Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slow Going, Frantic Finishing, Table Turning

Wedding-related posting might be a little slow-going for the next few weeks.

The end of my school semester is quickly approaching, which means projects, essays and exams galore! Being the chronic procrastinator that I am, coupled with the fact that most of my productivity has been directed toward wedding-planning lately, I'm frantically finishing all of my supposedly "semester-long" projects at the last minute. I'm very frazzled and sleep-deprived, and also anxious about a few family members currently experiencing serious health problems. I'm not in the best of emotional and mental states right about now. As each weight is lifted (like the project and essay I turned in today), my focus is then turned to the next large item on my plate. Ugh. Brain asplode.

I will however blog today, largely because I find it therapeutic and currently require a break from academics.

One of my stress points for the wedding has been the dance portion of the reception. It's an important part of my vision for the event. I miss dancing with my friends and family and I'm really looking forward to doing so at our wedding. The only problem? I have (largely by choice) a very limited budget and was concerned about how much of that budget would have to be directed toward hiring a DJ. I know that setting up a playlist and having someone man it for portions of the evening is a pretty popular solution to this problem, but I didn't really want to ask anyone to spend that much of the reception sitting with a laptop.

Not quite how I imagine it.

I also really don't want the "cheese" factor for which wedding DJs are infamous. I'm very stingy with money and only want to pay someone a lot of money for their services if I'm sure it's completely worth it. Unless you've seen them at another event, it's kind of hard to know with the services provided by DJs, officiants, etc. if you'll be satisfied with their work until after it's already been provided and payment is due. This just stresses me out.

However, brother o' mine to the rescue! He volunteered, sans prodding by yours truly, to take charge of the laptop and speakers as needed for the evening. He has great musical taste, and I'm sure we can work together to put together playlists that will satisfy all parties (or at least the parties we particularly care about pleasing). I'm hopeful that for other than a few key events like the first dance, father-daughter/mother-son dances, and pie cutting, that Tom will be able to hit play on a premade playlist and go enjoy the food and festivities himself.

My siblings and I at my brother's wedding a few months ago. Aww. Aren't we sweet?

I was the ceremony musician at his wedding (and at my sister's too, actually, in addition to Maid of Honor. I think I did much better in my duties as musician than MOH, despite the fact that I forgot to tighten my bow for the recessional). As special as that was for me, and I hope for my brother and his wife, it was a significantly lesser time commitment than what my brother has offered to do for us. I'm very touched by his offer to operate the turn-tables, so to speak.

I love how family-infused our wedding is becoming. Although we'll order most of our bride's pie from local stores, my grandmother is going to make the pie that we cut at our reception. I really love this detail so much, and I'm excited that she seems excited to make our personal pie. Pecan is probably tops in the running right now (it ranks high among my favorite pie flavors and my grandmother makes a meeean pecan pie) but we shall see. She wants to practice with whatever recipe we choose, but we still have a little over 4 months. Whoa. 4 months?! Time flies.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finding the Dress

I forgot that I hadn't yet properly posted about my dress when I gave you much more than a peek at it in my last post! I know most every bride loves her dress, and I'm definitely no exception. I love love love love LOVE my dress. Really.

I went to 4, sort of 5 stores in my hunt for "the Dress". First, my mom and I went to David's Bridal. It seemed like as good a place as any to start. At the time, I was looking for a very lacy non-satin ivory mermaid gown without a train, and with straps. Something like this:

These were my inspirational photos at the start of my hunt (and before I began blogging about all this shtuff, so I apologize for the lack of source links). The catch? My ideal budget of less than $300.

We made the mistake of visiting David's Bridal on a Saturday and without an appointment. Holy sweet bejeezus, was it crazy in there. Even though I'm very comfortable in my skin, it bothered me that there was no mirror in the dressing room. I had to come out and wait around for the other shoppers to vacate the mirror stand before I could see if it looked even moderately presentable. Also, the girl who was getting us dresses was very sweet, but also very distracted as I think she was simultaneously helping about 4 girls. Just about every dress that came our way was many sizes too large and we had no clips to help *visualize* what it might look like in my size. They were also all strapless, satin, a-line gowns with trains. I realize many of these things could be tailored to my specifications, but it wasn't exactly helping me figure out if a lacy mermaid gown was what I really wanted!

We left there fairly quickly and stopped in at the Dallas Vintage Shop. I've been there in the past while thrifting with friends and knew I had seen some vintage wedding dresses. Unfortunately, they really only had dresses in inventory at the time from about the 1980s and other fashion-impaired time periods, so we left there empty-handed as well.

We then tried a local store that shall remain unnamed that mostly specializes in prom and other formal gowns. They were advertising that they were closing out their bridal section, so their gowns were supposed to be listed at greatly reduced prices, up to something like 80% off. The catch was that the reduced prices were not listed on the price tags. You had to ask a sales clerk to go find a manager to see what the reduced price was. Odds are, if they were willing to go ask, you had already showed enough interest in the gown where they felt like they could only slightly reduce the price and get you to bite. I almost did. There were 2 gowns there I would have been okay with, maybe. I probably would've bought one of them if they were in fact greatly reduced in price. Instead, they only came down something like 10% and both were going to require a lot of alterations. The beading on one required a lot of repair. Also, they were nothing at all like what I was initially looking for. They just made me feel like a bride.. but not like me. Poofy and satiny and beaded and.. so not me. I'm very glad I didn't bite. The only good that really came of this shopping experience was that I discovered that mermaid gowns are exceedingly difficult to walk in. No thanks. I still wanted something that accentuated my slender figure, so A-lines were still out, but I was open to new ideas.

My mom and I then swung by my paternal grandparents' house. My grandmother had stored away several family members' gowns, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to try them on. Free and heirloom is right up my alley. I did some scheming with my aunt's dress that my grandmother made by hand a little over twenty years ago (I was hangin' out in my mom's belly during that aunt's wedding). It's very flapper-esque and absolutely beautiful. French lace overlaid on tiered chinese silk. It's an unfitted sheath silhouette and has no train. I liked it a lot, and kept it in mind as a possibility, but it really wasn't particularly flattering to my figure.

My cousin's wife's gown that my grandmother completely reassembled is gooorgeous. It fit me like a dream. Lace, lace, lace, with gorgeous long sleeves that I hadn't really considered but loved. A-line and with a train, but I considered throwing out those requirements for this dress. Unfortunately, my grandmother informed me that my very sentimental cousin doesn't want anyone to wear his wife's gown. I'm not sure why it's stored in my grandmother's closet in that case, but oh well.

We ultimately had the best shopping experience and found my dress at Anonymously Yours, a consignment shop that specializes in wedding gowns. That's right, my dress is preowned and I have absolutely no problems with that. In fact, being the thrifty shopper that I am, I absolutely love the fact that I bought my dress from a consignment shop. Everything in the store is clearly organized by size and categorically: formal vs casual, with train vs without train, strapless vs with straps, ivory vs white. The dresses are all cleaned and pressed, ready to be worn. In fact, they were in substantially better condition than the gowns I'd tried on earlier that day at the unnamed prom dress store, and for amazingly reasonable prices! Nicole Millers for $400, Vera for $600, and most every non-designer gown falling right around the $100 mark. The owner personally helped us. She's down-to-earth and very helpful - she even gave us great recommendations for other budget-friendly wedding services in the area. I swear I'm not being paid for this advertisement. I was just genuinely impressed with this store and can't say enough about it. If you're in Dallas and looking for a wedding dress, there's no excuse to not stop by here.

I tried on a few gowns that looked promising but none of them were quite right. We were about to leave (with every intention of coming back soon to check their ever-changing inventory) when we discovered that we had entirely missed the informal section. This section felt like home, and I just knew the One was hiding on its singular rack. When I put on The Dress, we all knew it. My face lit up, and my mom and the store owner beamed. The price tag read $150. Um, yes please?! It came to $161 after tax, and fell well within my budget that I'd almost given up for mediocrity earlier in the day.

Until I receive the rest of my bridal portraits, these photos my bridesmaid Kelsey took for me before the dress was hemmed will have to do. I present...

The Dress!

Other than the hemming, this gown fit me as though it was made for me. This begs the question.. did a 6 ft, size 4 girl own this before me? If so, was she a model? Because that's just ridiculous.

I apologize for the undie lines. I have some now that don't show. They are far from sexy undies, but sometimes you just have to do what works. I'll wear non-sexy undies for my slinky dress.

Boobs. Also, a detail shot of the minimal decoration. Kind of does double duty as something I think I've heard called a "modesty panel".

I loooove the draping in the back of my gown!

Doesn't the back frame my tattoo so nicely?! Also, I think on the day of the wedding, my mother will sew me in so that the zipper doesn't gap like that.

Are you completely satisfied with your dress? Are you also completely satisfied with the amount of money you spent for it?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bridal Portraits

Jenna Cole already posted two of the photos from today's shoot on facebook! We found an abandoned farmhouse and used it and all of the fields and such around it for our pictures. The wind today was nothing short of ridiculous. This worked well for some shots, like the one above, but also made a lot of them more challenging. Nevertheless, I'm really reeeally excited to see the rest of the pictures. I think we found a really great location and the lighting was just perfect. Also, Jenna's a total sweetheart and an absolute professional. If you have any need for photography in the Dallas area (or elsewhere, if you can pay for her travel) you should definitely consider booking her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bridal Portraits!

Guess what I'm super-duper excited and nervous about? Guess what's happening tomooorrow?



The lovely Jenna Cole and I will be meeting up and heading off into the middle of nowhere to take photos of this 6th Generation Texan Bride. We'll hopefully capture crops, wildflowers and other rustic Texas-y things while also keeping my dress as clean as possible, seeing as I'd also like to get married in it in less than 5 months!

I'll let you know how our shoot goes, but I'm very optimistic. You should check out her work. She's only just starting her professional photography business, but she clearly already has a great eye for composition and a good handle on the technical side of operating her camera. Her prices are also ridiculously reasonable for the 2009 season. You may also know her as Mrs. Avocado of Weddingbee.

I'm actually getting her services for free this time around because I replied to an ad of hers on Weddingbee offering free shoots so she could expand her portfolio. Woohoo! I'm not sure that I would have ever scheduled a bridal shoot otherwise. The word "free" was just far too enticing! I hope that I can work up a non-goofy smile for her so this isn't a waste where her portfolio is concerned. I'm very used to looking through the lens, but I really don't know what to do with myself in front of it.

I picked up my dress with its alterations today. The length is absolutely perfect. I feel like the draping in the back might be a tiny bit wonky with the hemming, but I don't have a full length mirror so I'm not 100% sure. Either way, I'm not sweating it.

My mom and I also finished my veil tonight! It turned out pretty fun and theatrical without going too far over the top. We added some feathers to my flower fascinator, and pulled the extra french netting into a nice poof that sits under the fascinator. It's difficult to properly describe, but hey, I'll have photos of it for you soon, since I'm bringing it on the photo shoot tomorrow!

Credit to JennaCole for all Photos

Monday, April 20, 2009

Return to Normal Programming

Our internet and television service is finally back in working order. On Friday morning we startled awake to an enormous KABLOOIE! and a blinding flash of light (we both swear something momentarily glowed bright orange from the bedroom ceiling). A typical spring Texas thunder storm was rolling through and decided to strike down our sinful cable service. Apparently lightning struck either our house or very close to it. We were grateful to find our attic lacking fire and our chimney apparently still sporting all of its bricks per usual.

We were, however, simultaneously horrified to find ourselves unable to access the internet. My software engineer fiance did every bit of magic computer mumbo jumbo in his arsenal to get it up and running, but alas, it soon became clear that some portion of the hardware was *fried*. In fact, just about every portion of the hardware relating to the cable & internet service was fried. Our cable provider finally made it out yesterday afternoon to replace the portions that were their responsibility. We had to replace the router ourselves - I guess they don't cover acts of God. I think they should. It was clearly their evil services that God was seeking to smite.
Harumph, I say. Harumph.

Despite the fact that we have internet service at home again, I'm actually writing this update while paying copious amounts of attention to my oh-so-enthralling 10 hours of Monday classes. I'm actually a ridonkulously good (and modest) student roughly 95% of the time. This semester is quickly fulfilling my 5% quota of bad study habits. I'd rant about the drudgery of my current classes, but I guess I should actually fulfill this entry's titled subject; our return to normal programming. Wedding stuff it is!

I've finished my homemade Save the Dates but I'm waiting on a few straggling addresses to be gathered. Until I've sent them all out, I'll refrain from giving you a proper look at them. I will give you a little taste though!

Shallow Depth of Field Teaser.

Since I introduced our "children" in the last proper entry, now seems as apt a time as any to introduce our wedding party. I'll start with my attendants, since y'know.. they're mine. And I'm just selfish like that.

First up, my Matron of Honor. I tend to still call her my maid of honor since I think "matron" sounds rather matronly (go figure) but Miss Manners tells me I'm wrong. Shove it, Miss Manners. How about Sister of Honor? Yeah, we can go with that.

Sister of Honor, Jessie.

We go way back. I've known her for a little over twenty years, since I came screaming into the world and stole her bedroom. I also ripped the flowers out of her dollhouse window boxes and various other unforgivable offences, but she set my lego man on fire and sometimes tried to mother me too much. Shall we call it even, sis? These days, she's one of my best friends although she lives way the heck across the country and we only get to see each other in person once, twice, or thrice a year. I was her Maid of Honor when I was about 15, although I was pretty terrible at it. I had no idea I was supposed to give a speech at the reception, and I sure as heck wasn't really involved in the planning of her shower and bachelorette party. Therefore she only has to write an embarassing or touching speech for us if she really really wants to, and she's already doing an awesome job in her other Honor-Person's duties.

A decidedly not-recent picture of the two of us. I'm a pretty pretty princess. She's.. my sister. =D

Next up, my bridesmaid Kelsey. We went to Middle School and High School together. We were apparently in the same Algebra class when I was in 7th grade and she was a big bad 8th grader.. but neither of us have any recollection of the other. Oh well. That was unfortunately the only class we ever had together but we're planning to take a community college summer class together this year. We met through a mutual friend when I was in 10th grade and she was in 11th. We were both in Badminton Club - we'd basically just whack a birdie back and forth without a net (or any rules) in the middle of the main hallway of the school, exactly where the color guard wanted to practice at the same time. Rebels, I know.

Aww. I'n't she puurty?

At first we just shared a close friend rather than really being close friends ourselves. Over time though, as our tight knit group split several ways, I've come to count her as one of my very closest friends, and I like to think it's mutual. Right, Kelsey? Right? [nudge nudge]

I believe this was my junior and her senior year. Party hardy. We were good little straight edge kids in high school.

I also have a male attendant. Or maybe a bridesman! Actually, Michael has no qualms about being called one of my bridesmaids. I think he takes great pride in bearing that title. Michael and I met in high school through the same mutual friend who introduced me to Kelsey. We've also grown much closer in the last year or two.

Michael solely represents the not-pasty-white contingent of our wedding party.

He's really adorable about the whole wedding planning process. When I put my veil on for him a week or two ago, he totally started tearing up. He also super adorably freaked out when I told him Opie and I had gone ring shopping, and also definitely when Opie actually popped the question. While he's certainly not more excited about our wedding than we are, he very well may be more vocal about it. Cutie pie. Just for the record, he digs girls. And Hugh Jackman. But mostly girls.

He is very insistent that I weigh absolutely nothing. A good ego booster to have around! =D

That wraps up for my attendants. I'll briefly introduce Opie's boys, but I'm not particularly qualified to do so. Opie's Best Man, for whom he was also Best Man, is his long-time friend Justin.

Probably not the most flattering picture ever of the boy, but his internet presence is basically nonexistant.

Justin and Opie are all kinds of trouble when they get together. They consider Justin's wife Christie and myself "keepers" because we'll put up with (or ignore) their often inappropriate behavior. They've been friends since High School and perhaps revert to that level of maturity when they're together, but that's perfectly okay. They have an ongoing contest to find the most disturbing/obnoxious/hilarious songs and videos in existence. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to enjoying the results of their search. Alas, I have no pictures of the two of them misbehaving together to include here. Opie, you must remedy this in the most safe-for-work way possible, please.

Opie's other groomsman is his friend Marshall. They've known each other even longer than he and Justin, I think. I could be completely wrong. Whatever. Opie's free to rewrite this portion. They lived together for a lot of years, both in Texas and California. Opie was the lone witness at Marshall's courthouse wedding a number of years ago.

Marshie-Bear, as Opie affectionately calls him. Marshie-Bear loves this monicker, I'm sure.

Marshall is also a software engineer (I think... something like that, anyway) and I guess they kind of honed their professional skills together growing up. They supported each other through layoffs and breakups and many life changing experiences. They're more like family than friends by now.

Marshall and Opie enjoying a little Saint Patty's very-underage drinking. They were not the straightedge children that my friends and I were.

For good measure, I'll conclude with a picture of Opie and me from Christmas of '08.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lo Siento

Alas, our internet & television went kaput at our house yesterday morning. The earliest we're able to have someone out to replace the hardware iiiis tomorrow. Poo. And now I have to go clock on at work. I'll catch y'all on the flip side.

A still sick Mary is a still whiney Mary, so waaah. I want my interwebz.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Sick Mary is a Whiney Mary

Waahhhh. I'm currently waging war with the cold of doom and am thoroughly not enjoying myself. Wedding progress has been put on hold while I cough, sniffle and complain, so I don't have much of anything new to report. Naturally my illness coincides with a school week full of tests and other fun things, a work week where I was mistakenly scheduled for about twice my usual hours, aaaand my twentieth birthday. Yay! Don't feel too bad for me though. All sympathy should be directed toward Saint Opie who is currently on Ramen, Nyquil and "Go back to bed, stubborn girl!" duty.

I'll use this break in our scheduled programming to properly introduce the other 2 members of our little family. I'll introduce them in order of age rather than size, methinks.

First, the adorable, the ridiculous, the rather idiotic...

The Calypso!

Oh ho ho. This picture cracks me up everytime.

See? I toooold you she's adorable. Can I hear an "AWWWW"?

I did also mention ridiculous and idiotic, right? Yes, that is Calypso inside the leg of my jeans. Ohh, kitty. You are a silly one.

Calypso joined the family in Fall of '07, about 3 or 4 months into our relationship. We already knew we were in it for the long haul, bringing a baybeh kitteh into our life together. She came to us from a stray litter that my sister found abandoned in her carport in Washington state. Calypso and her brother Allister (who now resides with my parents) flew to Texas together, mewing pitifully the whole way.

After Calypso had settled in for about a year and had thoroughly decided that she ruled the roost, we decided to turn her world upside-down and adopt a puppy. Ohhh boy, was she less than pleased. But how could she resist Trajan's cute puppy face?

Trajan at 6 weeks. He came to us at 10 weeks & roughly 37 lbs.

Well, I guess maybe the fact that he weighed about 4 times her weight might have had something to do with it. Also, his puppy curiosity married to his gargantuan size put her in some rather uncomfortable positions. Sorry kitty!

Trajan is a blue Great Dane. He's currently 8 months old. He hasn't been weighed since he was 6.5 months old, when he weighed about 105 lbs of pure love and affection. He definitely outweighs me now.

Trajan at 6 months. This is the only piece of furniture he's allowed to sit on. He doesn't much like to share it.

7 months.

8 months. He says, "Gee mom. I'm not doin' anything mischievious at all! I swear!" It looks like they're getting along here. By their standards, they are, but Calypso is in fact growling and Trajan is sloooooowly sneaking closer so that he can very excitedly investigate her with his huge schnozz.

So, do you think the description in my profile of "an itty bitty kitty and a horse disguised as a puppy" is accurate? Just to give you a reference of just-how-big Trajan will get, his father weighs 185 lbs. His mother's back is 33 inches off the ground. He'll get most of his growth in the first year, but he'll gradually grow more for another year+. I love our larger-than-life pup!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ceremonial Songs

I have 2 possibilities in mind for our ceremony music. The first would be to have a musically talented family member or friend play something for our processional and recessional. This would pretty much limit us to guitar or viola. No offense to my violist friend but I'm a violinist and really can't stand the sound of the viola even when played well. My cousin and my uncle both play guitar very well, as do a few mutual friends of ours so that's a viable option.

I didn't think my other idea was feasible on our budget. In fact, it's really not unless I manage to push some funds around and DIY more stuff. Therefore, I'd really written it off as an option, but mentioned in passing to my parents that, "Gee, it sure would be nice if we could afford a bagpiper for our ceremony." A few months passed from when I mentioned it, and then my mom suggested that she and my dad might be willing to cover the cost of hiring a piper. oooOOOOooo!


I can tell that I'm about 150% more excited about this possibility than my fiance. He hasn't gone so far as to say that he doesn't like the bagpipes (maybe that's just because he fears I might hit him) but he's said something along the lines that he thinks the music played on them is inappropriate in the setting of a wedding. I disagree! I think the pipes are wonderful for all sorts of occasions of great pomp & circumstance, whether it be weddings, funerals, parades, or what have you. I haven't given up on the idea yet despite his lack of enthusiasm, but I fear it might fall by the wayside yet since this is after all *our* wedding, not just mine.

I have requests for quotes out to a dozen or so local pipers. I've received price quotes back from about 4 of them, with $250 being the best rate so far. Even if it's not technically my own money being spent for the piper's services, I do admit that $250 seems pretty steep when I essentially only want them to play 2 songs.

Maybe I should look into local fiddlers while I'm at it. I think Opie would be much more gung ho about that idea and it'd still be a very nice nod to my own heritage and interests, seeing as I'm a fiddler and generally obsessed with Celtic music and crafts. I don't even want to think about the amount of time I'll spend obsesssing over the music to be played if we hire a fiddler. Egads. Does anyone around here play Cape Breton style? No? Maybe I should just play my own music to wed by.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

DIY Wheat Bouquet

Since very early in the wedding planning process, I've planned to make myself a wheat bouquet. I believe I was originally inspired by this photo:

Today, one of my bridesmaids and I went to Garden Ridge (and Hobby Lobby due to Garden Ridge's veeery poor ribbon selection) to gather supplies for my bouquet! I had been putting it off until I cleaned out some room in my "wedding closet" (the guest bedroom closet in which I hide all of my wedding shtuff from our pets) for it. However, folks from my wedding party were in town to help me with wedding tasks this weekend and I have a bridal portrait shoot in less than 2 weeks. If I remain satisfied with today's product, I can use it in my wedding in October too!

I bought 3 bundles of blackbeard wheat at Garden Ridge for $2.99 each. I only wound up using 2 of the bundles, but I wasn't sure exactly how much I'd need and I can always use the rest for other projects later. Also, note the price tag. I can afford the extra bundle to play with, methinks.

Here are the two bundles prior to being combined. In some ways I prefer the type of wheat used in the inspiration photo, but they were out of it today at Garden Ridge and I actually think the contrast the blackbeard wheat will have against my dress will be nice.

We cut the rubber bands off the bundles and began sorting them, removing any that were broken, too short, an inconsistent color, or otherwise unusable. We also cut the tips shorter on some of the wheat to make them a little less full when put all together.

There were 3 or 4 of the out-of-stock wheat hiding in among my blackbeard wheat.

Once we had chosen all of the stems of a consistent length and quality, I held them tightly and bridesmaid Kelsey began wrapping floral tape around the stems to hold them together.

We started the tape slightly lower on the stems than I wanted the ribbon to start and really just kept wrapping until it felt sturdy.

I then tightly wrapped the chocolate brown ribbon I picked up at Hobby Lobby over the floral tape and held it in place with regularly spaced pearl-tipped corsage pins pushed in at an angle.

Ta dah! Apparently I need to figure out how to hold my bouquet less awkwardly, but I like it! Judging by this photo, I think I might cut a few inches off of the bottom but that should be easy enough.

I'd like to thank my helpers for today's project:

The lovely Bridesmaid Kelsey!

William Shatner!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Current Inspiration/Progress Board

[click to enlarge]

From top left to bottom right:
1. Baby's Breath bouquets for the bridesmaids. The bride's male attendant will probably have a baby's breath boutonniere.
2. The bridesmaids will be wearing solid chocolate brown tea/knee-length dresses of their own choosing.
3. The groomsmen will either be wearing boutonnieres of non-floral natural elements or the glass flowers that I blogged about for my fascinator.
4. The reception will be all about the candlelit ambiance.
5. Centerpieces will include candles sunk into coffee beans in homage to our meeting through Starbucks.
6. The Groom's Cake will probably be Carrot or Rum cake aaand delicious.
7. These are the earrings that the bride and bridesmaids will be wearing in 3 different finishes.
8. The bride (hey, that's me!) will be sporting finger waves.
9. This is me, in my dress, with my tattoo!
10. The groom and groomsmen will be wearing tuxedos, most likely in espresso brown or slate gray.
11. The Bride's "Cake" will be a pie buffet.
12. A contender for our wedding bands.
13. I'm considering getting a red parasol to match my shoes, although I'll be carrying a wheat bouquet in the ceremony.
14. I think a little handpainted sign like this would be a lovely way to guide folks from the parking lot down the path to our venue.
15. I'd love to include either family wedding pictures or pictures of us over the years somewhere, likely at the guestbook table.
16. These are my shoes! And I love them!
17. Our ceremony & reception venue.

Most of this is old news to anyone who has been reading my blog for a while, but I figure a little pictorial summary can't hurt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Well, I took my dress in to get altered today. All it really requires is hemming of the dress, lining, and front panel. Judging by the tailor's marks, it looks like about 4 inches are coming off. I must say, that begs the question, "How tall was the girl who previously owned this dress?!" I mean, really. It fits my 5'6", 110 lb self like a dream except for the length. Was she 5'10" with my same body type? Dang.

When she asked what the dress was for, I said it was for a college dance, which could definitely be the truth (I actually suspect that it was originally marketed as a prom or similar dress). I don't know that she'd bump up the price over the word "wedding", but I certainly wouldn't be the first to encounter inflation over that one little word. I figured a little lie certainly wouldn't hurt anything. As it is, she quoted me $40, pointing out the slippery fabric, draped back, and several layers. I have no idea how that compares to other local prices, but either way, it seems reasonable enough to me, and she did a beautiful job on a jacket that my dad brought to her so I thiiink I'm in good hands.

Since I have bridal portraits scheduled for the 23rd of this month, my dress should be back in my hands by the 22nd. The tailor said that'd be fine. Nevertheless, I have this irrational fear that they'll go out of business (despite the great abundance of orders hung on racks in the store) and I'll never get my dress back! Gah! I don't know how you brides do it when you special-order your dress. I couldn't imagine having it out of your possession for 8 months. 2 weeks is more than enough for me, thanks.

One of my currently in-progress DIY wedding projects is my fascinator.


[fas-uh-ney-ter] –noun
1. a person or thing that fascinates.
2. a scarf of crochet work, lace, or the like, narrowing toward the ends, worn as a head covering by women.

For the record, mine is not a scarf of crochet work, lace or the like, but I love the word fascinator, so that's what it shall be called. I think it's a thing that fascinates, so it still works, eh?

When I visited my matron of honor/sister last month, we happened across some gorgeous glass flowers dying to be turned into fascinators. We couldn't decide between 3 of them, so all 3 came home with me. That's a rare splurge in my planning process - I blame my sister, but really, I thank her, since she insisted on buying 2 of them for me (I practically had to force her to let me pay for 1 of them). After I bought my red shoes, I decided to use the red ones to bring in the same pop of color somewhere else in my "ensemble".


My only concern is their weight. Being glass, they're not heavy per se, but they're also not exactly light. I need to find a clip or comb to wire it to that will stay in my hair really well to support their weight.

Since my mother has her doubts (and I begrudgingly admit I do too), I went ahead and arranged a back-up plan. While browsing on Craig's List, I saw someone listing their wedding dress and accessories. I spied a pretty hair flower a la Twigs & Honey in her listing, so I asked if she'd take $10 for it. In person, it's maybe slightly larger than I'd find ideal but a) it was $10, b) I can maybe remove some of the outer petals to make it smaller and c) it's really very pretty as is and complements my dress color perfectly.

My camera battery currently needs to be recharged, so I don't have any photos of it yet, but it looks a lot like this one, but with some center petals more toward a yellow hue, and minus the feathers.

It also has some pearls and crystals in the center. Pretty, pretty. Also, this was apparently the bride's backup fascinator that she bought new, so it's never been worn.

I do really hope I can get the glass flowers to work, but I'd be happy with this option too. What do you think?