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?