Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wedding Dresses

Yeah, I said dresses. Plural. And no, I'm not getting another white dress - I still love my dress and that is one decision that I'm not going to be going back on. What I am talking about are all the other dresses that I apparently need.

See, it's only recently dawned on me that with all the different events that are happening around our wedding, I'm going to need things to wear. Probably different things at that. And shopping is not my strong suit. I mean, sure, I like to shop (um, sometimes at least), but there are other things that we need to save for, and me buying multiple dresses for showers and bachelorette parties and other shindigs is not really something that's high on the priority list.

But I've also not been very happy with the clothes in my closet. I feel like the few dresses I have are either much too casual, much too dressy, or don't really fit right anymore (thanks to all the crap I've been eating during the move - must restart the get fit plan stat). And with my first wedding event coming up on Saturday, I needed to find something to wear! Luckily, I found a dress! Actually I have two dresses - pretty sure it'll be a game time decision as to which one I go for. But the best part is that I didn't have to pay for either dress. Why not? Because I shopped in my best friend's closet. Yeah, she's pretty awesome. She very generously opened her amazing wardrobe to me and offered up anything I wanted. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I really think I have the best friends and family. They've been pretty fabulous about offering time, support, shoulders to cry on, really anything I could ask for (and most often, before I even could ask!). I'm so looking forward to having them all in one place in February.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm back!

Or at the very least, I will be soon once I take care of all the pressing details that are still undone (like, uh, forwarding mail, cleaning the old apartment and continuing to unpack the current one). But we have internet and I have lots more things I want to share with you! And oh yeah, I have the "Stock the Cellar" shower coming up on Saturday!

I want the internets back!

Ok, so are you getting tired of posts with no pictures (or just one random, non-centered one?). Yeah me too. Freaking internet companies that will remain nameless (but rhymes with smomsmast) didn't have any availability for over a week. Why can't we just pick up the equipment ourselves and plug it in? Yeah, I have no idea why not either. Lame.


But! The internet guy is supposed to come today! Which means I get access to my pictures again. Yay!! As much as I love my phone, it's getting a bit old trying to write out blog posts on it (not to mention the pitiful ability to edit!). But assuming the guy actually shows up I've got some fun posts coming up!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Babies

Can I talk about somehing that might be a bit controversial?


Babies.


Now this isn't a post about whether or not to have kids at your wedding. Kids are invited to our wedding because I love them and I would hate for anyone not to be able to come if they couldn't find a sitter. Plus we're getting married at a camp for kids! How can we not invite them? Of course, some people might choose to have a night out and not bring their kids and that's fine, too. Really, I just want to throw a great party and welcome all those who can be there with us.


But this post is about babies and my friends who are all starting to have them. More specifically, how I have recently found out that three of my friends are pregnant. That's awesome and I'm so, so excited for them (and can't wait to meet and play with all the little ones!).


Except that one friend is due the end of January and two are due in March. And our wedding is smack in between. All three would have to travel so I'm pretty sure there's no way they can come, what with a brand new baby or being 8 months pregnant. And honestly? That bums me out a little.


Who knows if they'd have been able to come in the first place, but I just hate that their happy news makes me the teeniest bit sad (and yes, I am aware that this is totally selfish of me).


I know that these kinds of things are going to keep popping up, and of course not everyone will be able to come to our wedding, but I thought I wasn't going to be faced with these issues until the rsvps started rolling in. Instead, I just need to focus on everyone who will be there to celebrate with us, while remembering all those who will be celebrating with us in spirit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Compromise - you don't always get what you want

... But you might just find you get what you need.


It's really a never ending process isn't it? It's not like you just get to a point in your relationship where you each have it all figured out and know exactly what the other person wants, which of course would be exactly what you want.


Instead, it's a process that you keep refining and fine tuning. And it never, ever ends.



This weekend we moved. And I feel like it's been a weekend (and longer) of compromise. How are we going to pack this? Do we want to keep that? Where should this [insert generic object here] go? And of course, knowing when to hand someone a beer and tell them to sit and watch the football game for a few minutes so they don't decide that throwing everything out is an easier solution than unpacking it and finding it a home.


After moving together three times now, B and I are definitely starting to figure out each others' quirks and what we need to compromise on to make things go more smoothly. For example, I hate packing and moving and just about everything that goes along with it. B knows this about me and so he has to help me keep going once we get into the doldrums of moving - specifically helping me focus on discrete tasks instead of letting me get overwhelmed by the big picture.


As hard as learning to compromise is, I know that we're learning important things about each other that we'll need later on. I mean - I would much rather us figure out some of these quirks now instead of down the road when, for example, we're trying to figure out how we want to raise our kids.


But just because deep down I know this is good for us and we're learning more about each other and blah blah blah, it does not make me enjoy moving (and now unpacking) anymore. Time to ice my back and unpack some more boxes...
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

We're home

B took this as we were waiting for my dad to meet us a few days ago.  He never fails to make me smile, and I'm pretty sure that shows just about every time he points his camera in my direction.  


We're unpacking boxes today and watching the Seahawks - now officially our hometown football team (after many, many years of me having adopted them even though I wasn't living anywhere close to Seattle).  I'm so happy to finally be moved and getting settled in here after so many months of waiting to make this move!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paperweight

Yesterday was freaking awesome.*

Right up until last night when I managed to get a nasty virus on my laptop which has reduced it to being a very ugly looking paperweight which we can't fix at the moment because we need to burn something onto a CD and, oh yeah we don't have any of those right now because they're all freaking packed.

Because we're moving. Today. Shoot me now.

Needless to say, last night kinda sucked. Mainly because I have a hard time appropriately dealing with these situations when I'm already stressed. Which I am, completely and utterly overwhelmed by said stress, due to the aforementioned move, residual apartment hunting frustration, and oh yeah, the little thing that's been hanging over my head called finding a job.

Sigh. I would like for it to be Sunday night already please.

*Yes, I know I said I had a great day yesterday and then just bitched about my crappy night. I should be able to talk about that soon, but just know that it's for our wedding and if it works out it's going to be a freaking awesome addition to our celebration!
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Little House in the Woods

Have I told you guys about one of my favorite parts of having our wedding at IslandWood?  No?  Well, let me set the scene.

See, while all of our guests are sleeping in the different lodges, like this one:

There are four lodges like this on the property, and we're hoping that enough people want to stay on the property so that we'll fill them all.

B and I will be staying here:


That's right, our very own cottage.


IslandWood has a guest cottage on the property that they reserve for the bride and groom when they do weekend weddings.  Along with being the place that we'll sleep, it'll be a place B and I can come when we need a little bit of alone time, away from the craziness of the weekend.  B and I have been planning on spending the night before our wedding here, and of course the night of our wedding as well.  Of course, if one of my best friends has her way, I won't be spending the night with B or even seeing him before our wedding.  Luckily I'm the one who sets the schedule! 

By the way - how cute are those two chairs on either side of the door?  Love!

B and I will definitely be seeing each other on the morning of our wedding because we're having our rehearsal then (there's no time or space to do it the night before due to the big welcome dinner on Friday night), and I really don't want to have to try to spend the day hiding from him.  He's my best friend and I want to spend our wedding day with him, ya know?  Plus we've been planning all along to have a first look, and if we're going to do that, I'm not about to not see him earlier in the day.  As for spending Friday night together?  Well, we've been living together for over a year, so the jig's kind of up on that one.  And more importantly, I know myself.  I know I'm going to be a ball of nerves the night before we get married, and he's the one who knows how to calm me down and remind me to relax and enjoy what's happening.  Especially since it will likely be a fairly overwhelming day for me, what with everyone coming in from out of town and all of the last minute details to take care of.  I don't want to add to that the stress of trying to stay away from B for the sake of some tradition that I don't buy into anyway (some say that this tradition started as a way to ensure that the groom didn't see his bride prematurely, get cold feet and bolt before the ceremony. Not exactly something that I'm concerned about or want to be reminded of on my wedding day by trying to stay away from B).

So that's where we get to stay during our weekend in the woods.  It's such a cute cabin and will be a great little hideaway.  The question that I have now is where I want to get ready... because as cute as that cabin is, it is not at all big enough for me and all my bridesmaids.  But I think we might have come up with a solution for that, I just have to check on whether we can use that space or not.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I love packages

Guess what showed up at my parent's house the other day?

Pashminas for my girls!

I ordered a few different colors from a seller on eBay to see if I liked the color and quality of the scarves.  I'm actually pretty pleased with them, especially given their price (less than $10 a scarf!).  The colors are also great - particularly the blue and the red.  The green, unfortunately, is a bit too dark I think, given that these are going to be worn by my girls over black dresses.  So, I'm thinking about changing it up yet again.  

I think I'm going to keep the red for my sister (and MOH), and then instead of having blue and green for my other girls, just try to find different shades of blue for everyone else.  Unfortunately this seller only has one or two other shades of blue, so I'm going to have to look elsewhere to complete this project.  But I think the different shades of blue (especially if I can continue to find fairly bright shades) will look fabulous against the green trees that we'll have as a backdrop and over their black dresses.  And the red for my sister will give her just enough to pop out and be special!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4 Minutes in the Morning

Mr. EB sent me the link to this article awhile ago.  Brad Feld and his wife, Amy, have a routine in which they "try to - fully clothed - spend four minutes together every morning 100% focused on each other."

Once both of them are up in the morning, they spend "four minutes" together, without computers, books, kids, other people.  Whether it ends up being four or fifteen minutes, it's the act of taking time out of the morning to be with each other.  Just time spent focusing on each other, reconnecting with each other and in so doing, keeping their relationship with each other as one of their highest priorities.  Due to their busy travel schedules, they often do this by phone or Skype.  But they make time to do it every morning.

Mr. EB and I haven't exactly figured out our morning routines - they've been interrupted and hijacked and messed with by all manner of things since we moved in together.  And when we do end up awake at the same time in the morning before heading off to work or a run or wherever we might be going, we're too often focused on our laptops or a book instead of each other.  


I love what Brad and Amy are doing.  In looking at some of the different relationships of friends and family around me, I know how important communication and focusing on your partner really is.  And as we're getting ready for our wedding and having fun with all the planning, I'm incredibly thankful that Mr. EB is as focused on our marriage and keeping our relationship strong as I am.  He's excited about the wedding of course, but knowing that he wants to do everything he can to make our marriage a strong and lasting one makes me love him that much more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The rest of my accessories

I've talked a bit about some of my wedding day accessories - my veil and the earrings that my aunt is letting me borrow.  As for the rest of my jewelry, well, that was actually my first official wedding purchase!

Awhile back I was searching through Etsy (I love that site - I still can't believe it was founded by a 20-something guy!), and I came across Sweet Findings 4 You's shop.  I really love her pieces and I knew exactly which ones I wanted.  I purchased this necklace and bracelet set, and I love pulling them out when I think about what I'll be wearing on our wedding day!




I love the combination of the pearls with the flower detail.  And even better - I was looking at pictures of my cousin's wedding (she wore the same earrings that I'll be borrowing), and I think the earrings should work out really well.  And if I end up mixing metals, I'm pretty sure no one will notice (or care!). 

Now I just need to remember to take off my ever-present watch (I've had the same watch since high school - it's functionally great, but aesthetically not something I want in pictures), especially as I'm pretty sure other people will keep track of the time just fine for me that day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping it real

"Keep reminding me that things are going to be ok, ok?"

That's what I asked B last night, and as always, he gave me a hug and reassured me that yes, things would be ok.

I'm so glad to have a partner through all of this.  I can't wait until February to make it all legal like!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My something blue

I love the colored shoe trend (yes, that is one trend I'm totally on board with!).  Mainly because it's one trend that won't cost me more money - if anything, I'll be saving money because I can wear these again unlike a pair of white or ivory heels, which let's face it, would only be worn on my wedding day.


Sources found here and here

But with so many shoes out there - what to pick?  I'm pretty set on blue shoes (they're my something blue!).  Plus it's one of our main wedding colors, and it's my favorite color.  Besides - after seeing pictures like this, how can you not want blue shoes?



I'm looking for a darker blue for my shoes, and so far, these are my top contenders:



I really love all three of these for different reasons, and given the easy-to-order and easy-to-return feature of Zappos and endless.com, I think I might just order them and see which one feels better.  I also need to keep in mind that my dress is just about the perfect length already with a couple inch heel, so the higher heel might be too much with the dress.  Plus, there's my comfort to keep in mind... as much as I love heels, I do not do well at wearing them all night.  Which means I really need to keep an eye out for cute flats as well...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our Rings

I have a confession to make. And I sometimes wonder when I say this out loud if it means I have to turn in my bride card somewhere. Are you ready? Here it is.

I don't want a diamond wedding band. In fact, I'm not sure how much I even like diamonds sometimes.

Now don't get me wrong, I like some diamonds. I love the three stones I own - my engagement ring from Mr. EB and a pair of diamond studs that my parents gave me when I turned 21. But honestly? I've never wanted a diamond wedding band. Just a plain metal wedding band. One reason is because I prefer simpler jewelry in general. But the bigger reason is because Mr. EB and I want to have matching metal bands.


 

See, growing up, I saw what my parents wore and assumed that all wedding bands were yellow gold with no other embellishments beyond engraving on the inside. Of course I learned pretty quickly that that's not the case, but I still love the classic elegant look that a simple band gives off. And I really like that our bands will be the same (well his will be a bit wider). I know it's not for everyone, and there are so many gorgeous diamond bands out there to choose from, but this is what feels right for us.

So that's my big confession. Mr. EB and I are getting matching plain wedding bands, and I have no idea what we'll be engraving on the inside. I like the idea of surprising each other, but I also like the idea of engraving the same thing on each ring. How did you decide what (if anything) to engrave on the inside of your wedding bands?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Color Television

"Being married is like having a color television set.  You never want to go back to black and white."

This video made me smile, cry and hope that B and I will be talking about our life this way many, many years in the future.



Thanks to Geek in Heels who posted this the other day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my birthday - I'm not quite 30 (that one happens next year), but my 20s are nearly over.  Where'd they go?  What did I do?  Oh that's right, I spent of them in school...

I'm celebrating with friends tonight after a long day of apartment hunting, so this will be short - but birthdays always make me think about everything that I've got planned for the coming year.  Moving, getting married, finding a new job, figuring out what I want to do next... it's certainly going to be interesting to see where I am when I turn 30 next year!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why a winter wedding?

I haven't really talked about why we decided to get married in February.  It's actually pretty simple - both of us knew right away that we didn't want to get married in the summer.  Mr. EB hates the heat - his perfect days are those where there's some cloud cover, and it's 75 degrees out with a bit of a breeze.  I prefer it a bit warmer than that, but would hate to end up with a 95 degree wedding day (which can definitely happen in the summer in the NW - of course you can also just as easily end up with 65 degrees and raining.  It really is a total crapshoot what you'll end up with).  Also, no one I knew had gotten married in the winter, and I loved the idea of doing something a bit different.  Plus, growing up I always told my mom that I was going to have a winter wedding.  She didn't really believe me until we were sitting down with the venue coordinator trying to pick a date.


As for February, that choice came because of when the venue had available dates.  We got engaged in December of 2009 but we didn't see IslandWood until March, 2010.  By that time we had ruled out November since one of Mr. EB's cousins got married at the beginning of that month.  We decided we didn't want to do anything close to Thanksgiving, and then the whole month of December gets taken up with family and holiday obligations.  Then it's January and NFL playoffs (yes, that really was a factor in determining our date).  So that moved us to February.  I think IslandWood was available two weekends.  A quick check determined that the Super Bowl was on one of those weekends, so our wedding was set for the other!  Unfortunately, that Saturday also happens to be two of my bridesmaids' birthday.  The day after is another good friend's birthday, and the day after that is yet another friend's birthday.  I'm pretty sure there are some other birthdays that I'm blanking on right now, but needless to say, the weekend that worked the best for us was a busy birthday weekend!  I actually asked my two girls to make sure that they were ok with it.  They both said of course (one is determined not to ever grow older, so she's happy to be distracted on her birthday!), so we finally had our date!


I have to say, we have gotten a little bit of flak for picking our wedding day in the middle of February.  Most people are asking why on earth we would want to get married in the NW in the middle of the rainy season.  Well - my only answer to that is that it's what we wanted to do!  And more importantly, we're all expecting that it will be pouring the entire weekend, so if it does anything else we'll all be super excited!  Unlike if we planned a summer wedding where we planned to have the gorgeous NW summer and had to deal with showers instead.  And really?  Winter weddings just make me happy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Wedding Facebook (no, not that kind)

I've been trying to think of more ways to bring the community feeling that Mr. EB and I want for our wedding to all of our guests. I thought about creating some sort of guestlist tree or timeline to show guests how they know or are related to Mr. EB or myself, or what random connections people might have to each other that could make for good conversation starters. I was thinking about making something similar to these:




Source (I LOVE the one that Mrs. Dolphin made!)

But I was a little nervous about taking this on because of my complete lack of design programs besides Word (which doesn't exactly count), and my not so impressive design skills. But then! I had dinner the other night with some great friends, and one of them had the most brilliant idea. They had been at another friend's wedding earlier in the summer and the bride and groom had made a facebook for their wedding. Now, I'm not talking about Mark Zuckerburg's website, but rather the types of books that we got at the beginning of college that had everyone's picture and name on it. And that were printed on paper so that you could actually flip through them (I'd show you pictures of my old college facebooks, but I recently threw them all out in an attempt to purge my life).

So that's my new plan - to make a Wedding Facebook for all of our guests to get to know each other (they did "5 Fun Facts" about each person - not certain we'll necessarily do that, but I really like the idea of having some information about each person beyond just a picture and a name). I think we'll have these available for people to grab whenever they end up checking into their rooms at IslandWood.  I'm super excited about this project - now I just have to figure out the best way to create and print them...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting There

I've mentioned before that change is rough for me - whether starting a new exercise routine, getting a new job, or moving and trying to find a new place to live. I attempt to handle it gracefully and sometimes I can succeed for a few hours, days, weeks, but then I hit a wall. I always hit a wall at some point.

I'm hitting the wall. Apartment hunting has been so much more stressful and time consuming than I ever thought possible. And we still haven't found a place. And we need to start packing up our old place. And we still need to get everything else done that needs to happen before we can move cities. And as excited as I am about all of our wedding plans and projects that I want to work on, I can't do that until we find a place to live.

But moving means we're coming back home. And I can't wait until we're here for good.

Today I just hit a wall.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

I hate trends

But not for the reason you may think. I hate when things become trendy because then it means they become expensive! Case in point - cupcakes. I love cupcakes. A few years ago as I was watching my friends get married and wondering what I might do someday for my own wedding, I thought cupcakes would be awesome. Cute, easy, no cutting fee, what could go wrong?  Oh right, everyone else thought they'd be great too! And now they're all over the place, which means that bakeries can charge out the wazoo for these little guys.  So, no cupcakes. I'll just keep making them myself when I need a fix.

So. What does that leave us for the cake department? Well, there's always, you know - cake. Which I would happily devour. I love cake. Love. It. However, know something else I don't like? Yeah, how much fondant and fancy decorations on said cake cost. (I'm really not that cheap despite all evidence to the contrary, and I know that there are some fabulous bakers out there and I love what they do, I just have a really hard time with some of those prices for something that is supposed to end up in my belly. I mean, yeah, I'll pay for a fantastic dinner out now and then, but somehow that's different. No, I can't explain how, but I'll work on it). Ahem. Anyway. Moving on. These are some examples of cakes that I like (and if you can't already tell with me, they're all more on the simple and classic end - that's just how I roll):




But - what if we don't do a tiered cake? What if we do a cake buffet? And yes, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that's also a trend, and I know it is, but as far as I can tell, this one isn't quite as big as cupcakes, and hopefully that also means it's not quite as expensive. Obviously I haven't done extensive research yet.  But I will.  Oh boy, I can't wait to do the research that finding our cake baker will entail!

But back to the cake buffet.  One of my good friends did a cake buffet at her wedding.  And it was awesome. And it was actually a really good way of being able to easily have a dessert that was dairy, wheat, gluten (and taste? Ha, just kidding) free. Which would definitely be a good thing for me as I have several friends who have special food issues, and if possible I would like to accommodate them so that they can eat cake, too. 

So is it ok to do a not-quite-overdone trend? 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Confession

I have not bought a single wedding planning book.  I've wandered the aisles of Powells and Barnes and Noble, pulling books off the shelves, wondering if I should get one, but always putting it back.



B and I did receive Wedding Planning for Dummies from my parents as a Christmas present last year (which was great as it was just a few weeks after we'd gotten engaged so I wanted to read anything and everything!).  But other than that, I just haven't been able to buy a wedding planning book myself.

Why?  I think it's because of the plethora of inspiration that I've found out in wedding-blog land.  My first introduction to wedding blogs was Weddingbee, and then Dana with Broke Ass Bride, and of course there's 2000 Dollar Wedding, A Practical Wedding and The Bowie Bride (not to mention all the style p*rn that can be found at Style Me Pretty, Project Wedding, Snippet and Ink, and so on and so forth).  There is so much amazing information out there on the interwebs that it never seemed necessary to buy a book.  This is also perhaps why I've never purchased a bridal magazine.  That's right.  Not one.  (I do have a plethora of magazines in my possession thanks to all of my awesome friends who have gotten married before me, but I have never purchased one myself).

People always look at me a little bit strangely when I mention that I haven't bought any wedding books or magazines.  Especially when they find out about this blog... I guess they think that because I like to write about my wedding I should be buying what everyone else says about weddings?  I dunno.  As I said though, books and magazines just didn't seem like something that I needed to spend money on when I could find inspiration on the web and channel my meager funds into actual projects for the wedding rather than the infinite inspiration magazines I could purchase (I think there was also a little bit of self-awareness on my part, too, as I'm pretty sure if I let myself buy even one book or magazine it would have been all over and I would have bought them all).



But.  I'm pretty sure that I will be purchasing at least one book before we get married.  I've heard some really great things about "The Wedding Book" by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine, and especially since B and I are planning on writing our own ceremony, I think it will be really helpful to have several different sources to look at to determine what we want to include in our ceremony.  Any other books or ceremony writing sources that I should take a look at?

Friday, September 10, 2010

They're saving the date! (At least they better...)

Nothing like the realization when you're only 6 months out from the wedding day and that if you want to send out save the dates you need to send them like RIGHT NOW or else really what's the point because all of your guests will be getting the invitation soon enough anyway? And of course, while we got these babies done and sent out to most of our guest list, there were still some addresses that we didn't have which means that not everyone on our guest list actually received one. Sigh. Hopefully we'll have their addresses by the time the invitations go out. But I do want to share our STDs, and I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this already got one. If not, hey look, here they are!  Now save the date!

I decided that we should use a postcard for two reasons. No, really it was just one.  Postcards are cheaper than magnets, and postage would be way cheaper for mailing postcards then to figure out how I wanted to package the magnet and mail it. And this way, people can use all of their other STD magnets to hold up ours on their fridge! Really, it's a win-win here.

The other reason that I liked the idea of postcards was that I wanted to use two designs. Kat from Persimmon Images did such a fantastic job on our engagement photos that I really wanted to use more than one photo. Also, with our guest list there are lots of people who know me and Mr. EB (obviously), so we could forgo last names and be a little less formal on those. But there are also some people who are invited because they are our parents' friends or they're a little farther out on the family food chain, and if they got a post card with just our first names they might be wondering just whose wedding they were actually invited to.

I really wanted something simple and that would set the mood for the weekend. So I decided to use the sunflare shot for the less formal STD that went to friends and close family. We also tried to make it clear on this one that it would be a weekend shindig and that if they could spend it with us, we would love to have them there the whole time. Also, these are very much copied from inspired by Mrs. Cheese's STDs, as I really loved the feel of her postcards.


We chose this second picture for the more formal STDs because it showed both of our faces. As for the wording on the back - again, simplicity was the name of the game. We're getting married y'all, come celebrate!  Ok, not quite like that, but I would have written that if I could have gotten away with it!

 

Apologies for the deleted information, but as you can probably tell by the spacing, the second STD was also the one where we included our last names.  

We ordered the postcards from Vistaprint and I was pretty happy with how they turned out (especially given that they were having a 50% off postcards sale!). The quality isn't the nicest that I've ever seen, but they ended up exactly how I wanted them, which is really all I could ask for. However, I was a little bit bummed when I saw my parents' after I had mailed it, because I totally didn't think to account for postmarks along the top of the card. So, I think most people's postcards ended up a bit more wonky than I'd intended. Oh well. I'm pretty sure everyone was able to read the important stuff. And if not, they could go to the website and get the details there.  

It was really great to hear from family and friends how much they liked them - my first wedding project that all of our guests were going to see and it was a success! Yay!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Little black dress

I'm still loving the idea of having all of my girls in black dresses and the guys in charcoal suits.  We're working on the details (like ties and pocket squares for the guys, and the pops of color that will accent the girls' black dresses), but I realized I needed to give them some visual representations of what I had envisioned (rather than just, hey guys, go buy a black dress! Which, let's face it, is pretty much all I had told them before sending them some suggestions).

I found all of these dresses at Nordstrom, but I also really like a lot of the J. Crew options, as well as some at Black House White Market and Macys.


My main goal is for all of my girls to be comfortable, feel beautiful and be happy standing by my side when Mr. EB and I get married.  As for adding color - well, I still like the idea of colorful shoes.  But whether that pans out or not, part of my gift to my girls will be pashminas (uh, guys, if you're reading this, I guess I just spoiled that part... but I've got a couple of other tricks up my sleeves, don't worry!).  Since we're getting married in winter and most of the dresses that I like don't have sleeves I really wanted to give them something that will help keep them warm.  And be pretty!  Adding color to the ceremony and reception just makes for a nice bonus.



I've been trying to decide if I wanted to give some of the girls blue and some girls green, or keep them all in one color. And then I thought about putting my sister (who is my maid-of-honor) in the burgundy one (yes, burgundy isn't exactly one of our colors, but I'm more into having a general color palette that I use for inspiration rather than sticking precisely to two colors). But then I made my best friend a co-maid-of-honor, and I'm not sure about having both of them with burgundy shawls. So, they might just all end up in blue. Luckily, these were not very expensive and I got several extra so I can play with what I want to do right up until I give them to my girls.

Anyway - what do you think?  I'm starting to think that if I go with this I might end up nixing the colorful shoe idea in favor of black or silver shoes so as to not go overboard... but I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on that one quite yet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I could use lessons...

My mom just sent me the link to this video and all I could think was, this dog follows her partner better than I do (it's really sad just how bad I am at following B whenever we dance).  Maybe lessons actually are in order for the big day after all? 

Inspiration becoming reality

Ikea.  That wonderfully huge place filled with all kinds of ideas for whatever you can think of.  Or at least that's how it felt when we went there this past weekend.  See, this is the photo that I keep coming back to as an idea for our tables:



I love the different heights of the jars, the different sized candles, but mostly I love that it's solid candles.  I've always loved candlelight, and I think that it will be gorgeous to crowd the middle of the tables with candles and let that glow be the main decor for the tables during dinner.  We're planning on using lots of mason jars to get this effect, but we also knew that we wanted to vary the height of the candle holders, and I wasn't positive that we would get the look I was going for if we only used mason jars.  Luckily, Ikea had just what we were looking for.  We found several different types of shorter glasses that we can use with tea lights, and some that will work great for slightly taller votives.  We then bought a whole bunch of candles, which should be just about all of the candles that we need, though if we decide we need more, we can always go back!  But in calculating how many candles we want on each table and the number of tables we're guessing we will have, I think we have enough to create the look that I'm going for.


We filled our shopping cart full of goodies which are now sitting packed up until we break them out for the big day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Setting the mood

What a day! Yesterday B, my mom, my aunt, my cousin and I spent the day in Seattle trying to work through ideas that had been percolating in my head but that I hadn't yet been able to picture how they might come together.  And of course, my aunt came up with a ton of other ideas that I hadn't even thought of yet!

Specifically - I had no idea how we should decorate the ceremony space.  See, the Great Hall at IslandWood is beautiful in its simplicity - there is a main stage which will be where we will say our vows and the focal point of the ceremony.  But I had no idea what we were going to do with all that space on the stage.  My only thought was that I wanted candles lining the front of the stage (in different size vases and hurricanes).  My aunt had the fantastic idea of using live trees as our background on the stage in various colors of green and different textures as a way to bring in a bit of the woods into the inside of our venue and appease my desire not to have lots of cut flower arrangements.  I love this idea - we're going to talk to a local nursery to see if we can rent the trees for the weekend so that we don't have to incur the full cost of purchasing live trees (especially since my parents don't really have room in their yard to plant several more trees after we're done with them).  


We're thinking of using evergreens as the base and then working forward with other non-deciduous trees (deciduous does refer to those trees that shed their leaves in the winter right?  Yeah, we don't want those because we still want some color, not just bare branches back there!).  We'll layer the different trees and bushes that we're able to get (my aunt will likely pick these out a couple of weeks ahead of time when we're able to see what's available and what will work well for the space we have).  I took this picture at the nursery that we visited yesterday mainly as a way to envision how layering the trees will look (no, we won't be doing a triangular shape like this, nor will we be using these plants, it's more the layering effect with different heights that I like).


I really love this look!  Of course, a lot still depends on whether or not we'll be able to get trees at a reasonable price, but I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to pull this off.

After our trip to the nursery we stopped by Home Depot to pick up a lot of paint chips play with to figure out which shades of blue and green we'll be using, and what other colors we might want to mix in, like ivory or red (well, probably more maroon or something like that... as I've said, it's a constantly evolving color scheme right now!)


And then.  Then we went to Ikea.  But I'll share the results of our Ikea trip tomorrow.  Needless to say - I love what we found and I can't wait to see it all in action!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Figuring out the look

I'm spending this cloudy and cold Labor Day with B, my mom, my aunt and my cousin as we work on figuring out the ceremony and reception decorations.  Yes, you can all feel a little bit bad for B, but hey, he's the one who wanted to come.  He's been pretty awesome about being involved in every decision because hey, it's his wedding too! (or maybe he just wants Swedish meatballs from Ikea?  Not sure :) ).



I have a lot of ideas for what I want for the overall look and feel of the wedding, but I know that my mom, aunt and cousin are going to be instrumental in helping B and I figure out exactly what we can realistically do to create that feeling that I've been envisioning.  And pretty soon you'll get to see more concrete ideas as it all comes together.  Can't wait!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

I've mentioned it before, but I really wanted to say again just how much I appreciate all of my family and friends as we're going through this wedding planning process.  After I posted about my mason jar candle idea I got several e-mails from friends offering tips from how they used mason jars in their wedding to where I might be able to pick up some more jars on the cheap in the Seattle area (thanks Em and Marie!  Those girls will do anything with me, including waiting 5 hours for the Pioneer Woman to sign our cookbooks!). 


And then there was the e-mail from my aunt and godmother that showed up the other day as I was still trying to figure out my "something borrowed."  She offered to let me borrow the earrings that she wore on her wedding day.  What's even more special about this offer is that these earrings originally belonged to my great-grandmother.  My middle name is her name, so I love that part of her will be there on my wedding day.  I haven't seen the earrings yet, but after my aunt described them I think they will work perfectly with the necklace and bracelet that I've already purchased (there might be some mixing of metals going on as the earrings are gold and my necklace has some silver in it, but I don't think anyone will notice and there's no way I'm turning down an offer like this!).  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to wear for earrings, so this makes her offer even more perfect. And now I have two incredibly special "borrowed" and "old" items that I'll be wearing when I walk down the aisle. 

I know how lucky I am that so many people are willing and happy to provide help and support to us during this time.  I just need to remember to always let them know how much I appreciate them!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Would you light my candle?

February in the NW means that it gets dark pretty early.  According to this site, sunset on our wedding day will occur at 5:39pm.  But, with clouds and our venue situated in the middle of a forest, it's likely to be darker much earlier than that.  In any event, the darkness outdoors will provide a great backdrop to all of the candles that I want to have lit during the ceremony and on the tables for the reception.  

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but instead of doing fresh flower centerpieces, we're going with candles. Lots and lots of candles if I have my way!



Candles in mason jars, tealights, votives, whatever we can get our hands on that we can light, that's what I want.  I love the different size jars that the picture above features.  



I'm not sure if we're going to have room in the dining hall to crowd the tables with quite so many candles (it's all going to depend on how many people can actually come), but I love the idea of having separate tables that are just crowded with candles like this to add more candlelight to the room (and make it so the overhead lights can be softer, which I think will give a more intimate feeling to dinner).  However, since I'm not positive that will work we might be able to do something similar back in the Great Hall where we'll move to after dinner?  Except that I'm pretty sure dancing + tables full of candles are probably not my smartest idea.



However many candles we ultimately end up with, I can't wait to see how the room lights up with their glow!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dancing My Shoes Off

We have our band and I'm so excited!  I really wasn't sure what we were going to do if my friend moved away and they weren't going to be able to play.  I love going to see them whenever they're playing in Seattle, and they always do a great job at getting people out on the dance floor.  That and they have a nice mix of songs to include current popular music as well as all those songs that you just want to belt out at the top of your lungs while dancing with all of your friends (and your new husband!).

As I was listening to Pandora the other day, Sweet Caroline came on the station and reminded me of some of my favorite songs to dance to at weddings, and I can't wait until we're dancing to these at our wedding.  I have no idea how many of these Mr. EB will actually be on the dance floor for - he dances to keep me happy, not because he likes it - but my plan is to rock the dance floor as long as my feet hold out.

Here are just a few of the songs that I love to rock out to:

Sweet Caroline

Sweet Home Alabama

Build Me Up Buttercup

You Shook Me All Night Long

Sweet Child O' Mine

And of course, the song that should be played at all weddings, I don't even care what anyone else thinks about it - Shout

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I love my friends!

This girl is awesome. After B and I got engaged, I think her first question after congratulating us was, "Can I throw you a bridal shower?" Um, yes please!  What's especially great about her offer is that it means I can celebrate with a lot of my friends who wouldn't be able to make it to a shower in Seattle. And this way my mom can come down and meet more of my Portland friends before the wedding. Yay!
 
And the even better part about this shower? Marie is planning on making it a wine themed "Stock the Cellar" shower! B and I love wine (as do a lot of our friends) so I'm really excited to spend a couple of hours in the company of good friends and good wine (and cheese!  Yum!)



I don't know any other details beyond the theme (which, seriously, can you tell how excited I am about it??), but I can't wait until it happens and I can share pictures!  

I have to say, the most amazing part about planning our wedding so far has been the love and support from all of our family and friends.  We've gotten so many offers of help from people, whether to throw a fantastic party like this for me, or to help set up the as-yet-to-be-decided-upon decorations for our reception.  Seriously, I'm kind of blown away with the love that I've been feeling (yes that's sappy, I know. You can deal).  I'm trying my best to hold on to all of those good feelings so that I can remember them during the future stressful times that I know will arise.
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