technically, 102, but we gave my parents their invite awhile ago because we wanted them to see it in person sooner.

Promise more posts this week, on the invites themselves, my shoes, and the guestbook (both of which arrived in the mail last week!). Stay tuned.

(cross-posted at Hodoeporicon)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hair Trial, Take Two

A couple of months ago, I attempted to have my first hair trial. Things didn't work out that night or with that hairdresser, but I did meet with a new hairdresser on Monday. She seemed very nice, although I think my sister's boss described her best (she's my sister's boss' hairdresser) - she's got a big personality.

She did a good job on translating the photos I'd brought along into a style that worked for me and my hair. I particularly love what she had to do to my hair to make it curly! :)

My nephew thought it was the funniest thing - he kept pointing my crazy hair out to his mama.

This is more like what I'll actually be doing. On the wedding day, she's going to bring the mass of hair further out and down, so it's more like a bun with lots of curly bits. Then, I think I'm pretty much decided on the white gardenia hairpiece, probably on the top left or right.

I'm pretty happy with it. And glad that's one more thing taken care of!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flower Basket Fail

but eventual success. I spent weeks recently scouring the internet for the perfect flower girl basket. I'm not too picky, but this kind of thing, which seems to be the most common type of flower girl basket, is just not for me.

So I was seeking a simple woven basket with a handle that I could decorate a bit. If it was a Nantucket style basket, all the better. I searched all kinds of basket wholesalers, wedding supply stores, and ebay. I eventually found a small basket that seemed like it could work for about $3. The shipping was around $6, but I still thought it was a pretty good deal.

Until I forgot to double check my ebay address and the basket was sent to my old address. Despite being assured by the local post office that packages would forward for up to a year, the package never made it to this apartment, but got sent back down to the seller on Cape Cod. Oy! Committed now, I then paid an additional $5 for the basket to be sent back up to New Hampshire. With all the shipping costs, the total for this basket ended up $15.74.

Fine, though, I thought, at least I have the basket. Hurrah! Until I opened the box. Photo of the basket below, with some books and a bud vase for scale.

Yeah. Turned out the basket was really teeny and I apparently don't pay enough attention to measurements. I don't think our then-9-year old flower girl can get her hands in there, do you?

On a whim, Justin suggested we check out Christmas Tree Shop, on the grounds that we'd seen baskets there months ago and they have everything dirt cheap. And, of course, we walk in and find a whole wall of nice Nantucket style baskets. The perfectly sized flower girl basket below? Cost us a grand total of $2.99 (no tax as we live in NH - live free or die!).

We even snagged a basket for the extra maps for $3.99.

Now, this is the story Justin tells to explain what we're talking about when we tell folks that I need to seriously let some things go and stop price-shopping already!

The Shoes

I forgot to mention this last week with all the other wedding stuff that was going on, but I finally ordered my shoes! If you read my post about the shoes back in July (eight months ago!), you might know what I'm talking about. Since many of you probably didn't though, let me remind you.

These are the shoes:

And they will be dyed to match the bridesmaid dresses, which look like this:

And I think they will be beautiful. :) I'll let you know how they look in person once they arrive!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rainy/Productive Monday

The other day, Justin and I ended up home together - him on spring break, my meetings canceled due to the crappy weather. We decided to run some wedding errands. And run some wedding errands we did!

Tasks accomplished:
  • Changed his tux jacket style to shadow stripe (photos here)
  • Bought a big "S" and a big "J" for the backs of our chairs at the head table
  • Bought 3 spools of ribbon for various things: tying rings to ring "pillow" (which is really a big shell), tying letters to chairs, wrapping bridesmaid bouquets
  • Bought 2 fake rings for ring shell (since our ring bearers are aged 2 and 4, it seemed safest to entrust the real rings to the Best Man)
  • Bought 7 blue silk hydrangeas and 7 white silk hydrangeas for pew decorations (the latter on sale - we saved around $14 on them!)
  • Bought floral shears for silk and fresh flower arranging
  • Bought a wooden trunk/suitcase for a card box
  • Bought a few other odds & ends, some of which cannot be revealed here in case b-maids are reading :)
It was a busy & productive day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dress Drama, Over!

On Monday, Justin and I walked out the door of our apartment to head out to various stores. As we did, I remembered that my dress was supposed to be delivered that day and said, "Hey - no dress yet . . . " and trailed off. The box was leaning against the outside of the door. Yay!

When we got home, I took the dress out of its box and garment bag - it was the right color! Checked the tag - it was the right size! Tried it on - it fit like a dream. While still knocking on wood, I think I can safely say that the dress drama is pretty much over. :)

Plus, what I didn't tell you before was how wonderful the J. Crew bridal staff at the SoHo store were. I got the dress on sale (for $200) last year when I first bought it. I suspected with the size exchange that I'd have to pay the current price, which was $295. However, after my wrong-color dress debacle, I think the gods at J. Crew decided to smile on me. In the end, the SoHo store staff (say that three times fast!) sold me the dress for the original $200 sale price AND waived the $13.50 shipping. Truly awesome.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Etsy Love, Part Two

You all already know this, because I posted about it a few months ago, but I really heart Etsy. Think about their mission statement for a second and I dare you not to love the idea:
Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.
How can you not love that? After spending more than a year so far planning our wedding, I've seen so many mass-produced, cookie-cutter wedding items. And so the idea of spending reasonable money for a talented, creative artist to custom-create things for our wedding - it fills me with glee.

Here are some of the things that we've bought from Etsy so far.
  • Poetry cufflinks, from Tilly Bloom (a present for Justin to wear with his tux on the big day)
  • Brass locket, from dollarsupplies (I'm going to put black & white photos of my late grandmothers in this and pin it to my bouquet)
  • Vintage grey lace, from vidalbuttons (I'm going to wrap my bouquet with this lovely lace - I've been in love with grey lace and pearls lately)
  • Map journal, from SushiPapercraft (our guestbook, featuring a map of the Americas from the 1600s on the front & back covers)
Here are some of the things on our Etsy "to-buy" list:
  • seller deciduousoul is making four of these seam-binding flowers, one in blue and three in ivory, for me & my maids to wear on sashes around our waists
  • our wedding bands, except ours will be made in white gold. I love these so much . . .
And just found this the other night, but strongly considering it in lieu of a separate veil & flower fascinator: white gardenia hairpiece with vintage book leaves. Vintage book leaves, people!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

If you're given a great thing, why do anything else?

Words of wisdom. Mr. Groom and I currently live in a gorgeous 1860s-built brick house that's been converted into apartments. And the following images are from the foyer of the house. And since we live on the first floor, this beautiful foyer is right outside our door. Why wouldn't we take our before-the-ceremony pictures* here?!?

*Yes, we've decided to take the formal photos beforehand. We'd already planned to see each other before, then we realized that if we did all the formal photos then, we'd have more time at the cocktail hour. :)

Also - our house is 5 houses down from the church. So we'll have some people get ready here, we'll take lots of pretty pictures, and then we'll walk down the street to the church. Done & done.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Most Calm Bachelorette Party Ever

Ahhh. This is what it's like to have friends who know you so well that you barely have to tell them what you want, and they provide it. After a few email exchanges, my two best friends/bridesmaids have planned a lovely weekend in New York City for my bachelorette party.

We'll be staying at my friend R's apartment (I think she's kicking out her boyfriend for the weekend) and the main event will be a nice dinner out on Saturday night at Landmarc Restaurant at the Time Warner Center. This is the one thing I really wanted - a nice long dinner with lots of wine and some of my favorite ladies in the world.

The girls all know me pretty well, so I'm not expecting tiaras or boas or anything shaped like the reproductive organs of the male of the human species (that's the most PG way I could think of to state it). I'm just really looking forward to getting to spend some time with these lovely ladies in NYC!

Wer & Wif's Flying Circus

Sorry I've been a bit quiet this week. On Tuesday night, I had a bit of a freak-out, break-down, what-have-you about the wedding. Pretty sure at one point, I threw up my hands, yelled "Our wedding is turning into a three-ring circus, and I'm the god damned ringmaster!" and let loose with a short bout of tears. Yeah.

I'm trying to regroup and figure out what caused the breakdown and what we can do to fix things. A lot of it stems from something I'm going to call, for the moment at least, "DIY bride overload." This is where your typical creative, practical bride-to-be jumps headfirst into wedding planning and things are going along swimmingly until WHAM! All of the things that were extra work, but still so cool and can we do it please? . . . suddenly seem overwhelming and unnecessary. That's where I am now.

BUT. As my lovely future husband reminded me, we have three and some-odd months left. There's still plenty of time to scale back and make things a little easier on ourselves. So over the next week or two, I'm committing myself to reevaluating all the "extras" and determining their true worth. Some of these evaluations will be easy - Do we need s'mores at the reception? That's a resounding yes. Do we need a trolley to ferry every guest between the church, reception site, and their hotel? Maybe not so much . . .

Stay tuned for the results!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scottish Hilltop Elopement

This is beautiful. And just what the doctor ordered. I'll reveal why tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks to the lovely Meg at A Practical Wedding for this sublime image.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dress Drama

So whathadhappenedwas . . .

I bought my dress (dress #1 for those of you following along at home) last winter. However, I've gone up a dress size in the interim and called J. Crew customer service a few weeks ago to see if I could exchange my dress for a larger size. The rep with whom I spoke agreed to the exchange and charged the new dress to my credit card, but neglected to tell me how to return the original dress.

The new dress (dress #2) came the following week and it fit perfectly! However (and this is a big however), it was the wrong color! The packing slip said ivory, but the dress was clearly champagne. Oy vey!

The solution, derived after weeks of emailing back and forth with a wedding specialist at the J. Crew SoHo store? I shipped dress #1 to J. Crew in New York, provided they agreed to waive the shipping cost on the dress (dress #3) that I will order directly from my contact in SoHo to avoid any warehouse screw-ups. I returned the champagne dress (#2) in a straight return to J. Crew returns processing.

I think things are settled now, but I can't wait for the right dress in the right size and color to be in our apartment!

Monday, March 1, 2010

PMC #1

What, what? What the heck is PMC #1? Well, first, I would like you to take a moment to appreciate the lack of wedding-related acronyms in your life. The ladies in the crowd who were recently married know what I'm talking about (I'm looking at you, K).

In the wedding planning world, especially on the internet, there are a multitude of wedding acronyms. From FMIL to DOC to STD*, it's an endless waterfall of shortened names for things. Let me add one more to the list - PMC. Short for Pre-Marital Counseling, of course.

Anywho, we had our first session of said counseling with our minister yesterday. Rev. M. pastors a congregation near my parents' house up at the lake, so we went to see them on Saturday night, then met with him on Sunday afternoon. The session went well, I think. We discussed logistical things like dates and times and length of ceremony (no longer than 45 minutes, for those of you who share my ADD).

After some of that was done, we segued into the "counseling" part of the session. Rev. M's goal is to get us thinking about and talking about various issues in the lead-up to the wedding in order to strengthen our relationship. Justin and I are pretty good at honestly tackling all manner of topics, but it helps to have a knowledgeable someone there to ask us blunt questions like, "So, Justin, why are you marrying Stacey?"

I think the future sessions will help us process our thoughts regarding the wedding and the marriage we're building together. And this is a good thing! So huzzah for the PMC.

*Future Mother in Law, Day Of Coordinator, and Save The Date, for the blissfully ignorant.