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.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Shoe Second Thoughts

I have shoes for my wedding. Technically. I bought a pair of simple ballet slippers months ago since there are very few absolutely flat shoes that come in a 9 Wide and going with normal width is simply not an option if I don't want my feet to hate me.

But now that it's spring (for fashion, at least, even if I still am freezing my tail off outside), more white shoes are available for me to choose from.

Also, since I've decided that I want to take pictures in exciting locations like Union Station before the ceremony starts, I'll need shoes that I can actually walk around in without worrying about stepping on pebbles. So I started my search again.

I paid about $25 for the above ballet slippers from, Capezio Cobra (Ballet) for $25.

I love these eyelet skimmers but worry that they're too casual for wedding shoes...though my dress is floor length so it's not like I absolutely can't wear them: Grasshoppers Demi Eyelet for $46.

These are the other option I'm seriously considering, since they look cute yet comfortable and seem to strike a good balance between formal and playful. And they give me a reason to get a cute pedicure for the wedding other than the fact that I love to run around barefoot. They are, however, the most expensive pair I've looked at by a good little bit. Naturalizer Verdum, $72.95 on Zappos.

Which do you think would be best? I'm looking for honest opinions here, or I might find myself ordering whichever I'm thinking is the cutest at the moment. And if I pick another shoe, should I return my ballet slippers? (I think I still have time.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Engagement Pictures for all to see!

Finally! I got the cd for the engagement pictures we took at the beginning of January, freezing in snow at Keeneland Park in Lexington, Kentucky. If you want to check them out, look at our website's Multimedia Gallery at the album "Engagement Pictures." Here's a small sampling:

Yes, we are freakishly pale.

I love how the space between us in this one kinda looks like a heart.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Always Valentine

Andrew sent me flowers for Valentine's Day. Beautiful yellow roses with pinky/red edges and a cute little teddy bear. Sorry the picture is kinda dark but they are lovely.

I'm so proud of him for taking the initiative.

And I love roses. So very much.

And I love Andrew. So very much. Much more than roses.

I have learned, though, that I should be thankful mom convinced me to go with a florist for the wedding, since I think we can all agree that my flower arranging skills are nowhere near DIY wedding level. Actually, my flower arranging skills pretty well suck.

Doesn't matter for today, though. Roses are gorgeous no matter what you do with them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Memory

I'd like to start off by saying that I have been blessed with the most amazing grandparents ever. My dad's parents have been happily married for over 60 years now, which was amazing to grow up with them being nearby.

My mom's parents were married almost as long, for over 59 years until my grandmother's death on December 26, 2006. My grandpa died this past year as well, and I miss them terribly.

All the little rituals I had with each of them that my parents didn't know about when I was little. How I'd go to church with grandpa on Sunday morning so I could stay with him on Saturday night and play checkers for Andes mints he kept in an old check box and watch the Lawrence Welk show with him and grandma. How they taught me the words to the songs. Helping grandma put together her intricate puzzles.

I wanted them to be at my wedding this June.

I'm going to carry them with me, instead. Yesterday I bought a locket pin from Ebay, and I'm going to shrink copies of the pictures of them that always sat on their dresser at their house to put in the frames. I'll attach it to the ribbon binding my bouquet.

Here are some pictures of the locket in it's current state:

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Invitations are Here!

After collecting and correcting email proofs of the text for my invitation, reception card, and printed outer envelopes, it only took a few weeks for my invitations to arrive from Davids Bridal.

I have to admit they're not really the invitations of my dreams, but those dream-invitations are letterpressed and crazy-expensive, so for the moment I'm not even thinking about them. They are exactly as I proofed the text, and the ribbon will exactly match the blue that runs through the rest of the wedding theme in the form of my sash and the bridesmaids dresses.

Overall, I'm happy with them. They fit the theme and the overall image I was aiming for, without breaking my budget to pieces. Though I wish I'd found rectangular rather than square cards, simply because of postage concerns. I may just do custom stamps, or look at international stamps since I think those would actually cover the cost of the mailings.

Though I am dreading all the assembly fun I have ahead of me...and have already started practicing my best handwriting (need to work to make the numbers match the lettering) for addressing in the future.

Now to collect actual addresses for people on our guest list.

Did anyone else have to settle on wedding invitations that they liked rather than ones they were completely in love with? It can't be that uncommon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Catering Woes

I need to just sit down and choose a catering company, hammer out contract details, get an estimate, and make a deposit.

The company I had been looking at just raised their rates from what I had previously found, and it's my own fault that I didn't schedule a phone meeting or just go ahead and book them to reserve the date before they changed to lock in the rates.

It's not like I'm looking at complicated food. Just appetizers. After all, the reception is starting at 8 PM. I just don't think that the price for an appetizer buffet should be the same as a simple buffet meal. It just seems ridiculous to equate the two.

Mostly I'm looking for a menu I can live with. The dessert buffet idea got canned because it seemed that serving massive quantities of sugar and alcohol seemed like a recipe for disaster, even though it's the closest to what I would want.

Which is essentially a massive sugar fest. Or carnival/fair food, like mini burgers, boneless barbecue chicken wings, funnel cakes, and cotton candy. To me, that sounds perfect and fun...but probably not what is actually going to happen.

Well, I just emailed the bakery/caterer who I'd looked at originally last spring and summer. Right now her prices and options seem the most reasonable, and it's really close to the reception site so the food wouldn't have to be driven through the majority of Kansas City before it reaches the guests, which is always a good option to try. We'll see how this goes.

Missing Missouri

Planning a wedding, and graduate school, and work, can take a lot out of a person. It's even harder when your support base is several hundred miles away. So I tend to go home to Missouri at least once a month.

Including this past weekend, when I was headed toward a giant snowstorm. Luckily, I planned ahead and stopped for the night at the Holiday Inn Express in Mount Vernon, IL when the weather started getting bad. They let me have a pet-friendly room so Archie and I could be comfortable, had a restaurant that delivered quickly to the room, and free internet so I could track the storm's progress.

It meant a half a day's delay in getting there, but at least I got to see my sister, Andrew, and my mom and dad and Aunt Linda. Andrew and I went to brunch with Aunt Linda on Saturday, then my parent's came up and had dinner with us. We even played beer pong in my sister's house basement (with mom and me playing with grape juice).

That trip was exactly what I needed to stay on track in my life. Which is why I make the trek so often. The hassle and the expense is worth it to me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Finally, Engagement Pictures

I just got the link to our engagement pictures in an album online, and as soon as I get the cd of the images I'll load them onto the wedding website in an album everyone can see. Or maybe when I get home I'll post the instructions for how to navigate the password protected website.

Soon you'll be able to see them, is what I'm trying to say.

And they're...okay. Andrew and I are not the most photogenic people in the world, and we took these pictures outside with snow on the ground, freezing our tails off. But I do like them, overall.

Right now I'm thinking of getting an 8"x10" to hang over the fireplace in the apartment. As soon as I get the cd, I'm going to start working on a photo album guest book of Andrew and I growing up to our engagement pics, leaving blank pages for people to sign with Sharpies. Meaning someone will have to be at the table to make sure everything doesn't get closed when wet and smudge, but I really like the idea of having a guest book that serves another purpose as well.

Something that I'll actually go and look at in the future, instead of packing into a box and forgetting somewhere.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Here's a preview picture of me in my veil and tiara, learning how hard it is to take a good picture of oneself in a tiny apartment with weird lighting conditions.

I had a very good buying experience ordering both off of ebay from a vendor called veilsbylana. I still need to leave feedback, but I'd like to go ahead and say that they arrived together in great, sturdy packaging and exactly as described.

The vendor even lowered the total shipping cost since I ordered two items rather than just the one.

An excellent seller and very easy to work with.

Now to let my veil breathe after its travels, it is currently hanging over my movie rack and slowly losing wrinkles.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


To continue the color-branding of our wedding, Andrew and I picked out invitations from David's Bridal that featured ribbons in our shade of blue, to match my sash, the bridesmaids dresses, the cake, and all the other blue stuff.

Here's an example of what our invitation looks like:
Except on ours the reception cards are crammed with our website information (where we want people to RSVP) as well as the reception information. For the non-tech-savvy I'll print everything from the website off and mail it, but I figure everyone is much more likely to not lose a website that has all the relevant information.

I'm waiting until the wedding to spring on people the orange accent color that'll be the color of all our flowers, predominantly roses. Or maybe I'll get an orange dress to wear to the rehearsal dinner, which I'll be looking for tomorrow when I go to test my wedding dress to see if it still fits. Except that it'll also be the dress that I'll wear to my friend Nicki's wedding in March, and so orange might be a bit much.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ceremony Site Freak Out

So last night I had a major freak out about our ceremony site, after actually taking the time to sit down and read the pricing requirements instead of freaking out about how much control a religious ceremony at a religious site takes control away from me.

I'm already a little lost at sea in the wedding planning, partially because we're having it on my fiance's home turf rather than in my own small town. Because my home town has one hotel, three stoplights, and way too many banks.

And we needed an airport, and hopefully more hotels and other options.

So now I have way too many options, and have no idea without Google Maps how far apart everything is in Kansas City.

But Andrew wanted to get married in the church he was raised in and that his parents were married in. With a ceremony in the denomination he wants to be a minister for and with a minister he admires...but who is always insanely busy and hard to get ahold of.

A couple weeks ago we finally got a pamphlet about the policies and procedures for having a wedding in said church. And not-really-religious but raised Catholic me thinks, "I stopped going to mass because everything was entirely too formalized. This makes me itch."

I admit it. I'm a control freak.

But last night when I picked up the pamphlet again I'd been reassured by Andrew that the minister wouldn't really oppose most of my customizing options, and so I looked at the cost. And freaked out.

We're looking at almost a grand for the ceremony, where'd I'd been expecting more of a token cost since that's they way things are in my small town.

Right after I ordered the invitations, of course, so there's no going back now (more on the invitations later). I'm still annoyed, but am coping by deciding that Andrew can handle most of the ceremony details. He shall be my emissary to the religious world.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Engagement Pictures, Slightly Delayed

Today was the last day our engagement photographer originally gave us as when our proofs would be online by. They aren't, but at least she's apologized for the delay and assured me they'll be online by the end of next week and the cd soon afterwards.

My grandma reminded me to get the stuff together to send to my hometown paper. If they ever get my subscription straightened out I might even get to see it in print.

She gave me the subscription as a Christmas present, so I can stay caught up on what's going on in my tiny hometown, including what my little brother (a junior in high school) is currently up to. So far I've gotten to see a picture of his drumline, showing them playing trash cans but in a shot that makes it looks like he's playing another guy's butt instead of his trash can.

It doesn't hurt that my grandma works for the paper, putting the ads into the weekly edition every time it comes out. Thus she knows all the breaking news, whether or not it's fit to print. She's amazing.

But hopefully I'll soon have a picture and an engagement announcement to put into the paper, for all my high school friends to hear about and my former teachers to see.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Engagement pictures...Waiting to Exhale

As we hit the end of the three week time frame our Lexington photographer gave us for having online proofs of our engagement pictures, I'm getting rather anxious.

Primarily, I want to make sure there are at least a few where it looks like we're having fun together rather than me forcing Andrew to stand outside in the cold and freeze to death.

What I want to do with them is to create a photobook to serve as a guestbook, with pages showing us growing up to the present. The problem with starting that idea is that I don't really have all that many good pictures of Andrew. He's not really a picture sort of person.

I'm trying to hold out and wait patiently for the photographer to email me, because I'm also testing for how much fun it would be for her to take informal pictures of us in our gear after the wedding, possibly even a sort of trash-the-dress session but unlikely to do permanent damage. I'm not really a roll-on-a-sandy beach sort of person, wedding gown or not.

Patience, however, is not one of my key virtues.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cake Me, Baby!

Just kidding. He shoves cake in my face and he will spend our wedding night on a couch somewhere. I think he has the same stance on the issue of cake/face smashing, though, so we should be okay.

Speaking of cake, Andrew and his mom met today with the cake lady I found online over Christmas Break. She's just set up her website and was in the process of adding a gallery when I contacted her. Honestly, I've never had someone respond as promptly and happily as I do to an email before, but she did. Wonderful.

And she answered all my questions without dithering, and added in more relevant information regarding her history and practices. I wish I could go to the tasting with Andrew and his mom, but I'm going to have a hard enough time making the drive to Missouri as much as I am this semester, and I really wanted to have a tasting and book her as soon as possible.

Cake is one of my wedding extravagances. I could really care less what the rest of the food is (but will probably be appetizer-based since it's a wedding reception later in the evening), but the cake was important. My friends Julie and Matt had absolutely divine, mystical wedding cake for their reception this past July, so I just told Andrew before he went to see if the cake this person made was equal to that.

He has just reported back that it was. I am thrilled, and thrilled that he called me about ten times while actually at the tasting to discuss ideas and plan out a summary that she'll send to me as a basis for a contract/cost estimate.

Here is my inspiration for the wedding cake:

The blue will be matched to a blue sample provided by me to match the sash of my dress and the bridesmaids' dresses, and the words will be my favorite E. E. Cummings poem, or at least the last two stanzas (first line: "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in"). White wedding cake with vanilla buttercream icing and filling...sounds heavenly.

Andrew's Groom's Cake is going to be a stack of books (The Bible, Thus Spake Zarathustra, and one other philosophy text I can't remember at the moment). Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing and filling. Maybe a little tried-and-true, but it suits him. He's already more traditional than I am anyway.

Just another example of how you can blend modernism and traditionalism if you really want to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rings for Everyday Wear

When I told my mom that these were the rings Andrew was ordering for me for everyday wear, she thought I'd lost my mind. After all, we're poor college students, and he's going to seminary after he graduates at the end of this year. We will not have money for a very long time.

But that doesn't take away my sparkly yearnings.

I just had to learn to redirect them to an affordable medium. Because this gorgeous ring set to the left is from Kohls, available only through their website. And they're cubic zirconia set in solid sterling silver.

At least, they claim it's solid sterling silver. I'll find out eventually, because I'm allergic to most of the metals they use as bases for costume jewelry. Only silver, surgical steel, gold, and titanium seem to be okay for not causing my skin to break out in a rash. Apparently my body has expensive tastes in jewelry that I didn't have an input in.

We won't be using this set for the actual wedding ceremony, though I may still have the day-of photographer take some shots of them. That place is reserved for my great-grandmother's engagement ring that my aunt had reset, but it's so delicate and special that I wouldn't want to wear it every day and risk harming it.

The engagement ring I wear is on loan from Andrew's mom. It's her original engagement ring, and I've tried to take excellent care of it. But I needed rings that would look really great, but I wouldn't feel incredibly guilty if they had to have something fixed on them, and these fit my desires.

I love princess cut stones and the channel settings are so sleek and modern. To me, the impact is more important than the cost estimate. This way I get the best of both worlds: engagement and wedding rings steeped in family history and love, and a new set to show off who I am as a person, who is much more modern than traditional.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pretty Maids, All in a Row

I'm having five bridesmaids. I know, I know, that's a lot. Especially for a smaller Midwestern wedding, but all of them are so important to me that I just had to beg until Andrew caved.

My maid of honor (MOH) is my little sister, then I have two married bridesmaids (it seems wrong to call them matrons, especially since one is getting married two weeks before me), and two unmarried. Of the non-siblings, one of each marital status will be a friend from high school and a friend from college, respectively.

From high school, I've known Liz since we were three and attending pre-preschool vacation bible school. Sar's the one who's getting married, and I've known her since third grade...and spent most of high school hanging out at her house.

From college, Aimee was my roommate and then housemate from freshman to my senior year, my birthday twin, and I was in her wedding in Fall 2006. Laura is my daughter in my sorority family chain, and even though we're very different people we're amazingly similar. We're one of the few Greek family pairs to actually form a family-like bond, and I couldn't have a better daughter.

For their dresses, I've gone with letting them select the pieces they want as separates from David's Bridal in either Tropic or Aruba (which some DB's will tell you are the same color in different fabrics and some will swear aren't even the same color--I'm part of the prior camp, so they even get to mix & match with even more pieces). All I ask is that they choose a long skirt, and if they don't want to get dyed shoes to wear white dressy ones (my sister is likely the only one going dyed because she's about 5' 11" and dyed flats present the illusion that her dress goes all the way to the floor).

They're all supposed to try to order before the end of January, so hopefully I'll be able to post a mock-up idea picture then.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Roses

To me, this picture represents the perfect wedding bouquet. Orange and pink roses, combining to play off of the lovely blue and white background of my wedding dress. And looking surprisingly good together, at least compared to what I originally thought when considering a floral color scheme.

This is the bouquet I'm asking my florist to create for me, and she's said she can and will. No fillers, no unnecessary greenery, just roses. Though to cut costs a bit the bridesmaids' bouquets will contain orange astrolomeria.

The church is pretty enough to not need extra floral ornamentation, so there will be no altar arrangements, and the reception ones will primarily feature rose petals and floating candles.

I do hope my florist understands that I was serious about following family tradition with at least a few simple, loose-rose arrangements in the hereditary beer bottles.

Yeppers, I just referred to beer bottles as wedding decorations. In fact, they are an established tradition on my dad's side, spray-painted and used in every wedding at least since my own parents' over 26 years ago. For mine, I have asked that they go from black to white, and intend to tie blue ribbon around the necks. Orange roses against the black would just be a little too dark, too Halloween-ish, and definitely too strong a reminder of my high school days (orange and black were my high school colors...even though we were the Dutchmen and not even I could invent a reason that color combination went particularly well with our mascot).

we'll go over more details later, but now at least I have a florist for my wedding day who charges what my mom considers reasonable prices. (I haven't purchased flowers nearly as much, so I still get sticker-shock.) At least now I have set ideas and a color scheme, leaving minor details to be sorted out as we get closer to the day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Suffering for our...engagement pictures

Last Friday before Andrew headed back to Missouri for the start of the semester, we took engagement pictures in the freezing cold at Keeneland Park here in Lexington. For those of you who don't know, Keeneland is the local horse racing track, and is set on some beautiful rolling hills near the airport at the edge of Lexington. Several of the early stone buildings are still preserved on the property, including a small stable and what appeared to be a few caretaker homes at one point in history, and these were where we took the majority of our pictures. The photographer was Jaclyn Johnson.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you about the cold. There was a dusting of snow on the ground, and a stiff breeze that didn't make acting relaxed and comfortable any easier. Andrew gets kudos for being a total trooper during the whole thing, even though he'll probably look like he's shivering/freezing to death in almost every photo. He was praying for location changes just so he could get back in the car with the heater blasting.

While I don't have anything to show for it yet, I should get notification of the pictures being up on the web sometime between January 18-25th. After that, I'll get a cd of the images and put them up on here for people to see. Even the ones that show how freezing cold we were.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hired Lens

After a lot of internet research, I've decided to go with Phoenix Photography to cover the wedding. I love the fact that I get access to the digital images and everyone can view our photos online and place orders themselves if they so desire. When I talked to John Phoenix on the telephone he was just so well-prepared for any of the questions I came up with and ready to volunteer more ideas and information than I had thought of.

Currently my plan is to take as many pictures as possible before the ceremony, and he suggested doing a "first meeting" location during the day after we get ready and then taking pictures there with the bridal party. Union Station flashed into my mind, just because it's a place I love to visit whenever I'm in Kansas City, one where Andrew and I have gone many times to hang out when we weren't exactly flush with cash. It's nice to think of incorporating an element of our dating relationship into the photography for our wedding.

I'll be talking with them more in the upcoming months, but it's nice to have one of the most important (to me) vendors settled already.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Say Yes to the Dress

Okay, so I'm not the biggest fan of the show by the same title, but I do think it's a cute name. The show is just more than a bit too stressful and likely to provoke doubt and envy.

Because I already have my dress. I picked it out when Andrew and my parents helped move me to Kentucky from Missouri, and Andrew, Mom, and I went to David's Bridal, which was supposed to be the first of a couple stops. But while I already had ideas that I wanted a chiffon, floaty-type dress with many layers but no beading or embroidery.

Well, the dress I found fit one category but not the other.

No embroidery or beading, not overly complicated, just simple satin a-line with a punchy blue bow that my bridesmaid dresses will match. I'm still not sold on how the petticoat makes the front look (I think it creates something of a shelf when I walk), but ordering it can wait.

At least with David's Bridal I know that if I have a problem with the dress I bought in Kentucky, I can take it to the one in Kansas City for a quick fix. Or possibly a ribbon in the right shade of blue to make everything okay.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Plan

To start out the new year right, and hopefully keep people a bit more in the loop than I've had luck doing previously, I'm starting a wedding blog. (Clue #1: This is aforementioned blog.)

For friends, family, kindhearted strangers, etc. to peruse my wedding plans as I try to wind down the next five and a half months without becoming a bridezilla or otherwise mentally snapping. Though it's not easy to plan a wedding in Kansas City while you're living in Lexington, KY and going to grad school full time and working a full assistantship. Add to the fun that you're not actually from Kansas City (your fiance is) and he's still going to school full-time in Missouri to finish his undergraduate degree.

But there are good things. Like being engaged to the right guy. And having temporary custody of our psuedo-child, Archimedes (Archie) the shih tzu. I love my job and mostly my classes, so it's a pretty good life right now.

To start off the blogging fun, I figured I could catch up to where I am in planning and post pictures of what I have so far. Let's get started, shall we?