Friday, February 29, 2008
This place is very close to my home. The guy I spoke to was really nice and really helpful. 1hour private lesson for J and I would be $55. Now, that is $5 more per lesson than the first place, but....we aren't required to take 5 lessons. So, if we feel like we've got the hang of it after 3 lessons, we're done. If we want to take more, we can.
I liked the instructor when I spoke with him on the phone. He didn't try to hard sell and he was understanding that J is a bit apprehensive about the dancing.
So, I'm going to let J know and see what he thinks. I'll still check out some other places' prices, but so far, I like this particular one.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I'm definitely going to call around.
Since I've finally settled on Brown, Gold and Orange, I think the gold on the sash will be a nice touch.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I write today about something else entirely, though still wedding related.
Why is it that people find it so difficult to let you enjoy your happiness for a little while? Why must they always redirect the focus to them? I'm not suggesting that I don't want to be there for people or be involved in their lives and know what's going on with them, because I do! I truly truly do! But I would also like it if they could understand that this is big for me, and quite frankly, I don't want to share it. I don't know if any of that makes sense. What it comes down to is this: This is my time - my moment - let me have it for just a little while, please.
On a more positive note, I think J is so wonderful! He doesn't say much about wedding plans. I bring stuff up to him, he responds, and that's it. He doesn't really have a lot of his own ideas about it (unless it comes to food). So, the slightest mention from him without prompting makes me happy.
We watched American Wedding with some friends this weekend. I love that movie. It's hysterical, and at the same time, satisfies some of my girly "chick flick" tendencies. It's a good movie that works for both genders.
Anyway, at one point in the film, there is some sort of disaster - well, there are a lot of disasters - but I think this was when all the flowers died because one of the characters is an ass. So, J looks at me and says, "Well babe, no matter how bad it gets, it won't be that bad!" LOL. I just thought it was cute and had to share it.
It means he has been thinking about it, and that when he saw a wedding, it wasn't just a wedding - he could make the connection between that and OUR wedding. It's becoming very real for me now.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
It's time I stop whining about my weight and do something about it. I've had a lot of failed attempts in the past, and it's usually because I give up. I don't want to be big on my wedding day. I want to be a beautiful bride. Then, I want to remain beautiful for J. He loves me the way I am. It's funny, but he honestly doesn't see me as big or fat. He just sees me and loves me. I love that about him, but wouldn't it be great if he could have a really hot wife!? :)
I started another blog to help me with my weight loss goals. Check it out. http://bulgingbride.blogspot.com/
Friday, February 22, 2008
Unfortunately, I'm afraid to order online, and that seems to be the only way to get it. The other bonus is that it's only around $450...right in my budget. I'm afraid of ordering the gown to find it's crap material and shoddy workmanship. Once received, I have only three days to decide whether or not to return it or keep it. I don't know if that's enough time for me. I worry that if I wait too long, it may not be available if/when I decide I want it.
OMG OMG OMG...forget that dress...ok, don't forget it, but LOOK AT THIS!!!
This is a Maggie Sottero dress (style: Suzanne) and it is perfect. I love love love this dress. I actually cried when I discovered it is nowhere near my budget. The lowest price I've encounterd is $1,458.oo. I need to find a way to get this gown...
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Speaking of place card tables, I also found this fantastic leafy idea for them! Once again, I found this image on the Toast and Tables blog. I also read something on Martha Stewart's website about how to preserve/press changing leaves. I don't think I'd use the leaves on the table, as I'd prefer a richly autumn colored or printed tablecloth, but I really like the card idea. I was also thinking about trying a variation of this...
I could press changing leaves, then buy a gold marker/pen and write the guests names and table number directly onto the leaf. I'm not sure how well it'll work, but come autumn, you can bet I'll be trying it.
I'm more excited for this autumn than I ever have been before. I'm glad that I'll have this year's autumn to try some of the DIY ideas I've found/thought of, and know whether or not they'll work. I know I'll need to keep season-dependent materials to a minimum, as I'll actually have limited time to gather these supplies during my actual wedding season, but I'm still psyched!
Please forgive all the white space around the images. I'm not exactly tech savvy, so cutting out the parts of the images that I didn't want to include left me with all that blank...
I'm not about to change careers and head for wedding planning school (is there such a thing?), but I can't wait to really start putting things in motion. Also, I have two close friends who aren't yet married, and I think I could really get into helping them when the time comes!
I find myself constantly searching the internet for inspiration, ideas and information. It's amazing how many fantastic ideas are out there. I love what brides and planners are putting together. I know people claim there's been a 'throwback' to traditional weddings, but in truth, there are a lot of unique wedding ideas out there for a girl like me!
I'm trying to keep a level head, keeping in mind that as far as I know, J still has to pick out a ring! lol. Also, I'm not so obsessed that I can't see past the wedding day to the marriage ahead of us. That's the best part for me! I'd like our wedding day to reflect the kind of marriage we'd like to have; simple, unique, intimate, and fun.
Toast and Tables has amazing photos and ideas for every color, season, and theme imagineable (and sometimes unimagineable!) I love it!!!
Ten Thousand Only is a great blog for inspiriation for the girl on a budget, like me! Remarkably, this blogger has the same budget in mind as I do!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I used to want an afternoon tea shower, but recently, I've discovered that they are ridiculously popular, and I'm rethinking that idea.
Some other popular themes that seem to be strewn about the internet and wedding books include:
Around the Clock
Stock the Bar
Honestly, the only ones that kind of tickle my fancy are the Stock the Bar and Wine Tasting showers, but I'm a little concerned that some of my family members wouldn't go for it. Also, my mom wouldn't be able to participate in tasting drinks.
Soo...I got to thinking...
While the shower isn't entirely my say (whoever my MoH is plans it, hopefully with my input), I was thinking about some alternate ideas, like the following.
So far, this is my fave. We could do a late afternoon shower in our pj's! We could ask all the guests to dress in their comfiest or silliest pj's. We could do bedroom slippers or eye masks for favors! Food could include girlie stuff like chocolate and junk food...OR...we could do it early morning and offer breakfast foods. I think I like the breakfast foods better...as it makes a menu much easier. I'm not really into the idea of a gift theme, so we could simply refer our guests to the registry, then maybe do pj's/lingerie/bedroom items for the wishing well...
1st Year Shower
Admittedly, I took my inspiration for this idea from the Around the Clock theme. Instead of focusing on gifts for each hour of the day, why not gifts for each month of the couple's first marital year together? Party favors could include calendars or date books. We could decorate each table as a different month...though I don't think I'd have 12 tables...but I'm sure we could work something out. It's not as fun as the pajama party, but I still like it!
I don't know how well this would go over. I personally love arts and crafts, but I know many people would rather have a tooth pulled than make a craft. I haven't done a lot of thinking about this one yet because it's most likely not going to float.
We could ask each guest to bring with them a copy of their favorite book for the wishing well. Since J and I both like to read, stocking our "library" would be nice. Hehe. Party favors could include bookmarks or little reading lights. For shower games, we could do a story-go-round that uses the bride and groom as main characters. Oooh...I'm beginning to really like this one! Hehe. Centerpieces could be stacks of books with candles or maybe desk lamps on top.
We could roll out a red carpet for guests to walk upon as they enter. We could ask them to dress to the nines on the invitations...or to dress as their fave movie star. Party favors could include disposable cameras (papparazzi?) or classic movie posters and we could use "awards" as centerpieces. I possible game idea would be to ask guests to describe the movie characters that best represent the bride and groom...and of course tell why! (heheh, J could be Shrek! lol). This one is kind of cute, but I see a few snags in it as well. Perhaps guests won't want to dress up.
Each table could be dedicated to a different game, with the centerpiece the board and pieces. Favors could include mini/travel games. A game of trivial pursuit or 20 questions about the bride and groom could serve as some of the fun/entertainment. We could ask guests to bring games/game related gifts for the wishing well. I kind of like this one, too.
That's what I have so far. I'm sure I'll expand on some of these ideas in the future.
Hey girls, if you're reading this...take note! lol
Monday, February 18, 2008
A book one of my attendants, Sarah, loaned me says maybe, "you've found a great wedding dress that happens to be backless - and your mother is shocked."
What!?!? Are you kidding me? Are there really still people out there who hold onto these ridiculous virgin ideas?
This same exact book considers cohabitation a "special circumstance" (I kid you not...it's in the chapter called Special Circumstances). Apparently, if you've been cohabitating, "some discretion is in order." Apparently I should "opt for a somewhat quiet wedding without all the fanfare," because since we lived together, my wedding must not be as special as someone else's. WTF!
The author also covers information for different religious ceremonies, but completely ignores secular ceremonies and some of the options available to the couple.
This book is called Your Complete Wedding Planner: The Essential Guide to Planning Every Phase of Your Wedding and the Events That Surround It by Marjabelle Young Stewart (updated and revised edition).
Now there is some helpful information in the book about things like the receiving line, attire, accessories and planning, but I think this author should keep her old-fashioned, out-dated, and closed-minded opinions to herself!!!
I call BULLSH*T!!!
Sarah did loan me another book, the Check List for a Perfect Wedding, 6th ed., by Barbara Lee Follett and Loulie Hyde Sutro. This book is much less offensive to me. It's just brass tacks - no opinions that I didn't ask for!
Since we don't have any constraints on our ceremony as far as religious requirements or customs, I thought it would be nice to write our own ceremony. I want to incorporate a few readings, the hand fasting, and the exchanging of rings and vows. I already have a draft and J has looked it over, but asked for more time to digest it. I would like us each to write our own vows, an idea J's not entirely comfortable with. I think I may need to compromise on that somehow.
We made our first wedding related purchase this weekend...ribbons for the hand fasting! It wasn't a big purchase, but it somehow made things seem a little more set...if that makes sense. I'm still keeping an eye out for some sort of autumn related ornament that we can affix to the top knot. Something decorative isn't required, but I just think it would be nice. In the end, I may end up with silk leaves or something. We'll see. It was important to me to make the hand fasting ribbon because I want to use the hand fasting in a very specific way during the ceremony.
We're struggling with an officiant/celebrant for the ceremony. Originally, we wanted to ask a friend of ours who is a JP. Now, we're not so sure he'd be comfortable with our ideas. While he can perform a secular ceremony, I know that he, personally, is a rather religious individual. I don't want to ask him to do anything that would offend him or his religious beliefs. I don't think a hand fasting would, but I'm not really sure how open-minded he'll be about it. At the suggestion of one of my bridal party members, we're considering asking another friend of ours to become a secular celebrant. If he agreed, we would, of course, cover the cost. We have to research this a little bit more. Fortunately, we still have a lot of time to check this out. I think our first option will be to openly and honestly tell our original choice exactly what our plans are to see if he would be comfortable with it. If so, we have our officiant. If not, we ask our friend about it. If that fails...well, we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The author also provided a link that will allow the crafter to use real leaves...but I'm not sure I want to mess around with the wax.
I'm not really into the silk flower look, but I know that I'll need to use some 'fake' foliage to get the look I want at our ceremony and on our tables. I'm beginning to think that I could incorporate this idea into a boquet of real autumn flowers. Of course, as the time approaches, I will speak to my florist about it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
There are some bridesmaid shoes I like as well. I'm actually considering letting my girls choose thier own shoes, but limiting their choices to gold shoes with at least a small heel. If I do choose, it'll be something like these...
However, I would like a cake that kind of matches our theme/colors.
I saw a few cakes with chocolate icing (it may have been brown fondant...) that were kind of nice, but I'm not loving anything. I also don't really like cake toppers at all! I find most of them tacky or too froofy. I've decided that there will be no cake topper...it'll be flowers instead.
I'd really love to use foliage as cake decor, but uhh, I don't see anyone wanting to eat a cake that had dead leaves picked from the ground all over it. LOL. Maybe I could buy some fake foliage to use.
I did really like this idea when I was browsing...
I think I'd prefer a chocolate color with an orange ribbon of icing. I'm not sure what those flowers are, but I do kind of like the colors. What really makes it for me are the branches. Regardless of what kind of cake we do, I now know that it must have branches!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I'm not really into veils. I mean, they're pretty and all, but I just don't think I want to wear one. It's too froofy for my style. Instead, I think I'd just like a simple and elegant headpiece.
I like the flowers on this one, but it is a little big for my taste.
For some reason, I'm unable to upload the other tiara I like. I'll edit this post to include itonce I'm able.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
J claims money has been the reason he hasn't proposed. I don't believe him. I'm the kind of girl who would be happy with a cheap ring from Wal Mart. I think he's been scared. I don't know why. He's not a cheater. He doesn't go out and get drunk with his friends every weekend, but for some reason, he's been afraid. He won't admit that. He tells me it's the money. I still don't believe it.
I'm scared to death he won't propose by Spring. If he doesn't, I don't know what I'll do. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I don't want to put my life on hold forever waiting for him. I won't say I'll leave him, because I don't know what I'll do. I just know that I might have to make that choice. That choice makes me feel sick.
I also think Spring is such a vague timeline. Are we talking meteorological spring? If so, that's only a month away. Are we talking the vernal equinox spring? Are we talking when the birds start chirping and the buds start blooming? Why such a vague timeline? Why won't he even commit to a particular month? I think it's because he's trying to buy more time to put it off.
I try not to be impatient...I try really hard. I also fail. After more than five years together, I just don't understand what all the waiting is about.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I have managed to choose a few of the reception songs for certain dances...
Bride and Groom First Dance - My Best Friend by Tim McGraw
Every time I hear this song, I start to cry. It really describes our relationship very well. He is my best friend, and I his.
Bridal Party Dance - Love Shack by the B52's
I want this to be a fun/happy song...no sappy stuff. This song will hopefully get the party started and the people dancing.
Father-Daughter Dance - Still undecided, but I think I'd like something by Glenn Miller, as he's always been a favorite of mine and my dad's.
I was thinking "In the Mood," as it's my all time favorite Glenn Miller song, but it might be a bit fast for my dad at his age. I also really like String of Pearls. I was also thinking about a Louis Armstrong song, as we both enjoy his music as well. Hey! What A Wonderful World might be a nice processional song for the ceremony! In any case, I'm not really worried about the lyrics to the father-daughter song...I want something that means something to me and my daddy! :) It's funny, but I get all teary-eyed just thinking about this dance with my dad!
Mother-Son Dance - I'm going to let J and his mom choose this one.
They may have a song that is special to them. If not, I'll do some research and offer a few suggestions for them.
Cake Cutting Song - Hey Good Lookin' by Hank Williams
I think these lyrics are sooo cute for a cake-cutting!
Dollar Dance - If I Had a Million Dollars by The Barenaked Ladies
This is a bit of a long song. Since we aren't planning a really big reception, we might need to cut it short. J and I both think this song is funny, and I think it's appropriate for the dance!
Boquet Toss - This One's for the Girls by Martina McBride
I was thinking about using Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but two out of three of my bridesmaids will love this one...
Garter Toss - J's really into 80s hairband stuff, so I was thinking Cherry Pie by Warrant or AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long
Hahahaha...I'll pick a few and give J a choice. He's not really 'into' music, so I'm not sure he'll actually care!
Last Dance - I think I'd like to end with our first dance song, My Best Friend or Thanks for the Memories by Frank Sinatra
I didn't like the idea of a Friday wedding. I'd have to hold it too late in the day because I wouldn't expect people to take off work for my wedding. Holding it late would also cause problems with lighting for the pictures, and I don't want J to see me in my dress before I walk down the aisle to him.
I was also a little nervous about a Sunday wedding because I don't want people bailing early because they have to get up for work the next day. I ended up settling on a Sunday with a reasonable time-frame. I don't think the ceremony itself will take more than 30 minutes. We're doing a civil ceremony, so there is no mass to worry about. Then, a cocktail hour when we can do photos, and finally a five hour reception (all in one location). If we were to finish up by 8 or 9pm, people could stay for the entire time if they want, and we could just hold a small get together after at a family member's house for those who aren't ready to call it quits.
So far, the timeline looks something like this:
1:30 - 2:00 - Ceremony
2:00 - 3:00 - Cocktail Hour/Photos
3:00 - 8:00 - Reception
8:00 - ?:?? - "after party"
2:30 - 3:00 - Ceremony
3:00 - 4:00 - Cocktail Hour/Photos
4:00 - 9:00 - Reception
9:00 - ?:?? - "after party"
My only concern is that the cocktail hour seems awfully early. As I understand it, the traditional cocktail hour is at 6pm. I'd like to hold the cocktail hour outdoors if it isn't too chilly that day. We're holding both the ceremony and reception in the same location, and I want time for photos, so I don't see another option for that hour. Meh, J and I aren't really 'traditionalists' anyway, so maybe it's not really a big deal after all.
J and I stopped there this weekend to get a first hand view of the place. While I'm not sure about the pavillion/gazebo, J seemed to like it. I might actually prefer some of the open lawn nearby, instead, but we'll see. J doesn't have many "must-haves" for this wedding, so if he expresses a like or interest in something, I want to accomodate. If we do go with the pavillion/gazebo, I would probably do some potted mums in oranges and some autumn inspired garlands for the rails and pillars.
This one is from JCPenney. It's not actually an "occasion" dress, but I love the color, pattern, and style. It's gold with a flowery pattern. I also like that the length is similar to my bridesmaid dress...and if I choose to go with a sash for the girls, this dress will also have that element.
So far, this is definitely my favorite.
This dress available in a variety of colors that would match the other girls' dresses. It looks a little too "grown-up" to me, though. I think it's the two-tones and the sash I like.
I found this on Jordan Fashions website. They actually have a lot of cute dresses for girls. I might have to take a look at their bridal collection, too!
This dress is my second choice. I actually like it more than the first, but I don't think it's going to offer the versatility in size and fit as the first one. I'm going to have all three girls try both dresses on before I decide.
I'm still very undecided about my Junior Bridesmaid's dress. She'll only be 7 by the wedding, so I don't necessarily want to dress her up like a grown-up. I chose to make her a Jr. Bridesmaid because I'm not really into the whole flower-girl thing. I think she might end up in a very pretty orange dress with a wide ribbon at the waist. I have no pics yet because I haven't looked much for her dress yet.
Onto wedding dresses!!! I thought I knew exactly the kind of dress I wanted...then I started looking, and realized I want them all! I do have a price range to consider. I'd rather not spend more than $500 before alterations. Ideally, I wouldn't spend more than $300 before alterations, but that might be a bit unrealistic. I'm not going to bother posting pics of the dresses that are way out of my price range, so I've managed to narrow it down to these for now...
This is my favorite. Unfortunately, I can't post a picture of the entire dress. Here is the link for my first choice.
My next choice dress has this beautiful full length jacket that I think would be stunning for an autumn wedding... Click here to see the entire dress.
My third choice is this beautiful two toned dress with a split skirt:
I actually think the second dress is probably what I"ll end up with...or something very similar to it. The more I look at it, the more I realize it really reflects the look I'm going for.
No matter what dress I wear, it will not be white. It'll either be gold, like the first picture, or ivory/cream.
All dress pictures are from David's Bridal. I do have some other dresses on my favorites list, but I'm too lazy to post them right now, and none of them stand out for me the way these do.
It's a nice chocolate brown with muted oranges...nothing bright and shocking...very late autumn, especially when you add gold to the scheme.
I'd like to use a textured ribbon for the orange and gold to create a little more visual interest.
I'm not really sure about this shade of orange. Next to the brown and the natural colored basket, it might work ok, but I'll probably go with something a little more muted.