Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To Blog or Not To Blog...

I applied awhile back to be a 'Bridal Bud' for the BridalBuds website. It's a bridal community. Think WeddingBee, I thought it was sort of independent and smallish. They turned me down because my wedding was more then a year away, so awhile back I applied again. This time I was accepted, but now I'm not sure I want to do it.

First of all, they're less small then I thought. Seems that they are run by a company that is associated in some way with Martha Steward, facebook, iPhone and WeddingWire. So definitely part of the whole WiC thing...

Also, you guys know, I've not been updating like a good blogger should. I would need to write 2-3 entries a week. But then, I don't just get to post them myself, I submit them to their editors, and hope for the best. I've never been a fan of censorship, but on the other hand, it might not be that way. If I were running a website like that, I'd want to see why my bloggers were publishing too.

The third big hurdle is I have to fax in my signed agreement form. I don't have a fax machine. I'm not even sure where I'd go to fax something....

So, any opinions?

Second Reception, in the works!

Over the Holiday weekend we talked with both of our families some about the wedding. Luke's mom especially had a bunch of ideas to share with us.

We've been dealing with this issues of the guest list. I may have mentioned before that my super power is that I know everyone. On top of that we both have large families, and we see our wedding as the excuse to throw a big party (something we love to do anyways!).

This has resulted in a long guest list, minimum of 300. Now we know that not all of these people will come, whats the rule of thumb? Two thirds of the folks who you invite will come? But Zanne, Luke's mom, came up with a great idea! There are a lot of people (who have large families) that are friends of Luke's from his church up in Corvallis. They are people who perhaps were a large part of Luke's life as a child, but are less so now. Many of them have more of a relationship with his parents, then with him.

So instead of inviting many of those church folk, his parents have offered to host a receptions especially for the people from their church after we return from our honeymoon. That way we can still celebrate with them, but not invite them to the wedding. This is a great compromise because I know Luke was really struggling choosing who to invite to the wedding from the church and who not it. It's not a large church, which means that everyone knows each other well, but it's big enough to be one of the largest groups of people on our list.

I'm so relieved to have a solution to help us pare down that list. I mean, I'm glad to be having a large wedding, but seeing all those names is a little overwhelming, and I know we wouldn't be able to chat with each of them individually!

Bonus? I get to wear my wedding dress again!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wedding is about marriage and what you do with it

I don't want to be one of those couples that sits when we're old wishing we'd done things differently when we were young. Up was an adorable movie, but I somehow doubt I'll get my house to fly up and away to South America when I'm old, a widow and lonely.

Do it now. That's partially why we're insisting on going to Europe for our honeymoon, despite that fact that it may or may not be the most financially sound decision, but it's what we're doing and damnit, we're going to love every minute of it.

Meg at A Practical Wedding pointed me towards a blogger names Lauren who made a post about living without your partner some day. I think she really hit the nail on the head in a discussion with her husband about their finances: Lauren posted this about planning a budget with her new husband:

We also set a savings goal that would make us both feel comfortable with any emergencies that came up (after buying a house and paying for a wedding in one year, our savings is severely crippled.) We figured out how long it would take to reach that goal, and then Jeff said "So, should we not travel until we reach our goal?" My response was "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Buying a fridge- sure, we can wait on that. But traveling, exploring, experiencing new things together- non-negotiable. I don't care HOW little money is in our bank account.

So here is to traveling, exploring and experiencing new things with my new husband!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two for Tea, Alone!

Now, I wouldn't spend $35 on a cake topper, in fact I don't even know if we will have a cake topper. But this is adorable. From WeddingCollectibles.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inspiration Board

I'm not a graphics type person. I don't even own software that COULD do graphics, if I had the skills. So I haven't really bothered with an inspiration board, however I just came across this nifty tool that allows you to upload your own pictures to use in an inspiration board, it's fairly basic, but I was able to put together ideas

The board can be found here

Feel free to make you own!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane...

Recently I have shifted my planning focus from wedding to Honeymoon!

Luke and I have decided we want to travel in Europe for (most) of the month of August following our July 31st wedding. In an effort to get out of his hair for an hour while he was writing a paper last week I went by our local library and picked up a ton of guidebooks. The first one I read was Rough Guide's First Time Europe. I LOVED it. There is some issue with this book as it's and older edition, printed in 2003, the year of my LAST European tour. Some stuff is out of date, especially in regards to the internet, but it's a great resource none-the less. They seem to have a newer edition from 2007, but I think it's written by a different person.

I've been to Europe before, but it was part of a choral tour. We had a very strict schedule and all travel and accommodations (and most of our sightseeing) was arranged ahead of time for us. I was also only 18. So this feels like my first trip to Europe, or at least, my first trip I'm planning for Europe.

We will visit Britain, France and Italy (we only have from the 2nd of August until about the 23rd), and we'd like to balance our time between the three countries. We're doing this the cheap way, so a lot of hostels, the old backpacking backpack, cooking our own food as much as possible, with a few deviations so it still feels like a honeymoon! After finishing the First Time Europe book, I've realized that there are three major purchases that are necessary before next summer.

1) A backpack. Last time I was in Europe I had a suitcase, which is a great suitcase, but we were in tour buses that dropped us off mere feet from our 4 or 5 star hotel. Not happening this time, we'll be walking/busing/train-ing from place to place. Apparently they don't really make external frame bags any longer? We went to R.E.I., and I got fitted, this is the bag that seemed to suit my needs the most. It's currently on sale, but there is a used gear event next weekend that we want to check out.

2) A good pair of walking shoes (and sandles?). I don't have a good pair of tennis shoes right now. Just a simple fact. Definitely going to want those. I also need to decide if I want to invest in a pair of Chakos or Tevas or some other active wear sandal rather rely on flip flops. I tend to be very comfortable in flip flops, especially my favorite Reefs, but I anticipate that we'll be doing a lot of walking. Can anyone recommend a type of shoe I should look into? I appreciate any advice that you have on this account since there are
SO MANY options!

3) A camera. In my over-exuberance at a recent trip to the beach my beloved little camera fell out of my pocket and into the ocean. It did not recover. I'm making due with my day to day photo needs by using an old digital that a friend gave me. It is not a very nice camera, and it requires AA batteries, something I'd like to avoid. I clearly need a better ( and smaller?) camera for this vacation as last time I went to Europe I didn't own a digital camera and ended up taking hardly any pictures, well, I took a lot of pictures, but not nearly enough and many of the images of monuments or art exhibits didn't turn out as well as I'd like. This is another area where I'd love some advice. I had a little fujifilm camera that I loved before it went swimming, but it's zoom wasn't as powerful as I may have liked. It had a lot of modes that I really appreciated including a museum mode that had no sounds or flash, a must for a trip to Europe! I've considered simply purchasing the same camera again, but I'm open to other suggestions too!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lady in Red... (not)

Yesterday we bought my wedding dress, or I should say my mother did (she insisted).

So much for my big plan, right? Well here's how it went.

I went to Sephora to get a make-up trial at 12:30. After some run around and a sort of rude and exasperated sales lady who didn't understand what I was asking for, I finally got hooked up with the manager, who had a lady do some gold/brown smokey eyes for me. She used Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin, Urban Decay Half Baked, Twice Baked and Jinx (a blue) eyeshadows, and Smashbox Cream Liner in Midnight Brown, topped with Smashbox Bionic Mascara. I did buy the primer, it worked pretty amazingly as far as keeping my shadow on, not letting it crease, and giving a base so that the shadow didn't fade into my skin. As for the make up (pictured above) at first I thought it was too heavy, but it grew on me. I think she took the dark shadow up too high on my eyes, but over all I liked it.

We finished up there around 1:30 and headed over to David's Bridal. I was hoping I could kinda sneak in and do my own thing, I didn't want the hoopla that bridal consultants tend to give, and I didn't want the pressure to buy. When my cousin Sonja and I went to David's for her dress a few years ago the woman who worked with us/her was very pushy to her and made her really uncomfortable. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let me just 'do my own thing'. In fact apparently we're not even allowed to move the dresses our selves. They made us wait for an appointment, the soonest availability was an hour away. They also informed me that the dress that I had my heart on was discontinued, there were likely none of those dresses left in the state!

Clearly the only option was to go find somewhere to get a drink! I had my mom, and three of my four bridesmaids with me, one had to go run an errand, so she went to do that while the other two bridesmaids and my mom headed over to a El Torido Mexican restaurant just down the street, where my mother kindly purchased a kick ass margarita for me (and a round for my girls!). DAMN that Cadillac Margarita is good. I got mine in blackberry. Feeling much more cheerful we headed back over to David's Bridal for my consultation.

They hooked me up with my consultant, and in an effort to assure them that I was in charge, I pointed her towards half a dozen gowns I wanted to try on since the one I wanted wasn't available. As I tried on my dresses, I received several updates on the status of my favorite dress. Apparently, though it was discontinued, they could order it, in Ivory, in one size up from my size, at the sale price. I decided that should at the end of the afternoon, no other dresses jump out at me as possibilities, I would go ahead and order it (on my mother's instruction and insistence).

I tried on about 10 dresses in all I think, none of them fit as well, or made me feel as good as the dress I chose, and the two that DID look good would need some serious alterations to fit me (and my needs properly). They were also all more expensive. So in the end, we ordered that dress, and now I get to check a big check box off on my wedding list. The dress arrives in January!The dress in question, on me last December

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm very excited because tomorrow me, my bridesmaids and my mom are going back to David's Bridal. I'm moving forward in in my dress plan, which feels great. I am also planning on going to Sephora before hand to see if I can't get a consultation. I love when it feels like progress is being made!

I did want to share neat little site with you guys. Many of you may be fans of ColourLovers a resource for creating palettes and patterns of color. This site, Mulitcolor Search Lab is more randomizing. You choose (up to ten) colors from a palette of 120, and it pulls images from flickr. A great way to check out how you like certain colors next to each other.

I also found a great resource for inexpensive paper lanterns!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's begining to feel a lot like...

Image By akbuilt
More wonderful advice from Meg at A Practical Wedding. She did her own flowers, or rather Team Bridal did her flowers. They did everything, centerpieces the whole shebang. We're doing a lot less with flowers, but the advice is awesome all the same!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lughnasadh Wedding?

I just found out via a friend that our wedding is planned for Lughnasadh eve.
I don't know a whole lot about Pagan holidays (please correct more or inform me better if I get any of this wrong Pagan folk!) but my impression from reading around the interwebs is that this particular feast/holiday is about harvest, bounty and things coming together.
It was traditionally at time in Ireland where people would handfast, and have a trial marriage for one year. It sound to me like a terribly appropriate time to get married! Neither my Luke nor I are Pagan, however we have a lot of respect for a lot of the elements of Paganism that I am aware of, especially when it comes to respecting nature, the elements and the natural flow of things. We think this coincidence is very cool.
Any of you who are Pagan, are there some ways that we may be able to integrate a small part of that holiday into our wedding, paying respect to it so to speak, without being offensive since we are not ourselves Pagan?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's Face the Music and Dance

Two exciting things. First of all Meg over at A Practical wedding made a wonderful post about guidelines for DJing your own wedding. Definitely one to keep in mind as we start to put together the play list.

Second, I spoke with my friend Jonna who's not only a friend in the SCA, but also a professional costumer. She helped me to work through what I want for a wedding dress and what is the most feasible and cost efficient (since both Luke and I are unemployed).

Plan goes as follows.

1) Go back to David's bridal and try on that dress that I liked so much when I went last December.
2) Watch DB like a hawk and try and purchase this dress on sale!

3) If by the end of April this dress had not gone on sale cheap enough for me to buy, then she will help me to make it myself!

So I feel MUCH better about that whole thing. We need to start looking for a suit for Luke now so HE has something to wear!

Monday, September 28, 2009


With my own wedding, things have very much been on hold.

I'm waiting to get a meeting scheduled with our caterer to sign our contract.
I'm waiting to make a meeting with a seamstress friend in order to make decisions about what the hell I'm going to WEAR!
I'm waiting for Luke to be willing to decide what we will say in our invitation so I can send it off to Twin Ravens to get designed and printed.

In the mean time. Bad ideas for engagement photos.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Silly Wedding ideas

We aren't doing any of these ideas ourselves, but they seem like they'd be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just can't stop...

For some reason they aren't allowing embedding on this video any more, but please, if you like the idea of a fun, joyful wedding, check out this recent wedding.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I think I want lavender in my bouquet.
And maybe other good smelling stuff.

Monday, July 13, 2009

yawn! Are we down to a year yet?

So. If I can't/don't make my own wedding dress, that's ok. I've been keeping my eye out for dresses that are $200 or less that I might like for my wedding. We'll see how that goes. I'm still gonna finish the mock up's I've started though.
This wrap-dress-thingy looks possible. In Vanilla, if the fabric's not too thin.

This guest book idea is TOTALLY cute to, having people fill out cards and then have them alphabetized. I like alphabetizing. I keep finding more and more things that I might want Twin Raven's Press to print.

I also really really really like this idea for Trivia Centerpieces. I don't think I'd do wedding trivia. More like trivia about the things Luke and I are into, but same idea. Or maybe Trivia about Luke and I! Or trivia about different guests!

I also realized that once we get the caterer booked, we've got the big stuff under control. Food. Location. Someone to do the marrying. The rest is just details.

Monday, June 15, 2009

While I live and breathe...

It's been more then a month since I last posted! I know a scandal!

...ok who am I kidding...

But, reality in the form of my student teaching had to take precedence for awhile, and we weren't really doing any wedding planning anyways... so I didn't have much to talk about. However, as things are winding down with school, I am looking at wedding stuff again, and moving back into planning mode!

The Grange is officially booked, so that's a bit of a relief. We're still waffling on caterers, mostly because we don't have the money to put down for one right now anyways. I'm still half hoping that one of my bridesmaid's aunts will be able to do it. We talked to her ages ago, but she wasn't willing to commit so far in advance.

I bought a second piece of fabric to make a second mock up of a totally different design, something more vintage. This is Simplicity 3823, which is the style I want, but I'm thinking there might be a better pattern then this. Or maybe I should just make my own. I really really really don't like sewing with modern patterns. This seems like it woudl be pretty easy, the skirt is a huge trapezoid, the top is basically triangles attached to a rectangle. Gather, wrap, sew, right?

Anyways, finally I've been reading wedding blogs again and have a few things to share!

This vintage Prauge wedding makes me terribly jealous that everything in my neck of the woods, except, well the woods, is so darned NEW. Classic, classy and terribly romantic.

And this totally adorable dress is quite inspiring. This is what I was going for with my first dress design, only I want straps, and no sweetheart neckline. Perhaps it's my construction that's not working. Or perhaps I should, ya know, finish the dress and then make up my mind.

Another type of paper flower to consider, though Zanne, my soon to be Mother in Law, and Becky, my soon to be Sister in Law, both loved the spiral rose design I stole from the lovely Adela over at Tenthousandonly.

And last but not least, THIS could totally be my wedding in another lifetime.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Things have been quiet around here as I've been very focused on my student teaching. But we have been making progress. Here are some highlights.

*Dress- I am nearly finished with my initial mock up, though I am rethinking the design. I might do a different dress, this one feels... underwhelming.

*Location- We are officially going to have it at the Long Tom Grange, we are just waiting for me to get my new box of checks from the bank (I ran out) so that I can send in my deposit for it.

*Catering- We have met with two caterers, Cornucopia and Carte Blanche Catering. Right now we like pretty much everything about them both, we just need to decide which is going to be more affordable. The only thing is we don't have the money for the deposit on that right now, though we may be able to borrow it from my parents.

*Photography- Booked and deposit paid! Yay Michael Brinkerhoff!

... and that's what we have for sure... more later?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waltzing Matilda...

Things have been quiet around here, I know. I haven't been doing much in the way of wedding stuff. We have a decent idea of what we want, and it's too soon to tell for most everything else. Everything is 'in progress', but not much progress is being made. We're still 15 months out from the wedding after all.

One thing has been bothering me though. Luke and I both love dancing, and have a decent amount of training. It's important to us to have dancing at our wedding. Not a long list of formal dances where he and I dance with everyone of the opposite gender from our families, ("...and now for the Mother of the bride's cousin and the groom...")

Our location (which we will book once we get a few questions answered) has an indoor space (the grange hall) and an outdoor space, which is basically field and forest. No manicured anything, not a lawn... not full of potholes, but not particularly flat either. (See this entry for a refresher on our location.

We initially wanted the whole thing (ceremony and reception) to be outside (barring weather complications) and so it didn't really matter to us that the grange was a bit...agricultural... All anyone but my 'staff' was going to see was the outside, which is a lovely shade of yellow anyways... But now that I am thinking more specifically about dancing, I'm thinking that in the grange hall might be the only place to do it! It's terribly obnoxious to dance on something that doesn't at least resemble a dance floor, and Luke and I want to show off!

The grange hall last November

Theoretically we could rent a dance floor, but they are expensive. The one quote we've seen on dance floors was nearly $300 fro 12'x12', which with a guest list of 300+ wouldn't really cut it if everyone wanted to dance. On the other hand, maybe everyone WON'T want to dance.

I just went to a wedding that had their reception at the Elks Club. It was lovely and all, and fit the couple wonderfully, but the pictures of old members staring down from the walls during the reception and the animal heads really killed it for me. Now I'm sure that the grange isn't as bad as that, but still I don't want to sacrifice the mood of my wedding, just because I'm snobby about dancing surfaces.

So it seems I have three options:
*Suck it up and rent a dance floor, even if it might be on the small side.
*Have dancing indoors, risking splitting the reception and adding a podunk feel to the party
*Have the dancing outdoors in the grass and just screw the whole dance floor thing, no one is going to care how well we dance anyways.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More non-floral bouquets

I'm still pretty sold on the parasol idea, but at Offbeat Bride did a big post on alternative bouquets that I just had to share. Some of the ideas I don't much care for (not really into the button thing, a little too... Raggedy Anne?) but a bunch are totally cute. I love the lantern idea for an evening wedding!

These origami map bouquets are sweet! (you might have to have an Offbeat Bride Tribe account to see them)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I adore these invitations.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Right up my 'lily fair' alley!

Luke came up with a wonderful idea! He likes the idea of parasols for the bridesmaids (and probably one for me too)!

Considering July/August in Oregon can be quite hot, and we don't want to spend a fortune on flowers, I like the idea! What do you guys think?
Perhaps something like one of these?

$7.50 each from http://www.lunabazaar.com
$7.95 each from http://www.lunabazaar.com
$21.50 each from http://www.lunabazaar.com
$22 from http://www.lunabazaar.com
$8.95 each from http://www.lunabazaar.com
For the bride with more of a budget, perhaps you'd prefer these lovely Victorian inspired parasols from The Ladies Emporium. My favorite is the Battenberg Lace Parasol, in Ivory.

And then of course there is always ebay, which has a variety of parasol options, though of questionable quality sometimes...

Admittedly I didn't spend much time look in etsy for parasols, but I didn't find any that were in my price range...Most of what I found were also things that had parasols printed on them, or jewelry of parasols, not actual parasols...

So, parasol, good idea? Lame? As a replacement for flowers for my bridesmaids, or in addition to them?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Floral Alternatives

Duct Tape Flowers

Paper Roses!

I really want to find a way to use the paper roses as our center pieces, they are super simple, unique and quite pretty if I do say so myself.

Reporting back

Well, it was a strange 'presentation'.

We showed up at our local Red Lion in a few minutes early, and made our way up to the presentation room. There had been a presentation earlier in the day, so there was a small two burner unit, as well as a variety of pots and pans, and several dishes out. Two other couples were there already. We were handed a clipboard with a form to fill out, and waited another ten minutes or so before the representative started the presentation.

Now, I may be overly critical, being a performer and in theater, but this guy wasn't a very good presenter. His word choices and speech patterns just didn't inspire me to want to spend lots of money on high quality cook ware. He started with telling us about our benefits package (which was totally legit, as far as I could tell), and then asked if we would mind if he skipped the 90 minute talk about the cookware, and just let us go home with the benefits packages, and that's just what he did. We picked which vacation we wanted (we picked the one that can be to Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Bahamas, we have to provide transportation there, and they take care of nearly everything else), and a discounted membership to a grocery coupon service, and we were out the door.

To be honest, I was a little let down, I wanted to hear about the cook ware, but c'est la vie! I'll let you know when we decide to use the trip, we've got three years until it expires.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're winners?

I don't think I mentioned the Bridal Show that Luke and I went to about a month ago. Needless to say it was a bit overwhelming. More samples, literature, pamphlets and drawings then I could wrap my head around. It was a lot of fun too! Looking at the sparklies, seeing what business I am familiar with have to offer. I will admit to privately snarking about the aging string quartet that was rather painfully out of tune. The fashion show was fun to catch glimpses of, though Luke wouldn't let us sit down and watch. (He insisted that since I was making my gown anyways, I didn't need to watch it... lol) I was honestly a bit taken aback by the terrible posture most of the models, but that is a different post altogether.

The most beneficial aspect of the show was trying all the caterers, and knowing they were all local places, places that I could go and visit. We found two and particular from the show that we are very seriously considering. Cowgirl Catering (which is a sub-company of Flavors), Carte Blanche, and Cornucopia.

At least that as what i thought the most beneficial aspect was until this afternoon when I received a voice mail notifying me that I'd won a wedding package.

Ah.... come again?

So I called the back, and sure enough, Luke and I have 'won' a vacation, either a tropical trip in the Dominican Republic, Mexico or The Bahamas; or a trip at one of 17 locations within the US. Not to mention a gift card of some sort.

All Luke and I have to do is head down to the Red Lion Inn on Saturday afternoon, try out some cookware, and give our opinions. Courtesy of Gateway Bride.

Now hang on a second before you jump in and tell me what a scam it is, I've read the consumer reports etc. And it sounds to me like a legit effort to get new couples to buy their cookware by offering incentives. No way are Luke or I going to be pressured into purchasing cookware we don't need, so we'll check it out on Saturday, keep our skeptic hats on, and let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

For those who liked the book centerpieces...

Like me, I found a few more around the interwebs.
Kim made these great mock ups, which I found via the Livejournal group weddingplans
Another pic of this centerpiece is here at their Flickr account.

Or these school house centerpieces from Amber and Jeff's wedding.
Also found via weddingplans.
And more of this centerpiece here, at their respective flickr account.

Totally cute.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maybe a different giant party...

Though it isn't possible for us (not with a guest list of 300) to cater our own wedding, it was something we really wanted to do originally. And it's nearly a sure fire way to save money. Here is a great article about how to DIY cater without driving yourself crazy.

These are perfect

Though I don't need ten of them. Check out Toybreaker at Etsy

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dreamwood is a really cheesy name.

So we just had a little kink thrown in our awesome plans.


It is practically next door to the Long Tom Grange, the location we have previously been planning on using.

But let's start with the one down side. It's $3000, which is nearly six times what we would pay for the Long Tom Grange.

It's privately owned by a family (one of the student teachers at my mom's school is part of the family that owns and operates it, that's how I heard about it).

They do everything there.

What do I mean by everything? Well let me tell you...

They have 6 staff members day of, one parking attendant, one bartender, one day of coordinator, the others are servers, set up, runners etc.

The space can accommodate up to 500, but for 300 or less they already have all the tables, chairs, linens (white), napkins (colored or white), dishes, flatware, serving dishes, sliver for a beverage table, pitchers, glassware for a dessert or candy buffet. They have a wide variety of decorations and centerpiece things such as: gazebo, chandeliers, hurricane glasses, candles, white paper lanterns, cut glass votive holders, and more. Not to mention various fabric and ribbon for decorating. They supply the bathrooms (so called 'black tie' port-a-potties), more parking then we could need, several big (semi-permanent) baskets of flowers, colored for the general area, white for the alter area, electricity hook ups, several big white couches, a large dance floor, two sites, about 75 feet apart, connected by a path. The bride is invited to use a room in their home in order to get ready and is treated to a luncheon (with her maids I assume) the day of the wedding. Once the contract is signed, the bride and groom are welcome to come out to the site any time, and they can start bringing stuff out to the site the Wednesday before the wedding, and have access until Sunday.

While we are welcome to bring out own food in for the rehearsal dinner, we would have to use their catering service, I'm waiting for a sample menu, which will be sent to me with the other info, the catch is their minimum is $20/person for catering. This is of course the other down side. The other catering services we are looking at are about $13.00/person, although that doesn't include gratuity, which the $20 for Dreamwood does include.

So now it all comes down to money. Luke and I both agree that this sounds fantastic, but can we afford it?

Here is a photo blog of a wedding there.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rock around the clock...

As many of you other brides have probably come to realize, if you sign up for anything wedding related, you are instantly inundated with emails and advertisements from every imaginable type of vendor, not to mention 'newsletters' promising advice and good deals. Most of this is instantly deleted (or recycled depending on the medium), however I got one a few days back that actually linked to decent top ten list for bridal showers.

Now bridal showers are weird. I've had the pleasure of throwing two different showers for friends, and it was a bunch of fun, but really what are they for!

I know the original idea is to shower brides with gifts they will need to begin their new life with their new husband in their new and as of yet unfurnished home (since they've been living with their father, or maybe alone or with girlfriends up until this point, right?). However, many brides these days already live with their fiance, and have a furnished house, or DON'T live with him, so they end up with TWO of everything when co-habitation occurs.

But they're fun! I'm totally a hostess type. I love planning parties, especially if they can be fancy or themed. Party games and decorations; totally me. I used to plan my birthday parties as a kid with a schedule:
2:00 Guests arrive
2:10 Play outside
2:30 Play pin the tail on the donkey
2:45 Eat Cake
3:00 Open presents.

...you get the idea...

But as adults, and not just adults but varied adults who may or may not actually know each other... planning a good party is definitely a challenge. So without further ado, here is the list of bridal shower party plans. Hosting Bridal Shower I particularly like the around the clock idea, a friend of mine did that for hers (not one I planned, I was just a guest) and it was very neat, and gave people something to talk about. And it sure beats toilet paper wedding dresses...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I can tell centerpieces are going to be a hang up for me.

Reading 2000 dollar wedding the other day, she had this great post on eco-friendly centerpieces featuring an awesome book piece, from Offbeat Bride.

I love it! It would be a great way to integrate our own interests into the centerpieces by combing a few of our own books with cheap books from garage sales etc. Unfortunately, Luke doesn't like the idea. He's never been as much of a reader as I am, though I don't really understand why he doesn't like the idea besides that.

If Luke had it his way, we would have nothing as centerpieces except the table sign. We're probably making ones from DIY Bride. I can't find pictures of one like them though.. They're cute, and we're not planning on using numbers. Some sort of creative name instead, and then the idea hit. We could theme each centerpiece to go with the table name. Have the book table, the flower table, candle table etc. We brainstormed a list, though I'm not super thrilled with all of them. Still not sure if we're going to go with this idea or not. I really want nice, pretty centerpieces, Luke doesn't care, and more importantly (to him) he doesn't want to spend money on them.

I also really like these poms from Martha Stuart.

So, thoughts? Any ideas we could use for table themes? We have between 20 and 30 tables, so this is a huge undertaking...

Yes, the centerpieces are going to be my Achilles heel...or something like that. I don't think that is quite the right metaphor.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pray thee fill me my glass...

I have had the pleasure of attending three bridal showers, two of them I have helped to plan, and frankly; I'm bored. Each shower had one or two cute things that they did at them, otherwise it was gawking at the Bride, who babbles about the wedding and the groom, and then opens presents. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the presents, I'm not ashamed of that. Wedding gifts have got to be one of the perks of the modern wedding traditions. But, how can that be fun for the guests. My wedding shower is a long way off, like more then a year, but I want to do something more interesting then inviting all my female friends, relatives and in-laws over, dressing them up in toilet paper dresses, and thanking them all profusely for their thoughtful gifts.

I love the wine tasting idea, though I'm not sure all my family would go for it.

What fun and unique ideas have you heard for bridal showers?

I'm happy just to dance with you...

One of the tasks that I've started on slowly, is building the play list for our reception. We're doing the iPod and speakers thing, and then hopefully our friend who for years was a wedding DJ will keep an eye on things and keep us organized. Anyone who knows me knows that I have rather eclectic music tastes. Put my iTunes on random and you'll get Alkaline Trio, Billy Joel, The Chieftains, Flobots, Frank Sintara, Mozart and Broadway. Something that is important to Luke and I both is that the reception be fun. We want people to dance and have fun. But we want to be able to dance to, real dancing. Swing, Cha Cha etc. So finding a balance of stuff I like, and stuff our friends nad family will like is definintely a challange. I haven't spent too much time on it, but every time I'm listening to music and I come accross a song or two that I think will be good, I just add it to my play list 'wedding'. In my surfing through wedding sites and articles I came accross an interesting list of 'first dance' songs. I don't think we'll do a first dance, but regardless, I think these are good songs to consider having on the play list. Alternativly, these are probably songs that a DJ would be familiar with, so if there are any songs on this list that you DON'T like, make sure to put them on the don't play list.
First Dance Songs, thanks to Marth Stuart

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What do we want... Brains...

The penchant for Zombies that many of my friends and acquaintances have, I must say I do not share, but I couldn't pass up mentioning these sweet, touching undead words that officiant Leslie Light shared at a wedding highlighted on Offbeat Bride.

"Together, they will defend their humanity and their home with all the wit, grace, and power of any spunky heroine or over-sized hero.

Together they are an example of what is possible when two people set their sights on the same star. They cut through our 21st century cynicism and prove that, in fact, zombification is not inevitable — that friendship, love, and desire, when held with both hands, are the only weapons any of us need to stay human.

With the zombies held at bay by their mutual promises, Michelle and Matt are ready to face the other monsters of life – defending against the Frankenstein coworkers, the Soul Vampires of false friends, and the Mummy of age itself.

The adventure they are about to embark on has all the magic of any Hollywood movie and all the terror of true Lovecraftian horror – dread Cthulhu has nothing on balancing family Christmases."

This is just a sniped from the ceremony, I can think of quite a few couples or individuals for whom this type of reading would be just perfect!