Thursday, August 28, 2008
Favors have sort of become a tradition at weddings. And though the tradition started in France with royalty, eventually spreading to Italy (beginning the tradition of Jordan almonds...), favors in the US are sort of a hot-button topic.
Are they necessary? How much is appropriate to spend? Aren't my guests just going to throw them out?
I'm pretty torn on this topic. As a guest, I really don't care about them. As a hostess, I feel sort of obligated to give them. However, I also feel that if I am going to send something home with my guests, I want it to be something useful and practical. And most likely edible.
So, I would like all of your thoughts. My mother has made her opinion perfectly clear: she thinks they're a waste of money, and I shouldn't bother. She also feels that way about corsages. Way to be difficult, Ma! ;)
A few ideas I like:
Yum. Chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Cute, tiny, fairly inexpensive.
Again, but in a tin I think is cute. But without the sticker. That's sort of lame.
Yum. Chocolate truffles in a cute box. Delicious, yet expensive. They average about $2 a box. $2 multiplied by 200 guests = $400. For chocolate. Do you know what I could do with $400?!?!
So, what are your thoughts (as the possible recipients of these)??????
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The 12-18 months of wedding planning will pass in a matter of hours or days. When it’s all said and done, the photos will be the primary artifact remaining. My wish for you—when you look back at those photos—is for you to think:
- Look at how relaxed I was. Fully present in the moment. Basking in it. Soaking it in. I was not saturated in stress.
- My shoes and dress were comfortable enough for dancing. My beauty radiated out of me; it was not applied to me.
- I got to spend quality time with my friends and family. I was myself, not a show. In fact, I was my fullest expression of self.
- I do not remember whether the invitations were letterpress or whether the flowers at the ceremony were the same ones at the reception.
- The wedding favors or the fanciness of the food did not make memories. The sincerity did. The connection did. The time together did.
- It did not matter whether every last detail conformed to the signature colors. Instead of saying, “What a beautiful bouquet,” the guests said, “What a beautiful love.”
This is my wish to you, dear brides, as you pore over wedding magazines and read daily blogs. Some of it matters. Most of it does not. Casting your net in the wrong direction will most surely mean you miss the things you most dearly want to catch.
May your wedding be just one sincere, authentic, happiest day in a long line of many.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Below are dresses I love from J.Crew. Now I'm not saying that these will be the dresses, especially since the colors are not exactly what we're going for here, but they suffice for now. Keeping in mind my dress, what color do you think would go best?
While the picture does not showcase it's full sugary glory, you at least get an idea of why I spent 5 1/2 hours decorating it!
Back to the wedding front, I've found a ton of spectacular and helpful blogs in the blogsphere. The first one, Snippet & Ink, has some really great "inspiration boards." She compiles all these great pictures and fuses them together to help set the tone and design of an event...
This board is entitled "Blues & Apple Greens." While this is a little brighter than what we're going for, it still gives off the "garden party" type vibes.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I wanted to also take the time to give props to my fiance B for hanging in there all day. She got just as burned if not more burned than I did and hardly complained. I also just want to tell you all how appreciative I am to have her. Regardless of whether she knows how these competitions go or hwo I prepare for them soemtimes she is as supportive as a friend that I can ask for. About two years ago when i thoguth I was doen with sports due to a serious ankle injury she pushed me on and would not let me give up and even though she had only a small idea of what I was going through she ketp pushing and pushing and that allowed me to bounce back and compete today at almost 100%. She doesn't always understand but shes there for me regardless.
Now that I put that out there the next stop on my meet schedule will be at Naperville,IL for the Jaycees Last Fling on Labor Day weekend. I will be throwing both days at 9 in the morning so for those of you who know us and are not busy come on out for a little bit. Well I think that is all for now so until next time enjoy this website.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Or talk wedding. Shocking, I know.
Anywhoodle, I figured this would be a good time to make a few Public Service Announcements.
PSA #1: T competes in another Highland Games tournament tomorrow in the Quad Cities. Looking forward to a 2-hour drive starting at 5:30 am. Once you get into this "circle" of athletes, things get pretty intense. He was invited to the meet, then later received an email saying they were looking forward to his visit and that there will be a personal masseuse on call for the entire competition, and that he would be provided with free food and adult beverages. Nice setup. Think maybe he'll send over some beer and a massage to his bored fiancee on the sideline??? I'll post his results (and hopefully a video & some photos) on Monday or so...
PSA #2: I enjoy bargains. Lots and lots of bargains. So, do you know what tomorrow is? That's right, you guessed it, $12 Jeans Day at Old Navy. Rest assured I've already logged in and made my "save for later" list so tomorrow morning, at 5:30 am, I can login and in 3 clicks have my $12 jeans purchased...Oh, and kids jeans are $7!
Now that those are over, I figured I'll just give you all a quick update on what we're up to in non-wedding-land...
T: Besides his Highland stuff (and he has another meet next week, too), he's gone back to school. He's keeping pretty busy with training and whatnot, and is gearing up for a major semester. He's beginning the selection process for his two internships, and has narrowed his choices down to three: two are athletic training gyms, the other is the athletic center where the track team practices for indoor season. He's also had his first meeting to get information on his cooperating teacher for his assignment in the classroom this semester. As if he didn't have enough responsibility already, T has decided to adopt two goldfish, Opal and Virgil. Maybe I'll convince him to post some pictures of them...
B: Nothing major on my front...certainly not like T's! I'm running another 5K on Oct. 18th, near the Lincoln Park Zoo. It should be a good time. And no, I haven't started serious training yet. Surprise, I know. On a completely opposite note, I made some fabulous miniature cupcakes for the office today! :) Homemade dark chocoloate buttercream frosting and all --- I'm practicing my domestication early!
One last point:
The last poll was pretty tied --- It seems like a lot of people would enjoy the booth, so we'll just have to see how much the photographer will cost and make some decisions from there...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So there are a multitude of trends happening with cakes nowadays, and I can say, after poring through pages upon pages of cake photos, I find that I'm not really drawn to a particular color, style, or shape.
Most of you know that I'm a very quick to find what I like, and to choose it as well. So being that I don't love anything outright worries me. Maybe you can all help!!!
Here are some cakes that I liked, but was not sold on:
I like the size of this one. I'm not a fan of big cakes, especially if we're serving this as a take-home thing, not as dessert. I also like the colors and style a bit.
I'm a big fan of the monogram on this cake, though I'm not a fan of the square shape, nor the color or decorations on the top two tiers.
Again, love the monograms, though I'm not sure that's the route I want to take. I also really love this color blue and the white against it!
Again, love the color. And the elegance, yet simplicity. Please note that hopefully my cake will not have the blatant mistakes/goofs in the fondant. Ya see what I'm talking about? Looking closely where the tiers meet. GROSS.
LOVE IT! Just kidding! Not for the wedding, but maybe the shower! Ma, are ya paying attention? This one's for you...hahaha.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I love the neckline especially, but am not too sure of the hem length. It's the classic "tea length" which is right below the knees, but is bordering close to street length (which means mid-calf, right??). I know this picture doesn't really do justice to the fabric draping and rouching, but it is absolutely fantastic.
Except for the color choices. Ugh. We have the choice of a celadon green or a powder blue. And I love the formality that the black dress gives (not to mention the fact that it actually can be worn again!), but I don't know how that would come off in pictures...
Monday, August 18, 2008
Keeping the whimsy vs. classic debate in mind, what do you think about tables? There's the traditional rounds, 8-10 people per table, etc. The picture below is obviously not the correct color scheme, but you all have imagination, right? (**Note: those are most likely the chairs we'll be using as well, if that helps any...)
Now in recent years, the banquet/long rectangles have become quite a popular choice as well. I think they're a bit more fun and make it easier to converse, but I think they change the look of a room dramatically. Plus, how would you even do table cards?!? I don't want to even begin thinking about that nightmare!! But they are nice to look at, aren't they??
Next comes my personal favorite (but please, don't let that sway you!). I present to you:
THE SQUARE - ta da!
Well, these are a bit more rectangle, but put on your imagination hat and bear with me...
I think they're fun and trendy, but the lines they create are definitely clean and classic. And they won't even give me the table card nightmare I'm dreading...
As guests who will be sitting in these, I'd very much like to hear all of your opinions: good, bad, neutral, ecstatic, loathing, etc.
Oh, and the money really doesn't make a difference, since the cost in tableshape is negligible, though I believe the banquet would be the cheapest route...
Saturday, August 16, 2008
...but the winner was Bouquet one, with 4 votes. Bouquet 3 came in second at 2.
To be honest, I voted for 1. But I liked 2 a lot as well. I wasn't really a fan of 3. Tom voted for 3, though. I'll probably go with 1, just because I'm carrying it, not him. I'll let him pick out his boutonniere...maybe. Hahaha.
People don't really associate hydrangeas with boutonnieres, and for good reason. It's a bit of an odd flower, especially because of it's size. But, what do you guys think about these instead of the standard roses?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Good - now that we have that straightened out, I need all you "Ayes" and all you "Nays" with imagination to continue reading.
A tent is very much like a blank canvas --- we're designing the layout, the dance floor, the lighting, the electricity, the kitchen prep area, the ventilation, the bathrooms --- EVERYTHING. As such, we get to be as creative or as boring as we want. Now we've already discussed the overall feel/theme to the reception, which is a chic/garden/fun ambiance. Since it's quite a conglomerance of those ideas, I'm going back and forth as to how to pull that off.
Lighting is a huge factor when it comes to setting tone/mood. There are 2 basic options for tents: chandeliers and paper lanterns. Now before you come to any judgements/conclusions, take a gander at the pictures.
I sort of like the whimsy of the lanterns, and the fact that there would be more of them. I don't like that they attract attention to the top of the tent, which is pretty ugly, actually. It's absolutely unreal at how many options there are for the lanterns...we could do a mixture of blue, white and green if we really wanted to. I wonder what kind of strange light that would give off, though...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
It looked like #1 was the winner, but #3 is coming up a close second...maybe it could even overtake it!
Tomorrow I'll reveal which one I voted for and which one T for voted for...(and yes, he actually reads this, too, haha).
One quote I am going to complete ignore because it was $600 for delivery, $400 for pumping/waste removal, and $2,500 just to rent it...
The second quote is for a company based out of Lockport--- convenient, huh? Their prices range from $1,000-1,200. Not bad, me thinks...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
- How much electricity/lighting/air-conditioning will I need?
- Will I need a kitchen prep area?
- Will I need bathrooms?
This last one is my favorite, as it presents a host of problems. Port-a-potties? NO WAY! Can we use the indoor bathroom? Nope, too far of a walk. Are there bushes nearby? Yep, lots...
Now we've all heard the old adage "If you build it, they will come." And some brilliant person somewhere got the idea to build VIP portable bathrooms.
No, seriously. They exist.
I'm currently awaiting a quote to see how much these crazy babies are going to cost me...
Enjoy the pictures below while I wait...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
So, courtesy of Amanda, the thought of a photobooth has now entered my overflowing brain. This trend has started popping up at weddings all over the place in recent years. When I first heard of the idea a few months ago, I thought it was sort of frivolous and unnecessary, but then again, what's not at a wedding, right? So when Amanda sent the link, I was naturally curious to at least find out how much it would cost. So to have the photobooth with unlimited pictures for 4 hours it would cost about $900. Normally that number would cause me to have a heart attack, but for some reason, I feel okay about it. In light of the fact that I want a photojournalistic-focused photographer (how's that for alliteration??), I'll be foregoing the traditional table shots. I personally think they're rather worthless. And I'm not a fan of guest books, either. BUT, with the photobooth, they also offer the option of supplying double photos, so the guests get one strip and the other is placed in a guest book with a quick note. Again, this could be another instance of frivolousness/something I can live without, but it's a fun idea...
As I was telling one of my coworkers about this, she told me that a friend of hers did this at her wedding, except they supplied a box of boas and other goofy accessories towards the end of the night for photos. She said the photos turned out amazing and were so much fun to look at afterwards...
So, any thoughts about this????
Monday, August 11, 2008
This weekend was no exception to that, either. Let's begin with Friday, shall we? A simple, innocent trip to Michael's has become the start of a super-crazy-hairbrained idea. I've decided to make the invitations myself. I know, I know, crazy. I'm not a big fan of DIY kits, mainly because they never turn out the way you envision, and they all have the same format/design. But while browsing through the cardstock aisle, I came across a line of paper/cardstock/envelopes that looks like it's targeted towards smaller parties and papercrafters, as opposed to weddings. All of the colors are bright and bold, no pasty whites or ecrus. The cost? $3 for 10 invites & envelopes. Response cards are $2 for 20. My grand total? $40. The price for the invites I linked to in the last post? $300. I have some experience in graphic design, and even if I decide I can't make these, I have enough contacts from work/school with graphic designers that I can get something simple done fairly inexpensively. Even if I take these to Kinko's and have the printing done semi-professionally, I'll still be spending under $100. Unheard of. Oh, and I also purchased 15 yards of apple green ribbon. Hey, it was only $3.
On Sunday we were able to check into the date snafu, and we're sure lucky we did. It turns out that the 12th is the Saturday of the carnival, so we'll move the wedding a week to the 19th. I should change the URL to the blog to match that, but that would probably create confusion and whatnot, so I'll probably just keep it...
I've also had lots more thoughts on music, decorations, beverages, and whatnot. But if I explain them now, what will I have to post later this week?!? I know the suspense is killing you...
PS - I didn't realize that the links to the bouquets don't work, so I'll be reposting those later today...Whoops!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Based on the location (Lake Katherine), our (my) initial thoughts are to stick with a floral/garden theme without looking like Better Homes & Gardens visited. I'm not really a floral/garden type of girl, so this should be fairly interesting. I should also point out that I'm going to shoot for classic/preppy/contemporary all at the same time, lest it veer towards the "old bedspread in a cheap motel" look.
With that in mind, here are some of my initial thoughts for the following:
Invites: I'm all about keeping this simple & organic (can't you tell by my penchant to make everything difficult?!?). These invites are done by a freelance graphic designer in MN, and are fairly straightfoward...The colors would be similar to the "Cyan" and "Leaf" in the color chart...
Flowers: There are actually three links in this, as I can't figure out what I'm leaning towards. One is a very clean, modern bouquet of bright blue hydrangeas and green berries, while the other is more of a dusty blue hydrangea that still has the specks of green. One is bright and fresh, Two is soft and romantic. Then there's this lovely hybrid of both, which seems fresh but subtle. Ugh, the choices are seriously endless. The even scarier part of this whole mess is that this is only the bridal bouquet...there's still bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, altar arrangements, and centerpieces to consider.
So I don't think I stated it outright, but our "color palette" will be an apple green and a pool blue. Now I don't want these colors to permeate, just like the garden theme, I merely want this all to have a common chord. For instance, while you might see the table linens being that color, I promise that I won't serve "blue" cheese on the green salad, or anything crazy of that nature. I personally think that's a bit irritating and over-kill, and am aiming for something subtle and tasteful, yet bold.
Question for the day: Can something be subtle and bold at the same time, or have I just been looking at waaay too many color swatches today?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I promised T that I would post fair warning before putting up any pictures of my dress because, being the fairly traditional boy that he is, he doesn't want to see it before the wedding. He's heard me talk about, but the extent that he knows is that it's ivory and has silver beading, and I got it 50% off or whatever.
So, T, if you're reading this, do not read further or click the link below, or else you will be sorry.
***End of Disclaimer***
So, on to the good stuff...
As this summer marks the end of Ann Taylor's 2007/2008 Celebrations line, pictures are no longer available of my dress through the website. However, due to the Google-talent that I have, I was able to find the picture of it! :)
Let me tell you, I love Ann Taylor/Celebrations. Not only are the prices great, but you can't beat the styles. And since there are just a few colors, everything coordinates! Oh, and it also comes in this AMAZING packaging with ribbons and bows and everything else that makes my heart sing...So without further ado, here is the link to THE DRESS.
Now, keep in mind that it looks a little goofy in this picture and is not nearly as mermaid/poofy at the bottom as it appears. And the beading on the bodice is so much more amazing in person. And I'm not a size 0. But, that is the dress, in all it's amazing 100% silk-ness glory. And I love it.
My thoughts about jewelry, from the very beginning of all this, was to wear the pearl necklace and earrings that my parents' gave me for my 18th birthday. They're the perfect shade of ivory to match the dress, but I'm not sure if I like them with the beading. I had tried them on with the dress, but I just couldn't get past the fact that I was wearing my wedding dress to concentrate on silly details like jewelry. I would love to wear earrings like these, except they're $1,290. Awesome. Anyhoodle, we have lots of time to figure this out, now don't we???
So, for your question of the day, any thoughts on jewelry/hair/accessories that spring to mind looking at this picture???
So in discussions with my parents last night about the earliest we can get the wedding down on "the books" at church, I inquired about the date of the annual carnival that is hosted on the church grounds. It always begins the 1st Wednesday of June, which would be June 2nd, 2010. If this is the actual start date of the carnival, then we're good --- everything will be packed up/cleaned by the time the 12th rolls around. There is always the possibility that the carnival would begin on the 9th, making our wedding date smack-dab in the middle of the festivities. Not only would we have to get married over the wail of the Himalaya and the screams of over-excited children on the tilt-a-wheel, but we would have to combat parking issues...
Originally we were debating between the 12th and the 19th, so it wouldn't be a big deal to push it back, it's just annoying since I have the 12th firmly cemented in my head. Or, this could just be a blessing in disguise to get all the obstacles/nonsense out of the way before any major planning begins...
Oh well...it only takes one phone call to figure this all out anyway!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Now after plenty of mind changes (I think I've had about 5), I feel like I've finally found a reception site that fits the bill, so to speak. We had decided early on that we did not want the "cookie cutter" banquet hall reception that is popular in the Chicago area (not that there's anything wrong with those, they're just not for us...). We wanted something unique and personal, but wasn't crazy out of left field, either. Previous choices (Door County, Meson Sabika, Walter Payton's Roundhouse, Chicago Botanical Gardens) had illicited responses from T like "Oh, cool," or "That works." But when I first brought up the idea of Lake Katherine, his immediate response was "Really? We can actually have it there?" More conversations ensued, my favorite one being this:
B: "So, this whole Lake Katherine thing --- you really want to do it?"
B: "Even if it costs more money?"
T: "Even if. Oh, there'll be air conditioning there, right?"
B: "Only if we pay for it."
T: "Oh. Oh well. Let's do it!"
The fact that T was willing to engage in a conversation about the wedding that lasted more than 2 sentences and contains more than 5 one-syllable words had me thinking I was on the right track. Plus, it all sort of made sense...we've spent countless hours here over the past 5 years, it was close to home and our churches, and was unique. Since we're able to choose our own caterer, we can avoid the costly wedding packages that include crazy things like ice sculptures that we don't care about...
Having planned and run several events back in college, I feel fairly confident that I can pull this off with little stress, but the added challenge of coordinating the rental/arrival/set-up of the tent, generators, air conditioning, lighting, chairs, tables, bars, flooring, and sound equipment seems a bit overwhelming. Hopefully the rental manager at LK will be efficient and helpful...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
- Please leave comments/feedback...even if it's only one word!! Without any responses, I'll have no clue if I'm on the right track/being obnoxious/should go back to work...etc. When all else fails, you can always leave "Interesting..." as a comment. As I least I would know I have an audience! ;)
- While we're talking comments here, feel free to share stories from your wedding planning, family members' weddings, etc. I love story time! :)
- When I ask for opinions, please give me your honest thoughts --- I wouldn't be asking for them if I didn't want to hear the truth!!! :)
- Please leave comments. I'm not sure if I made that clear... ;)
In an effort to keep you all abreast of any info/changes on the wedding front (and in our personal lives, I guess), I've created this blog. Also, I won't have to repeat the same information about 10 times within 2 days :) My goal is to post questions and polls, too, because T & I very much appreciate your input!