Sunday, August 3, 2008

Things I Learned from My Wedding

1. Things will go wrong. This is okay, because the biggest thing about the day will probably go right and you'll end up married.
2. Tide to Go pens are a genius invention and I should carry them everywhere with me. This was learned after smrty-pants me walked between two cars getting big black smears on either side of my dress on the way to Union Station. Thankfully Sarah had one of those pens and we got out the biggest stains on the car ride there and Aimee had another at the church that she let me use before the ceremony...miracle workers.
3. When I was planning, I wanted the coolest little booklet programs with ribbon ties and everything. Since we were still trying to find someone to run the sound board at the church a week before the wedding, we didn't have a finalized playlist either. So time ran out and we didn't have any programs at all, and I'm so glad now I just let it go and didn't mess with it at the time.
4. Drink lots of water throughout the day and particularly during the reception, especially if it's warm and the reception is half inside, half outside. I got dehydrated and almost passed out towards the end of the evening.
5. Floor air vents are a godsend for girls in fluffy dresses whose legs feel like they're coated in sweat.
6. Bridesmaids who think to point out the air vents are also gifts from God.
7. Let go. Seriously. The control freak in me was not a big fan of letting other people get involved and take over things, but on the actual wedding day I just wanted it all to get done without me having to worry about it. Plan ahead and delegate and everything will go much smoother.
8. Having the rehearsal dinner with all my out-of-town family invited was one of the best parts of the wedding. Andrew's parents were so amazing to host everyone at their house that evening, and since the wedding day was such a dizzying whirl it was wonderful to get to see everyone and socialize without the time constraints of the actual wedding day.
9. Figure out ways to do things that will mean a lot to you. We got people to bring Archie (our shih tzu) to the church before the formal pictures before the ceremony to take a few shots with us. Those are some of my favorite pictures since he would have been overwhelmed if we'd tried to put him in the wedding but he's like our little fuzzy child with a speech impediment.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Things I Am Freaking Out About: Three Weeks to Go

1. The reception site is much smaller than I'd anticipated. Fire safety rated for 79 people on each of the two floors. Which, with our estimated guest count of 150, is a problem. I'm currently praying for nice weather so we can use the deck outside for additional seating and room without being all squished in together. And trying not to think about it at all is also currently a method of choice for dealing with the panic.

2. Still haven't taken my dress in for alterations, though pretty much all it needs is a bustle.

3. After last meeting with minister, decided to construct our own ceremony since I didn't really like the available options. Mostly complete, but now needs approval before I can start trying to create programs.

4. Trying to write my own half of our vows. Andrew whipped his out in about fifteen minutes, but I'm struggling to find the right words in a small amount of time to use. Also want to print in program so relatives with hearing problems don't feel left out, so kinda running out of time.

5. 21 days to go=no time to order things for the wedding unless it's a rush order. Pretty much. May still attempt ring bowl and cute, but non-personalized, napkins.

6. Sat down with Andrew and ordered gifts for groomsmen yesterday. Still working on parents and bridesmaid gifts, since cheesy useless somethings seem options. After a frustrated evening starting thinking photo frames would be sufficient...note to self: try to stay away from photo frame gifts.

7. Since reception site is smaller than anticipated, now also looking for chair and table rental company. Hopefully people RSVP or else they may not have actual seats at the reception.

8. I have decided, with three weeks to go, that I would like someone else to plan my wedding so I can just show up and have a good time. Admittedly, this is far too late for such a decision and leads only to more misery as I further procrastinate the things I need to get done.

9. Must give Andrew nearly daily reminders to call people (ie. groomsmen, church people, etc.) to make sure that we will actually have music for the wedding as well as men in tuxes at the front. Doesn't really think about what still needs to be done, but is willing to do any tasks I assign to just takes time to make lists of what I need him to do that I don't necessarily have.

10. Figuring out insurance is a pain in the neck.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

At Last, It Works!

Don't they look good together? The interplay of colors, cohesiveness in theme? The way they are strangely entertaining?

The Hershey's Kiss stamps are no longer on the website, but that did give me an incentive to order the homage to Yoda for our invitations when the website finally let me order this afternoon.

I even called Andrew to confirm that it was okay to order Yoda instead of the Tiffany stamp that I've been using for all my other mail for the past year, but he was as enamored of the idea as I was.

Love him, I do.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Andrew's wedding band arrived today, looking stellar in its pretty black velvet box that was shipped in a white jewelry box inside a Fed-Ex box. For free 3-day shipping for all wedding bands, it arrived a full day early. Great customer service so far and I can't wait until Andrew tries it on. The engraving on the inside of the band is clear and perfect. Couldn't really be happier with it.

Contrariwise, (since I couldn't resist using this term Andrew's housemates brought up a few days ago) the United States Postal Service is really getting on my nerves. Not only have they pretty much announced that they'll be raising rates every May from now on (hello, right in time to royally mess up wedding invitation stuff), but they've also had a broken postal store website for most of this week. Which is not good since I was finally planning on ordering my postage for my wedding invitations and getting them into the mail ASAP.

Of course, they were quick to inform me that I could always call and order stamps. But I'm not comfortable giving out my credit card information over my unsecured cell phone number. At least with my computer I can scour it for spyware and viruses before and after the transaction. Not to mention the fact that what would I be ordering?

It seems to me that the only place on the entire USPS website where you can actually see the stamp designs and denominations being offered is through the postal store. Not very helpful when you just know that you're trying to avoid the ugly-as-hell $1 that is the closest denomination offered to what you've been quoted each envelope will ship for.

Which is also just peachy. What is the point of saying that something will cost 97 cents to mail if you don't actually offer any reasonable postage way to create this magical number? I had it all figured out using the all-too-cliche 58 cent pink wedding stamp and the outdated 39 cent Hersheys kiss stamp, but the last time the website actually let me on the latter had already disappeared.

Not cool, USPS. Not cool at all.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Andrew's Wedding Band

Is finally ordered, as of yesterday afternoon. I ordered from and am so far content with their service.

Here's a picture of the band he decided he liked the best:

A 6mm Domed Step-Down Edge Titanium Wedding Ring, with brushed finish and engraving on the inside that will say "Many Waters Cannot Quench Love."

Pretty, close to exactly what we were looking for, and very affordable. They also sent a set of plastic ring sizers for free to make sure you order the right size (we did this since titanium can't be resized: too hard), making them very easy to work with. Since the sizers even pop out you can wear them around for a while and make sure it'll be comfortable.

It'll get here early next week. If only USPS was this simple to order from, as I try to get stamps for our invitations.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Paying Postage

The stickers have arrived and look wonderful on the fourteen or so invitations I brought with me on my spring break, but I'll post pictures of those later. Today I tackled the task of finding out from the Post Office how much it'll cost to mail out my beautiful invitations.

And the magic number is?

97 cents apiece.

Ouch. I'm thinking large square invitations should become less popular...because I would have been just as happy with a rectangle with a bow on top as a square with a bow on top...and I would be paying a hell of a lot less on postage.

But this is where we are now: what to do about stamps?

The United States Postal Service is less than helpful on this count: they produce absolutely no stamps in this denomination. Here are my conventional options from USPS:

This would be the only stamp needed, with three cents to spare...but it's not doing great on the pretty scale. The figure is supposed to be Wisdom, but...again....not much with the pretty though probably more convenient.

Now on to the combination candidates: I would use the pink stamp that I honestly don't like with either the Hershey Kiss stamp or the Louis Comfort Tiffany stamp that I like much better. Hershey Kiss has the advantage of making the postage exactly what it needs to be, but the LCT stamp is the prettiest one currently offered by USPS.

Now on to the other possible option: custom stamps. Several companies now provide the opportunity to create photo postage considered legal by the USPS without the overwhelming ugliness of the USPS stamp offerings.

Zazzle: doesn't make a 97 cent denomination. 92 cents yes, 97 cents no. And if I'm doing custom stamps I don't want to have to make more than necessary or use ugly stamps I don't like at all to make up the difference. same denomination problem as Zazzle.

As in love as I was with the idea of custom postage, right now it seems like a lot of hassle and expense compared with the idea of going with stamps I can live with even if I don't love them. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Silly Inner Envelopes

Archie went to stay with his daddy for a couple of weeks since I intended to fly out for my spring break (since Andrew would be driving to Kentucky anyway a week later for his own break, it didn't make sense to drive). While he's been away, I've been trying to get the invitations put together.

Things I have learned:
1. Tying ribbon bows onto 125 folded invitation cards is extremely tedious.
2. I cannot tie a bow as nicely as Martha Stewart. After spending several hours trying to match her classy knot, I settled on the nicest bows I could tie, which involves the hangy part being on top of the bow part on one side and the entire bow lining up against the top of the card. Not exactly what I had in mind when I ordered the invitations, but I figured I could spend the next month on grad school or tying perfect bows.
3. Because the entirety of the bow is at the top of the card, the flaps on the inner envelopes will not stay closed.
4. The flaps not staying closed annoys the hell out of me.

So what to do about the flaps (not to mention putting 100 more of the 125 invitations and reception/info cards into envelopes)? Where there is a problem, I shall find an impulse-buy solution.

I've thought about using photo stamps for the invitations since square and ribbon=expensive postage the USPS doesn't actually make stamps in the denomination required. If we do that, I'm thinking about putting a bow tie on Archie after his next grooming visit and using that picture for the stamps to involve him in our day (more later on the complications of wanting to share wedding with puppy pseudo-child).

So what did I figure out to do? Keep the picture love going!

I ordered Kodak photo stickers, after cropping one of our engagement pictures to a square, and selected the "Sea Glass" border option for the 2" x 2" Martha Stewart stickers (30 on a sheet for $3.99 at I shipped them to Andrew's house in Fulton (where I'll be for the next week on Spring Break--so exciting, I know) via the FedEx 2-day option.

Hopefully they'll arrive early next week and we'll be able to deliver them to all our college friends (who hopefully won't mind that they're getting hand-delivered invitations). In addition to packing for my flight tomorrow and doing last-minute laundry I need to go over our guest list and figure out how many invitations I need to take with me in all-but-done format to hand out/get postage cost estimated for the rest of the batch.

Now back to the packing planning for the rest of my work time, since I have to finish up tomorrow morning early and have yet to determine if I'm going to check two or carry-on two (the definite carryon is my backpack). Since I'm taking three flights to get from Lexington to St. Louis, I don't want to have to haul excess baggage through my two layover airports. However, I also don't want my luggage to not make a plane transfer at some point in these journeys, so I'm still conflicted about what to do, especially since I'm flying Continental for 2 flights but American for the last leg. Too easy to see stuff going horribly wrong, but discomfort of constantly dragging stuff around is also not appealing.