Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Budgets

There was a flurry of discussion a while ago about wedding budgets. I didn't chime in, but I am going to now. What I say may not be popular, but that isn't what this whole process is about -- it's about being you and being honest about that. Honestly, our wedding budget is way way higher than we intended it to be. Well, that's not entirely true. At a certain point we made a decision to have a wedding that cost more or less what we are spending. I actually didn't really want to know what it was costing--we've paid so much as we go (deposits, invitations, dress) that I sort of lost track and wasn't too upset about that. At this point we can't really change much, so what's the point. Sweetie, thinking the picture was better than it is put together a spreadsheet and now we know. It's a big number. Even though we are buying our own alcohol and doing our own flowers. It's a number that we could have done a lot of other things with. Do I regret it? No. Planning a wedding has meant a lot of things to me and for us as a couple. We have learned a lot about ourselves and our families; some good, some not so good. And while planning a wedding hasn't always been "fun" we have grown so much during this process. We have started to figure out who we are as a couple and how we as a couple relate to our friends and our families. We've seen how to press our families buttons (and, hopefully, we can translate this knowledge in the future into how not to press their buttons). I have learned a lot about myself and my fiance. And, I have to say what I have learned only makes me love him more. He is so loving and kind and supportive. He may be a pushover about somethings, but when people are hurting me, he is my champion. What a wonderful feeling. I trust him more now that we've gone through this. We feel more comfortable with each others strengths and weaknesses. My fiance will never be perfect and shame on me if I ever expect him to be; he wouldn't be very lovable if he were. I know that a party may not be worth what we are spending, but I certainly think that a solid marriage is. Could we have accomplished what we have and spent much less, absolutely! Each of our situations is different, and my sanity was certainly worth some portion of what we are spending. I am truly envious of all you brides who have thrifted and crafted and created a beautiful meaningful wedding at a fraction of the cost of ours. You have accomplished something really wonderful that I haven't. And I admire you for that. But this is our wedding and we have done the best that we can. And this experience, this opportunity for growth, is priceless. So, I will not feel bad about the cost--I will celebrate what this journey has brought us (even if its pretty darn expensive!). Cheers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So, I am trying to pick shoes. If you'll recall, my bridesmaids are wearing aqua, lavender, light blue, and pink. They are wearing these shoes, to help keep their look coherent. I also have a pair like this, that I could wear to match, but I think I'd prefer something more colorful.

Here are a few options I've come up with, what do you think?

* sorry I don't have photo credits

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am now afraid of my to-do list...

With only 53 days left to go until the wedding and still needing to finish my job, find an apartment, pack, and move between now and then in addition to all the remaining wedding tasks, I am feeling overwhelmed!! I know it will all get done, but these days I am afraid to look at my to-do list because I know that there are so many things that need to get done like NOW! The likelihood of out-of-town bags and favors diminishes every day...

On a totally different subject, I apologize for the lack of pictures lately. For whatever reason, I have gotten out of the habit of taking photos myself (I sealed up our second to last invitation and totally forgot to take a picture of the liner to post!) and although I still enjoy looking at pretty wedding photos, they no longer provide the inspiration for me that they once did. Now, I see something pretty but I know its not what we are going to do, so I think "oh that's lovely" and quickly move on. So, that's why you haven't many photos around lately. I am trying to work on it because I know they make my blog oh so much prettier for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I will be married soon...

I took Friday off to attend a wedding in Newport Beach, California with my fiance. It was awesome--I think I really needed a mini-vacation. My my fiance's dad's cousin's grandson (not sure what that technical relationship is called) was getting married and my fiance was a groomsman. It was really neat to meet some future (attenuated) relatives. For some reason it gave me some much needed perspective about why I am really looking forward to being married. Sometimes our wedding feels like the capstone to my youth. That once we are married we have to start being "grown up" and that it will symbolize the end of some things in my life that I have really cherished (independence!) and we will now start to get "old." Which is true to some extent. But at this wedding for some reason I really felt how excited I am to have my own family with my fiance and our (hopefully) future children. I am also really looking forward to getting a whole new family to learn about, love, and with whom to share our joys and sorrows. Although I will never have another wedding, I am looking forward to all the new experiences marriage will bring. Including, hopefully, the wedding of our children and grandchildren. So, right now I am more excited about the adventure that will be our life together and less sad about my single life that I am leaving behind. I feel nearly, almost ready to be married. (And just in time, I think we have about 54 days left!).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My dress is "here"!

The bridal shop just called to say they have my dress and to confirm shipping information--unfortunately I missed them! Hopefully my dress can get to Chicago by next weekend, so I can have my first fitting when I am up there for our couple's shower and tasting. Yay! This is so exciting. I am really glad it came early, so that I can (hopefully) arrange to have my first fitting the end of July instead of the middle of August.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

oh, darling!

Did you know that Whitney, of Darling Dexter, and her husband Dustin have started taking wedding photos?! Head over to oh, darling! photography to check them out!.

Their prices are sooooooooo reasonable. I would book them soon before they go up, becuase you know they will when they take beautiful images like these.

And from Whitney's blog they seem like just the creative and laid-back people that you'd want at your wedding (or at least that I'd want at my wedding!).

* all images from oh, darling! photography

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Invitations.... (mostly) GONE!

So, they are gone. The lady at the post office let me hand cancel them with their stamp, which only took about ten minutes to do 90. (Let's face it, I didn't really care, but after all the work we did, for ten minutes of time it seems worth it even if only a couple people notice.)

Wheee!! I know for some sending out the invitations has triggered anxiety about the wedding, but I feel GREAT (maybe because one big task on the to do list has been (mostly) crossed off??).

Good luck to everyone who is working on their invitations!! It was one of my favorite projects so far, I think because you get to see the finished product more immediately (as in you don't have to wait until "the day" to see the fruits of your effort--can we say instant gratification??). And I think for us, we found the perfect combination of DIY and purchased items to have a beautiful invitation that we also put some effort and heart into getting just right.

More Invitations...

Has anyone else found invitations to be the project that just won't end?? Well ours were supposed to go into the mail the end of last week and I am going to put them in the mail today (will the Post Office hand stamp them for me? We shall see.) But we still have a couple trailing addresses and about ten or fifteen more that need to be addressed and stuffed... Sigh, soon enough.

So, as I posted before, we purchased our invitations from Bella Figura and had a really wonderful experience with them. We then picked out coordinating envelopes and envelope liners from Paper Source. Of course, we picked paper that didn't come pre-cut so my honey cut out 125 envelope liners, but we really think it was worth it. I "hand addressed" them all by tracing over a the address we printed directly onto the invitation--which worked out really well. And, finally, we ordered the Fling return address stamp from PaperWink.

PaperWink was really great to work with (although the stamp's arrival was delayed due to a mix-up at my apartment). But last night I was able to stamp all the back flaps with my parents' address, as shown here:

And today they will go in the mail--Yay!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

UPDATE on this weekend

So, my sister has appendicitis and they are transferring her to a different hospital for surgery soon. Please say a little prayer that everything goes well. We have already cancelled some of the festivities for tomorrow and I just hope that she is feeling well enough to enjoy some of my shower on Sunday. I feel so bad after she worked so hard planning everything! But I suppose we will find a way to make the best of it.

I have to admit that I am bummed that things won't go as planned this weekend (and feeling selfish for feeling sorry for myself when my sister is in the hospital in pain and going to have to have surgery). But maybe it's good practice for the wedding--you just have to go with it and trust that it will work out. (And, as the doctor said, at least it's not my WEDDING that's tomorrow!)

Weekend Wedding Festivities

I am off this weekend for my bachelorette party and shower, all planned in secret by my sisters (MOHs). I have no idea what's in store for me--other than it requires a white dress and a dress appropriate for tea. White not being my favorite color, finding a white dress was a challenge. I purchased no less than 4 white dresses in the attempt to find the right one for... I don't even know what. But it should be a wonderful time. I'll get to catch up with my Mom and sisters. And spend some time with some time with my future MIL and SIL without my fiance. Hopefully I'll have some not to scandalous pictures to post when I return.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wedding Reception Activities

During our wedding reception, we are going to have several activities--croquet and bocce ball outside on the lawn. We are also going to have a video guest book inside.

Recently, we thought about doing an auction/ raffle as well. But I've been reading up on it online and the general consenus seems to be that it would be tacky. Our idea was to sell raffle tickets that to benefit a charity. Then having a selection of items that people can try to win that have significance to us: so, for example, our guide book from Hawaii with book marks of what we did and funny stories from our trip, the box from the bottle of champagne that honey gave me that I saved for almost a year (it even moved with me) before we drank it the night we got engaged and a bottle of champange, a framed engagement photo of us. Each will have a jar where people can put their raffle tickets for a chance to win the item. The idea is to have something inexpensive, but symbolic, along with a little story about us. Hence, it would more about getting people involved in a fun way to read about our relationship, then about making money or winning a cool prize.

Tacky? Or creative and fun?

Remember to Breathe

We had a wonderful long weekend and got most of our invitations done--envelopes addressed and lined and stuffed!! I haven't taken any pictures yet, so I'll have to update tomorrow. We are still waiting on our return address stamp that we ordered from Paperwink to get them out the door, but it should arrive this weekend, so we are looking good :)

Also, I wanted to send along this link with the reminder that breathing is a great way to help you get centered and deal with stress and feeling overwhelmed. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed in the midst of wedding planning--with sometimes towering to do lists, dealing with families who don't "get" your wedding planning, and the fact that soon you will be a "wife"--but simply breathing can help keep you grounded, centered, and calm.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Holiday Weekend

I am counting down the minutes... 120 minutes... until the holiday long weekend begins and... 170 minutes... until I can pick up my sweetie up at the aiport... The clock is going VERY slowly today...