Monday, December 28, 2009

"A dress has always been my strongest suit "

As soon as I've gotten everyones sizes in I will be placing the order for the bridesmaids dresses. I have 8 bridesmaids and two junior bridesmaids. Although this has made it a little more difficult to plan, I wouldn't change my bridal party for the world because they are all so so important to me. Look for a blog post someday soon-ish about them and why they are so amazing. We ordered the tuxes a long time ago.
Here's what the dresses for the bridesmaids look like:

I haven't quite decided between the green and the blue.
The junior bridesmaids will be wearing whatever color I don't choose for the bridesmaids in dresses I want to have made. I want them to look like Dakota Fanning's dress in "The Secret Life of Bees." Unfortunately, she wears this dress in a funeral scene. Don't hold it against the dress. Also, try to overlook the poor picture quality. It's taken me forever to find a picture.

The guys will be wearing traditional morning suits. I'm glad I can get away with that, since it actually is a daytime wedding. I can't find a picture of the actual suit but it looks kinda like this one...the difference being that none of our groomsmen look like 1990's catalog models.

That's all folks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"What good is cake, You have but never eat?"

Skyler and I spent several hours over the weekend persusing the cake galleries at Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot. It's funny, for as much as I love weddings, and as much as I watch the Food Network, and as much as I might just MIGHT leave Skyler for Duff from Ace of Cakes... the wedding cake has never been an important element to me. Imagine my surprise when I realized how obsessed and picky Skyler was going to be about picking a cake. He really really cares. He has opinions on all sorts of things. He doesn't know the names of the things on which he has opinions...but they are there. Here is my real-cake-terms interpretation:

  • He hates monograms
  • He likes it when there are tiers that are both square and round 
  • He likes quilting
  • He likes the look of fondant and he hates the taste of buttercream
  • He really has no concept of what our actual color scheme is
  • He doesn't like "Mad Hatter" cakes...except for when he does
Below is a mosaic of the ones we picked out. Most of them really only have elements that we like. None of them are perfect. What do you guys think we should ask the bakers for?

Monday, November 23, 2009

From here on in I shoot without a script

How important is a wedding video? I really think I want one, a professional one, but I can't see us affording one. Videographers cost a lot more than I expected. There are these people at a company called "I Do Films" Click on the link and see the amazing movies they make with a vintage 8mm camera. The problem? If I booked them we would be eating peanut butter and jelly at the reception and my dress would be from Walmart.
Maybe we could buy our own 8mm on Ebay and find a couple people with normal digital video cameras and I could edit something decent myself? Or maybe I just need to keep looking for someone affordable.

On a related note, why does every wedding sample video out there have the worst soundtrack ever? Is it a requirement of videography school to have horrible taste in music?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Look, ma'am, an invitation, Here, ma'am, delivered by hand.

I’m getting ready to send out the save the date cards and trying to gather up addresses. It’s actually a difficult process, but I am just trying to remind myself that after I do this I will have the Christmas card list for the rest of our lives…or at least the foundation for it.

The save the dates are so cute and I really can’t wait to post a picture of them here.

Somewhat related to the invitation theme of this post: my friend Ali and I have been trying to think of something she can design for me to use as a stamp for the wedding stationary/paper goods. I decided I didn’t want a typical monogram and that so many things about the wedding will be traditional I wanted at least one element that was fantastical and different and maybe a little bit modern. The trouble is, we can’t think of anything. I really have no idea how to artistically represent our relationship. I think it should have something to do with water or rivers. I want it to be about equality and partnership and sharing burdens. I want it to involve our favorite things. And I want it to be beautiful and as far from tacky as possible.
Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We know we belong to the land! And the land we belong to is grand!

Well, the move to Iowa is, in all theory, complete. Everything is at least in our new house. We don’t have anything unpacked yet, and still no sublease in Missouri, but…it’s progress.
This blog, however, is not about our crazy lives. It’s about our crazy wedding! I haven’t done much for wedding planning lately, but I have been doing a lot of thinking.
Shortly after we got engaged I purchased a book called “The Green Bride Guide.” It, as you could probably guess from the title, is all about having an eco-friendly, sustainable nuptial celebration. If you read the list a couple posts ago, you will have noticed that “sustainable” is on our list of things we want our wedding to be.  I’m not going to spend time explaining why we feel this is important, but I am going to talk a little bit about how we plan to execute this.
First, let me say that our wedding, just like our lives, will not be perfectly green, or (hopefully) even look like what most people would imagine as an “eco” wedding.

The truth is, woodsy d├ęcor and paper dresses are not what it is all about. Instead, we are choosing to stand up to the wedding industry, choose our priorities, and be careful with our purchases.  Here’s what I mean.

Standing up to the wedding industry: No, thank you…I do not need individualized matchbooks that no one will ever use. I also do not require 99% of the things sold in The Oriental Trading Company wedding addition. And the things there I do need (ok, want) I can probably find a better alternative for. No. We will not sign up for the all inclusive wedding package that includes a Swan shaped Ice Sculpture and heart shaped confetti (ok…that refusal has a LITTLE bit more to do with taste than being earth friendly).

Choosing our Priorities: What do we care about most? The truth is that bridal magazines and websites like theknot are trying to sell you stuff. Period. Now, don’t get me wrong. I use the websites. I read the magazines. I just keep in mind that nothing on my wedding day is mandatory except for us, our love, and a marriage license. Everything past that is personal choice. There are some things we just don’t want/care about. There are some things we aren’t willing to compromise on. I want amazing, artistic photography. So we spent a little more and went all out with the Photos. On the other hand, I don’t think I need elaborate bouquets made of artificially grown, imported, pesticide soaked flowers. That just doesn’t say “Romance” to me.

Being Careful with Purchases: This is simple. We are doing what we can DIY. We are buying things organic or local when we can. We are buying things used (yes…used). We are buying things that can easily be sold or used for a different purpose after the wedding. My centerpieces are a wonderful example. We’re going to be doing an arrangement of teacups and antique books. The teacups will have a single peony or hydrangea in them. I have been collecting them for months on the cheap and continue to do so. When the wedding is over I plan to keep most of the books (books come into our house…but they never leave…) and selling most of the teacups on eBay, keeping the ones I really love.  The centerpieces will express our personalities and show off things we love and at the same time they will be totally eco-friendly.

The best part about having a sustainable wedding is that if you do it the way we’re doing it, it also becomes an affordable wedding. And that’s an awesome thing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You are in...Iowa.

Just a quick note to explain the lack of blogging. Skyler and I are moving to Des Moines for a new job for me. I have lots more wedding details to will just be a few weeks before they make it anywhere near the inter-webs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Oh they say if you marry in June"

Since I didn't start this blog when we first got engaged I wanted to cover all the things I have done for the planning process since February of this year. It's not as much as I hoped to have done, but I'm not TOO far behind.
This is hard to get started...what DO I have done? Well we came up with a date, first off. We chose June 12th 2010. June because I have always wanted to be a June bride. Probably because I watched too many musicals as a child. The 12th because that is our anniversary already and Skyler won't have to learn a new day, just a new month. Finally, 2010, because I wasn't going to wait an extra year just to not get married on an election year.
After we decided on a date, we found both the venues. The ceremony is going to be at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Columbia, MO. I had thought for most of my life that I would be getting married at the church I grew up in, but that just seemed not all too practical and selfish on my part. My parents no longer live in my hometown and neither do I. Many of our guests are coming from that area, but many more will be from Missouri and would have to travel a very long way to get to Wayzata, MN. The church in Columbia is very lovely, we've gone to their services a couple of times, including Easter this past year. It is on the National Register of Historic places and the sanctuary has all these lovely stained glass windows and the cross is made from a glass mosaic. Very pretty. This is it:

We also booked a location for the reception. The Tiger Hotel is only a few blocks walk from the church and it is exactly the sort of place I have always imagined my reception in. It fits our goals for the wedding perfectly. It's no longer actually a hotel. After its heyday in the 1920s and 30s it fell into disrepair, and was even used as a retirement home for a while. Recently a company bought it and started remodeling it. I believe their eventual goal is to have some actual hotel rooms as well as lofts and office space, but right now they only have the first couple floors done. We will be using the gorgeous mezzanine and ballroom that have been fully restored and are so classy and wonderful and I just love them. It was also pretty surprisingly reasonable, as far as price is concerned, although I wonder if I will still feel that way after I meet with the caterer in January. This is a pic of the Tiger.

We have formulated our guest list and have started to gather addresses for it. This was a really hard task and there are still people that might not get an invite that I would really like to have there. It totally sucks.
We've booked our photographers, the Talbees of Avia Photography. They are a young married couple that do great work. I was waffling a lot on photographers and had sent out a number of different inquiries. Then, I got an email from Avia explaining that they were raising their prices so that they would be able to focus on fewer weddings per year and create a more personal experience. Since they had already made a quote to me (and the other people they sent the email to), they would honor their old prices if we booked within a month of getting the email.  When I looked over the new prices I was terrified, I knew we would never be able to afford them. My terror made me realize how badly I wanted them as my photographers and after Skyler and I talked it over we decided to book them. I am very happy with this decision, I think our pictures are going to be lovely. We are FINALLY getting engagement photos done when we return to Missouri and when that is done, I will post some here.

We have designed the save the dates and they are sooooo cute. I'm not going to post the picture here yet, I want it to be a surprise when people receive it, but I'll put it up after they are sent. 
I have also made a bunch of purchases. We have our cake topper, our cake cutting set, table number holders, some votive candle holders, place cards and some of the books and teacups I will need for the awesome and unique centerpieces I'm designing. My big find happened when I wandered into a Michael's to see in person the invitation suite I had been eying on their website. I was going back and forth a lot on whether to DIY the invites or spend a ridiculous sum and have them professionally done. Well when I saw that the invitations I loved were on clearance at Michael's I decided right then and there to go the DIY route! After dragging Skyler to three different stores around the area and sending my mom to a store near her we now have all the invitations, response cards and thank you cards I will need for less than we will spend on stamps. A lot less.
The last thing we have done is that we have booked the rentals for the groomsmen tuxes and I have almost come to a decision about bridesmaid dresses.I am hoping sometime in November or December some of my girls, my mom, Skyler's mom and I can get together to try on the dresses and also try on dresses for me.

Next up: I share all the DIY projects I have in the hopper.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Let's have an old fashioned wedding"

Shortly after we got engaged, I asked Skyler to make a list of the words that would describe his perfect wedding. He wasn't really all that thrilled about the idea, but I pouted and he did it. I had made my list years ago and I have been adding to it periodically over time. Yes, I am one of "those girls" who has been planning my wedding since I was old enough to stand underneath my mother's lace curtains and pretend they were a veil. What follows is the list that we made together:

  • Vintage
  • Formal
  • Ceremony Focused and Faith Filled
  • Full of Friends and Family
  • Entertaining
  • Sustainable
  • Classy
  • Big yet affordable
  • Jubilant
  • Nostalgic, Post-War era
  • Spring, Bright, Daytime
  • Light, Airy
  • Simple, yet elegant
  • Dark Blue, Moss Green, Various Shades of Pink
  • Traditional
  • Personal
  • Socially conscious
  • Timeless
  • Romantic
  • A Celebration
So there you have it. The rest of this blog will be all about the two of us figuring how to fit all that into one spectacular wedding day.