Monday, August 31, 2009

Worst. Diet. Ever.

Between last Friday and yesterday, I lost 5 pounds. Woo. Right? Aren't all we bridezillas so diet crazed that we will do anything for that kind of dramatic weight loss, even click stupid ads on facebook aimed at making us feel as crummy as possible about ourselves? I mean, wouldn't those guys from bulging brides be just so proud of me?
If you are a rational, reasonable person that reads the news, weight watchers materials, diet books, or women's magazines, you and I both know that anything more than 2lbs a week is unrealistic, and mostly water weight. It's something you should be concerned about.
Because in my case, it means you have pneumonia.
After four days of a fever, nausea, coughing, headaches, and all other manner of ailments, I finally decided I had had enough and broke down and asked Mark to take me to urgent care. Two hours, a flu swab (meaning they stick a q-tip up your nose), a strep culture, a pregnancy test, and two x-rays later, they sent me home with a heavy course of antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine. I should be better eventually. I took today off from school, and have mostly sat in bed trying to not breathe too much because it makes the coughing worse.
So if you're wondering why the even lighter than light posting this week, it's because I spent the weekend sick and Mark spent the weekend taking care of me. (He's been great, by the way. Couldn't ask for a better, more patient, nicer, and more giving caretaker.) Bear with us, we'll be at full strength soon (and with news about electronic invites, stamps, and wedding websites to share!)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why can't we e-vite people?

Those are totally the "wedding" directional signs that I want :). But I would totally use this e-vite if it was somehow socially acceptable to e-vite people to your wedding.

Friday, August 28, 2009

When does a theme become "too much"?

So far, pretty much everything I've been attracted to in this planning process has trees on it. With the possible exception of my dress. But we're getting married under trees, taking pictures under trees, and being generally surrounded by trees. Eventually, Mark looked at the umpteenth tree-themed thing I showed him and said, "do you think we're overdoing it a little on the trees?" It was sweet of him to ask that way, because we both knew by "we" he meant me.
It was also a fair question. Am I? At what point does the theme become too much? (Also, is it a theme or more of a motif? I'm thinking of it a motif.)
Is the line at this fantastic cake?
Or is it at sending out fabulous tree invites
With tree stamps? (Which I will admit I went into total bridezilla mode about and was like "must have at any cost!!!!!!") (Listen Ellie, forever stamps are fine because NOBODY CARES.)
At what point will guests feel that the theme is overkill? Is it when they sit down at our table and check out these centerpieces?
Or will it be when they are handed a tiny plantable tree to take home?
(Okay, so I would say the chances we do this one are very very slim.) Nonetheless, the question stands. When do we hit the limit?
I think it's important to remember that ultimately, the theme is not important. The decor doesn't matter. (Which begs the question - are centerpieces actually necessary? Somebody tell me why I can't just have long tables with salt and pepper shakers all down the center?) I think a big part of the reason I'm attracted to trees is that they are the alternative to the girly curliecues and the flowers on everything and the pink fluffy fondant cakes and the big rose centerpieces, none of which will look like my future husband played any role in any part of this process. Trees are gender neutral. Everyone likes trees. Trees on an invite say, "we picked these together" not "Mark is totally whipped and agreed to the white pearl invitation with the big hearts all over it in pink glitter."
My MOH suggested that we broaden the theme to include "nature" instead of just trees. So how do we define nature? I immediately thought of the things that were in the nature center's building. Turtles, owls, foxes, bees; and the things that were outside, the wheat fields, the flowers, the butterflies. If we used all of these elements here and there, would it look too erratic? Too scattered? Or would it somehow all come together and make sense, all of these pieces making up the crazy erratic collage that is nature?

Charity Friday: Children Defending Children


I'm not a fan of overpriced dresses for flowergirls. I mean, really, they're just gonna outgrow it.
However, when I first heard about Oscar de la Renta's designs for little girls, $100 of which goes to the Children's Defense Fund? I was pretty impressed. The dresses themselves are $200-350, so this is like 50% of the price of the dress going to CDF.
Alternatively, you could spend $25 on a flowergirl dress and donate $100 to CDF and save half the cost. But how cute is that white one with the poppies, if you have the budget? (They're also pretty rewearable, compared to a lot of flower girl dresses.) And go to the website and check out the black and white one - how perfect would that be for a black and white wedding?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Outside Looking In

When I went tubing on Sunday with my hockey buddies, we inevitably chatted about weddings. Not because I am a "wedding junkie" as somebody has described me; but because my friend had just been to a wedding the night before as a bridesmaid.
My friend mentioned that they got their nails done the day of the wedding because the night before, the rehearsal dinner was a crab feast. My other friend said, "man, weddings are like, the most planned out thing in the entire world. There is no other time in which you would say, 'well, I want to eat crabs...so I'll hold off on the manicure.'"
The more I thought about it, the more true it is. We do plan every detail of this day. We obsess over it. We struggle to make sure that everything will run smoothly and that we'll remember everything and that everything is perfect. Because you only get this one day to have your closest friends and family all in one place and it's amazing to have people come out and support you and so why wouldn't you want to make everything perfect? This all almost makes sense to the wedding-obsessed bride or groom to be, planning this big giant party.
I don't think my friend meant to hurt my feelings, but I was a little put off by her statement. I want to believe I'm not like the other bridezillas out there. But then I think about it, and I'm like, "who am I kidding?" I've been planning wedding stuff since before we were engaged, I love weddings, and I started this blog before we even told people we were getting married. I subscribe to two IRL wedding magazines and over 15 blogs. And we are still more than a year away from the wedding! I'm probably the worst kind of bridezilla. Like When Harry Met Sally, when Harry tells Sally that she is the worst kind of "maintenance" becaushe she's high maintenance but she thinks she's low maintenance.
Is there like, a wedding planners anonymous to get us all to calm down a little bit? I mean, the tri-training and the back-to-school stuff all helps, but none of it makes up for me being high-strung about planning. None of it is going to help keep me from making our wedding the most planned out day of our lives.
So maybe I just have to accept it and embrace it. Take it as it comes, and let it go when it's over. Hopefully, as long as I realize that even the most perfectly planned events often go awry, that the most important thing at the end of the day is being married to this wonderful man, and that this day can't possibly be the best day of our lives because we have a lot of days ahead of us to enjoy, I can manage to not be the crazy woman everyone is afraid I'll turn into.

Things to do before you get married.

There's a pretty long list of things to do before you get married. There's both the bachelor/bachelorette type things like "get one last lap dance as a single guy" and then there are the legal or financial things like "check your credit". No, it's not romantic. But lets review - weddings are romantic. Marriage is not.
Remember this ad? I don't particularly care for the moral there, but the message is good.

Remember in How I Met Your Mother, Lily has all that credit card debt and they can't get a good rate on a mortgage? Keeping this from your partner will only hurt the two of you in the long run, so have a chat. And if you don't know your credit score, you both need to check it.
Thanks to a federal law, you are entitiled to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies. This means you can, and should, check your credit every 4 months, using a different agency each time. Go to annualcreditreport.com for your reports, and then either print them to a .pdf/image and store them on your computer, or print them and keep them in a safe place.
If either of you have bad credit that you weren't previously aware of, you may want to reconsider your wedding plans - if you were planning to put the wedding on credit cards and pay them off slowly, or if you were planning a big fancy wedding but you decide you would rather focus on fixing your credit and/or getting out of debt.
Another thing is, if your partner has bad credit and you decide to go ahead and buy a house but you can't get a mortgage in his/her name, so you go ahead and put their name on the deed but not the mortgage? This is pretty much the dumbest thing you can do. I have represented women who have gotten totally screwed this way - the relationship ends and suddenly they are on the hook for the whole $2500 mortgage each month, and her credit is getting wrecked but his isn't. Do not buy a house jointly if either of you has such bad credit that you cannot be on the mortgage. If he/she can't be on the mortgage, he/she shouldn't be on the deed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More shoes

I took a look at our budget the other day and realized we had never factored in several incidentals. For example, I had been unwilling to put a number on what I'm willing to spend on shoes. I finally wrote in $100, because I don't want to spend more than $50 but I have found that generously rounding up is the way to go when it comes to the budget.
Of course, shortly thereafter, I found these:
::swoon::
I try on the Cole Haan Air line whenever I see any of it in DSW. They're so comfortable, but they're still $150. (The other problem is, even with great Nike Air technology, I can't wear high heels to work. I just can't do it, which is why I still don't own a pair.) I also read an article recently that said that with every inch in the heel of a shoe, you put an additional 100 pounds of pressure on the ball of your foot and this has lead to women in their 20s and 30s coming down with old lady foot problems like hammertoes. I say ouch, and that beauty is never worth either pain or physical deformity.
However, if you are going to wear high heels, you deserve to be comfortable, and if your shoe budget is $300, why you are in luck!

Invitation Inspiration

Has anybody else checked out Modern Girl Invitations?
Ever since reading an article in a bridal magazine that said that brides should budget $8 and upwards per invitation, I've been on a quest to find invites for $3 or less. All of these are $220 for 100 invites.
Some of them are on the simpler side, and for some of them I would like to change the font, but fortunately for $15, they'll let you do that.
The only thing is - if we're doing online RSVPs, do we put the info on a single invitation and just send out one card, or do we include a separate info card that says info on RSVPing, etc.?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

which.goose hair flowers

Truthfully, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole hair flower trend. But I came across this post on one of the Baltimore craft blogs I read, showcasing this local Etsy artist.
I mean, I thought this one was just kind of big:
Then I saw this one, and I think it's really cute.
And then there's this one:
Somehow, it strikes the right balance of hippiechic-nature-center-whimsy and bridal elegance. (And at $30, it meets my 10x rule, because it's 10x what I would pay for any hair accessory in everyday life.) I'm not totally sold on the hair-flower thing still, but which.goose has gotten me a lot closer.
I also like that the model dosn't seem to have super long hair, so I feel like I could pull them off.
What do you think about hair flowers?

Wedding Bands

No silly, not rings. But bands. Like music. I told Mark a loooooooooong time ago that he was in charge of the music. I'm tone deaf and my favorite musical group at the time (and still one of my favorites) was the Indigo Girls. My friends generally get in the car, say in disbelief, "what is this?" and then mock me and change the music. I was not down with the responsibility of picking the playlist. So I dumped it all on Mark. Because I'm the best fiance ever.
We were still deciding ipod vs. DJ. We couldn't possibly have the budget for a band, and aren't all bands either loud bar bands or lame old people bands? Then onto DJs. I've never found a DJ that I liked. Finding a DJ was always the hardest part about planning dances in high school, and I just don't really like them. My sister's DJ at her wedding irritated her immensely, and it stressed her out. I don't want that. So the answer seems to be go ipod and have a friend DJ or emcee, but only in a way that doesn't require them to work more than ~30 minutes tops during the wedding. Also that doesn't stress us out.
I'm not sure where, along the way, I got the idea that a band might be nice. But recently I keep toying with the idea. But with everything else with wedding planning, its pretty easy to do research and find a florist or a venue or find a bridal salon. But how do we find a band? Where do we start? What do we do? How much should we budget for a band? Is approaching a band with our extremely modest entertainment budget going to somehow be insulting to them? If you get a band, is it insulting to ask them to play some stuff off of a CD or an ipod if you really want the original version of the song or a song they don't know? I don't know the answers to any of these. Do you?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chair Covers

I went to the gym to go to spin class this morning. Unfortunately it turns out that the spin class I was going to is at 7:30 tonight, not this morning. So I sat in the spinning room and watched TV while I tried to will myself to spin. (I hate spinning.) I couldn't find the remote, and the channel that came on when I hit the power switch was Lifetime. So I watched 15 minutes of "Get Married".
If you don't like being told what you should or could do if you had a million dollars, and if you don't want an "elegant, opulent, rich-looking wedding", don't bother watching it. I watched the segment on chair covers and felt nauseated. I don't really care for chair covers generally, because I think they look fussy, but I understand they are sometimes necessary (although it would usually cost about the same to rent other chairs than to put ugly chair covers on ugly chairs). If they are necessary, do you really need a custom dyed tassel to go on your chair cover to look more opulent? Do you need brocade tablecloths to really make the look cohesive? Does a chair really need a kickpleat and a corset laced back?
Maybe you do need these things. And what you do with your budget or your wedding is your business. Even if you choose to cover already gorgeous and expensive chivari chairs with this lovely sage organdy chair cover. That looks nothing like somebody wrapped a chair in plastic.
(Really?)
A lot of us know that if we don't want chair covers, we don't need them. But then there are people who think they should, because Colin Cowie goes on TV and tells them that chair covers are essential for bringing your room together. And some people don't know that it is, in fact, okay to have the ugly hotel chairs. It is, in fact, okay to turn of the WIC and even the BIC and do your own thing.
Ultimately I think chair covers will come down to a question of priorities for most people. And if you needed help swaying your decision, consider this: In my lifetime, I have been to somewhere between 10 and 20 weddings. I do not remember what any of the chairs looked like. What I do remember are the food, the music, and how much fun we had. None of which was affected at all by whether or not I had a chair cover.
Chair covers yay or nay? What say you?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Don't feel like wearing a penis necklace?

I've had a great weekend. I mean, seriously. On Friday night, Mark and I saw Great Big Sea at Wolftrap, yesterday we went rock climbing and today I drove 45 minutes north to Hereford, Maryland to spend two hours floating down the Old Gunpowder River in a large inner tube with three of my hockey teammates. (All in their own tubes, in case you needed that clarified.)

(Not us. And I didn't watch this whole video. But the bits I watched were pretty accurate. For the full tubing experience, go tubing.)
As we were lazing about in the sunshine laughing and joking about our lives generally, it occurred to me that this would be a fantastic activity for a bachelorette party. For the person who is not big on bars, but likes being outside, in the sunshine, it would be perfect. You get a bunch of people, you drive up to Monkton, and you rent tubes and then you get in the water. (Or in our case, you make friends with a girl who already owns a bunch.) Tubes cost between $10 and $5 apiece, so this is not an expensive activity. Bring a cooler with cans or plastic bottles of your favorite beverage, and you are totally set for two hours of fun.
"But Ellie, two hours doesn't make for a very good bachelorette party." You say. Ah-ha. Interestingly enough, there is not one, but two wineries in the same area. So you tube a little, then you dry off and head over to Woodhull or Basignani for a wine tasting afternoon. (There are other wineries that are a little further out of the way, Boordy, Cygnus and Fiore.) Bonus points if you take a limo to go tubing, because (1) you don't have to drop one car at the start point and one at the end; and (2) it would be hysterical because I'd like to see a limo on the country roads up there.
I know a lot of girls out there who would love to do this instead of going to Power Plant wearing matching t-shirts, some kind of horrible veil, and getting hit on by a bunch of creepy old guys. So if you're a maid of honor or bridesmaid looking for an alternative party idea, consider it. It's also great for anybody on a budget, because the total cost is a half a tank of gas and a few tubes (and if you hit a winery, you can even bring a picnic lunch to eat with your wine.)
Do want to have a typical bachelorette party or do something a little different?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gender Roles

I bristle whenever anybody tells me that the groom or the father of the bride doesn't care about the wedding details or doesn't deserve input. I get my back up whenever anybody talks about "how to help your groom get involved." (And don't even get me started on how unbelievably offensive the September Modern Bride's article on how, since you're about to lose your man to the football season, you should learn to speak football. I don't know about you, but I started watching football so I could hang out with my sister. And Mark won't watch football with me because I yell at the TV, throw things at him when his team scores, and generally embarrass myself.)
So I promised Mark that he could pick, within reason, what he wanted to wear. My only thing is that I don't really want him to rent a tux. I don't like rental tuxes. The fabric is all scratchy. Plus they get really hot. Plus, I just think it's weird to not wear your own clothes. But so far that's all I've said. I imagine that sometime next August we will go to a suit shop of some kind and he will get a nice suit, and then he will pick out a shirt and tie to go with it and I will be offered some kind of opinion. I think we would both be more comfortable with that.
But I really really really really want him to wear one of these ties. I've been in love with them ever since I first saw them. I seriously thought "I want to plan my wedding around these ties." And then I did.
I mean, seriously - how cool are they? How totally perfect are they for a nature center wedding? And they come in either silk or microfiber and are relatively reasonably priced, although at $40 for a silk tie, they cost 10x what my dad pays for silk ties ($4 on K street, baby.) But since my calculations so far have been "wedding stuff costs 10x what you would pay for normal stuff", that is accurate. But just because I love the ties doesn't always mean that Mark loves them, and I think he always saw himself wearing a tux to his wedding. (So I may have to go back on my "no tuxes" decree.)
Maybe I can wear the tie.
How much control does your partner have over his/her outfit? How much control do they have over yours?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why the light posting?

Posting has been light lately. School started this week. (I don't know why. I suspect the Dean hated summer vacation as a child and therefore wanted it to end as quickly as possible.) It's about 90 degrees out this week, and all I've wanted to do is go to the pool. Class is not as fun. Nonetheless, doing well in school is important for our future, so I have to get back in the game there.
I've also been settling back into our apartment. I moved back from Michigan a week and a half ago and came to this conclusion: I have a lot of stuff. From my avalanche-nightmare-causing desk to my overflowing craft area, I have a lot of stuff. I've been trying to figure out what to do with it - I've found a couple of places I can donate fabric or craft supplies to, some of it's going back to my parents house from whence it came, and some of it I just need to figure out how to organize. It's a process. That is interfering with my blogging. I'll be back at full strength soon.
For now, go check out the Ajalon letterpress sale. $4 apiece is cheap for a lot of invitations plus reply card and envelope - but for letterpress???? This is like Black Friday cheap. I like this one, possibly with a green liner and backing:
Enjoy your weekend!

Charity Friday: Shoes!

So we all know I have major foot issues. And for anybody getting married in somewhat rocky terrain, or outdoors, consider not forcing your bridesmaids to ruin those cute $100 shoes you asked them to buy by aerating the soil. Enter Sesko Designs.
Sesko is a company that helps low income women in Uganda go to college and get an education.
In their words:
Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.

This part, I find to be particularly cool. I've talked before about ways to make the money you spend on the wedding not just a lot of money to spend on a single day. With vendors that do double duty to help a charity or a community, your money keeps going after the last piece of cake is eaten and the last glass of champagne is drunk.
With a charity like this though, your money keeps working for longer - not only does it help the women who make the sandals in the immediate future, it helps them become educated and continue giving back to their community.
So not only do the sandals look cute like those pictured below, they are reasonably priced ($40); and you can order extra colored straps, so if you get your bridesmaids all matching shoes, you can also buy them each an extra pair of straps in their favorite color and they can keep wearing the shoes after the wedding.
My only problem would be this: three of my girls are really short, and I know at least one is self conscious about the size of their ankles. So these shoes with short dresses may be a no go. Also, I refuse to tell other people what to wear on their feet. I also don't know how I would fare, because these don't seem to have the necessary arch support for me.
However, these might still make a nice bridesmaids gift in a tote bag :-p.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wedding Advice

My uncle gave me some advice tonight, "Save your energy when it comes to the wedding. Put in just enough effort to have a nice party. But you're gonna be married for a long time and the wedding is just a tiny part of that."

What wedding advice have you gotten?

Crafternoon

My cousin and his fiance got engaged about three weeks after we did (and a week after we told everybody) and is getting married this November. It's been really fun to have somebody else wedding planning alongside us, especially for the same group of people. (A good 50-60 people from our guest list are on this side of the family.) Recently, I was invited to a "crafternoon" with the fiance and her bridesmaids and crafty friends and my aunt and her sister to help with a few projects. I didn't take any pictures, because I was covered in paint and also because it's not my place to post her wedding projects on the internet.
I did learn a few things.
1) When it comes to a crafternoon, organization is key. A. had all of her projects neatly sorted, in bins, and gave us a briefing on the 4-5 projects we needed to get done, then handed a bin to each group of volunteers.
2) Don't make awkward jokes around people you don't know. When we were trying to decide who should do what, I suggested appointing captains and picking teams. Everyone looked at me in horror. Admittedly, I was hoping that, if anybody took me seriously, for once in my life, I wouldn't be picked last, but still, it was mostly a joke.
3) Projects for varying skill levels are necessary. People who weren't crafty were assigned tasks like ironing and assembling the kids coloring books. They were relieved to not be expected to be too creative, but to still be helpful. And I did not want to iron 25 out of town bags.
4) If your guests aren't that familiar with weddings, provide examples. The biggest challenge was out of town bags, because a lot of the girls didn't really know what they should look like. Since I had seen out of town bags before, I was able to come up with a fairly simple design which we used for the rest of the bags after a few attempts had people pulling their hair out (I'm still not totally happy with what I wound up doing, but it was easy, fast, and I only messed up one to the point where I said, "that can be somebody you don't like's"). I totally understand why A. didn't provide examples, because she introduced the project with, "I'm not really sure how I want these to look." (A. by the way is not your typical type-A bridezilla like some people might be when it comes to their wedding crafting projects....) But I learned that when I hand my OOT bags to somebody to decorate, I should say, "these are some examples I found on the internet. you don't have to copy them, but they're ideas. go nuts."
5) Food is essential. A. is a super-excellent cook and made an amazing spread of food to fuel everybody before we started. She made little mozerella tomato basil bruschetta's that I ate most of, plus some kind of curry dip, plus trays of crudites....also some kind of mexican meatballs which although I didn't eat, I'm sure were delcious.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I want engagement pictures

Mark and I have been deciding on the logistics for our engagement pictures - when and where to shoot, and who we want to take them. Considering I was on the fence originally, I think it's interesting that I'm now pretty set on them. I actually wouldn't mind taking more than one set. This probably seems ridiculous, and like I'm really vain. That's not what it is.
Something Meg (congrats, btw!) said way back when I first wrote about this was that we are about to embark on the most expensive photo shoot of our lives, so why waste more time and money taking pictures of ourselves in our every day clothes?
The answer I have finally come to is that...our life is about so much more than our wedding. And I don't want to just be using pictures from our wedding as the default pictures we hand to our family members to put on the mantle or on the refrigerator. I don't want the only really amazing pictures of us to be of us all dressed up. I want them to be of us as we are, having fun, enjoying ourselves and just hanging out together. I don't want them to be awkward chin shots. I want pictures where I feel pretty in an everyday kind of way, not a wedding kind of way. I want pictures where Mark looks like the man who comes home to me every night, not the guy in the suit I take to weddings. (Don't get me wrong, that guy is totally handsome. But I see that man five times a year. So I wouldn't mind having some pictures of the other guy.)
Maybe we won't do very much with these pictures. Maybe we won't even give them to our parents or friends. Maybe we'll just have them, print a couple prints and some collages and use them as our background pictures on our computers. I still think that I want to have them when we're older so we can look back and marvel about how young we were, how much we thought we knew, how wrong we turned out to be.
Our wedding pictures will be about the "best day of our lives". Engagement pictures will be about all the rest of the days. So as long as they don't cost an insane amount of money, we will do them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do you read Post Secret and wonder if these are by anyone you know?

I mean, I don't think that these are by anyone I know. But what if they are?

Addressing invites

So the latest issue I have of Brides takes on "sticky" invite questions, as far as addressing - what do you do when the couple is gay, when the army captain is stationed overseas, or when the married couple has different last names? Oh, and my personal favorite - what do you do when the lady is a doctor and the man is not?
The answers?
-If somebody is in the military, you send the invite to their permanent address.
-If the couple is married with different last names, you address it to "Ms. Becky Smith and Mr. Donald Timshaw."
-If the couple is gay or living together, you address it to "Mr. Darius Colisto" and "Mr. Pete Pickle" with the names on two separate lines.
-If you are inviting somebody's boyfriend who doesn't live with her, you send an additional invite to the boyfriend.
-If the couple is married and the lady of the house is a doctor, you address the invite with her name first, and then his name. You do not do "Dr. and Mr. Hamburg". Which I think is lame.

Now that that's been cleared up by the etiquette police, lets look back to the tips on what not to say to gay couples. If the couple is married, use and and put them on the same line. Seriously. Do not use your wedding invites or "proper etiquette" to insult your friends or their union. Do not use them to subtly pass judgment that their marriage isn't "real" because it isn't necessarily state-sanctioned.

While we're at it, lets review this whole "two lines for people living together thing". I mean, really - if you put "and" on the invite, nobody is going to be insulted that you think they're married when they're not, and not saying "and" just seems offensive to me. It seems to be somebody's way of saying, "hey, lets remind unmarried folk that they can't POSSIBLY be committed without rings."

I say if two people live together in a romantic relationship, they get an "and" and their names should be on the same line.* What say you?

*Space permitting. Having a 15 letter last name, I totally understand if we're on two lines. Although I was incredibly offended when we got invited to our close friend's wedding as "Mark and Guest" because they thought my last name was too long to put on the invite. These are people we have dinner with at least monthly.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Charity Friday: Charitable Bridesmaids?

I didn't really think that you could find bridesmaids dresses that would be somehow charitable - I thought I would have to settle for writing about donating your dress. However, the BIC never fails to prove me wrong, and it turns out that a double-duty bridesmaids dress dealer is out there! Her name is sarahseven.
I'm sure you've already seen her designs, but did you notice that 5% of her proceeds go to charity?
Says Sarah's Etsy shop:
5% of all purchases go to the following charities:
3% to Compassion to feed unsponsored children.
2% to International Justice Mission. IJM fights to free slaves and to hold the slave keepers accountable for their actions. For more information go to www.ijm.org

The cost of the many of the dresses is pretty high - over $400 (which means that 5% going to charity is nothing to sneeze at.) However, they are handmade, out of nicer materials, and probably much more rewearable than a typical dress.

Bankrupt Weddings?

I've written before about weddings where a vendor declares bankruptcy or skips out on their contract. This new article though, is just a bigger real life example.
I can understand on a much smaller scale what these people are feeling, because my sister's stylist quit the day before her wedding and nobody called us to tell us. We walked into the salon and they were like "so hopefully, we'll at least definitely be able to do the bride's hair." They were shorthanded, nobody there was good at updos, and none of us were happy with the way things turned out. A week later, I called and demanded our money back, and we at least recovered about half of what was spent.
The vendor in this article, whether she is telling the truth (I don't think so) or whether she was actually trying to scam other brides to try to help recover, which is possible, she acted absolutely inexcusably. Instead of trying to recover, and instead of emailing, she should have personally called every single person working with her. She should also have been responsible and tried to line up other vendors who might be willing to help these people out. Can you imagine trying to find linens the night before your wedding? I mean, everything else...it's like, decorations and flowers are nice, but if you don't have them it's not the end of the world.
Not having linens though? That is the end of the world. I know that sounds super-dramatic, but have you seen the tables that are under tablecloths? They are ugly and have wooden tops that haven't been sanded in ten years. Your guests will get splinters!
In all fairness, I'm sure there are many venues, like restaurants, etc., that have beautiful tables that you don't need linens for. But for any kind of ballroom situation where there are always tablecloths? They are there for a reason people!
This article makes me even more tempted to look into wedding insurance, which I may be doing before we book any more vendors.

Slightly NWR: Honeymoon Hotels?

This article makes me never want to stay at a Marriott ever again. Ever. I'm never a fan of blaming the victim, and just because the victim did not act as smartly as possible in a situation never ever ever makes sexual assault okay. However, I do think that sometimes the people who claim that girls shouldn't go to a party, get wasted, and then stumble home for two miles across campus black-out drunk have a bit of a point. Though that never, ever, ever, ever makes it okay for them to be sexually assaulted, I could see campus security saying that the victim failed to mitigate the extent of their damages, or the victim acted in a way that made campus security not responsible for the assault. (So what I am saying is that though somebody should definitely go to jail; it's not necessarily true that a third party who owns the facility where the assault occurred should be held liable for damages.)
In this case though, we're not talking about somebody who was impaired or under the influence. We are talking about a 40 year old mother of two who was putting her children in their minivan who was sexually assaulted at a Marriott. So far as I can tell, there was nothing this woman could have done, short of asking for a police escort to the car, to mitigate what happened to her. This is the rape scenario that is the most horrifying to most of us - one we can't victim-blame our way out of - this woman did not put herself in a bad situation. She put herself in a parking lot outside of a hotel that had security. I'm guessing she wasn't dressed like a streetwalker; she didn't proposition anyone; she hadn't been drinking heavily on a blind date with somebody she didn't know; there is, so far as I can tell, nothing that she did which would prompt anyone to say she was "asking" to be raped (as is so frequently a defense by rapists.)
I think for Marriott to take this defense over a lawsuit for $15,000 is shameful. Marriott has two options: settle; or defend themselves by saying that the rape would have happened no matter how good their security was. This level of victim-blaming is absolutely disgusting.
Okay El, you're done with your psycho left-wing feminist nutcase rant, right? So what the hell does this have to do with weddings?
This incident makes me NEVER want to stay at a Marriott ever again. Any Marriott, anywhere. Never. I don't want any corporation that would let anyone offer this kind of defense in a court of law to profit from my business. So while this means that as we book room blocks and book our honeymoon, I will be staying as far away from Marriott as possible, it also probably would mean a lot more if we were having our wedding at a Marriott.
I'm not sure what I would do, if our venue or any of our vendors suddenly did something like this in the months leading up to the wedding. I'm irate enough that I might call them up and ask for what money we can have back, and hold the wedding somewhere else, no matter how crappy. I'm angry enough that I would probably put a note in the program saying, "We were going to have the wedding at the nicer Marriott down the road, but since the company thinks it's okay to blame a 40-year old woman and her 3 and 5 year old daughters for a sexual assault, we've chosen to have the wedding at a hotel whose morals and values are more in tune with ours." Sure, it would be petty. But it would make me feel like we were doing our own little part to stick up for this woman.
What would you do? Is anybody getting married at a Marriott or reserved room blocks there? How did you feel when you heard about it?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shoes (Part ?)

Last night, the extremely well meaning but often clueless FOB mentioned that on the blog, he didn't understand "all the shoes." I said, "you mean all the posts about possible wedding shoes?" And he said, "yeah."
This comes from a man who has worn the same shoes everyday for at least the last 24 years. He wears Rockport ProWalkers in an 11.5 Wide. He stocks up when they're on sale. If there is a limit of how many pairs he can buy at Macy's, he goes to every Macy's in town, and then calls us and asks us to go to Macy's to buy more. I'm pretty sure there are 8 pairs, in boxes, still in the attic.
You would think my father, from whom I inherited both my terrible feet that require me to wear orthotics and my terribly sensitive skin that chafes easily and makes me develop blisters in about 5 minutes, would understand more the quest for the perfect shoes. Nonetheless, he is a man whose interests tend more towards naval warfare and traveling, so I suppose I understand his confusion.
I have difficult feet. Our venue has a lot of tricky-to-navigate terrain. My dress is enormous. Oh, right, and I'm cheap. Spending more than $50 on a pair of shoes I'm going to wear once? For a couple hours? Soooo not worth it.
Am I overthinking my shoe search? Maybe. But at the same time, I've had some really bad nights because I wore horrible shoes that gave me blisters. I went on a date once and couldn't walk for three days because my poor footwear choice + 6 miles of walking through Georgetown = misery. I got blisters so bad in Germany I had to stop and buy flip flops. I do not want to remember my wedding as "totally awesome except I couldn't dance because I got such bad blisters."
There is the additional fact that 2 days after my sister's wedding, I couldn't walk. Initially I blamed her wedding (and awesome totally danceable playlist) and my Naturalizer shoes for the injury, but thinking about it more, I was probably headed for injury by running on old sneakers and the wedding pushed me over the edge. I took 800mg ibuprofen for a week and iced my foot every hour on the hour for 15 minutes. Eventually the doctor gave me a steriod injection and told me I couldn't run; I couldn't walk for more than 15 minutes at a time; I couldn't go up and down steps; and I couldn't wear any shoes but sneakers. At the time, this was difficult because I worked in a courthouse, but manageable. On my honeymoon, not being able to walk is going to make me miserable. And Mark. So I'm committed to avoiding potential injury. Which means a yearlong hunt for shoes.
Since I don't think I'm alone with my picky feet, and also because well, sometimes I buy ugly shoes, I'm going to write about my shoe hunt a lot more here. Because I want feedback and commisseration, plus, maybe you guys will be able to find your shoes too!

I want to get married at the aquarium JUST so I can use this invitaiton.

Swoon. Double swoon. Triple swoon. I am sooooo in love. It would be weird to use these for a wedding at a nature center, right?
(Also - $1.50 apiece including reply card? What's not to love?)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bouquets: How necessary are they?

If you're being walked down the aisle by both your parents, and you have something for your hands to hold on to, does it really matter whether you are carrying a bunch of flowers? Also, will anybody notice if you don't have a bouquet? I'm just putting it out there, because it's on the list of "things I need a reason to spend a lot of money for." So far I haven't found out the origin, and the more I think about it, the more it seems like something that nobody will notice if I don't have.
Maybe the point of the bouquet is so you have something to fidget with.
The problem I'm having envisioning my bouquet is this:
1) Walk down aisle awkwardly holding bouquet and my parents arms.
2) Hand bouquet to MOH.
3) Get married while MOH holds bouquet
4) Forget to take bouquet back from MOH whilst skpping joyously up the aisle with my new husband.
5) Take 2 pictures with bouquet and 700 without
6) Leave bouquet on table during reception. Bouquet wilts.
7) Throw bouquet at angry single girls. (Will probably have a tosser.)
8) Preserve bouquet, then wonder what to do with it. (Possibly put petals in Ikea picture frame like I did with petals from bouquet at sister's wedding. Can live without petal-filled picture frame.)
So, the questions remain:
1) Do I really need one?
2) Why the f*** do these things cost $125 apiece?

Has anybody else found themselves wondering about this? Is anyone foregoing the bouquet? Do you worry that people will think you're not actually getting married if you don't have a bouquet? Will anyone really notice?

Home again...

So I'm on my way home today, and what better way to celebrate than by considering Baltimore locations for e-shoots?
I found this list recently and thought about different locations in the area. This is actually a pretty good start, unlike a lot of wedding picture idea lists which are often fairly unoriginal. "Go to the Inner Harbor or the Aquarium." It's like a tourist wrote the list.
I would love to do a shoot in Federal Hill where we live, starting on our front steps and then heading around the area and possibly down to Ft. McHenry. But there are other places I would love to shoot. I love Centennial Park, which is on the list, and I think if we went there we would totally rent a paddleboat or a canoe or something. Centennial Park would also be a great place to do e-pics on bikes :).
Baltimore has some great architecture to shoot in front of - Penn Station, the courthouses, old rowhomes, the pagoda in Patterson Park...
Where would/have you done engagement pictures?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So are you the bride or the groom?

I don't have any gay friends who are getting married, but this list is an excellent starting point of how to interact when you meet gay couples at food tastings or bridal shows, or just when you're out at a bar.
Since I am totally tactless, I appreciate it when somebody tells me what I should or shouldn't say. (I asked a Muslim girl giving a presentation about the hijab in my Women's International Human Rights Class what the appropriate way to compliment somebody on their headscarf was.)
So I will try to remember that: it doesn't matter what the law is where somebody is getting married, it doesn't matter what gender they are, it doesn't matter how their church feels about it; and if they care enough to call it a wedding, its a real wedding.
Have you ever said any of the things on this list?
Has anyone seen or tried on these shoes from Payless? I like that they are dyeable - so either you can have great white shoes for your wedding and dye them afterwards to a more practical color, or you can have awesomely colored wedding shoes!
However, Payless shoes are too low-quality for somebody with feet as blister-prone and heel-fearing as mine, so I'm not sure that I would be able to wear them - for starters, are they leather or are they synthetic?
Something low like this would be nice, but how am I keeping that on my feet?
Also I would so sink into the ground in these. But the ballet flats are pretty cute - and not totally unreasonable for a shoe I might wear multiple times...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Children at weddings vs. children in weddings

(Could these dresses be any cuter? Perfect for a green and orange palette!)
Mark and I found ourselves looking at old pictures of him as a ring-bearer in a wedding. I wasn't in a wedding until I was 14, but I did desperately want to be a ring bearer. (Flower girl dresses used to be really ugly.) And Mark commented that he thought we should have ring bearers. Not gonna lie. I hedged. I stumbled. I changed the subject.
This is because I have not yet been swayed on the issue of children in the wedding. I've been settled firmly on the fence since we started planning. On the one hand, the kids that I would ask - they're great kids! I love them! They are so totally adorable! How can I not want them in my wedding? On the other hand...picking flower girl dresses and ring bearer attire on top of bridesmaids dresses? Wrangling flowergirls and ring bearers around Irvine while we try to take pictures? Making them take pictures with us when there is an awesome craft corner and fun and games area? Forcing their parents to give up cocktail hour for photo time out at the gazebo? And I'm pretty sure that we can't throw flowers at Irvine anyway, so is there really a point?
I also can't bear the idea of hurting the feelings of any of the children and/or any of the parents. I feel like if I ask any of the kids in the family to be in the wedding, I have to ask all of them, lest somebody get their feelings hurt or feel like I don't think their kid is cute enough to be in the wedding.
Another thing is, I don't really get the point. And my rule for the wedding is: if there is no reason to do it and will only cause stress, don't do it.
So far, according to Wikipedia, "Often the ringbearer and the flower girl are made to look like a couple, and they may be dressed in miniature versions of the bride's and groom's clothes." Ew. And creepy.
I can find no actual authority on the origins of tradition, mostly simply that it is a way to include a favorite neice or nephew or other child in the wedding. Often it is a way to include a friend who has outgrown being a bridesmaid but you still want to be a part of the wedding. I have a lot of favorite children in my life, and I'm not really sure that I can choose without making people feel insulted, and the idea of having like, six kids in the wedding gets really overwhelming.
The problem is also that my cousins, who were my sister's flowergirls, are older and capable of asking why they will not be flowergirls in my wedding. I wish I could give them a reason, except that I don't have one. I don't have a reason, but not having a reason is not enough of a reason for me to put myself through this kind of stress.
And my general feeling is that as long as I feel like this is something that I "have" to do, instead of something I want to do, as long as the idea of having small children in the wedding stresses me out; I shouldn't do it. So for now, I'm going to let it go. If we decide to have kids in the wedding, we have kids in the wedding. Otherwise, they show up, look cute anyway, and have fun. Fortunately, children's attire can usually be bought off the rack or off e-bay, so we can probably decide this issue much closer to the wedding than anything else.

Friday, August 7, 2009

But that's neither hair or there....

Okay. We're totally gonna ignore the fact that I currently have three cases with three obnoxiuos opposing counsels who are making me hate all lawyers right now, and that I stop working here in 3 days so I'm currently trying to get my caseload organized for the attorneys to take over, and all of these facts are going to have me working through my lunch break again, and we're gonna talk about my hair.
It's been 6 weeks since I've had a haircut. It'll be 7 next Friday when I finally go in. I look pretty shaggy. But Linsey (Linsey Hall at Geometrics Hair Studio, she's the best!) and I talked about my going for a new look when I came back. I'm missing the chin length bob, the ponytailable hair, the ability to do different things with my 'do.
This has very little to with the wedding, because, as previously stated, I'm not going to grow my hair out specifically for the wedding. A lot can happen in a year, and I like my short hair, but I get tired of looking the same and I've looked the same since last October.
I think that I probably want to get to this kind of look by maybe November (my hair is growing about an inch a month so not totally out of the question:
but I think in the meantime I may have to settle for looking like this:
(I hope that the full bang will distract from how messed up the back will probably look for a bit.)
I have actually decided that I don't really want to talk too much here about how I plan to actually wear my hair on the "big day", because I want it to be a surprise. This might come as a surprise, considering I could totally care less about whether Mark sees the dress. But the dress is clothes. It doesn't really matter to me that people know what I'm wearing. But my hair is going to be part of how I look, and somehow that is different to me. Maybe it's because of what George Banks says in "Father of the Bride" - "I knew I would never remember what Nina wore that day, but I knew she had never looked more beautiful." I want that. Mark isn't going to remember the dress after 20 years of marriage. I barely will. I will remember how I felt in the dress, and how I felt with my hair done.
With all that being said though, how long of hair does one suppose you need for something like this?
Anyone have any cute short bob pictures to show me? I need help here people!

Charity Friday: Drink a little, give a little.

When we went to Wine in the Woods, we stopped at Terrapin Station Winery. There are a couple of cool things about Terrapin Station:
1) The name (go Terps!)
2) The wine comes in a box. Each box holds 2 bottles of wine, and is an eco-friendly (and poolside/beach/park safe) way to drink wine.
3) Their Cayuga White is delicious.
4) They donate a portion of their proceeds to the Terrapin Institute to help save the terrapins, which is btw the state reptile and an endangered species.
5) The boxes take up less space and are easier to store.
6) No corkscrews! (aka no worrying, if you are doing BYOB, when your corkscrew breaks or who brought a corkscrew, etc.)
If you are doing BYOB, buying a case of a Terrapin Station wine is probably a good way to go - especially because you can fit so much more in a tiny box and the boxes will fit in the corner of a room and then you don't have to worry about them breaking or anything when you transport them...plus, did I mention that buying their wine helps save the turtles!?!
It's also pretty reasonably priced - I can't remember how much, but I don't think we paid more than $20 for our box at WiTW, and each box is two bottles.
Boxed wine - it's not just for teenagers anymore!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And the party will be "come as you are."


We're having an engagement party. Don't read this video the wrong way, we aren't all going to die together in a nuclear blast. But I've been struggling with how to express what I want this party to be for awhile now, and when I was reading about Miss Mary Jane's invites, four words lept out at me from the page.
"Come as you are."
There it was. Four words that describe exactly what I was trying to express to the people who were trying to throw us a really nice party what I really wanted. I want our engagement party to be "come as you are." Truthfully, this does not mean anything to my family - they do not go anyplace as they aren't. But to my friends and future-in-laws who I want to feel comfortable meeting the rest of the people in our life, I want this to be a comfortable, easygoing affair. I want to say, "leave your pretense at home!" I want to say "wear jeans! or a sundress! or a short-sleeve button down! or anything you want!" but I want to say it in fewer words. So there they are. "Come as you are."
Since our e-party will be the same day as the marathon, and some people may be running it, I don't want them to avoid the party because they think they have to dress up. I don't want to take up too much of people's time on a Saturday, and I want them to be able to come to the party from running errands or taking their kids to the pool.
We don't actually get any/very much control over the party (which I am totally okay with), and I won't be writing much more about it until it's over, and I doubt this wording will make it's way to the invitations (according to the Knot, telling your guests how to dress is "tacky") - but it's what I will tell all of my friends when they ask me what they should wear. (What Mark tells his friends is his call.)
Are you dictating attire for any events? How are you keeping a casual party casual? And most importantly, is anyone else also a big Tom Lehrer fan?

Beware Bridal Showcases!

Okay, I don't really mean that. Bridal showcases have several great pros:
1) Free cake
2) Great way to see sample work and get rates from vendors all at once (particularly helpful for photographers, videographers, DJs, and florists). You could book your photographer and videographer and florist all in the time it would take for you to meet with one photographer. It can be a huuuuuuge time saver.
3) Vendors often offer discounts for booking at the showcase
4) Running into a friend who got engaged last night and hasn't told anyone yet
5) Inspiration (they have those great elaborate invitation companies and you can drool over invites you love; tons of sample flower bouquets and arrangements)
6) Free stuff (planning guides, giant flashing diamond ring, etc.)

I mention this because the BBS is coming on the 16th to the Marriott Waterfront.
The disadvantages are these:

1) A lot going on. Tons of vendors, tons of people. It's crazy. It's comi-con with brides. (I kid, I've never been to Comi-con and also nobody dresses up at bridal showcases.)
2) It's pretty loud.
3) The pressure can be intense. The David's Bridal photo people basically forced my sister to sign up for an appointment to talk to them. Everyone you ask about rates wants you to book TODAY!
4) You might make the mistake of insulting something you think is hideous with the vendor standing right there.
5) The free samples of cake are pretty small.
6) Sample DJs. Booths blaring music.
7) Bridal fashion shows, etc. going on.
8) If you aren't careful, you wind up on psychotic mailing lists.
9) Conversations with vendors can go a very long time.
10) WIC. So much "you have to have this." No, you don't.

If you're going to the BBS or another bridal show, I highly highly recommend doing 4 things:
1) Wear comfortable shoes
2) Bring your fiance. You should not have to suffer alone, and I know I get a kick out of seeing vendors surprised when the guy is part of the planning. Plus, that way if you want to book a particular vendor that day, you won't feel the need to call him or tell him to get over here. (I'm saying this because I realize that most of my readers are women. Men, definitely bring your fiance to a bridal show or they won't talk to you.)
3) Eat. And bring snacks. Allot at least 2 hours just to get through the room.
4) Prioritize your vendors. If you are going to book a photographer, don't waste your time on caterers or florists. You'll get a map, although they don't organize it by vendor type. You can actually research some of the vendors beforehand as well, and use the showcase as a way to connect without having to drive to three different appointments.

Who is going to the BBS?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why DIY?

Okay, so is it just me or does everybody who DIY's their invites talk about how much work they are and how grateful they are to see them go?
I really want to DIY our invites. But I'm going to be 100% honest with you people, because one thing wedding planning and this blog has taught me is that I am Not Alone. So here goes.
I don't really want to DIY our invites because I want to save money. Sure, the money is a small factor, but I would also be lying if I pretended that this was anything but my selfish, selfish desire to take on an insane craft project and then have people compliment me on how amazing and creative and fantastic I am.
Anyone else who has ever struggled with their self-esteem knows what it's like to live for a month off of a compliment. What it is like to catalogue your accomplishments so you can scroll back through them later in your head just so you have something to feel good about, because the rest of the time you are busy screwing up and feeling crappy.
In high school, this was my life. I wasn't great at school, I was lousy at friendship, worse at dating, was generally unhappy, and couldn't seem to get anything right. But I was also a costume crew head and down in the basement of the theatre, I ran the show. And I ran it right. I designed things, I fixed things, I took what my director asked and I made it better, I helped save the crew's ass, I was organized and dedicated, I made sure that the actors, no matter how menial their roles, were satisfied with their outfits. I glowed with every opening night, knowing that my hard work was on display for other people to see and admire.
(The Hobbit. Those shirts were the bane of my existance. By graduation, I had made more than 30 stupid ruffled pirate shirts.)
In law school, you don't get that kind of accomplishment from your own handiwork, and really, nobody has ever been as impressed with my academic achievements as they were with my mad costuming skillz. Also, in law, there is not really a clear cut "achievement". You help one person win, often at the expense of another. Sometimes the other party is a bad person, but sometimes your client is too.
So when I feel the burning need to design or DIY something bubbling up inside myself, it's partly because I miss the feeling of creating something, of knowing that I am capable of taking raw materials and making something amazing, and also partly because I want desperately to impress other people. If you roll it all together, I want to impress people with my amazing skills.
Anyone else feel this way about DIY projects? Are you willing to admit your own selfish neediness to yourself, or in your case is it actually about saving money or personalizing your invites, escort cards, dress, flowers, cake, etc.? Anyone just saying no to DIY?

Putting Down Roots

I am so glad that Jessie Blum has started blogging over at Weddingbee Pro. She brings a really interesting perspective to wedding planning, and it seems appropriate to have one person out of all the pro bloggers that is focused on the actual ceremony part, instead of the pretty details. (Yikes. That sounded condescending and self righteous. I think I've proved though, that I love the pretty details and the people who write about them.) It's just a nice reality check to have somebody talking about the ceremony.
Awhile ago she talked about a tree planting ceremony. I have somewhat considered this idea, and I wonder if Irvine would be open to it, as long as we got their approval on the right type of tree. How cute would it be to plant a tree together on our wedding day and then come visit it on our anniversaries? Then we could bring our kids back and show them our tree...
I would love to do this even if we don't have it be part of the ceremony (I feel like it will take awhile), and just do it afterwards as part of the pictures in a different area of the property. I'm a little afraid though, that this will result in me getting my hands muddy and then wiping them on my dress the way I do when I'm wiping water off my hands after I wash them. I'll be packing Shout wipes anyway and I have a Tide pen....
We could dig a hole during the rehearsal so we don't have to deal with that. And conveniently, Irvine has a "local plant" shop as part of it's gift shop so we could buy a sapling there. Of course, there is no guarantee we would know exactly which tree it is if we plant it in a big grove....
Has anybody else thought of doing something like this?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

That Jenna Cole is coming to town!

I've been secretly hoping that Jenna Cole aka That Wife aka Mrs. Avocado would come to the D.C. area, because I think she approaches photography with a fearlessness that is missing in a lot of (self-titled) fledgling photographers. Fearlessness is rarely so reasonably priced. Anyway, she is looking into coming to the area, but she is looking to book a portrait session on the morning of the 29th. It's too early for me to do bridals, I have no reason for portraits, and I have class and Mark has work, so we really can't justify taking off for e-pics.
But there is no reason that you shouldn't book her if you have the time or place or really want to do bridal portraits or some other kind of portraits.
So head over to her website if you're interested and tell her that you'd like to do a portrait session! Oh, and for more examples of her work? Check out her site!

STD Week: Giveaway winner!

Our giveaway winner is Helen, who said, "M0085, for sure. I like that the last name initial is a background, rather than the focus."
Helen, comment below with your email address to claim your prize!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wedding Success Rates

A recent study finds trends among marriages that fail, including:
  • Age differences of 9 or more years
  • Husbands marrying before age 25
  • Partners with two or more previous marriages
  • Having kids before marriage
Read the Reuters article here.

Thinking over the handful of relatives and friends' parents who are divorced, I don't recall any of the factors mentioned being involved - not that I was privy to the intimate details of any of these splits. None of the factors mentioned were particularly shocking.
Has anybody observed these trends in action? I'm sure there are plenty of counter-examples too, statistics being descriptive rather than predictive...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

STD Week: Destination Weddings

Destination weddings get to have all the fun.
Passports, boarding passes, paper airplanes, luggage tags...so many creative ideas!

(You too could have a fabulous monogram like this if you entered our giveaway!)
Since our wedding is a destination for maybe 25-30% of our guests, it's possible that we could get away with something like these save-the-dates, but I think they might confuse people. If we went low-key DIY, we could send travel-themed STDs only to our OOT guests, but that seems a little over the top. Maybe we'll just put something in the OOT bags, like luggage tags, to thank our guests for traveling.