Sunday, February 27, 2011

Worried about anxiety?

Hello all! I'm really back this time - our fabulous mini-moon is behind us, we're looking ahead to settling into life as a married couple and I cannot wait to share all of the details of our wedding weekend with you!

However, until we get our pictures back I have so much more to share with you! Projects that I managed to get done (but not in time to blog about - like our Facebook!), and other details that I'm not sure I ever actually talked about (like the decor for our ceremony).

But first I wanted to talk about one thing. Specifically, my anxiety during the weekend of our wedding. More specifically, the fact that I didn't feel the anxiety that I expected to feel.

Let me explain. I'm not normally a very anxious person in real life, but in the lead up to the wedding I was incredibly stressed out. I was worried about everything - how the weekend would go, whether everything would be in place, whether our guests would have any fun, or whether people would be annoyed that I had asked them to spend the weekend in the woods. For me, all of this culminated several weeks before the wedding when we got all of our ceremony decor organized and packed to transfer to IslandWood. Mr. EB's mom came up for the weekend to help, so between her, my mom, my aunt, Mr. EB and myself there were lots of hands to get everything done. But I couldn't relax - I was so incredibly worried and stressed about making sure that we got everything done, that eventually the stress left me crying for over two hours without being able to stop.

As I've noted in earlier posts, I haven't always channeled my stress in the most healthy ways, but this was a release that I really really needed. And I'm glad that it happened when my mom was around so that she could, uh, take certain steps to help me get through the day. In the days before the wedding I was really nervous that the anxiety would take over and I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything. On the one hand, I knew that since I was able to get through it once, I could get through it on the wedding day. But on the other hand, I didn't want to "just get through" our wedding day! I wanted to be able to live it, and enjoy it and remember it!

And I did. The day of our wedding was probably the most calm I have felt in the entire 14 months of planning (however, not the Thursday or Friday before the wedding day. I was still feeling a little stressed those days). Why? Because everything was done. There was nothing left that I could stress over. And most importantly, everyone around me took over and made sure that everything was set up, people were where they were supposed to be and I didn't have to do anything except spend the day with my girls getting ready. I kept waiting to feel stressed and anxious over what was going on, but all I felt was excitement at the step that Mr. EB and I were taking later that day.

Now, clearly everything didn't get set up by itself. I had a lot of wonderful people surrounding me that made sure to protect me from anything that went wrong (if anything did go wrong, I still have no idea!), and make the decisions about how to proceed. My mom was wonderful throughout the whole day. She calmly and efficiently had everything organized and made sure that people knew what needed to happen. My aunts took over decorating the ceremony space and my friends helped the staff at IslandWood transform the dining hall for dinner.

And probably most helpful, we had an absolutely amazingly wonderful coordinator at IslandWood. If you are at all on the fence about having a coordinator, I'm one more voice adding to the choir telling you to have one. It's SO worth it. Whether they work at your venue (like ours did) or you hire a DOC or wedding planner, a good coordinator is worth his/her weight in gold. I'll talk more about everyone at our venue later, but truly everyone at IslandWood made our wedding the amazing day that it was. 

So. I'm not saying that your day will automatically be wonderful and stress free, but what I am trying to say is that just because you're anxious now you won't automatically be anxious on your wedding day. Ultimately the best thing that everyone around me did was to help me be as prepared as possible for the day, and then take everything away from me so I didn't have to think about it at all. I actually remember very clearly at one point after lunch thinking about a detail that I wasn't sure I had talked to anyone about, finding my mom to ask her about it and her smiling and saying it was all taken care of. 

So, that's my advice: prepare everything you can, tell people what you want or need them to do in order for you to stay calm, and then let it go and focus on yourself and your soon-to-be husband/wife.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Waste

We tried really hard to be conscious about our community and environment with this wedding. No, I wouldn't call our wedding a "green wedding" as we had a lot of out of town guests fly in for the weekend, my dress was new (though I did purchase a sample instead of ordering a new one), and we purchased plenty of new candles and votive holders. But we did hold our wedding at an environmental center (and supported their mission of environmental education), the food that we served was sourced from local markets as much as possible, we rented live trees to use as our ceremony decor, and even the few flowers that we had were from Washington state tulip farmers.


But there is one area of waste that I didn't even think about being an issue until it took over our living room - packaging from gifts that have been shipped to us.


Pardon Cody's glowing eyes in the background - I tried to fix them and they ended up even scarier looking!

Seriously, the amount of boxes, paper, bubblewrap and packing peanuts that have ended up in our living room is mind boggling. We have purged our living room of boxes and packing supplies at least three times when the overflowing mountain of cardboard became too much for me to handle. And it's not like we've received a ton of gifts - our family and friends have been very generous, yes, but it's just the sheer amount of packaging that each individual gift comes wrapped in that causes the build up of materials.




I don't know the answer to this problem. I understand that from a company's perspective it's likely cheaper to throw in a bit more packing material to ensure that items don't break in transit then to have to deal with returns. But when an order of four small ramekins comes wrapped in enough bubblewrap and packing peanuts to fill a box large enough that I thought a stand mixer was inside? (I only knew it wasn't because it wasn't heavy enough.) I'm pretty sure that's overkill.





Please don't mistake this as me being ungrateful in any sense - as I said above, our friends and family have been incredibly generous and we are very aware of that. It just makes me sad when it takes us three trips out to the recycling bin because of all of the cardboard and paper that's taken over our apartment (and we don't have room to save most of it for future moves, plus we already have all of our old cardboard boxes for moving, so we don't really need any more). Yes, we're certainly recycling it, but generally we prefer to reduce and reuse as much as possible instead of sending things out to be recycled.


On the plus side, Cody had a whole lot of fun with the bubblewrap!


Have any of you dealt with this issue? Have you come up with better solutions? Is there a way to ask retailers not to use quite so much packaging?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thank you cards!

So back in December I was going to send out holiday cards for the first time with Mr. EB. You know, being engaged and all, I thought it was time.


And then the December craziness hit. With family in town. And us traveling to see family. And Christmas. And oh yeah, remember how we made our own invitations and we assembled and mailed them right after Christmas? Yeah, needless to say, holiday cards were not going to happen. But I had a coupon code for some free cards and I really wanted to use them, because c'mon, free! It was right around that time that I realized what with shower gifts, wedding presents starting to trickle in and other thank yous that I needed to send, I was going to need a whole lot of thank you cards. And that's when I've had one of my few flashes of brilliance throughout this whole wedding planning fun.


I could make thank you cards with some more of our engagement photos! So I did!




I decided to do the folded cards so that we could write a little message on the inside, plus that way we could use more photos of us! There was one photo that Kat took that I absolutely loved of the two of us at the stern of the ferry with the Seattle skyline and a perfectly captured seagull (if I didn't remember the bird, I would have sworn Kat photoshopped it in, it's too perfect!). But I'm pretty sure that both Mr. EB and I are squinting (uh, by squinting I mean I'm pretty sure my eyes are full on closed in the photo), so I didn't want to print and frame it (even though it's so pretty!). But using it on a card was perfect. The flat printing and smaller size on the card meant that you could not tell at all about the eyes, and you really focused on the Seattle skyline.






On the inside we used one of my favorite photos of the two of us (we also used this photo on one of our save the dates) and added the "Thank You" in one of the fonts that Shutterfly had in their system.


And voila! Perfect thank you cards for all of the gifts that came in before the wedding (which also meant I was able to write some of the thank yous before the wedding!). 

Monday, February 21, 2011

MRS. Eggs Benedict

I'm married!!! 

I just wanted to pop in and say hi and that holy cow what an awesome, fabulous, amazing (and exhausting!) weekend we just had! 

Don't worry, I'm not actually going to be blogging while on my mini-moon with Mr. EB (it's short enough as it is!), but I didn't want to leave you completely hanging, so I have a few posts about thank you cards and some other things that have been floating around in my head but I didn't get a chance to talk about before the wedding.

But now Mr. EB and I are off for a few days of blissful relaxation and basking in the glow of being newlyweds (and ignoring all forms of communication with the outside world!).

Love,
Mrs. Eggs Benedict

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Time

It's early. Still quiet out. I'm sitting here alone in the Guest Cottage before the day gets going. Pretty soon I'll head over and grab breakfast, we'll have our rehearsal and then start our hair and makeup. I can't believe today is here. It's been 14 months of planning, laughter, ideas being crafted into reality, and of course a few tears.


Hive, I have to thank you. I haven't been here long, but I have loved being here. You've offered me ideas I hadn't thought of, gushed over inspiration pictures with me and snapped me back into reality a couple of times. Being a part of this community is being a part of something special. And I can't thank you enough for that.


Mr. EB, today you and I are pledging to spend the rest of our lives together. I know that not everyday can be as special as today will be, but every day I will love you and promise to do everything I can to make our relationship the best it can be. You have been there for me through the ups and downs of life, work and planning our wedding. I can't wait to say the words that will make you my husband. I love you so much!


I'm going to sit here a little bit longer and enjoy the solitude while I have it. All too soon I know it will get loud and crazy. See you all on the other side when I get back!


Love,
Miss Eggs Benedict

Friday, February 18, 2011

One More Day!

All of our projects are finished.




We transported the pile of wedding stuff from my parents' kitchen to IslandWood.




The wedding wine has been bottled, labeled and sealed with wax, ready to be enjoyed at the wedding.




Tonight we welcome all of our out of town guests with good food, drink and open arms.




Tomorrow we say I do.


It's time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Back!

Had to take a time out from wedding talk for just a minute - 




Survivor's back!


I've posted about my love of this show before, but after seeing the first episode of the latest season, I think this might end up being my favorite ever (the first All Star season is my current favorite). I was super skeptical about the whole Boston Rob/Russell hook for this season, but I think it's gonna work. And I can't lie, I do love Boston Rob (even though I do think the number of times he's played for a million dollars on CBS is a little ridiculous). He's an arrogant a**hole but apparently I dig that.


So excited to see how this season plays out!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Week!

Hey all, I know it's been quiet around here lately, but I have a great excuse - we're getting married in ONE WEEK!!!!


I'm so, so excited and ready for next weekend to be here. Yes, we have some more things we need to take care of (like finishing up my gifts for my girls, labeling the bottles of wine and sealing their tops with wax, binding the Facebooks... yeah we're going to be busy the next couple of days!), but I'm feeling really good about where we're at and how long it will take to finish everything up. 


However, I reserve the right to amend that statement later on in the week!


I've got several more posts going up this week on Weddingbee, and I'm going to try to schedule a few to post after the wedding so it won't be totally dark over here. I just wanted to check in to say hi and let you know how things are over here. 


One more week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No longer allowed to look

And this is why Mr. EB is no longer letting me look at any type of weather forecast for our wedding day.


Are you freaking kidding me with this after we've had so many days of gorgeous blue sky in the past couple of weeks (or at the very least, cloudy days but no rain??)?



Why yes, that does say "Snow changing to rain" for our wedding day. And scattered flurries for the day before. This is not the first time (or the last time) that I will be praying to whatever god wants to listen that the weather forecast is wrong 10 days out.


Don't worry, I'm breathing deeply and completely aware that nothing I do will affect the weather at all (I'm not that self involved, I swear). No matter what, I know it will be fine. 


It will be fine.

I'm just going to go do some yoga and repeat that to myself a few more times.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Girls Day Out

A couple of weekends ago my mom and I had one of those days that have been all to rare during the past year: a girls day where we spent the whole day together with only minimal wedding planning (and no fighting! Only laughing!).


I have to say, it was kind of wonderful. And makes me look forward to more days like that after the wedding is over!


We started the day with brunch on the island. After an omelette for Mom and eggs benedict for me (what, I couldn't resist! It was my first eggs benedict since becoming Miss Eggs Benedict!), we did have to talk a little bit about the wedding. But we kept it light and just went over a couple of checklists of last minute things we need to do. You know, like the seating arrangements and all of the paper products that I had to finish creating and printing! But then we got to put all of that aside and set off for the book store which was the main purpose of our girls day.


See, a girl I went to high school with wrote a book. And not just any book - she and her best-selling author mother wrote a book about how the two of them planned Elizabeth's wedding. 




They were having a reading/Q&A session at the local bookstore, and it came at such the perfect time for me. We're just a couple of weeks until the wedding, and hearing these stories that were so similar to how Mom and I have planned this wedding was so refreshing (and eye opening - it's nice to know that other great mother-daughter relationships had a rough time navigating some of the ups and downs of wedding planning!).


Part of the reason why I loved the book was because I could relate to so many of the stories they tell about their planning time. From trying to decide what side of the Puget Sound the wedding should be on, to buying the dress, to picking the bridal party, I'm pretty sure Mom and I had all of the same, uh, heated discussions.


If anyone is looking for a lighthearted read about someone else's planning, I highly recommend this book - although if you're at the beginning of the planning stages, you might not quite believe some of the things that you'll soon be going through!


After the reading we had a little bit more time to enjoy coffee before I had to take the ferry back to Seattle. I love that being up here means I get to see my parents more - not for any specific purpose, but just to spend time with them. 


Of course, then I had to get back into get-everything-on-my-to-do-list-finished mode so that I have time to spend with everyone who is coming into town this week! Yesterday was my goal date for having everything finished. I may or may not have met it... Did having a drop-dead date work for anyone else?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Finished Invites!

As promised, here are our invitations!


I designed the invitation to fit into a standard #10 envelope because I love the look of longer, narrower invites (and I was following tip #3 of Mrs. Cupcake's 12 Steps to Creating DIY Wedding Invitations - definitely check out her tips if you're thinking of creating your own invitations!). I initially thought that we wouldn't have any inserts, but we ended up with a Weekend Activities card to give people an overview of when things were happening and I decided that I wanted to include an RSVP card. Then it was all held together with a blue belly band.

I promise it looks a hundred times better without the blurry and blacked out information!

We used Poison Ivory cover weight paper and Sapphire Blue Stardream cover weight paper for the main invitation. We printed the text directly onto the ivory paper using my dad's printer (Miss Eggs Benedict's handy tip #1 - did you know that you can switch the paper type in a printer to cardstock? I had NO idea you could do that. I would have saved myself so much grief over getting smudgy invitations if I had known that at the beginning instead of figuring it out halfway through!). I also bought some of the Sapphire Blue paper in text weight in order to use for the belly band. I kind of wish that we had gone with ribbon for the belly band, but oh well, it's too late now!


I wanted to make sure that we had an insert that laid out the weekend plans (since just about everyone on our guest list is from out of town we're inviting everyone to all of the wedding activities). Plus we could include our wedding website yet again so that people could find all of the information they could possibly want about our wedding. And if that failed, I figured they'd e-mail us with more questions (which they have!).


The RSVP card is still my favorite part of our invitation suite. Big huge shout out to hive member CorgiTales for this one. I'm pretty sure I saw similar reply cards before I saw her invites, but her RSVP card definitely stands out as my inspiration (also her whole invitation suite is amazing)! I have to admit, I was a teensy bit nervous about how some of my older relatives and people who don't know us as well would react to receiving a reply card like this. Luckily, the response was fantastic. Everyone I talked to (even my most conservative relatives) absolutely loved the reply card and a lot of people sent back some really funny replies. Yay for everyone understanding my quirky sense of humor!!

The whole package all wrapped up! We secured the belly band with glue dots.

The whole shebang! We used Scriptina for the titles and our names and Lilith for the rest of the information. Both fonts I downloaded for free personal use at Dafont. We used the stamp I ordered from Etsy for the return address on the main envelopes, and our address on the reply envelopes. 

And the pine cone stamp is the perfect finishing touch on the envelopes!

There you have it - our whole invitation suite! I'm really happy with how they turned out, and we've gotten a great response from all of our family and friends. So to all of those out there who are thinking about DIY-ing your invites - I say go for it! (So long as you actually have the time and energy to deal with all of the steps DIY-ing invites requires!).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Assembling the Invitations

I can only laugh at how our invitations evolved. When Mr. EB and I first got engaged, my only thoughts about the invitations were that we would of course have them made by someone else because there was no way that I could pull off creating pretty invites for our wedding. I didn't think I was creative enough or talented enough to do it, so I figured I'd just leave it to someone else. Plus, I wanted letterpressed invites, and I don't own (or have access to) a press.


But then, the reality of our budget started making itself known, loud and clear, and all of those beautiful letterpressed invitations that I had swooned over flew straight back to the inspiration board. I only got quotes from a couple of places but there was absolutely no way that letterpress was going to be a part of our budget. Bummer. But once I took a hard look at all of the inspiration photos that I gathered over the months of our engagement, I realized that most of the invites that I preferred were text only and not that intricate. Hmm. Maybe I could do this. 




I ended up going back and forth on several different designs until I finally made myself sit down and finish the design that I was happiest with. I sent off several different iterations to my mom and Mr. EB, and luckily their favorite was the one I liked best, too. Success! Of course, then we actually had to print them. And assemble them. And address them. And stamp them.


Luckily for me, we decided to do all of that right around Christmas when my sister would be home so she could help, too. Yay for wedding elves!


Mr. EB helped by taking pictures of the process.

Between the printing, cutting, spraying, trimming and drying we had a lot to do, but luckily we got it all done!


All of the pieces! Weekend activities card, RSVP card and our reply envelopes.

After we let the invites dry overnight we assembled, stuffed and my mom addressed them.

Cody guards the finished invites right before I take them to the post office!

And next time I'll show you what all of the pieces look like together!
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