Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drumroll, Please: The Danada House

I am a very self-aware person.

For instance, just today, I realized that I'm a bit of a drama queen. Situations arise, blood pressure skyrockets, hours pass, situations diffuse. That's pretty much how I operate.

I also know that I'm pretty transparent. Not in a shallow sort of way, but in a I-can't-hide-my-emotions-well-at-all-unless-I'm-really-trying-and-I'm-absolutely-no-good-at-surprises kind of way.

So I'm sure you've all guessed that the Danada House is my favorite. Heck, I might have said that already. But that's besides the point.

I'd heard of this place during my original 3 searches for venues, but it was barely a blip on my radar. First, I thought it was going to be uber-expensive. Second, I tend to ignore places in cities I rarely visit, including Wheaton.

But I searched it out and low and behold, this is what I found:

The splendor that is the Danada House.

It's pretty without being over the top, it's classic without being outdated, it's unique without being odd, and best of all, since it's nestled back on the grounds of the forest preserve, it offers us the natural setting we've been looking for.

And while the outside of the atrium isn't nearly as pretty, (see below):

The inside more than makes up for it!!!

Look at all the natural light!!! Windows --- tons of them! And a skylight! And some weird lighting that I'm sure will look great once it gets dark. And it seats 250, which means we'll have ample space!!!!

Though the fee to rent it is a bit high ($3,200), the fact that their caterers are more than reasonable makes up for it. Priced out, a menu comparable to Montefiori is $10,500. And that includes tax and gratuity. And a full bar.

What we don't like is the location. It's at least a 30 minute drive from the church. Couple that with the only available ceremony times (2:30), and the available reception time of 6:00, and we have quite the gap.

So, we've brought back up the possibility of having a secular ceremony on the grounds.

Like this:

Amazing, right???

And the price to have the ceremony (basically the cost of renting the chairs) is cheaper than the donation to the church.

There's much, much more I could say about this (including the fact that the florist I want has done many events there!), but I'll stop for now. The manager let me know that they're showing the house this Sunday from 9:30-11 am, before a wedding. I'm working with Tom to see if we can make it over there.

We'll keep you updated! :)

Lifescapes at Montefiori

I was going to do one of these a day, but I can't contain my excitement. So, behold Montefiori:

Le sigh. I love it.

And what's even cooler is the bit of history behind it. The land, all 28 acres, was bought by the owners of the Como Inn (a restaurant that hosted many a family dinner for my mother's side of the family, including my parents' wedding dinner, and, if I'm not mistaken, my grandparents' reception --- correct me if I'm wrong, Ma). The land was purchased because it reminded them of their native Tuscany. Throughout the years, they cared for the grounds, eventually naming it Montefiori (Mountain of Flowers). A few years back, the son of the original owner sold it to the management company that runs it now. It currently houses 3 reception sites, plus the old family home.

Michelina's Pavilion

Pine Grove

Fabulous, right? It's absolutely everything we want: natural setting, elegance, coordinated, etc.

The downside? The cost. Yesterday I estimated a $70-90 price range. Today, the sales manager emailed me to let me know that the current Saturday evening cost is $115 a person. Without tax. And gratuity. Factor another 20% onto that and we're looking at a $135 pp price tag, meaning the reception, for 200 people, would cost a whopping $27,000.

Do you know what $27,000 is? That's already thousands over our budget. It's also more than the amount of student loans Tom and I have, combined. It's a sizeable house downpayment. It's a car. It's more than most kindergarten teachers make in an entire year. Before taxes.

There is no way I could convince myself to spend that kind of money, even if we somehow came into an unknown inheritance or lottery winnings. To me, there are few things in this life worth $4,500/hour.

...and so we trudge on in our search. Stay tuned for more on the Danada House...

The Barber & Oberwortmann Nature Center

So over the next few days, I'll be sharing the details of the three places we're going to be looking at. Today's selection is the Barber & Oberwortmann Nature Center, located on the ground of Pilcher Park. Managed by the Joliet Park District and located near Rt. 30 & Gougar Rd., this option provides affordability and a natural setting.

I really should be an advertising writer. Oh, right...

This is the outside...

Pretty, no?

But this is the inside:


But I do like the catering selections. And the price. But not so much that it's out in Joliet.

Thoughts from my ever-loyal readers, all 4 of you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Follow-up to the Veil...

Tom, don't look.

It's not exactly my dress, but it's similar, so continue at your own risk.

(from Weddingbee)

So here's a lovely dress, similar in shape and style to mine, with a cathedral veil. I like it, but I don't love it.


Happy Anniversary to Us!

So this weekend, we visited Lake Katherine and met with the event coordinator. We learned that if we pursue this route, we'll be the first outdoor tent reception to take place on the grounds. As such, they're not really equipped to handle it, only offering us 1 hour of setup and 1 hour of takedown. It's seemingly impossible to setup and takedown all that we would want in an hour, so we've decided to explore other options.

The best part? They wanted to charge us $4,000 for 6 hours. And that's just for the land. No tent, no tables, no chairs --- nothing.

So I spent yesterday trying to find every botanic garden, nature center, what-have-you within a 30 mile radius that didn't charge an arm and a leg. I've found 3 options that we'd like to check out.
  1. The Barber & Oberwortman Nature Center in Joliet --- located off of Route 30 & Gougar Rd., this center is located on the grounds of Pilcher Park. While the grounds are beautiful, the center is actually a banquet-hall type building, which we're trying to stay away from. The catering options, however, are reasonably priced and plentiful!
  2. Lifescapes at Montefiori - There are no words to say how amazing these grounds are! Waterfalls, gardens, stone-paver walkways --- this place has it all! There are 3 tented sites that stay up year-round. Their catering options are astounding, but with that, comes an equally astounding price tag. I have no concrete evidence, but from what I've gathered, we're looking at a $70-90 per person price tag. I'll wait for you to do the math.
  3. The Danada House - Located in Wheaton, this manor is owned by the Forest Preserve of DuPage County. The house has been restored (as it was built in 1939), and they've added an all glass "atrium," complete with skylights, air-conditioning, modern lighting, etc. The rental includes both the house and the atrium, along with tables and chairs. They also have a great selection of caterers with great budgets and lots of creativity!

While I'm leaning towards the Danada House, I'd definitely like to visit all three to get accurate price quotes and see the places in person. Seeing is believing, after all.

(The Danada House)

In the very least, this was a fun way to celebrate our anniversary...even Tom was excited :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Weekend...

Lake Katherine's Waterfall Garden

So this weekend, we (Tom, his mother, my mother and I) are taking a trip to Lake Katherine, aka the number one potential spot for the wedding reception. We'll be meeting with the rental coordinator, with whom I've only spoken with on the phone before.

The significance?
  • This is the first "vendor" we're actually meeting with! :)
  • As the reception site, this will play a big part in "setting the tone" of the party
  • It's weird (and coincidental) that the only weekend available to check this place out just happened to be the weekend of our 5th anniversary. :) It's kinda fun to think we'll be at "our place" looking into wedding details!

Other fun-ness this weekend: My Gocco should arrive!!! Yahoo!

Have a good weekend everybody!!!

Oh, and more to follow on the dessert reception crisis...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Need a Favor.

I need you to comment on this post.

Here goes:

Let's revisit the dessert reception idea. I'm still fairly torn as to what to do.

The Pros:
  • Delicious!
  • Unique
  • Cost-effective
  • Allows for variety
  • Allows for mingling
  • Shorter reception (that's a Pro to me!)

The Cons:

  • Might not hit everyones' tastes
  • Too unique?
  • Timing is strange
  • No structured order of events

So, this is my school of thinking right now:

12:30 pm Ceremony @ church (no mass, just ceremony)
1:00-ish - ceremony ends, begin BRIEF pictures ( I don't want a lot at the church...)
1:30 - Reception begins (only about 15 minute drive tops, so that works out...)
2:00 - Bridal party entrance after pictures, segues right into first dance...
4:30 - finish

Invitations would read "Dessert reception to follow" in order to make it very clear that there is no standard meal provided.

Desserts would be in abundance, approx. 8 selections per person (including cake slice).

So for the questions:

As a guest, would you find this to be "acceptable"?

As a member of the bridal party (if you are), would you mind a 12:30 ceremony, meaning preparations would begin potentially around 8 am?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Candlelit Ceremony

So by now, I think you all have realized that I'm not a truly traditional person. While I respect (and love) some antiquated traditions, I HATE doing things because they are "the standard" as much as I HATE doing things because I'm told to.

Which is why I'm not a fan of Catholic weddings. Or churches. Or music stipulations. Or Archdiocesan rules. But alas, that's all fodder for many, many more posts to come. :)

I'd really like to personalize the ceremony, which is no small task, considering who I'm up against. But, a post I came across from a fellow Chicago Catholic bride has given me hope. And inspiration. And I'd like to rip off her idea. Because I love it. So many thanks to The Everyday Bride!


This is a bride's recounting of "an extended unity candle ceremony":

"We lit our unity candles and then the officiant said a few words about how everyone in the room helped us as a couple become who we are and helped us to the point we were at that day and we wanted to honor that in sharing the flame of our unity candle. Brett and I then lit a long fireplace match from the candle and together lit each person on the end in the front row's candles. They then shared it backwards from there. To conserve time, the ushers also lit up the aisle. They only had them lit through our vows and then we did rings and kissed and blew them out after the recessional... "

And this is the ceremony for a group blessing:

"Each of you are here today because you bring something special to the lives of M. and D. Some of you have known one or both of them for years - and some of you are meeting one of them for the very first time today. But whether you’re an old friend or a newly acquired relation, you have a special place in their hearts. Likewise, you have a special purpose. As beloved family and friends, it is you to whom they’ll turn in the coming years, whether in joy or in sorrow. It is you with whom they’ll share their happiness, and you to whom they’ll bring their pain. You will watch their marriage mature; you will watch their children grow.And when hard times come, and the loving support of friends and family is needed, M. and D. hope to be able to turn to you, just as they will turn to each other."
"And so they ask that you commit to them, as they are committing to one another. That just as they pledge to support and protect the other, you pledge to support and protect their relationship, today and always."

"When prompted, please answer “We do”."

"They ask: Do you offer this man and woman your blessing as husband and wife?"

"Please say, we do.
(We do.)"

"And do you offer their marriage your support, as loving friends and family?"

"Please say, we do.
(We do.)"

I LOVE it! Now if only I can get our church to agree to it...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Often Overlooked Accessory: The Veil

So the thought has occurred to me in passing, but I've never really spent much time on it.

How long should my veil be?
I HATE short veils. And by short, I mean anything above my elbows. I LOVE super long veils. But, since I don't really have a train, I think it would look weird if my veil was longer than my dress, right? I can't really picture a veil somewhere between elbow and floor length, either.

Floor length:

Elbow length: (ignore the ribbon, I'm not a fan...)

So, give me your thoughts on length. Oh, and I'm not doing a blusher.

And to attach it:
I love the idea of using a brooch that's clipped into the side of my hair (or the top of a low bun-style chignon thingy) with the veil clipped under the bottom, near the nape of my neck.

Like this: (but without the weird ribbon thingy)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this brooch:

And it's only $15!! I think it plays really well with the embroidery on my dress, the incorporation of the silver beads and the pearls I want to wear, and the slightly floral motif of the whole occasion.

Random Fun Facts

So the splitting headache I had yesterday has turned into a full-blown sinus infection (awesome.), which really makes even looking for wedding pictures not really fun. In light of this, and the fact that our five year anniversary is Sunday, I figured I'd post some fun, random facts about us.
  • On our first "date," Tom's car broke down and we sat in the parking lot for over 2 hours talking.
  • We didn't technically begin "dating" until 3 days later (which we celebrate as our anniversary).
  • I memorized Tom's phone number the first time he called just by looking at the caller ID. Weird.
  • We never really had "the talk" about continuing to date long distance. It was just understood.
  • Our proposal was originally supposed to take place outside, and Tom had even recruited a friend of mine to hide out and take pictures. I, however, not knowing it, complained because I didn't want to go outside and take a walk. At that point, Tom was so frustrated, he completely gave up on trying to coerce me outside. Haha.
  • One of Tom's goals is to travel to all 32 NFL stadiums for a football game. So far, we've made it to 1. :)
  • Wherever we travel, we always get a local bottle of wine. I picked up a bottle in Heidelberg, Germany and had the label personalized with our names. I also bought a bottle of meade in Ireland. Together, we've picked up 2 bottles, one in Tampa and the other in Michigan.
  • Tom collects nutcrackers. Tom was obsessed with them in high school (probably because they have weapons), and I just began picking them up for him. He has 3 that I bought in Germany (imagine going through security & customs with those!), a short, fat 6 inch guy, a few regular looking ones, 1 I bought from Dutch Village in Holland, MI, and one Buccaneers football player.

Anything else you want to know about us?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Jumped.

I did it. I bought the Gocco.

If I didn't have a pounding migraine (and an hour left of work), I'd be way more excited and be using lots more exclamation points.

But, that hasn't stopped me from thinking about all the future delicious projects I'm going to be embarking upon (Lord, help us all!)...

But just look at the magic it creates:

I can't wait to start :)

On a side note, I'd like to make an announcement/sent out my congratulations...

My oldest sister (the mother of 2 of my darling flower girls), announced this weekend that she is pregnant! :) Like I said earlier, there's no telling how many nieces & nephews I'll have by the time the wedding rolls around!!!! I can't even begin to tell you all how excited Tom is about this. This is the first child he's "eligible" to become a godfather to. His first words when I told him?

"You mean, I, I, I get to be a godfather??"

Haha. Priceless, this kid!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Style Post

Okay, I think you've all seen enough of the crazy inner-workings of my mind.

What can I say, I'm a creative type. We bounce. We fluctuate. We obsess. We lose interest quickly. Meh.

Anywhoodle, below are some stylish-type details that I just love. :) I think that these small details really help set the mood of an event. Plus, if done correctly, they don't have to cost a lot of money (despite what the bridal industry leads you to believe!).

Wreaths for the ceremony doors:

Completely superfluous? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely!! These has sort of been an obsession of mine since we got engaged, and I don't really know why. Michaels, aka my second home, had a huge sale on floral stems (50% off!). So, I indulged and purchased enough to make two wreaths. Last year, I was able to pick up these amazing thin silver letters, covered in pearls. They're pretty hard to picture, so I'll just leave you to your imagination. I bought one set of our monogram, figuring I would use them somewhere. Then, a month ago, they had them again! I knew it was a sign, and picked up a second set. The best part? They're $1 a piece!

As soon as I get to Tom's and charge my camera, I'll embark upon the wreath journey, taking pictures so I can share with all of you :)

Okay, now tables.

I like this:

And I LOVE these:

Well, maybe not the tall candles, but I love the silver bases :)

And this:

It's just so simple and pretty :)

And of course, this, which I've showed you before:

I'm picturing candles. TONS of candles on the tables. Especially if we use the rectangular tables. For what, $10 a table, we'll have tons of candlelight? Can't beat that!

Somebody, Please, Talk Me Off My Ledge. Or Join Me.

So a few weeks ago, as I plunged into the unknown depths of wedding blogging, I came across a crazy word.

Gocco. (Go - Co). Like Loco.
The Gocco, as I quickly discovered, is a home-printing system that is having quite the renaissance in the U.S. Apparently the manufacturer in Japan didn't get that memo, as they decided to stop selling them in the U.S. Then, most cruelly, they decided to stop manufacturing them completely. (Though they'll still manufacture replacement parts and inks for the next 5 years...).

Gocco = magic.
turns this:

into this:

And it makes these:

And these: (much like what I want to do!)

And these:

And even prints on cloth like this:

Is it not magical?????????

Now for the price. I've been offered one for $200 + shipping. Quite a steal when you consider there's several on eBay for $250 + shipping. And upwards.

And at first, I wanted it. And then I hemmed and hawed and looked up my bank account. But I still wanted it. And then, a lightbulb went off!

I can take the money for the gocco from my wedding budget!!!!!

It would be used to create the invitations, right? And probably the programs. And the thank-yous. And maybe placecards. And, well, whatever I wanted, right????? And, since these are only going to go up in value as less and less become valuable, it's an investment that I can re-sell, right???? Right???

Who's with me?

Who thinks I'm crazy????

HELP! Comments needed ASAP because I need to email the seller right quick!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For the Wee Ones Out There...

So as it stands today, Tom and I have 3 nieces. Where we will stand in 21 months is anyone's guess.

I think it's a fair assumption to say we'll have quite the gaggle of kids in the wedding party, though. My oldest niece (and goddaughter) Madalyn, will be nearly 7 at the time of the wedding. Her sister (and Tom's self-proclaimed goddaughter) Amelia will have just turned 4. Savannah, my newest and youngest niece will be almost 2.

With the varying ages, who knows if they're going to be flower girls, ring "girls", or just around for decoration ;)

But, I do know that I want to make the experience fun and exciting for them. (Not that it matters all that much, because Madalyn calls Tom my "husband" anyway...heeeheee)...
So instead of a wreath for their hair, a basket of flowers, a mini bouquet, or a pomander, I've always had it in my head to make them "princesses." Behold, the flower wand:

How sweet is that???? By just adding a dowel rod with a ball at the end and some extra long ribbon, you have something that's both cute and fun for pictures.
And this dress? Too sweet for words!

It's from Ann Taylor, the same place where I purchased by dress. And the best part? It's on clearance right now for $40!
Ah, well, I'm pretty sure the options will be just as endless once we're in a position to purchase them. If not, we can always make them :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ice Cream & Chocolate & Cake - Oh My!!!!

Two posts in one day?? Somebody stop me! (Quick: name that movie!)

Below are some amazing photos of a dessert buffet (borrowed from the ever-amazing Elizabeth Anne Designs,) designed & executed by the Vanilla Bakeshop.

How fantastic would this be (in epic proportions, of course) as a dessert wedding??
  • Ice cream cones/sundaes/shakes (wouldn't it be fantastic to bring in a vendor like the Plush Horse!?!?!?!)
  • Cheesecakes of every shape and color (okay, maybe just three or four flavors)
  • Wedding cake
  • Cookies :)
  • Pie! (Tom love rhubarb pies!)
  • Assorted pastries (eclairs, cream puffs, lemon squares, etc.)
  • Chocolate covered strawberries!!!

Plus, check out this awesome idea that someone is executing at their wedding:

A Smore's Bar!!! Holla!

So, picture an evening ceremony (say 6:30 pm), followed by a 7:30 reception that lasts until about 11 pm. Desserts would be available throughout the night, and the drink menu would also be plentiful :) I'm thinking we could serve bottled Jones sodas, hot cocoa/coffee bar (with flavored syrups, Kalhua, Bailey's, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, creamers, marshmallows, and more!), and some standard iced tea & water for refreshment. Dancing would probably begin around 8:00, with a receiving line and the standard dances prior.

Thoughts???? C'mon, I totally wanna hear 'em on this one!!

...And Scene.

Okay, so I think that my elopement freakout from last week is almost over. Almost.

Not that I really need to explain myself (because I do believe that the reasons for it were justified...), but work's been crazy and it just seems insane to think that we still have 21 months until the wedding. Blah.

So, after crunching lots of numbers, several heart-to-hearts that always seemed to include an obscene amount of eye-rolling from Tom, and a few chats with family and friends, I'm back to setting my sights on a June '10 wedding.

BUT, last week was eye-opening for both Tom and I in a few ways. I think that most couples, in the throes of wedding planning, forget to take a step back every once in a while and reevaluate their priorities. And last week helped us do just that.

Tom's Priorities:
  • Wedding after graduation
  • Catholic wedding
  • Complete guest list
  • Fairly traditional in structure
  • Tuxedos (I'm not really sure why on this one...he just wants them as opposed to suits)

Beth's Priorities:

  • Intimate affair (even if there are 200 people there...)
  • Photojournalistic photography
  • Personal, customized touches (as opposed to doing things for tradition)
  • Good food :)
  • Elegant romantic feel to ceremony / fun, fresh feel at reception
  • Not spending the GDP of a small country

So, it appears that our priorities are fairly opposite. The strategy? Compromise.

For instance, Tom has already acquiesced to having a non-traditional cocktail or dessert reception as long as the guest list remains untouched. I've given in to the Catholic ceremony, as long as it's held at my family's church.

The rest? Well, that all remains to be worked out. But, be on the lookout for lots more posts exploring new directions we may be taking.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

3 Hours Alone + Computer + HGTV = Trouble.

So while Tom (side note: I'm dropping the initial thing because I FINALLY realized that since our names were in the url I was just being stupid!) is off at an in-service and staff meeting, I'm here, alone, with a computer, HGTV, and carte blanche to spend time as I see fit.

Anyone care to guess what the 5 other screens are opened to:
1) House listing
2) Budget calculator
3) Fantasy football score
4) Wedding scenario #2
5) Wedding scenario #3

So while the idea of moving the wedding up is practically dead, I figured I would do some re-con work anyway, so if the opportunity arises, I can be prepared. :)

So, let's just pretend for a few minutes, shall we??

Scenario #2: A Cocktail Reception @ Cog Hill

One thing Tom will not budge on is the size of the guest list. We're looking at about 200 people. Yikes. To include everyone on a much shortened budget, we can host a cocktail reception as I mentioned earlier in the week. At CH, we can have an open bar, 10-12 pieces of food p/p, plus a dessert buffet for about $5,500. No joke. Tempting, eh????

So if we went this route, I wouldn't change the color scheme or such. I'd shorten the event to about 3 hours or so, with an after-party option ---something simple: a bonfire, bowling, etc.

Other expenses: flowers & photography (and speakers for an iPod hookup, maybe?)

Scenario #3: An Intimate Family-Style Affair

So if for some reason Tom was to cave on his original guest list demands and we kept it simple (i.e. immediate family & grandparents only), I would LOVE to have a small, intimate sit down dinner @ Maggiano's. A huge family-style dinner consisting of appetizers, 2 salads, 2 pasta dishes, 2 meats and 3 desserts is only $24.95/person. Crazy, I know!!! Add on a consumption bar, taxes and other misc., the price tag is less than $1,200.

If we did this, then I would nix the blue/green scheme and just opt for a simple bouquet of light pink peonies and a simple boutonniere for him. All other flowers would probably be nixed.

Music/dancing would probably be limited, and the party would be relegated to Lucky Strike Lanes over in Lombard. I LOVE this place. Instead of hard, plastic chairs, the bowling alley has sectional couches, red velvet curtains, low-hanging paper lanterns, and just an overall fun atmosphere.


Anyone out there have any fantasy budget scenarios out there?????????

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Reserved Spot in Purgatory.

Main Entry: pur·ga·to·ry
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural pur·ga·to·ries
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French purgatorie, from Medieval Latin purgatorium, from Late Latin, neuter of purgatorius purging, from Latin purgare
Date: 13th century
1: an intermediate state after death for expiatory purification; specifically : a place or state of punishment wherein according to Roman Catholic doctrine the souls of those who die in God's grace may make satisfaction for past sins and so become fit for heaven
2: a place or state of temporary suffering or misery

As you'll have noticed by my previous post, T and I (okay, mostly me, but a little bit of him, too!) are struggling with the "purgatory" feeling. There's nothing easy about waiting. Does it make the planning process easier?? Not really. What you do gain in time you lose in angst and second-guessing.

Has this been magnified by the onslaught of friends and acquaintances getting married, buying houses, having kids...definitely. But it's always been there, under the surface, waiting for an opportunity to arise.

Neither one of us are where we want to be. He's stuck in school, and though he enjoys a lot of it, he's looking forward to graduation. I have a job that I enjoy, but knowing that I come to work everyday just to put money aside for the wedding kills me.

Would chucking the whole thing be easier? Who knows. Everything's a trade-off. The stress of waiting would be traded for the stress of having a mortgage and paying bills. The waiting by the phone every night to talk to each other would be replaced with waiting on the couch for the other to come home.

And I may be naive, but it seems to me that the end result, being able to spend everyday together, trumps it all.

So where do we go from here? Do we suck it up and muddle through? Do we jump and figure it all out later? Do we compromise and move the wedding up? There seems to be no clear cut answer. All three options have impossibilities written all over them.

Anyone have any brilliant Dr. Phil/Dr. Laura advice out there? Again, to follow up from yesterday, any regrets??? ANYTHING? I'm really struggling here...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Holy Cow.

Wow, it's been yet another crazy-busy day at the office...I can't wait for tomorrow --- we're getting out at 2 pm with the possibility of leaving at noon :)

Anywhoodle, today's post will be short and sweet. And maybe a bit scary.

Let's chat about regrets. And elopement. And such.

Anyone have regrets about their big days? Anyone wish they would have waited to get married? Anyone wish they would have gotten married sooner? Spent less money? Spent more money? Anything???

I know obviously, all situations are different, but humor me. I LOVE hearing other peoples' perspectives. :)

Yours truly frazzled,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oooh. Pretty.

I'm sorry for saying this for about the third time in a week, but I am again swamped at work, therefore drained of both time and creativity (hence the boring title).

Anyhoodle, I've managed to find a NEW topic to post on today.


So as it stands now, my hair is fairly similar to the picture on the right....somewhere between chin and shoulder-length, layered, flippy-ish and brownish-auburn. Lately I've been getting the itch to grow it out. Not super long, just maybe a little past my shoulders, with longer layers. I don't really want to mess with the color as I really like what my natural color has become, and I don't want to keep having to spend money on the upkeep of highlights and what-not.

I've always said, though, that on my wedding day, I want to keep my hair fairly similar to how I wear it usually, as that tends to look better and more natural on me. But I couldn't help falling in love with this hairstyle and wanting it. A Lot.

See what I mean? AWESOME. Simple and elegant, but not tight and severe. Plus, how easy would it be to tuck the veil underneath with a small comb/bobby pins and be done, without the crazy tiaras???


Friday, September 5, 2008

Returning to Regularly Scheduled Wedding Programming...

I'm sorry for yet another hodge-podge post, but I've run past some of these pictures, and I love them!!!

This is from a wedding that the couple hosted in their own backyard...it was awesome looking!

Teehee. Doesn't that just make you giggle? :)

And below are two centerpieces made of wheatgrass. It takes 7 days to grow the wheatgrass about 7 inches, and it only costs about $1/lb. I think it would look fantastic on tables: it's short which would allow for easy conversation over it, it's fresh & green, and it's fairly inexpensive.

Also, here's a photo strip save-the-date:


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meet the Mister...

So I've been pretty busy lately at work, and let's face it: that's what's going to pay these ridiculous wedding bills. Considering I should probably get back to work, this is a short, sweet post to introduce you more to the Mr. (for those of you in the blogsphere that don't know him)...

T competes in Scottish Heavy Athletics/Highland Games. It's way too drawn out an explanation, so google it if you have questions. All you need to know is that he throws very heavy things very far/high.

He also dances.

I kid, I kid. But it sure looks that way here. And yes, he wears a kilt. I know, giggle all you want, but I just enjoy looking at his legs :)

Whoa. That's pretty high there, T. I think you cleared it.

Here he is with one of his childhood idols, Brian Oldfield. Many of you may remember him as one of the first track & field athletes to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Or you may recognize him from all the tv shows he competed on in the '80's. Or, you may know him from the Olympic team back in the Bruce Jenner era. Or you may recognize him as a current world-record holder in the shotput. Or as the first man to throw over 70 ft. in the shotput. There's a lot more accomplishments he has achieved, most of which are pretty track-centric. The bottom-line is that this guy has done amazing things for throwers, and T loves that he gets to see him and get free advice and coaching at these meets. It's pretty amazing if you think about it...

And this is the t-shirt quilt I made for his birthday last year. It's a combination of both mine and his t-shirts, but gives you a little peek at all that he's participated in...

Fun, huh?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pick Your Poison: What Type of Reception?

So the standard in our family (which is by no means the standard I'm holding myself to, as weddings are not strictly about tradition and "keeping up with the joneses") is to have a sit-down dinner. Whether this meal is buffet, family-style, or plated, we've pretty much seen it all.

So what are your thoughts on having a cockail/hors d'ouerves reception?

Now, before you pass out or start praying to the patron saints of traditional weddings, let me clarify a few things.
  • We would not be serving at 5, 6, 7, or 8 pm, when one would assume the host of a party would provide a full, seated meal. As the church allows either 11:30 am or 1:30 pm weddings, the latest our reception would begin is 3 pm.
  • Food would be plentiful. Not only would there probably be a buffet including vegetable crudites, meat and cheese platters, and fruit trays, I would also want to have a carving station or two with fresh roast beef, turkey, or ham, along with a few other fun stations. One great idea I saw was to have a "Mashed Potato Bar" where fresh potatoes are served in martini glasses with a variety of toppings (chives, sour cream, cheese, broccoli, bacon bits, butter, etc.). No one, not even my dear fiance who could share his dinner with a small country, would walk away hungry from this. Hopefully.
  • A shorter reception, say 3-7, would provide the framework for a fun after-party, say bowling...
  • Libations would also be flowing liberally: beer, wine, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, plus a few other crazy things I have up my short sleeve...
  • Fear not, there will still be plenty of seating. And while we may not end up doing all traditional tables, there still will be enough seats for everyone...

Even though I have quite the appetite as well, I often leave food on several of my plates throughout the typical 7-course wedding meals. The food is too much, too heavy, usually too cold, undercooked or rubbery, as well. And while this option could save us more money in the long run, I feel more that we're not cutting costs to cut costs, but rather cutting costs to cut waste and excessiveness.

I know I've listed mainly pros, so I'd like two things from my commenters: 1) Your honest opinion (love it, hate it, meh), and 2) Play devil's advocate --- give me the cons (and more pros if you feel like it...).

In the meantime, I'll be searching for pictures to help your imaginations!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stinkin' Cute Save-the-Dates!!!

I found another blog "Prom to Altar," and figured it was worth checking out...and boy, was it!!

Check out these save the dates that this crafty woman came up with:

(Courtesy Prom to Altar)

All the little ticket stubs and what not are momentos from their relationship - trips they've gone on, the place where they became engaged, etc.).

I love a few things about this:
  1. It's customized & personal. I think many people lose the vision of what their wedding is: a celebration of their love & relationship, not just an excuse to throw a party. I think when weddings reflect the personalities and tastes of a couple, they are more fun!
  2. I love the photo-strip. My original idea was to do something similar, but instead, we'd be holding up a sign in each photo, so it reads "Save" "The" "Date" with the last photo being the actual date.
  3. How perfect would this be for us? In high school, being that we were goofy 17 year olds, we'd write each other notes throughout the day. I had kept most of them at one point, filling an entire shopping bag. I'm not sure if I still have them, though. We were pretty silly, though. Tom had band class the period before mine, so he'd write me a note while sitting in class, slip it in my music locker, hide it in the grand piano or xylophone for me to find, or slip it to me on the way to his next class. I'm sure they were intercepted a few times, and I'm pretty confident a few of them are probably still stuck in the grand piano in the band room...

What do you guys think of them? Are they too informal? Does it even matter?????