Monday, May 31, 2010

Wedding Wisdom: The Dress

I try really hard to read the blogs of our commentors, but sometimes I slack off and don't catch up as much as I would like.  I was checking out You Can't Take It With You after debriefing an MPT question and found this post, which sums up so much about my dress anxiety:

"But one dress cannot be all dresses. I love strapless dresses, but I also love the deep V I get in the back of my dress. I love floaty, romantic chiffon dresses, but a structured, heavy satin dress tailored to my body is beautiful too. My MeeMaw wore a satin dress and I'm glad I share that with her. I love modern lace, but no embellishments honor the minimalist/simple side of things that I love...But I made decisions when I picked out my dress, good decisions, decisions that don't mean I'll never be able to wear another strapless or lace gown again." 

I too love both v-neck dresses and strapless dresses.  I love satin and chiffon.  I love floaty and heavy.  I picked a dress that worked for me, that I love, and that satisfied my inner princess and my inner cheepskate.  I picked a dress that four women who are important to me helped me choose, and are excited for me to wear.  But most importantly, it's not the last dress I will ever wear, and it would be impossible for it to be both strapless and a v-neck dress.  So I shall continue to remember this post when I have my own little doubts. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More engagement pictures!

Our photographer came down last weekend with Mark's family to come to my graduation party and do wedding crafting - she was a big help, partly because she did cutting, gluing, and folding, but mostly because since she's "company" and not "family" I managed to have *some* self control and not have a total meltdown.  Also it's really hard not to chill out when she's telling you how pretty your invitations and bridesmaids dresses are and reassuring your choices.  Because that all helps when it comes from a wedding professional and not my mom.  (Love you Mom!)
Anyway, on Sunday morning before the party, we decided to do a quick e-shoot.  I really wanted pictures from Baltimore, and when we realized it was Sunday morning, where to go was a no-brainer.  So we grabbed our reusable bags and headed off to the farmer's market.  We shot there for a bit and then went to Mt. Vernon and took a few more pictures by the monument.
The result?
I think we're going to need a giant poster of this one for our new apartment.
Click over to Prema Photographic to see more!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Can't do it.

I've written about the name change before.  The original solution was to drop my dad's last name from my hyphenated last name and be Ellie Momslast.  My dad was okay with this, my mom and my sister were not.  And well, it turns out, neither am I.

The right time to make the change was last winter, so that my name change would have gone through before I had to apply for the bar.  But um, I couldn't do it.  I just...couldn't be half of who I am anymore.  It sounds silly, but it was simply too much to give up.  The thought of doing it just breaks my heart.

So for now, here I am.  Someday practicing law under my full name, but using only one name with clients and people I call on the phone.  Co-clinic mates assumed I'm already married, or already divorced, based on my name.  I can only assume that others will make these same mistakes, and I'm in for a lifetime of correcting and explaining.  The simplest solution would be to somehow create a legal alias, but if there is a way to do that, the state of Maryland sure doesn't want you to know.  The only possible solution I've come up with is making my Dad's name my second middle name - being Eleanor Middle Dadslast Momslast instead of Eleanor Middle Momslast-Dadslast.  The only problem with this is it sounds SO WEIRD.  But, advantage - a lot of lawyers have two middle initials, so I would look super-cool.

Any body have any other ideas?  I know we have hyphenated readers - what are you doing?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Four Bobby Pins

Today's tip is brought to you by my good friend Erin.  Erin always looks great when we go to events together, what with her shiny hair and stellar sense of style.  
Ignore the silly face she's making in this picture and check out her hair.  I love the full volume she gets, and it looks fancy but not overdone.  Since I know some of you do not have the money or desire for pro-beauty, I'm going to pass along Erin's tip for fabulous event hair.
(Ignore the fact that every picture I take of anybody ever is while they are closing their eyes.)
The secret to great event worthy hair?  Four bobby pins.  I've used this several times and it's totally awesome.  Just pull back your hair in sections (starting at the top) and then bobby pin it to the back of your head.  It stays in place for hours if you do it right, and you can fancify the bottoms with a curling iron.  Scunci now makes no-slip-grip bobby pins, so you can have great hair all day without having to shellac anything too.  

This is also a great tip for bridesmaids who can't afford the fancy up-dos but still want to look nice.  I find it especially handy as a girl with shorter hair - when I try to pull my hair back into a half-up-half-down do with a ponytail holder, I look really silly and the ponytail is tiny.  With this style, I look put together.  

Just don't ask me how she gets it so shiny.  That, I can't tell you.  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anniversaries!

Happy 35th Anniversary to my parents (my dad wanted me to point out how cute my mom looks, but I have so much trouble focusing on anything but the ruffled shirt):
(I wish I had more pictures of their wedding, but this is the only one scanned.)
and Happy 2nd Anniversary to my sister and her husband (their's was yesterday, my parents is today):
And because I know you all love the eye candy and real weddings, a few more shots.  
I can't say enough about how much having my sister to model a successful relationship for me has done for our relationship, and how helpful their advice and support has been as we navigated moving in together, getting engaged, and now the home stretch before the wedding.  
(our cousin performing the ceremony)
(I wore my bridesmaids dress to two weddings last weekend too. Still my favorite dress ever.)
Oh, and my parents today (well, two years ago):


Over the past 24 years, I have learned a lot from my parents' marriage, but most recently, I have learned that you've never been in a relationship long enough to stop trying to be better for each other.  Watching my parents try, and succeed, every day, to make each other happy is really very cool.  

Happy anniversary to all of you! And many more!

Craft day teaser pic

So I'm not going to write about everything we did at craft day, because I read an interesting article about not sharing everything about the wedding.  But on Saturday, we got our invites put together, OOT bag tags made, made serious headway on the placecards, put together our table numbers, and learned that you should not pour lighter fluid over hot coals and then attempt to relight them.

Saturday was dollar flip flop day at Old Navy.  I hadn't really been planning to do the flip flop basket until I heard about it being dollar flip flop day.  Because I already had plans to stay at a friend's place that is not more than a mile from ON.  And since my friends were there, they could come with me and then we could buy 20 pairs of flip flops, which I decided was enough.  So we got up on Saturday around 9 and I found out the store had opened at 7.  We scurried over and purchased 20 pairs of flip-flops in varying sizes - mostly 7s and 8s, but a few 6s and 9s.  Plus, since I knew it was craft day, I knew we could take care of labeling them and putting them together in a cute way and it wouldn't be hanging over my head.  I've been so fiendishly checking things off the list lately that I was eager to get at least one DIY project fully completed. 

My sister, creative master of all things stamping, made these gorgeous little tags and then wrote the size numbers in each of them.  We used ribbon I already had and cardstock left over from the invitations, so the whole thing only cost $20.  I also picked up from the newlywed Mrs. Guinea Pig several baskets which will hold our flip-flops at the reception.  I paid her $10 for the baskets and several other things, so maybe we'll say $25.  Plus, I got flip-flops in sizes that I knew my bridesmaids were, for the most part, so if nobody uses them, they'll just take them home.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wedding Wisdom

So Morgan from Team Practical summed up pretty much anything I ever felt about my grandfathers dying and our wedding*,

"When Meg posted my plea for advice in January, many people mentioned moving up the wedding date, or trying to involve my father in the plans as much as possible.  That just didn’t work for us.  Partially because up to the week before he died, my mother was sure that he would make it, and partially because I got the feeling that he knew he wouldn’t, and in his mind I was already married.  He lived long enough to meet my husband and to see me happy, and for that I am ever so grateful.  As David said, “I’d like to make a toast to a man who, although I only got to know for a very brief time, always made me feel welcomed into his family. A man who so clearly wanted to have something to talk with me about he started reading the sports section and watching Flames games on TV. A man who, although he won’t get to see Morgan and I as husband and wife, very clearly approved of me marrying his daughter. A man who, for the last few months before his passing no longer referred to me as David but rather, ‘Morgan’s Hubby’.”"  


Shortly after my father's father died, I told Mark that I had to marry him because he had met my Grandpa and I just couldn't imagine spending my life with somebody who hadn't known him.  (This isn't really true, the reality was I couldn't imagine spending my life with anybody but Mark at this point anyway.)  But there is still something very satisfying about the fact that my grandfathers lived long enough to meet my husband and to see me happy. 


*I've been missing my mother's father a lot lately, mostly because I had this fleeting moment where I thought, "I could build my own letterpress!" And then I thought of the only other person in the world who I could have asked to build me my own letterpress.  Who I could have called and he would have said, "oh, one of those things? I already have one.  I built it for funsies."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Alternative dresses for alternative bodies

When I saw this list, I laughed out loud.  Because most of these dresses, with their total lack of a waistline and their drap-y flow-y swishy fabric, would make me look terrible.  I am aggressively pear-shaped, with narrow shoulders and large thighs.  I counted ONE dress on this list that would work for me.  (But I'm wearing my super-flattering cupcake dress, and I'm super psyched about that.)

This is not to say that busty, or hippy, or otherwise not-model-shaped women can't rock the alternative dresses, and there is no reason that you have to wear Spanx to do it. (Not that there is anything wrong with spanx.)  I think if I had seen more alternative dresses that would actually look good on me (am I the only one who thinks the entire J.Crew wedding line is designed for women who are shaped like toothpicks?) I think I would have given it more consideration.

Figure flattering alternative wedding dresses do exist - some of them come from the Alfred Angelo Little White Dress line and the David's Bridal Online line and other online retailers - because frankly, and I know it sounds hard to believe, wedding dresses are actually designed to flatter a variety of figures. (Except mermaid dresses, although if somebody was to make a "mermaid dresses for pear shaped people" line, I maybe would have gotten one.)  I have found that generally, I am disappointed by retailer's attempts to create a "wedding" line, in which the dresses cost far too much for far too little, yet are billed as "affordable" (not just J.Crew - White House Black Market and Ann Taylor did this too).  These dresses often lack any kind of structure and are made of lightweight fabrics, because when retailers think "alternative" dress, they apparently think, "only skinny people don't want to wear a typical wedding dress."

Does anyone else with an imperfect body ever feel similarly excluded from the alternative dress discussion?  Where have you seen alternative dresses that accommodate (and appreciate!) women of all sizes?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Get Over It.

I see, all the time, all over the blogs and boards and all over Twitter, the same line of thinking over and over again. "I don't wanna do the posed family portraits but my mother says we have to. I hate those pictures. They look so fake. I want candids! Only candids!" Well, it irritates me. So I'm going to say something, and it may make me unpopular, but I think that posed pictures are important.*

Look, I get that I'm unreasonably lucky that my parents are low-drama. (Well, they're different-drama.) They are not interested in telling me how to run the wedding. They will show up, wear what I tell them to, and do what I tell them to. I understand that a lot of you have much more difficult situations with your parents. Your mothers are controlling and constantly telling you what to do. They don't understand what you want, your aesthetic, your relationship, your religious beliefs.

Here's the thing with the posed portraits. Your mother/father/grandmother could care less what YOU want out of your photographer. I'm guessing they don't give a damn that you want a picture of the groomsmen with their argyle socks, or you want "gloriously vintage photographs"**. They want a picture of all of your family gathered together on your wedding day. I get it, that if you concede to this demand, then you feel like you have to concede to all their demands. Well, I have news for you. You don't. You don't have to concede to any of their demands, really, but I think you should concede to this one. Because that posed family portrait matters to people besides you. It will matter to your future children, who will love to look through your wedding album.***

There are ways to do the big family pictures that don't involve them being taken right after the ceremony, or feeling super "posed". My sister had the photographer pull groups of people during the reception, and that worked out really well. We will either do that, or just pull people from the tail end of the cocktail hour. You can also pick who goes in pictures together if you want. Somebody asked recently if it would be weird to want a picture with just her mom and dad, and not her step-mom. I think that is totally normal and okay to ask for. It's also okay to say you don't want to take a picture with your whole blended family, and that you will instead take separate portraits. If you set the terms beforehand, you can also request that whoever rounds up the family for the portraits make it clear that dates not be included, or whatever other requests you have that make you more comfortable with your family. Portraits aren't bad and they do not have to take forever, and you can dictate the terms, but I think compromise on this issue is important, because you know what? The wedding isn't about you.

Oh, yeah, and if you don't want to do the family portraits, your pushy family member is gonna line everybody up and make you do it anyway, because they want that picture.

*Some of you, when I point this out, say "well of course we'll do pictures with our parents and with our grandmothers and with our families" so WTF do you think you mean by "posed family portraits?" This may simply be an issue of semantics.
**Yes, I'm being sarcastic. I'm sorry, but I don't get why you want the pictures from your wedding day to look like somebody took them in the 70s.
***I love love love going through my parents' wedding pictures. I always have. My parents don't, but that's their thing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ANOTHER checkmark.

The Knot's checklist has totally been my b!tch lately. Minister? Check. Groom's attire? Check. And then there was the big one. The one that took months, and I won't be writing much about until August (sorry!). Invites got checked off last week.

Originally, the plan wasn't to DIY the invites. Because DIYing invites is how marriages end before they start. It is how you get Too Much control over your invitations. However, once I found the invites we are using off of Printable Press, I was sold. DIY it was, because that was the only option. So I set out to find a printer. I got quotes and samples from several online sources, but nobody would print with the matte finish that we needed on 100% recycled paper like we wanted. Any local large-scale printer didn't do small runs like ours and they had setup charges that priced them well out of our $200 invite budget.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that we would just need to get them printed at a copy shop. But none of the local copy shops carried the kind of paper we wanted to print on. So I started to shop for paper. After several searches through the recommended paper sites, as well as a trip to paper source*, I finally found what we were looking for - recycled white cardstock with a linen finish. Bonus: Paperandmore.com has flat rate shipping and carried recycled card stock for the backing, as well as cardstock that was the right shade of green to use on our escort cards later. They also sold envelopes (although they aren't recycled).

We're somewhat crunched for time, what with the invite stuffing happening on Saturday and us potentially not having the invite until four days beforehand, plus however long it takes to copy and cut the invites, but regardless, I got to check the "invites: ordered" box off The Knot's website. I'm not even afraid to go there anymore because I'm SO ON TOP of my checklist.**

Are you on top of your checklist? Or has it swallowed you whole?

*Overpriced and disappointing. Don't believe the hype.
**I suppose I should say "our checklist" but actually, our checklist is in the form of an email we send back and forth each month with this month's to-dos and the overdue to-dos. It's really good for ignoring things you don't want to think about, because you don't put them on the list.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wedding For Two Studies For The Bar

So as of today, I'm on "bar exam leave" from this blog.  Hopefully this means that I'll be able to focus and concentrate on passing the bar, and the blog will be maintained by Mark.  I'll still be writing a little bit, here and there, and I have scheduled a number of posts for the future.  But there are going to be some slight changes, and posting will be lighter.  A little fluffier sometimes, and less hard-hitting.  Possibly a little bit sassier too, because I'm short on patience these days.

One of my favorite things that I have planned for this summer is a little series called "wedding wisdom".  This is a series when, recently, I have seen something particularly smart or funny written by another blogger, I repost a quote, and then give you a link to their blog.  It's just food for thought, and if you have suggestions for good wedding wisdom, please leave a comment with a link! 

Also, hopefully some guest posts and more real weddings, so if you would be interested in writing a guest post or showing off some part of your wedding or planning process, please leave a comment and let us know.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cylburn Arboretum (teaser)

After dropping Ellie off at her bar review class this morning*, I headed towards Druid Hill Park for a run. Along the way, though, I saw a sign for Cylburn Arboretum and, on a whim, decided to check it out, since the "Arb" in Ann Arbor was one of Ellie's favorite places to run last summer. Aside from the run itself**, the mansion house and nearby garden areas looked like a pretty spot for a wedding. I don't know anything about their rates or capacity, but it seems worth checking out if you're an outdoorsy, nature-y type. I think they've recently reopened (okay, very recently!) after doing some construction work - they have a new driveway and parking area, and a brand-new visitor center (which hadn't opened for the day yet when I was there).

My family will be in town next weekend (along with our photographer), and typically when we hang out we like to go somewhere for a walk, so I'll be suggesting the arboretum so Ellie (and Kiersten!) can get some photos and I can do some research while the visitor center is open. Has anybody been there / been to a wedding there / know anything more about the place?

* That's right, class on a Sunday - and Saturday too. Fortunately this class only runs for about a week; the class that will go all summer and keep her from posting as frequently as usual is "only" five nights a week.

** The run was slightly frustrating - their trails aren't that well signed, occasionally dwindle off into the brush, and could use some maintenance; I'm considering volunteering to provide that service.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another argument for pro photos

As I said before, on Monday, I graduated from law school.  (Thank you for all your congratulations, btw. It really means a lot.)  After graduation, we lined up out front of the law school to take some pictures of the proud parents of the graduate.  I didn't really think about how extremely sunny it was - I picked a good spot in front of the building and the trees.  (Note: direct sunlight is horrible. Go for shade!!)  The result?

My sister complained that my cap made shadows on my face, so I told her to use the flash.  Result?  The photos all look like the photo on the left - extremely over-exposed.  I was able to do some recovery with my beta 2 copy of Lightroom 3, but I wish I'd had the sense to take the pictures in the shade.  I was so sad when I pulled 200 pictures from 4 different cameras and pretty much none of them look good straight out of the camera.

Fortunately, we don't have to worry about this for the wedding because I know that Kiersten knows what she is doing and we will have beautiful pictures.

I know that a lot of people don't go with pro photographers and that's totally fine.  I'm not telling you that it won't work out, or that you should immediately spend thousands of dollars on photography.  You do have to think more about pictures if you are working with non-pros.  First of all, make sure your non-pro does know about photography and, most importantly, lighting.  (note: I consider myself pretty camera-savvy - enough to try to use fill flash - but I still didn't think to move when my sister commented on the poor lighting.)  If you are using a non-pro friend, consider scouting the location first and doing some test shots to make sure you've picked good locations for portraits - it really makes a huge difference.

I also love looking back through my pictures and my friends pictures from graduation because the day really went by so fast - I felt like one minute I was scurrying up the street trying not to miss the bus, and the next minute they were calling my name to cross the stage and receive my hood, and the next minute we were back out on the plaza in front of the school, taking pictures and hugging.  I love that I have pictures to use to relive the day, and that makes me even more secure in our decision to hire a professional.

Has anything happened in your life that makes you more confident in your wedding spending decisions?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another checkmark!

We have a minister! This one was easy; we asked the minister at the church Ellie grew up going to, and he was available for our date so he said yes. We made the trip down to Montgomery County to meet with him this weekend; he took our information, checked that he had us down on his calendar, and gave us a "choose your own adventure" service order as a starting point. Then we chatted for another half hour or so. The conversation definitely put us both at ease; he was easy to talk to, and he's happy to do the ceremony pretty much any way we want.

This wasn't really a big deal in my mind, but Ellie wanted to get it taken care of (ed. note: and the Knot checklist was freaking out that we didn't have one), so she's happy that it's done, and I have to say it's nice to have one less thing to worry about. Now we get to spend the next few months plotting out a ceremony. (ed. note: or not, because really, we would both be comfortable just picking most of the stuff from the booklet if we run out of time.)

We wound up asking the minister from Ellie's church because, frankly, we didn't have any other ideas. Between us we had visited a couple of different local churches as well, but we didn't like any of them as much as this guy, even if he does have to travel a little farther. Since Ellie is affiliated with the church, there's no required fee, but given the travel and services provided, we (or her family) will be making a reasonable donation to the church. The only thing we're not sure about is whether to invite him to the reception (or how to do so un-awkwardly).

Do you have an officiant yet? Where did you find one? Is he/she coming to the reception?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DJ Decisions

One of our ongoing debates during the last year has been whether to get a DJ or just manage the music ourselves with an iPod (OK, a multitude of redundant iPods strategically stashed in different cars and with various groomsmen). When I came home from Cincinnati for the weekend a few weeks back, we spent several hours side by side at the kitchen counter with dueling YouTube playlists on our laptops as we tried to flesh out a must-play list. It was a fun exercise, but we started to realize that there was a lot of time to fill. We also tried to figure out who we could ask to take on the job of managing the iPod, not to mention MC the reception - and couldn't think of anyone we were comfortable asking to do it. Finally (once I was back at my hotel), we looked into the cost of renting a speaker system and found varying rates, the lowest being $175 from High Society Music - the quote they gave me over the phone didn't match the price on the web site. However, then we'd need to get someone not only to run the system, but also to collect it (in a van or SUV) and set it up.


When we looked at all of these factors together, and got a few quotes from DJs which were well below our budget price of $1000, we found it easy to agree that a DJ was something we weren't willing to skimp on. (I may also have been somewhat swayed by sites like this one even though they're clearly far from unbiased.) We haven't booked one yet - so far Ellie's had one interview with someone who didn't impress her - but at least we know we need one (and our families are all relieved that we aren't taking this on ourselves). I put in a request with the Baltimore Area DJ Ass'n via their web site, and got about five contacts back from it within the next 24 hours; our next step is to start following up with those and with others our friends have used that we liked.

Are you hiring a DJ? Any recommendations for specific vendors/companies or tips for choosing one? Or suggestions for affordable speaker rental sources so we can obsessively revisit our mini-decision?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bigger than the Wedding

I thought about writing a mother's day post yesterday, and as much as I love my mother, what I really wanted to do was sit down and talk about both of my parents and the rest of my family and what they have done for me, because today I do something big, scary and life-altering.  It is scarier than our marriage and it is bigger than our wedding and it is something I could never have done without my parents and my sister and my fiance and their unwavering love and support. 

Today I graduate from law school. 

I think that my parents, from the very beginning, when my personality began to develop, knew what I was capable of.  They pushed me to try harder, to be better, to be stronger, and to develop all those pieces of myself that I would need throughout my life.  They believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.  They knew what I was capable of, and although I know I could never exceed their expectations of me, they are fiercely proud of me.  To have their support as I have gone through law school has been incredible and I have not forgotten for a moment how lucky I am to have them. 

My sister has been my rock through all of this.  She never once complained when law school got in the way of my maid-of-honor duties, celebrating her birthday (I always had exams around her birthday), or fulfilling family obligations.  She supported my moving in with Mark, gave me relationship advice, and encouraged us to move in down the street (and now across the street) from her.  She listened me freak out about exams and helped me forget my failures and celebrate my accomplishments.  I also cannot forget her husband, who took me in when I was stranded on the first day of law school, in a strange city, with no bus fare and no cell phone and no idea how I was going to get home.  Who helped me print my first outlines when I compulsively color-coded them by subject.  Who came over to our apartment the first day we moved in when I got home from work and found a bird flying around our office and helped me chase it out the window.  They have been amazing and encouraging and have made moving forward in our relationship and moving to a new city so much easier for us. 

And then there is Mark.  Mark, who held me as I cried, helped me get through my first year even when I was crabby, depressed, distant, and messy.  Who never complained when I turned down plans on a Friday night with his friends.  Who went to bed at 10:30 every night and helped me get up at 6am every morning.  Who was halfway to work but came back and got me the day my car wouldn't start and I had a midterm.  Who read Law School Confidential to understand what I was going through.  Who celebrated the end of my first year with me and then got ready to do it all over again the next year.  Who, whenever I wavered, reminded me of what I was working towards and helped me get there.  He has shared in my triumphs and helped me shoulder the pain of my defeats.  He has never made me feel, in this terrible job market, like my inability to find employment is failing him or failing our relationship.  He challenges me every day to be my best, but has seen me at my worst, and still looks at me everyday and tells me how excited he is to be marrying me.

I am incredibly grateful to these five people, not to mention my extended family - my cousins who loaned me textbooks and took me shopping and out to dinner and sent me regular facebook encouragement, my aunts and uncles who gave me advice about law school, legal careers, and higher education in general.  My friends who never stopped loving me no matter how many times I flaked out on plans because I had too much homework.  My law school friends who gave me outlines or fed me answers in class when I got called on and blanked. 

I am also grateful to you, our readers.  I know that some of you are fellow graduate students, also poised to complete your journey of higher education.  Some of you are just starting.  Some of you were smart enough to not do it at all.  I know that you are all very busy and I want you to know that when you have taken the time to add a comment of encouragement or commiseration, it has meant the world to me.  I started writing this blog 15 months ago to chronicle our engagement, and to give myself something outside of law school.  It has given me so much more than that, and so thank you, for letting me honor those pieces of myself that didn't quite fit into law school.  The parts that wanted to craft, that wanted to think complex things about gender roles in every day lives, that wanted to admire pretty dresses and beautiful photos.  Your positive comments have never failed to make me smile and I genuinely appreciate them, so really, thank you for all your support. 

Thank you all, really and truly, from the bottom of my heart. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hair Haters

There's been a lot of hating on the updo lately, and while the overdone prom curls of the nineties may, indeed, be a thing of the past, I think that for anyone who lives in Maryland, having your long hair down during the summer is a bit of a pipe dream.*
However, I think something like this would be a beautiful and summer appropriate hairdo:
Are you going with an updo or the trendier "half-up-half-down" (which we no longer call the "pollyanna" style) do?

*If I lived in a different part of the country, I probably wouldn't keep my hair so short.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

RSVP FTW

This is quite possibly one of the greatest things I have ever seen.  We are in the process of ordering our invites now, and through my efforts to make it as simple as possible, we've made it as complicated as possible and it has taken a month of ordering samples, test printing, testing language, doing mockups, etc. until we are finally sorta happy with what we have.  I knew semi-DIY invites would be tricky, and ours are one sheet glued to a cardboard backing.  So even though I hope that our guests think that our invites are professional, I also hope that our hard work doesn't go unnoticed! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Know Thyself

Here's the most important rule of wedding planning.  It's what you should always come back to as you are overwhelmed by inspiration, by creative, fun DIY projects.

Know Thyself.

My TTD dress came in the mail last week, and I love it.  I love it for somebody who isn't me.  I love it for playing dress up for a TTD shoot.  I love it because I can pair it with a birdcage veil and red lipstick and rock out as somebody I'm not.  It reassured me of something though. My dress is the right choice for me.  A slinky alterna-bride dress would not have suited me.  It would have made people say "is that Ellie?" instead of making them say, "awww!"

I have had fleeting moments of wedding insanity.  I thought about making napkin rings.  My sister laughed in my face when I floated the idea.  Because I'm not the kind of person that cares about napkin rings.  I'm a little surprised that we're having cloth napkins, instead of my usual standby of putting a roll of paper towels on the table.  Or wiping my hands on my jeans.

I think the thing that gets frustrating with planning, particularly planning in Blogland, is that we forget who we are because we envy other people.  I envy other people for being cool enough to pull off birdcage veils and beautiful, simple, lace dresses.  I envy the women who wear hot pink high heels, and I forget for a moment that I hate hot pink and I hate high heels.  Other people make the simple, long, flowy hairstyles look so cool that I fantasize about having long wavy hair that looks natural.  I envy people who have small families and can have intimate weddings.  I envy people who are satisfied with simple weddings.  But then I remember who I am.  A nerdy, complicated girl with a large, loving, and slightly insane family, with problem feet and very large thighs.

If I was really staying true to myself, I would probably have bought the soft pink dress that I tried on that I really loved, but didn't "go" with the fall wedding.  Oh, and I hate pink.  But I looked so cute and I wasn't wild about the whole "white dress" thing.  Regardless, it didn't give me the soft "oh" feeling in my stomach that my dress gave me, so I'm happy with my choice.

I think that the most important part of knowing myself has been knowing how I act around parties.  I know that I stress.  I know I get snappy and irritable.  I know I get impatient and frustrate easily.  Knowing these things about myself makes me feel more comfortable about buying into the WIC and it's "you must have a florist" "you must have a DJ" "you must have a caterer". Many people have expressed their desire to DIY projects because "they can".  Well, I know myself, and I know where my limits are.  So in the interest of having a wedding that stays true to who I am, I am a person who throws money at problems and doesn't care that much about napkin rings.

What has wedding planning taught or reminded you about yourself?

Monday, May 3, 2010

I was done with inspiration and onto execution.

Nobody seems to want to let me go.  They keep posting pretty woodsy details.  Like this tablescape from Snippet & Ink.  I don't have time to make seed packet menus, but suddenly I think they are adorable and I must have them!