Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What if...

A couple of my bridesmaids and I went to David's bridal last Friday to try on wedding and bridesmaid dresses. I should mention however, that I don't plan on purchasing from DB if I can help it, and I already have my dress picked out, and I know where I am buying it from. But when else, besides during her engagement, does a woman get to try on huge expensive poufy dresses? I've always been a fan of dress up, (along with my cousin and Maid of Honor) so that's what this trip was to us, a giant white dress up session!

And I must say, going into it with that attitude, I was actually quite surprised with how good of service I received, how much freedom I was allowed, and how many dresses were actually something I'd consider, at least if I was having a different style of wedding. Two in particular would be very me if I were having an indoor formal wedding. I've heard about a lot of weddings in museums, so I wasn't bent set of an outdoor wedding, perhaps I'd get married at the UO's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

And I would wear this dress.

Or maybe I am feeling traditional and want to be married in a church, how about the First Christian Chruch in Eugene? Then I would wear this dress.

However, I'm not having either of those types of weddings, I am planning to get married at the Long Tom Grange (though I still have to book it).

We will be barefoot, and it will be beautiful and natural! I will wear this dress only in white or ivory, from Heart and Hands and it will be perfectly us.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I try hard not to buy into the Wedding Industrial Complex. We are doing a lot of DIY stuff. I will more then likely not have a poufy princessy gown, but a simple pretty white dress. We are buying as much as we can locally and a focus on environmental impact and celebrating our commitment with our friends and family are our priorities.

But sometimes you get caught up in things. I WANT to loose 25 pounds before my wedding. I want things to match. We must have gorgeous center pieces. And of course when you think about it, those things don't actually matter. If the green on the invitations is different then the green on the bride's sash, no one will complain.

As a reminder to how ridiculous the American Bridal Culture can be, please enjoy.

Of course the scary part is that WETV is real.*shudder* I'm so glad I don't watch television.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Simplifying things

This past week, Luke and I have made two decisions that are definite 'nos' for many brides. We've decided to forgo the official color palette, opting instead for a general "I like green" feel and just making choices that look good with what we already have. That means that the bridesmaids can choose more or less any dress they want that is not floor length (I don't want my bridesmaids having longer dresses then mine, and mine probably won't be floor length). And the gents can choose whatever color of vest they want, providing nothing clashes. Since the guys will be renting vests much closer to the date the the ladies will be purchasing dresses, we can make sure we don't have any awful color combos coming down the aisle together. The other thing this makes totally easier is choosing flowers. Instead of sticking to a color scheme for the flowers (which I plan to purchase at farmers markets and grocery stores day of, and rearrange myself), I can just buy some pretty flowers and call it good.

The other thing we have decided to leave out is guest favors. I have a small collection of bubble containers, mint tins etc. from a few friends' weddings. I've kept them because we're 'supposed' to, but I don't DO anything with them. Short of making edibles for guests, I can't come up with a favor that is useful, I like and won't break the bank. And edibles seem excessive because we're already hosting a dinner and desert. So it seems like an easy way to trim a few costs is to not do favors at all.

What do you guys think about cutting some traditional must haves like this? Do you think my guests will miss favors?

Monday, December 1, 2008

How would you like to earn extra income at home, in your free time?

A pitch I've heard many times... There are hundreds, probably thousands of 'work from home' companies out there. Recently I've particularly come in contact with the home party/consultant type. I ran into Avon ladies at church growing up. My room mate's friend was a Mary Kay lady my sophomore year of college. I got roped into going to a party lite party by some girls at work. An old friend/mentor approached me about getting into the Arbonne business, and another friend invited me to her CAbi party. Recently I attended a SPA Girl party of another friend. The products are always superior, some times inexpensive, some times not. What is the draw of the party based sales? It all started with Tupperware. Which upon reading up on is quite an interesting tale. A man invented it, and couldn't sell it, until a woman names Brownie Wise came along and figured out that by throwing parties, women would buy it more! Article Here.

But Avon is an even older business. It was founded in 1886, also by a man. He was actually selling books, and gave perfume away as a gimmick. But women became more interested in the perfume then the books! So he switched his market...
Personally I've never really liked Avon too much. It's always seemed aimed at the suburbanite middle aged woman, with tacky jewelry and mediocre perfume. I've never found their products to be of very high quality. More of a door to door and catalog company, rather then party, it still falls into the genre I think.

Mary Kay has always seemed to me to be the primary competitor to Avon. A little more sophisticated, and little 'richer' perhaps. And we can't forget the pink Cadillac! They are a much newer company, started in 1968, and more controversial too, with accusations of Pyramid schemes, and conflicts with PETA and other animal rights groups.

Arbonne is a company I am a consultant for (or was, I haven't paid this year, being a consultant is more like paying discount fee...). Though my activity is strictly limited to myself and my close friends. When I was considering becoming a cosmetologist, I thought it would be a nice compliment for my salon, to offer a line of products. Especially one I could get behind. Arbonne is big about not doing any real advertising to speak of. Their business is spread exclusively through word of mouth. They also are very hypoallergenic (although some people on the interwebz review sites claim otherwise). And they don't do any animal testing or animal additives. The company was started (also by a man) in 1975, it's a Swiss company.

SPA Girl Parties is something I was just introduced too. They seem like a decent company, with decent products, though nothing terribly special. The party I went to was fun and included a mini-pedicure. But the woman running our party lacked confidence (I think she was pretty new to it) so it's hard to say how my impression could have been different from a different consultant.

Moving away from the cosmetic/skin care area Partylite is a candle company I've become a big fan of. Though their candles are paraffin, not soy (I prefer soy). The parties are always fun, and the candles are a decent price. It's the candle holders and other display things that are super pricey (and where the company makes is money I'm sure). At the last partylite party I went to the consultant was totally on me trying to convince me that I wanted to get into the business, she said my personality was perfect for it (much like Vicki, my friend who does Arbonne was saying, only trying to convince me to do Arbonne)

CAbi is clothing, really nice high end clothing. And damn, their are few ways to convince me to spend a lot of money better then at one of these parties. The clothes are amazing, the prices are big, but not quite so spendy as to be more then I can convince myself to spend. The parties are always fab, who doesn't love trying on a bunch of new clothes?

Passion Parties and other 'adult' themed parties sound really fun. I've never been to one so I can't say much more about it, but I think it would be an exciting thing to go to, though I don't know that I could host one myself. I don't know if my friends would come to something like that...

You're probably wondering what this has to do with a wedding? Skin care and cosmetics have plenty to do with weddings, I know people who have spent big bucks to make sure that their skin was clear and zit free for their wedding, in fact we might do something like that for my Mr. if we can find something that works. I've also heard suggestions of Passion parties, or the like as bachelorette parties. Not something I would choose but hey? How about using one of these venues as a way to earn extra money to save for said wedding? I don't think I'll have the time. Part of my reluctance to become a full fledged money making consultant is most of my friends are poorer then I am, they can't afford this stuff!

What other consultant/party based businesses are out there? What are your favorites? Any one planning on integrating something like this into their wedding planning?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Palette Decisions

For some time now, before I even got engaged (one of the few things I'd thought about), I knew I wanted green as one of my wedding colors. A nice, dusty, sage green. Not Forrest or Kelly. However, choosing complementary tones to go with it has been more challenging then I originally anticipated.

I found a wonderful site, Colour Lovers, that allows you to use Hex code to create a pretty much infinite array of color combination. You can also source your palettes from photos or just about any image on the net, so if you really want the color of that flower in the photo, or the exact tone of the bay of that tropical island, it will match the tones more or less perfectly.

I had been playing with things, and not taking anything too terribly seriously, but now I am in the process of trying to make mock ups of invitations. Which means that I have to make a decision!!

Luke and I originally decided on the green, with pink and brown (and white/ivory of course) accents, for the simple reason that pink flowers are abundant and easy to find. But my dad, who is a very fashionable, artistic man with an eye for color, suggested we consider maroon or burgundy. So of course I went back to Colour Lovers and made yet another palette. So without further ado, here are a few of the things I've been looking at. Any opinions? Mix and match?

Color by COLOURlovers
This palette is based on the colors from David's Bridal's bridesmaids dresses.
Color by COLOURlovers
This is a little more intense with the pigment
Color by COLOURlovers
My first go using Maroon instead of pink. Though whoever 'created' this maroon called it tropical fuchsia.
Color by COLOURlovers
A second try, more of a Burgundy perhaps?

Which do you think looks best for a July wedding, amongst fir trees?
Coming soon, invitations and location news!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


As of yet I haven't thought to much about jewelry for the wedding. My friend Hillary, who works at a bead shop has offered to make jewelry for me at cost, and I hadn't thought more about it except that I think I want pearls.

I love my engagement ring.

Simple and a bit unusual. The stone is nearly flush in the setting.
We planned on getting bands, but I hadn't really thought about it until I came across this site.

They provide ecologically and socially responsible jewelry using recycled metals, they are a Fair Trade company, are opposed to diamond mining and in general focus on business that is good for the whole world. So in addition to being an awesome company, they have these lovely, simple band, for only $200 (compared to the $800 bands we looked at when I got my engagement ring).

Definitely a good decision, economically and socially!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Flowers, alternatives?

Wedding flowers totally kill me. I have the hardest time understanding why they are so expensive. I mean nearly $200 for a bridal bouquet? It is definitely an aspect that's price is inflated because of the societal insistence and emphasis on them. I've looked into alternatives a little bit. But alternatives either don't speak to me very much, or are just as expensive. Ribbon,Crochet,Glass,Buttons.

So I was pretty excited when I came across this idea over on Cup Of Joe. Buying supermarket bouquets, but then taking them apart and putting them back together in a more aesthetic and careful manner. I love it. Now I might opt for farmers market, rather then supermarket, but either way, I should be able to do all the flowers for less then $100!

I should have know the original article is from Real Simple, pretty much my new favorite magazine.

A wedding (and life) of our very own.

I am one almost one month out from my engagement, and 621 days from our July 31, 2010 wedding. As the details come crashing down, and since the actual date is so far out, I need a place to organize my thoughts, without burdening all my friends with endless wedding blathering. So I created this blog in which to do it.

We're on a small budget, less the $10,000, though nothing is set in stone. We have a huge guest list (over 200 right now). We're DIY type of people, and since we have so much time to plan, we hope to do a lot of stuff ourselves. Well, here goes.