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 Some stuff is out of date, especially in regards to the internet, but it's a great resource none-the less.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!