Saturday, February 28, 2009

Favor Idea

Image by Brooke Reynolds via inchmark

These would make such cute favors. Make using instructions from Brooke here. The favor options we are considering now are: none, seed packets, or to-go bags for a cookie bar. I think I am okay without favors. The fiance favors the sentiment behind giving seeds that people could go home and plant. I think this could be cute and economical; perhaps I need to start looking for cute seed packet design ideas. I don't think this idea could work for those. As far as to-go bags are concerned, I was just planning on a stamping some brown paper bags. Hmmm.... what about velum for the seed packets?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hmmm... to DIY or purchase?

I love this chalkboard that I found on Etsy. I was thinking about doing this myself. Although I haven't found an awesome old frame to use. And this one is green, which matches my wedding colors. Hmm... I'll have to think about it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No post today

No post today, because I am running behind here at work, but here are a couple of our engagement photos for your Thursday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedding Ceremony

Image from

Because we are getting married in the Catholic Church, we don't get the freedom to come up with our own vows or wedding traditions. I am a little jealous when I see people come up with such meaningful new traditions, like Sara and Matt did (love their wedding quilt--pictured--made from pieces of fabric donated by friends and family). We are stuck with a pretty traditional service--we got a little book with our choices of readings. And we are not necessarily excited with our options. I think we can pick some other bible readings, so if you have any suggestions for something you found that isn't in the Catholic church's booklet, please let me know. On the plus side, it is one aspect of the wedding that is pretty much set (as in, I don't feel any pressure to come up with creative ways to express our love for each other, because, really, I don't think I could do it--how do you meaningfully articulate that feeling and commitment you are undertaking?)

I also don't think we have much freedom to write our own vows. I asked my fiance about it and his opinion was that he was okay with traditional vows. I am too. While we could draft something more personal, I don't think that you can really improve upon the sentiment in traditional vows--for better and for worse, in sickness, and in health--pretty much sums up the commitment we are making to each other. Faith explainedit well here: she and her fiance chose to "stick with the short simple, and old-fashioned words in our ceremony. We wanted to be connected to the longstanding supports of tradition, community, and strength we have available in our personal faiths." I agree. As an alternative, I was thinking that perhaps we could toast each other at the reception as a way to share our more personal feelings about each other and our marriage. Has anyone been to a wedding where a bride and groom have done that? Do you think it would be too much talking (and not enough eating and dancing) when combined with the other toasts?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Economy, Relationships, and Two Careers

Yesterday Meg posted about the economic problems and weddings (and then posted this great comment later) and I mentioned a bit about how the economy is affecting my fiance and my decision about where we will start our married life. So, I thought I would write a bit more on the subject, because it is one that I think affects many relationships. Job decisions are difficult when they affect one person--you. They are even more difficult when they affect more than just you--you, your spouse and, if applicable, your children. Growing up as a military brat, I experienced this first hand. By the time I got to ninth grade, I had attended five schools in five years. My girlfriend (and BM) is currently in Munich, (which I think is awsome--see the picture) because of her husband's job. But finding work has not been easy and a recent law school grad, she has been frustrated by the career sacrifice.

We have decided that my fiance will leave his job working with his parents to join me in DC next year, so I can accept my better-paying job offer. In better economic times, we had thought that I would be able to get a job where he is working so that he could continue to take advantage of a unique career opportunity that also allowed him to be close to his family. That has not turned out to be the case. So, he is taking a leap of faith and sacrificing his career opportunity in the hope that he will be able to find something challenging and worthwhile. I know that we are the lucky ones, because so many are suffering so much more than us from the economic downturn. But, it is difficult to have to decide how to prioritize two careers. It puts a burden on both parties. We have tried very hard to recognize that this is a decision we are making together because it is the best for us as a couple, but its not always easy when the decision appears to benefit one of us more than the other. When we met with our priest on Valentine's day he said, "compromise is not always 50/50." How true!!

I do believe in my heart of hearts that everything happens for a reason. And that we will make the best of this opportunity and that, hopefully, it will open up doors to opportunities we could not have imagined or planned for. Marriage is scary. It requires a tremendous amount of faith to say, no matter what happens, we are going to do it together. But, I also hope that together we will have the the courage to take risks and take advantage of opportunities that come our way even if they come from the most unlikely sources. I wish each of you the best and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with whatever impact the economy has on your relationship and as you contemplate the enormity of tying your life to another's.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reason #1 Why I am a "Bad" Bride: I just don't care about the steak knives

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while and decided to go ahead and write it after reading Sara's post today. I met with a day of coordinator the other day who told me how the better she knows us and our wedding, the more she can help us make sure the day goes as we planned. (Sounds reasonable, so far.) The example she proceeded to tell us was about a bride who hated the steak knives at the hotel where they were having the reception. So, when the caterer ran out of steak knives and the hotel volunteered to provide some of there's, the DOC could say that was not a good solution. (How they resolved this problem, I don't know.) I just didn't get it. I couldn't care less what our steak knives look like. (In fact, I am not even going to have steak knives!) I left the meeting and asked my fiance, "am I a bad bride because I just don't care about the steak knives?" He laughed and said "no" and, I suspect, he was thinking how grateful he was that I don't. But, nevertheless, I still felt like I wasn't as bride-y as I should be; that somehow the fact that I don't really care about these details is a "problem." Despite the wonderful support on the internet (see in particular here, here, and here), it's still hard not to succomb to the feeling that when you are a "bride" you are supposed to live for every detail of your wedding. This is just not true when there are so many more important things to be focused on, e.g., preparing for marriage. For us, we have been trying to decide where we will live and whether my career or his should take precedence (not something easy to negotiate and with potential long-lasting implications if not dealt with well). My fiance and I have jobs/ job offers in two different cities and after my failed attempt to get a job where he is now living and working, we have been dealing with what we should do. Should we move for my job? Where we will begin our life together as husband and wife just seems much more important than the steak knives or, really, any detail about our wedding.
So, thank you to all the wonderful future brides and past brides who blog about these things and help me feel normal for not obsessing on every detail of my wedding. In spite of your efforts, it's still not always easy, so I can only imagine how hard and terrifying this process would be without your support.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Working on a Saturday: What happens when you read too many wedding blogs at work

So, my wedding blog-addiction seems to have caught up with me because I am here at work on a rainy Saturday catching up on the work I didn't get done during the week. It's rainy and yucky outside today, so my office isn't the worst place to be, I suppose.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Wedding planning seems to highlight a lot of my negative personality traits. For instance, my perfectionist streak is constantly finding fault and making it impossible to make decisions in case something better lies around the next, undiscovered bend. Yeep! In the past four months, I have found wedding planning to be a stressful and not altogether fun process. Which is frustrating. It's my wedding. I am in love. Isn't this SUPPOSED to be fun?! Well, sometimes it isn't. But one thing that I have found that seems to help me get a little bit more enjoyment out of it is practicing being grateful. When I see beautiful weddings that I cannot have because my budget isn't big enough or because there just isn't time or because I'm just not that crafty, I get frustrated. But then I try to be grateful for what I do have. A wonderful fiance (even though I don't get to smooch him as often as I'd like because he's many many miles away). A budget lovinlgy and generously provided by our parents. A job. My health. My family. Especially in light of the economic turmoil swirling around that seems as though it could swallow me up at any moment, these things are actually what matter most. The wedding, be it good, bad, or ugly, simply cannot compete in terms of what really matters. And then I feel all better (well, mostly). And realize that whatever I decide will be okay. Even if I don't come up with the cutest self-designed and lovingly made invitations ever :)

What's in a name?

As a follow up to my earlier post on our ceremony location, I thought I'd mention a thought about the name of our Church. Our Lady of Sorrows does not exactly convey the joyousness of your wedding day. So, it did give us a moment of pause, but only a moment. The Church is beautiful, the congregation is welcoming, and our priest is great. My fiance's response when I asked him about it was that he could make a little comment about how getting married at Our Lady of Sorrows helps us to remember that, while today is a day of joy, we take each other in marriage to have and to hold in both times of joy and of sorrow. I think he meant it to be funny, but instead it's actually kind of sweet and true. In case you were curious, that's what we are taking away from the name of our Church.

Ceremony Location

Image by Photographer Jeremy Atherton via

[A little quirk I have noticed about myself is that I have trouble doing things out of order. This causes problems sometimes when I cannot get complete the first thing on a list, I accomplish nothing at all on that list because it is very difficult for me to skip over something and move on to the next one. Anyway, as a result of this quirk, I have started my more detailed posts on wedding decisions completed and in progress in order--starting with our ceremony location.]

We are having our ceremony at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago. It is beautiful as you can tell from the picture above and large (I think it can seat 900, so I am hoping our wedding doesn't look tiny in such a big space). I have to admit, I am a little in love with the long long aisle. If you are a Chicago bride looking for a Catholic church, I would recommend checking it out. They do very many weddings (I think because the location isn't exactly ideal) and are very accomodating when they do. The priest we are working with their is awesome. We had our first official meeting with him on Valentine's Day. We are very excited about our Ceremony location after my mini-panic attack when I first tried to find a Catholic Church in Chicago that wasn't booked over a year in advance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Second Try's a Charm?

I apologize for allowing my little blog here to languish without any new posts for over a month (not that I am apologizing to anyone but myself because I suspect I am the only way paying attention). But, nevertheless, I find other brides' blogs so useful and it is such a great way to keep track of whatever has tickled my fancy or sparked a thought for something that could work at our wedding. So, here goes my second try at blogging about my wedding-planning experience. Since I last updated this blog, we have made some fabulous progress on our wedding (though I suspect the knot would still label us as behind schedule).

I will post more details soon, but for now here is our DONE list:

  • Ceremony location
  • Reception venue
  • Photographer
  • Block of hotel rooms near the reception location reserved

Here are the next few items I think we will be completing soon:

  • Day of Coordinator
  • Band
  • Save the Dates
  • Wedding Website

Here are the things we need to do SOON SOON SOON, but are floundering with:

  • Wedding Dress!!!
  • Caterer

I will create some individual posts with more details on items that we have completed and are working on shortly. I hope that now that we are making forward progress, finding something to write about here (other than, I don't know what to do and cannot make a decision to save my life, eek!) will be a lot easier.

*image courtesy of etsy seller olivemac