Friday, February 27, 2009

Squeee! New Blog!

I just started reading Jen Lancaster's book Bright Lights, Big Ass and have resolved to work "Squee" into my everyday vocab daily. If you haven't read it get it, really.

Now on to the important stuff. Maybe I'm late to the show, but I just discovered the blog, The Everyday Bride and needed to make sure everyone else knows about it too. It's deee-lightful. I have already seen at least 5 precious things that I love and have saved the pictures and added to my wedding inspiration folder.

1)I love wedding signs, but I really love this one. I need to go to Wedding Bee and print out that Michael's coupon so I can get some supplies and make this sign! That'd be a good weekend project. Our venue is tucked back in a neighborhood and you have to do the "count the mailboxes" creep in your car to make sure you don't drive right by it. I think a sign like this could serve a practical AND aesthetic purpose in our case.

2) I had this picture all book marked, and then I went to the photo credits to see where it came from so I could book mark THAT page, because this is pretty much the cutest little dress ever. I can already see myself wearing it to the salon the day of the wedding. And wow, I really know myself, because this is the Shoshanna dress that I already own in navy blue. I purchased it two weeks ago to wear to our rehearsal dinner (will give full details later). Oh well, still super cute, right? I purchased mine from Blue Fly, but understand it's also available from Nordstrom.

I already planned to by lanterns as the non-floral centerpiece for our cafe and cabaret tables but I love the idea of buying a few extra and setting them along the windy brick path from the venue to the parking lot. We're planning to get our lanterns from Ikea, you can find them here.

4) Ok there's no picture for this one, but I am TOTALLY stealing this idea. We aren't planning to have a wild and crazy dance floor thing going on at our wedding. We've started compiling the list and it's full of old standards (lots of swing and big band) and Motown that everyone will know and many romantic ballads. I love the idea of our friends and family hearing "their song" and jumping up to dance. That's more the vibe I'm looking for. Thanks, Everyday Bride!

5) The natural bridal hair boat. Me and The Everyday Bride are totally on it. I saw both of these pictures else where and have already been kicking myself for not bookmarking them, here they are though.

I am an up-do-look-at-me-I-just-rolled-out-of-bed girl on a daily basis, and while I clean-up real good (I do!) I want to look like myself and feel like myself on the day of our wedding. I will not 1) have my hair straightened or 2) poofed, nor will I 3) have prom hair. I've been trying to collect lots of hair pictures lately so I can compile a little look book when it's trial time. I want to make sure I'm as clear as I can be with the stylist!

Find any new wedding websites lately?

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Now I Need Your Help

My last post reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask here. I read along time ago on a "photo tips for your wedding day" type article, I'll try to dig it up, that you should get a nice hanger for your dress for those pretty getting ready shots. Where on earth do you find pretty hangers? My dress is on a big ol' plastic hanger right now, so I'd at least like to get a nice wooden one. It would suit our whole look and I could tie a pretty ribbon around it. I've looked at Target and then I gave up...anyone have ideas or suggestions?

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Tutorial on Mason Jar Lanterns

I found this great tutorial over on a backyard wedding on how to make those pretty mason jar lanterns you see everywhere in wedding world. Anyhoo--backyard wedding has some nice close-up shots of the process and detailed instructions.

I plan to put two of these lanterns together for our wedding, so I was delighted to find this. Funny how craft projects like this are so much easier to do when you can find tips and instructions. I won't be setting them up as lanterns though, I plan to fill them with flowers and hang them on shepherds hooks to denote our "altar" space for the ceremony, a la Miss Cherry Pie at Wedding Bee.

Mrs. & Mr. Cherry Pie got married outdoors in a lawn type area, we'll be getting married in a similar space. The lawn at the Hendry House does have a large metal arch covered in vines and wisteria, but there is another space that is a little larger (it'll fit more chairs and a larger "aisle"), but nothing really demarcates the head of the aisle. I think even having just two tiny jars of flowers will help orient people and give it a more familiar look, if that makes sense.

Speaking of guidance and instructions, I've never been a big one for asking for help, but I'm really trying to learn! So far I've scored big by just throwing out open requests for help to friends. No kidding, one day I posted on my gchat "Does anyone secretly play acoustic guitar or perform with a string quartet?" and within an hour I had several leads, and within a week, I had my acoustic guitarist at a very reasonable price.

I've also started leaning on my wonderful future mother-in-law more. She's offered to help many times, but I'm the type who hates to impose--I know, I know, if someone offers you're not really imposing!! She's a wonderfully talented weaver and has many friends who also work in fiber arts. I asked if anyone she knows makes linen handkerchiefs as I would love one for our wedding. She brought out a whole collection of heirloom linens, some handcrafted by her mother and let me pick one. Now I have a beautiful, handmade lace handkerchief with my new last initial embroidered in pale blue to carry down the aisle. I also mentioned I was on the hunt for Mason jars and she lent me her whole stash of old canning jars!

I think sometimes, especially as the bride, it's feels difficult to walk the fine line between asking for help/including people and being perceived as demanding things from other people around you simply because "I'm the bride that's why!"

Has anyone else struggled with this a bit?

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45 Days and Counting!

There are only 45 days left until our wedding day at Virginia Crossings Resort in Glen Allen, VA. Time is flying, but we're making pretty good progress. Guests have started booking their rooms. We're getting RSVPs back. About a month ago, I had a laundry list of things to do. Now, my list is alot shorter.

  • Order fresh rose petals. Our aisle is outdoors and super long, so we're opting for rose petals instead of a runner, but they have still got to be ordered.

  • Attend the menu tasting and dress fitting. These have been scheduled for this Saturday.

  • Get the marriage license. We'll be doing this next Friday.

  • Purchase the flower girl's accessories.

  • Print and assemble programs. We've ordered the supplies and they're on their way.

  • Print and place monogram labels on the favor bags.

  • Finalize the cake flavor.

  • Order wedding day foundation garments, including garter.

  • Choose my "something old". My attire will all be new. My garter will be blue, and I am borrowing my lovely linesister's veil.

Time is dwindling down, but I'm so excited to be Mrs. Glen Allen!

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Simple Gifts

FI and I have purchased all of our attendants gifts, Kenneth Cole cufflinks for the guys, freshwater pearls for the ladies. We've ordered a doll-sized FG dress for our FG and the doll to go with it, and for our parents we've gotten gifts from Things Remembered, Tara frames for our moms, and a clock for his dad. Hopefully, everyone likes these little tokens of our appreciation. There is just one other gift 'd like to get for the ladies, and it's a simple pair of slippers. Last time I was in a wedding, the bride gave us slippers, and for those who found their bridesmaids shoes a little uncomfortable they were a lifesaver. After standing for a nearly hour long ceremony, we luxuriated in placing our weary feet in the comfort of these simple Dearfoam slippers.
The slippers are non dyeable, but you can't even see them under a long bridesmaid dress. They are so comfy, too. I still wear mine at home sometimes. For 7 bucks a pair at Walmart, you can't go wrong. Certainly, slippers like these will be a thoughtful and appreciated addition to the gifts you give the lovely ladies of your wedding party.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Conference for the Engaged

What a weekend! Yesterday from 8am-4pm Sig. Keswick and I were in Vienna for the Arlington Diocese's Conference for the Engaged. As part of our Pre-Cana preparation, we are supposed to attend a conference such as this or meet one-on-one with a married couple for several times in addition to meeting with our priest. We chose this option as it was easiest to schedule between my work and his school projects, etc. Honestly, it was a very positive experience! We were curious and a little anxious on the drive in the wee hours of the morning but we enjoyed it (or at least most of it). It helped us learn more and understand the Catholic church's perspective on the sanctity of marriage and really reminded me how spiritually significant and important of an undertaking we will be making in less than six months - and I liked that. Sometimes you get caught up having the perfect wedding (however you define it) and it was a nice reminder how the marriage will last long after the cake, the flowers, the favors, even the photographs and memories.

We also sat a table with 3 other couples and they were really great to get to know. One couple even goes to the same church as us AND the bride's Filipino, so I felt an automatic connection from her from the beginning - especially since I feel like I know nothing about Filipino weddings but am dying to learn more but don't know where to look. The other two couples were also really nice and all 3 brides and I exchanged contact info so we can hopefully get together to talk about our experiences, good and bad. Especially with all my far flung bridesmaids, I really hope it will help me stay motivated and excited to be able to share the excitement and frustrations with someone else that's going through the same thing and that can empathize. (Although one of my girlfriends from school just got engaged this weekend and I am more than elated for her and her fiance *eeek* so crazy to say that! And I can't wait to share all my knowledge with her so that she doesn't experience the same confusion or stress that I did, or at least help her avoid doing so.)

Even if you're not Catholic or religious, I strongly encourage everyone to undergo some kind of marital preparation. There are so many *important* things to know/learn/ remember after the honeymoon phase that will help a marriage last, like communication and sacrifice, that we often forget in this fast-paced life.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bridesmaids Dress Quest: Part 5 of 5

Yay!! After several months of searching, we have our bridesmaids dresses - and they're ordered and paid for. I went to the Amsale Bridesmaids Dress Buying Party at Hitched a week ago eeeearly (5 PM) - yes, I actually left work 30 minutes early just to make sure I got there on time. Kati and I went straight to the chiffon dresses (new for Spring 2009). We / she tried on all the beauties I first spied online and we fell in love with them all over again. They were so flattering, forgiving, and I loooooove the dresses in Cerise.

And now, for our lovelies:
Amsale 456c (shown in Cerise, crinkled chiffon)Amsale 454c
Amsale 455c

Amsale 450cAmsale 451c
I decided to pick out 5 dresses so the girls could choose the dress that's most flattering on their figure and they felt most comfortable getting and they will all be wearing the same color in Cerise, which is my favorite color of all time. Seriously.

It was kind of a tedious process to order them as I was seeing them for the first time during the trunk show and then had to decide that night if we were going to get them to take advantage of the 15% discount. So we tried on dresses, I looked for wifi at 2 different internet cafes to email the girls the pictures, couldn't find one, and just called all 7 of them. They were all on board if I thought they were a good choice, and Kati and I definitely loved them. Some were concerned if they would have to wear a strapless bra under all of them, I assured them that was not the case with Amsale 454 (the halter top with ruffles) - it's definitely thick enough at the top at the neck to wear with a converted strapless/halter bra. Some were a little concerned about the color, too, but Kati and I have very different coloring (she's more fair and porcelain colored and I'm more olive toned) and we both thought they still looked good on both of us. I didn't necessarily have to convince the girls, but I definitely wanted them to feel comfortable in trusting me. My sister, the Maid of Honor, will likely go with a longer, tea length option rather than the cocktail dress to look a little different from the rest.

I do hope they turn out well. I just love them so much and really have high hopes that the girls will like them too and that they'll look as stunning as I think they will.

Did you have any specifications or goals during your bridesmaids dress search? Was it difficult? Did the girls seem receptive?

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Friday, February 20, 2009


So, as you know, wedding dress sizes vary from "normal" sizes, and are based on all sorts of measurements that I had never heard of. Here is a great little guide I found on a random site.

Source: http://bestbridalprices.com

The HOLLOW to HEM measurement was always a term that confused me, and is also excessively important, given that I'm a tall bride. It'll also help you guys out, in determining how long your dress should be.

HOLLOW TO HEM is a standard industry term. Start the tape at the hollow at the base of your neck and measure down to where you want the hem. If your skirt will be full, be sure to measure out at an angle to allow for the fullness. Also, be sure you?re wearing the same height heel you'll wear on your wedding day.

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So the invitations are out, and the responses are rolling in. We invited about 165, but are hoping to confirm less than 120. We love opening our RSVP cards, and we always open them together. As much as we want a smaller guest count, it still makes us a little sad when a loved one cannot attend. So far we've confirmed close to 100 guests, coming from Jamaica, Canada, England, as well as all over the East Coast and Central States of the US. We're so excited to see everyone . . . 45 days left!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Shutterfly Photo Book!

Hi all. I've been trying to think of a good keepsake to take the place of the traditional guest book: Signed wedding barrel stave to use as a lazy susan, signed matted picture, and of course a photo book. Sig. Keswick isn't a big fan of the signed matted picture, so my choices were narrowed slightly last night. And then, this morning, lo and behold, in my Inbox was an email from Shutterfly: Free 8x8 Photobook until March 10! Just visit their website and get started :) I've already begun mine.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterfly

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A Trip down Bridezilla Road

Hello ladies! I am so sorry about being MIA! with 94 days on the clock, I can't believe how busy it has gotten!!! Ok.....I have a confession. I have had a few bridezilla moments. (At least I know, right?) I'd love to take you for a ride down Bridezilla road, Miss CP style. (DISCLAIMER: I am aware of my actions and apologize if anyone mentioned is shocked by any of this, but I think they all know.)


Ok, Bridezilla moment #1: Mom CP had very specific ideas as to what she envisioned for my wedding day. This was news to me! I had thought she honestly wouldn't care and would just hand over a check....(hilarious and naive, right?) So the first big fight we had went something like this.

Mom CP: I just got back from 's wedding and it was perfect! We should do a lot of the same things.

Me: I want to be original. I don't want all the same things as . Don't you get that? I want to be unique!

Mom CP: Well, I know, but hear me out. First of all, wore high heels and they killed her feet. You gotta wear flats, sneakers even.

Me: Um. WHAT. Do you know me? Do you expect me to wear keds or something? I don't wear flats normally, why would I on this day? Plus Mr. CP is 6 foot 4!!! Heeellloooo

Mom CP: Miss CP, relax. They had the cheese in a bowl on the side for the salad. We gotta have the nuts and the cheese on the side. You know some people have allergies.

Me: Mom. I dotn want my wedding to be a Roy Rogers fixin's bar (yes that is a direct quote...shame on me)

Mom CP: You know, you are really turning into a bridezilla and I cant take it.

This was the first time in my life my mother has hung up on me. I called her right back and she was crying and I apologized and realized I was a little over the top and we haven't fought since.

Bridezilla Moment #2: Let me begin by saying, I know, deep down, that I am being somewhat unreasonable. To give a background, one of my closest friends (Matron of Honor, actually) is pregnant. YAY! I couldn't be happier. This is true. She is a close friend and I know she really wants this and I am over-the-moon happy for her. We have been close since 6th grade, and I am thrilled. I knew she, as well as potentially another bridesmaid, could be pregnant and I, unlike other brides, was so excited! The drama began a few months ago when this bridesmaids' mother told another bridesmaids mother (don't you love the small town) that I told her daughter she was "absolutely not allowed to get pregnant before my wedding," which was untrue and honestly, hurtful. This is one of my best friends. I am so happy for her! I was so hurt that not only did her mom think this, but shared this with other people, especially, since it was 100% false. Anyways, I let it go. I confronted said bridesmaid and she said she knew I didn't feel that way. So, in respect to our friendship, I let this one slide....which is totally unlike me, by the way.
Then, a few weeks later, I emailed her mom (the same one) to offer to help with a baby shower. Her mom basically tells me because the daughter lives far, they will have a party the weekend of my wedding, if it's a girl. (If it is a boy, there will be a bris 7 days after the baby is born). Now, my first reaction was, I can't be there!! How upsetting! I love this girl and can't wait to meet baby and I want to celebrate too. Maybe I can squeeze it in? Then, Bridezilla came. I can literally hear myself saying, "BUT IT"S MY SPECIAL DAY!!!!" I understand this bridesmaid must travel to come to my wedding, and with all her family local to this area, I see how much easier it is. Really. But at the same time, I deserve one weekend where it is just about me, right? I accept she can't come to my shower or my bachelorette party, but my wedding weekend!? Can she at least do it on Monday, memorial day, after all my festivities??? She had her wedding, and it was all about her. her mom would have FREAKED if the roles were reversed. Is it not ok to demand the same? I also get traveling with a newborn isn't easy. But..well...I get this day one time. Do babies trump weddings? Luckily, she is having a boy and this became an immediate moot point.

Bridezilla moment #3: I am tempted to not share this and by no way, want to hurt anyone's feelings.... but I KNOW I have issues (throughout my life) Sharing the spotlight. I am SOOOO excited about my growing family! I can't wait to have a new brother and sister in law! At the same time, the Bridezilla in me is a little taken back that they have planned their wedding 2 months after me and a co-bachelor-bachelorette party 2 weeks before our wedding. We can't go, obviously, but FSIL keeps saying, "its just a weekend, you can make it, come on," which I feel is unfair, especially since she RSVPed yes to mine, and backed out after we booked hotels, etc, because she couldn't spend money since she had her own wedding....I TOTALLY understand that, but I don't think its fair to not have the same understanding! Mr. CP is sad we can't go, as am I....Thoughts?

So have you had any Bridezilla moments? Share, we all love to hear them right?

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Something blue...

I've mentioned on here a few times my search for shoes. I finally found the perfect pair, and then, my dress came in and I was beyond ecstatic. They looked perfect together. I was infatuated with my dress/shoe combo.

Never the conventional one, my mother was not surprised when I picked navy shoes. She tried to get me to go with white shoes but I wasn't having it. I appreciate certain traditions but others? Are meant to be broken.

So I was appalled today when I got an email from my future brother in law telling me that he thinks I should "reconsider" my shoes.

"...personally I have to say in the pic they stick out and not in a good way. I feel a bride should be all in white and you don't want to draw attention to your feet with a dark colored shoe compared to the very white dress. Your supposed to be different from the bridesmaids no need to match something. So there's my 2 cents I don't know if anyone else had mentioned that but I thought I should."
Not going to lie, I feel, and I could be totally off base here, that he was out of line. My future mother in law told me earlier this weekend on an impromptu trip north to surprise her for the long weekend, that she felt I should reconsider my navy shoes. The picture he is referring to is the one above.

I told her - politely - thank you for the input, but no thanks. White shoes, while I appreciate white shoes, and appreciate that many brides wear white shoes, I'd just...rather not.

I've seen some fabulous pictures of brides wearing non-white shoes - in a variety of colors and I love the look. It just adds a little bit of flair to what is otherwise a rather...traditional day. I've never been the one to go all traditional so I don't plan on my wedding day being a day when I break that habit.

The Weddingbee boards show that I'm not the only one who wants colored shoes - additionally, there are other brides on The Knot.com boards who are defying convention.

[via Dallas Wedding Planner]

Now, I know, I might be over reacting, being a little too sensitive. But it's a stressful time. We're signing a new contract for our reception, we just finished and sent out the Save the Dates, my boss is back from a three week trip away and we're two weeks out from a huge event at work - I'm stressed. And attacking my shoes? The Best MAN attacking my shoes??

I just feel...a little sensitive. Maybe too sensitive. Obviously I'm not the only one adding a bit o' flair to my bridal outfit....

what about you? How are you adding flair to your outfit?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We finalized the guest list this weekend - we're just short of 150. And finished the save the dates - all 61 of them. And have a better idea about our budget - all $15,000 of it.

Now that the save the dates are done, my mother has been pressuring me to get started on researching my invitations which she thinks I should make to save costs. Knowing me, and knowing how much of a procrastinator I am, even though they don't need to go out until July for our September wedding, she's already on my butt about them. Just because your mother lives 12 hours away does not mean she will not nag - but bless her heart, I know she's bugging me only because she's not around to help more, so this is her way of ensuring I do what I need to do.

See she knows I should probably get started now rather than later because I started my save the dates in...October? They just barely got finished Sunday night. They still need to be labeled and stamped though. They WILL go out by the end of this week. Hopefully tomorrow and God willing, I won't need any extra postage.

So today to appease my dearest mother, I did a little bit of research. In the past few weeks I've become an etsy fiend.

The invitations I'm really loving?

These. Sage and Navy and Pink are our colors - so obviously they wouldn't be exactly like these. But I do love the ribbon (which I'd make pink) and the layers. [via decadentdesigns]

I also really liked these:

via [Your Style Invitations]

I'm pretty sure I could make something similar to these fairly easily, especially with the wonders of the Paper Source which I'm a HUGE fan of. Last time I was in there, I noticed that in the coming weeks, they're having a couple of wedding invitation workshops.

At one of these they say they:
"We'll look at several examples to determine what style you prefer, then learn how to design and produce your own invitations. You'll experiment with several different papers and designs to create the invitation of your dreams."
They have one coming up on the 25th of February at their Georgetown location on M Street, NW where you can register and learn the above for $55. Register [here]

They also have one where you:
"Sip sparkling champagne and enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries while you create a full suite of wedding samples — including a select group of letterpress invitations, escort cards, favors and table accents. "
The Georgetown one is currently sold out however on March 5th there's one at the Old Town Alexandria location. This one is $35 and does still have seats left. Register [here]

I'm sure eventually I might hit one of these up - for now I'm going to peruse my options and come up with a plan to make my own. I'll just do what I did with my save the dates! Find inspiration and adjust to be my own with my own creativity skills.

What are you doing for YOUR invitations? Etsy? Making your own? Or are you going all out and buying them?

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Potpourri of Planning!

Three things.

First, I'll start with the most exciting! We booked our hotel for the honeymoon in New York City! We'll be staying four days and three nights at the Park 79 hotel in the Upper West Side; next door to Central Park and the Natural History Museum!

We already have reservations for the Comedy Cellar, are looking into tickets for "Tony n Tina's Wedding" and have put in a request for Daily Show tickets. Then there will be the other fun things... a carriage ride through Central Park, going to the top of the Empire State Building, amazing dinners around Manhattan. I. Cannot. Wait.

Secondly, I've finally decided against a veil. But I want to do something with my hair! My hair is a bit above shoulder length, plus I usually have side swept bangs. (Right now they're a little grown out. I so need a haircut.) I've been looking at cute headbands to wear. Here are some of the ones I've found:


Third, I've been doing some thinking about the decor for our reception... For reference, here's the main room we will be using. It will not be set up as shown. There will be floor space for dancing, moving about, etc.

It's the top floor of the Fish Market on King Street, in Old Town. (We'll have the other room, as well.)

We're going to have white linens on the tables, of course. And, irony of all ironies, I showed off hanging poms in my last post as examples of decor:


Oh, the irony is that I mentioned that they would not work for a wedding like mine... well, until I decided I wanted them. So we're going to be getting a bunch of them in all red or red and brown to hang from the ceiling.

I also found some inspiration for our wedding centerpieces, which are going to be very simple. The design is based off of this:

This shot is from the wedding of Amber, who has brilliant taste in design and color.

See the cute daisies in the mason jar? Patrick and I decided that we wanted to do something similar. As our colors are red, brown, and white, we're going to do RED Gerbera daisies instead of the pink pictured. In addition, we're going to cluster two or three jars and flowers for each centerpiece.

But we're not just going to do jars. We're going to start collecting jars and unique bottles to cluster at each table, to give it a punch of color.

Hope you're all enjoying your President's Day!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love paper

Browsing this morning and discovered the wonderful work of Tracy K, aka Adnagam on Etsy. According to her shop announcement, "I'm like the In-n-Out of paper. They only sell burgers and I only sell envelopes (and sometimes notecards.) I feel like the art of handwriting notes is escaping us, so send a friendly note and make someone's day! "

I saw these beautiful sheet music envelopes and had to share. They're so bright and fun yet simple and elegant. She's also on Twitter! Happy Valentine's Day!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Save the Date Handkerchiefs

We're busy finishing our Save the Dates to mail out on Monday. But, since we're on the subject of Save the Dates, I thought I'd post a couple that I'm almost sad we didn't think of (almost because I still love mine and how well they tie in with our wedding).

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Hello, Lover!

Ah, that classic line from SATC...nearly always my first reaction when I see a beautiful pair of shoes. Especially a beautiful pair of shoes on sale.

These are on sale right now at South Moon Under. They are $49.99. They are beautiful. I love this brand of shoes (Seychelles). They are comfortable, practical and beautiful. I might have to pretend I didn't already buy shoes to go with my wedding dress...

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DC on Etsy!

If you over pronounce "Etsy" in the title, it rhymes. Sort of. Just a little Friday fun for ya!

I have a great Etsy find to share with you via one of my sorority sisters. How adorable is this print from Etsy seller Art Shark Designs?

Precious! There are other cities too, but I was super excited to see DC because I feel we're a little left out sometimes when the "Cities of the World" are grouped together.

Wouldn't this print look amazing matted as your "guest book"? I know I'd love to hang this up in my house!

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Call Me Crazy

Yep, we went and picked out the groomsmen/dads suits and accessories already. It was on my to-do list and I figured, well if Men's Warehouse will allow me to do this 9 months in advance of the wedding, then let's do it.

I went to the Men's Wearhouse website about 4 weeks ago and "registered" our wedding. I listed Mr. Fairfax as the main contact since ultimately, the final decisions are up to him and he'll be in charge of wrangling the groomsmen...he he. Good thing they do read this, I'm not sure how they'd all feel about being wrangled! The nice thing about the registering process is then Men's Wearhouse initiates the next step. They call YOU to set up the appointment to select the attire. I gave Mr. Fairfax to expect the call and about a week later I got an e-mail telling me I had an appointment at the MW Tux location nearest me to begin promptly at 7pm. Sweet.

Between purchasing work clothes for Mr. Fairfax and attending to his various formal wear needs over the last two years, we are pretty familiar with what MW has to offer. We knew which tux we wanted, the Calvin Klein 2-Button super 100s with notch collar, and had narrowed down the vest options to either the Tuscany pattern or Rio pattern.

Tireless investigation related to our involvement in The Big Sister's (aka TBS) wedding turned up this precious nugget of information: The Calvin Klein 2-button is one of the ONLY tuxedos you can both RENT and PURCHASE from MW. I believe the other is a Jones New York. There is one tiny difference between the rental CK and the for-purchase CK: two pocket flaps on the front the jacket, however since the very noticeable details like the cut of the collar and the buttons are the same, it works.

The Calvin Klein Two-Button Super 100s with Notched Collar

When TBS got married everyone wanted to buy except two people, so that narrowed the tux choices down. The guys ended up going with the CK tux because it was flattering on everyone involved from the tall lanky groom to my brawny, big shouldered husband-to-be. We had a similar situation with the Fairfax nuptials: only two people need to rent because everyone else was in TBS's wedding or has previously purchased the CK tux for their own wedding.

The poor sales girl probably felt a bit mowed down when we walked in knowing exactly what we wanted. The only decisions left to make were pattern and color of the vests. The first question the sales associate asked was the color of the bridesmaid dresses (brown), and having been to a Men's Wearhouse or two I knew what was coming next, the hard sale for the brown tux. Sorry, lady, not in my wedding. Next, she tried to sell the merits of brown vests with black tuxes. Wrong again. I like it for others, but it's just not for me. I told her, my bridesmaids will be dresses formally and so I feel strongly the men should also be dressed formally and I did not feel the need to make them match perfectly. She was put out by this, and made the "well you are crazy, but fine if you want BLACK with BROWN, I guess I will sell it to you, but I will not be happy about it."

Tuscany......or Rio? No, do not fear, we did not select these colors, these shades just showed the patterns best. We also won't be using the striped ties, we thought plain long ties looked the best. The sales associate did not agree.

Our appointment was at 7:00 and I think we were in and out by 7:45 (yes, it took 45 minutes to decide between flowers and dots). We ended up choosing black Tuscany vests for groomsmen and dads, and a white Tuscany vest for Mr. Fairfax. We weren't wild about the stripey tie so that came with the rental so we will be asking each gentleman to purchase a plain black satin tie. We skipped the shoe issue and will simply trust everyone to shine their shoes before the big day!

We got all the information in to the MW system, and now I can log into the group manager anytime I want and marvel at our efficiency! Seriously though, I was really happy that we could set this up as early as we wanted to. It was nice to be able to take care of attire selection while I felt I had the time to spend 45 minutes debating dots versus flowers, instead of trying to cram this to-do item in between a hundred others much closer to the wedding.

I have now ticked off "select groomsmen attire" from the to-do list and have added "Send first e-mail to groomsmen about attire" to the calendar (along with "send reminder about tuxes," "last day for tux fitting,"and "pick up tuxes!"). Sigh...one item down 79 to go :)

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Funny How Planning Your Wedding Leaves No Time to Blog About Planning Your Wedding

Yes, I've actually been working hard the last couple weeks to take care of (wedding) business.

I told you all about my new Google Wedding Calendar and Wedding Spreadsheet to track little projects, and I must report, it's really working. We've managed to tick quite a few items off our to-do list over the last three weeks, simply because I've got it all written down in an organized fashion. Oh, organization, how I love you.

I wanted to share one more document idea with you too. The Big Sister recently sent me her guest list spreadsheet since many of the same folks at her wedding will be at ours. Upon receipt and examination, I immediately scrapped my own excel guest list and started using the format she set up. It was actually really fun to fill everything in, and I could finally see all the information I wanted to see at a glance, like how many actual invitations I need to make, how many guests are attending, what I'll write on the inner and outer envelopes. There's also a column for guessing how many people will attend. When we get further down the road, there are spaces to record gifts, thank you notes, delivery of OOT bags. It's great!

I can't figure out how to load the doc so you can just have it, but if you're interested in having a copy, just e-mail me at fairfaxmiss@gmail.com, and I'm happy to share.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will You....

As Miss Jeff Memorial already stated, she recently asked me to be her Maid of Honor - well technically Matron of Honor as I'll be married by then. I'm beyond thrilled - seriously - I've been going over in my head how I'll go about planning the shower (scheming with her fabulous mother I'm sure) and her bachelorette party. Excited - yes I am.

I digress, it made me think about how I asked my own bridesmaids - I wasn't creative, though I certainly wish I had been. I asked two over the phone, Fiancé's little sister in front of his family, and the only two who were really surprised were TLB - one of my best gal pals from college and Miss Jeff Memorial herself.

If I got the chance to do it over again? I'd totally go all out with AT LEAST a cute card....some I'm a fan of?

From Designs with Style [Etsy]

ALaModeBride [etsy]

From [Weddingthings.com]

The card would be presented with one of these fabulous books -

$11 [Amazon.com] (as I gave Miss JM when I asked her. Then simultaneously bought a copy for myself because I couldn't resist)

or this one....

$7 from [Give Simple]

Now I'm not one to be uber creative, though I do give myself a B+ for effort (when I actually put in effort) so I kind of failed mostly because like I said, I'm not good with surprises and I'm not good at keeping secrets and when I get excited about something I generally share it ASAP instead of waiting - thus why I asked S over the phone. I couldn't contain myself really. Same with my sister.

How did YOU ask your bridal party?

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Wedding Party and Honeymoon and...

I wish two share three things; two accomplishments and then some neat little finds I wanted to share.

1) Wedding planning has taught me one thing: you have no idea what it entails until you're actually planning your own wedding. Things that seem fun? Well, they're still fun, but a heck of a lot more complicated than previously thought.

Perfect example of this: selecting your bridal party. My poor bridal party has had a series of ups and downs. A member was lost after a pretty sad and hurtful falling out. I've never really gotten my act together on who I wanted to do what. After so much drama, I kind of threw my hands up in the air and nominated my mother as Matron of Honor. Then, a couple of months later, she brought up a valid point.

"Dear Miss JeffMemorial, I know you love me. You have to, as I'm your mother. But you don't want me as your Matron of Honor. You're lucky enough to have no sisters that you HAVE to ask, so enjoy being able to choose a non-family member."

And she was right. In fact I already knew who I wanted to ask, and had thought about it for months. I just never did. Mama JeffMemorial and I chatted a bit more. She knew who I had wanted to ask for months (of course), but had hoped I would come around and do it myself. When she realized I wasn't going to she realized she needed to "give me a shove in the right direction".

But she understood. How do you demote your own mother? Thankfully I have a kick-butt mom who just wants me to be happy. Hasn't even given an opinion on the wedding unless asked for it. I love her for that.

So last night I asked my best friend, who has seen me through everything, good and bad to be my Maid of Honor, and she said yes. She also happens to be Miss Gallery Place, heh. It was really nice. I'm so glad my mom talked to me about it.

The only thing is instead of the nice lunch I had planned, this all went down at a Dunkin Donuts at Eastern Market over chocolate milk, diet green tea, and a salad. Whoops. At least I brought flowers...?

2) After some debate, Mr. JeffMemorial and I are NOT going to Colonial Williamsburg for our honeymoon. Instead we're going to NEW YORK CITY!

I'm so excited! We loved the idea of Williamsburg. I went there so much growing up... and I think that was the problem for me. I wanted to go somewhere that we were sharing together and experiencing together. Now I have been to NYC a few times (whereas Mr. JeffM has not), but with family and only a couple of times. I've never really DONE New York. And I've never been there romantically either. I think it's going to be perfect.

We're going to do all the cheesy stuff. A Broadway show... a carriage ride through Central Park... Carnegie Deli, etc. It's going to be perfect!

We'll be booking our hotel tonight at a place in Gramercy Park called Park 79.

3) Now next are a few finds. Once again, not for my wedding... or maybe? I don't know. Randomly I started looking at flower "alternatives", even though I'm going to have fresh flowers for the bouquets. And I came across some lovely pieces.

Oh, Etsy... once again, how you taunt me.

Beautiful origami flowers. Above is one designed as a garland. Perfect to string about for those garden weddings, perhaps? http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_1&listing_id=20062764

Ring pillow. I love how even though the flower is large, it looks so delicate and beautiful. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=cat1_gallery_18&listing_id=18893164

Hanging pom kit. Would never work with our more rustic colonial style, but they look so fresh and the colors really pop. Would look great in a bright wedding with a modern flair. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_4&listing_id=20914064

Classic Bloom Necklace. I love the pairing of the feminine pearls with the flower that has an almost industrial look to it. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_17&listing_id=20926439

And that's all I have for today...

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