Sunday, December 12, 2010
Well, the architecture is crazy beautiful and the inside is very grand, for starters. There are several lovely rooms to choose from depending on the size of your party, but the rental fees can get a little high. It is situated on State Street, so a vibrant downtown atmosphere comes with this venue choice. Because it's downtown, there are any number of hotels nearby that would make your event easy to walk to. If you have a special connection to the music world, this would be a great place to get married.
Although beautiful and impressive, the Overture Center has gotten a lot of so-so press lately. There have been a series of money mismanagement issues, and now the place is essentially bankrupt. The current debate is whether or not the city will take ownership of the center and foot the bill to keep it running.
I've heard from two brides who had their wedding there that it's a georgeous venue, and they both confirmed that it's in convenient proximity to hotels. My sources also said that the food left something to be desired. Both said it was good, but not great. One bride did say that they were very accomodating and willing to work with her, but they weren't wowed. They both also said that they basically blew their budget on the food. Food is one of our non-negotiable things, so I'm looking for great. Also, the price per plate for dinner is $19+ dollars, and the buffet is $25+, so this would put a healthy dent in any budget.
So, let's review...
PROS: beautiful, lively downtown atmosphere, convenient location for guests to get to
CONS: $$$, maneuvering downtown could be annoying, allegedly so-so food
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I know, right?! How awesome would it be to have those kicking around under your skirt? How additionally awesome would it be to ahve a cute short dress with those on? Having a fall wedding here can be a gamble weather wise, so boots may be in my future. I must say, I wouldn't be teribly disappointed. Once we set a firm budget I'll have to see what my shoe allowance is. Pretty much my accessory allowance in general. You can find these lovelies here and here, respectively.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Quivey's Grove (literally a couple blocks from where I live)
Agora Pavillion (Fitchburg)
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (downtown! I'm in love with the architecture)
Goodman Community Center
As you can see from my choices, I'm really torn between a stylin' city wedding and a rustic country wedding. I plan on devoting a separate post to each location, complete with pros and cons. I'm sure I'll add more locations to the list as I find them. I haven't even had time to look at the many parks in town yet. If you, dear readers, have any experience with any of these venues I'd love to hear about it. More on this as it develops...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Here's where Hello Super 8 comes in. I think I first discovered them through Offbeat Bride, but don't quote me on that. I am in love with the Hello Message Booth! It's like a living photobooth where your increasingly inebriated loved ones can write and leave you filmed messages. These are then edited and placed to a perfect soundtrack, and the result is pure magic.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Anyway, this tiny top hat tutorial made its way onto Offbeat Bride the other day. Thanks, Offbeat Bride, for being so awesome. I have no idea if I'm a tiny top hat lady or not, but we'll just have to find out now won't we. I suppose I could always alter the pattern a little to come closer to these other beauties I've found. I mean, come on....
Yes, please. Can you stand how awesome this is?!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This is what it looks like when you open the box to reveal a sweet purple garment bag!
This is more of what it looks like when you open your garment bag to reveal a slightly cockeyed dress on a hanger and, even though it's been several months since you saw it, it takes your breath away all over again.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I obviously have over 100 hits from the United States, but people in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Canada also have some interest in this here content. Hi guys! Even if you're just cruising by my little blog on your way to find what you're really looking for...I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you find what you're looking for, and if you have any questions I'll try and help you out.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I either have to send it in to Shane Co or drop it off, and they will lower the setting as much as they can.
How much is that?
I don't know.
When will this happen?
I don't know.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Anyway, I stumbled across this piece of artwork today on my favorite, Design*Sponge, and was inspired.
I am in love with the opaque bird cut-outs that overlap and merge to create new swirls of color. Wouldn't it be beautiful to adapt this idea as an alternative to signing a matted picture of the couple? You could cut out 1,000 crane shapes, or any image that is significant to you and yours, from different colored tissue paper or crepe paper and layer them on a canvas or flat surface. This could then be matted for guests to sign, and it would be a sweet reminder of your wedding day to hang in your home. Granted, neither of us are Japanese, but we both have a love of Asian cultures, and the minimalist aesthetic in Japanese design. Maybe this is picking and choosing pieces of a culture to appropriate that is not my own, but that's what Americans are great at! A little of this, a bit of that, and voila! Also, I don't think it's being done in a disrespectful way. At least, that is not my intent. My intent is to honor a tradition that I identify with for whatever reason, even though it isn't part of the culture I was brought up in.
Now, truth be told, I would probably be the first to be extremely frustrated by cutting tissue paper. That's almost asking for a stress-induced meltdown right there...here, cut out a thousand paper birds from the flimsiest material known to craftkind. That's like asking someone to build a suspension bridge out of balsa wood. Totally frustrating. This could probably also be done with stencils and watercolors or gouache if you're more into painting. You'd still get the lovely transparent, blending effect from the thin paint without the pressure of ripped paper (bonus). Has anyone done something similar? I think I need to break out my gouache again and experiment. Thank you costume design class for teaching me about drawing and gouache.
Picture of Kara Maria print via Design*Sponge
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The obvious first choice is the courthouse. It conveniently has everything you need already inside, and if you choose one of the officiants listed on the county clerk's website he or she will pick up and deliver your marriage certificate for you. You have to know when your ceremony will take place, where (in this case..courthouse), and who will perform it before you can apply for the license. I don't know if there's an extra fee for using one of these officiants, but that's certainly something you could ask them yourself. You could also hire an outside officiant, like these guys, to marry you, but that would cost a significant amount of extra money. Their basic ceremony fee is $275, and if you're looking to elope partially for monetary reasons that's a decent chunk of change. However, it is an option if you want it. The courthouse is downtown inbetween the square and Lake Monona, so you could easily walk to any number of awesome restaurants, bars, and clubs downtown to celebrate.
You can also get married in one of Madison's many parks for next to nothing. All the information is laid out for you on the website as far as the 15 parks you have to choose from, which ones have shelters, what kind of permits you need, time restrictions, and fees for different locations. The parks department has made their website pretty much a one stop shop for all your wedding/elopement venue needs. Availability does fill up pretty quickly, so if you're planning your elopement at the last minute and you are determined to be married outdoors, it would probably help to go into reserving a park knowing that you won't get first choice of time and day. As long as you are flexible with date, time, and park choice you should hopefully be able to find something lovely.
This has been part 1 of eloping in Madison, WI. Next time let's talk about places to have your elopement/small wedding reception.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Pictures from Flickr and RussellMartinPhotography.com respectively. How much do you love that bride playing b-ball with her ladies?!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Right on the beach. Sugar white sand, aqua water, and the sea breeze in your hair. Is there anything better? We've talked about eloping, but have sort of decided that our families would be left out. That's not something I want to do because it's about our families too as much as it's about us. I keep thinking about how great it will be to have both our families and friends in our town for a weekend for a giant fun reunion..oh yeah, and there will be a wedding somewhere in there to interrupt the fun. I want to throw a party for my family and friends. I want the ones I love to witness our marriage. But sometimes I want to run away to a tropical island and do the damn thing already! I want to avoid the stress of planning. I'm already not a big fan of large-scale party planning, but maybe i'll feel differently when I'm working on mine. Mostly I'm secretly afraid no one will come.
I've tried to plan get-togethers my whole life and they always fall through. It's so consistent it's like a bad joke. If I plan something, nobody comes or they back out at the last minute. Now, I'm a fun, party loving gal but this is rediculous. I'm afraid, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I will put all this energy into planning and no one will show up because that's what happens to me. Of course I know someone will come. My rational brain knows that having 0 people turn up is highly unlikely as there are people who love us too much to miss it. I am so grateful for that...but still. I have a record.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
It forced us to talk about the why's we haven't discussed yet. Why do we want to get married? Why would we not get married? Okay, so, the reasons to get married included the fact that it makes so many things easier (insurance, purchasing big things like a house I would imagine), it's the next step to take in our relationship since we've decided to spend out lives together (yay!), and we want to be committed to each other. I'm leaving out the obvious crazy in love part. Reasons not to get married include the fact that our friends can't. Not everyone who loves is allowed to marry, and that is something about the state of our country that we should all be ashamed of. This presents a serious reason not to get married. We then have to ask ourselves if by getting married we are supporting an unjust system, or if it makes more sense to change it from within.
Addy Fox, who wrote the above article, has decided not to get married for the obvious ethical implications, and I think that is a really valid reason. There is always some value in protest, even if it's not something the world gets to see. Her family and friends will know that she's not getting married, they'll know why, and that's enough. I'm really grateful she acknowledges that this may feel like an empty gesture for some people, but presents her decison as her decision. it's not right for everyone, but it works for her. To be honest, for me it does feel like somewhat of an empty gesture. Here's a short play illustrating what this might look like:
ME: I think that the state of marriage equity in this country is disgusting.
GAY COMMUNITY: Okay, me too.
M: I want to do something about it.
GC: Great! Where are you going to start?
M: I'm not getting married!
M: You're welcome, gay community!
I'm just not sure if I would feel like I'm actually doing anything that would help somebody. To me it would seem more effective to make a donation to LAMBDA legal or something. Maybe gay people really do appreciate it when straight couples don't get married out of protest. I don't know. I don't know if this is ultimately the road we're going to go down. All I know is that it warrants serious consideration.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
1) Andrew wanted to have the wedding on the Winter Solstice because it's the longest night of the year; hence, the longest party in theory. Is it cruel to hold a wedding in the dead of winter? Initially I said yes, but then I think about weddings I've been to in the dead of summer that are excruciating because I hate the heat. Some people hate the cold. I suppose it depends on which extreme you revile the most...personal preference and all that. Travel could be an issue, but it could be totally fun (and much cheaper)!
2) Attendants. I liked being one. I understand the desire to honor special people in your life. I still feel like it's more trouble than it's worth. I'd like to find other ways to honor my buddies and avoid having to choose certain people over others. I'm still thinking about it.
3) I want a fun cake too! Andrew has an idea for his groom's cake that's very him and I want one too! I don't want tiers with pillars and sugar flowers. At a wedding show I saw a cake from Craig's Cake Shop in Verona that was a stump with the bride and groom's initials "carved" into the bark icing. How cute is that? It looks awesome too...very realistic.
More on this story as it develops...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
They're a little bland in that they're not colorful, but I love the shapes and texture. So cool!
Anyway, I was browsing the ads at A Practical Wedding and I came across Allsop Home and Garden. And wouldn't you know it, the next day Meg put up a nice post about this family-owned, environmentally friendly business.
Allsop has lots of beautiful garden and lawn accessories, but I'm really into the solar lanterns. That's right...solar. Each lantern comes with a solar panel, LED lights, and batteries to get you started. Just let them sit in the sun for a day and you're all set! And boy, are they beautiful...
I see these in my future.
There are also more colors and shapes to suit your individual taste, as well as some cool silk covered lanterns. I. Love. These. Lanterns. And they're an investment, too. Not only do you get to support a small, eco-conscious business, but you can use these lanterns for every picnic, barbeque, or lazy summer evening you have in your yard. They could even be used inside at night. So many wonderful possibilities without using one watt of electricity.
I hope you're sitting down because I'm going to throw even more awesome onto the pile. You can buy these in Wisconsin (and other states too)! There are several stores across Wisconsin that sell Allsop's products, but that may or may not include the lanterns. Check the website of a local store listed on the Allsop website, or call to see if you can save yourself some shipping.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
GAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! What did I just say, The Knot?! What did I just say a couple days ago?!! The photo booth is not mandatory! Actually, there are plenty of parites that are more than complete without a photo booth! Before the photo booth concept was ever invented parties existed, and I'm pretty sure the party throwers were completely satisfied with their outcomes.
I didn't really want a photo booth anyway, but now I'm just doing it out of spite. Screw you, The Knot. My party will be complete and fun, and it will not involve a photo booth.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Once you feel like you have to have something in order to show the world that your wedding was "fun" you're not being true to yourself anymore. Photobooths are inherantly cute, but if it's just something else you feel like you have to book because the wedding world is telling you that it will make your reception fun or you feel like your guests expect it, then it's probably time to think about what you really want. If a photobooth is not your personal idea of fun pick something that is! You've probably already hired a photographer, so what about something that isn't photography oriented? I'm just throwing it out there. Catch it if you want. Throw it back if you hate it.
Anyway, there are a few cool looking photobooth rental companies in Madison that are a little different than your traditional booth. Eventworks has some cool additonal options, like projecting pictures as they are taken onto a screen or wall. The Traveling Photo Booth has a lot of cool features (open back to fit more people, quality light, etc) while maintaining that vintage feel of the old photobooth. Their website is really modern looking and fun to poke around even if you're not considering a photobooth (like me). I'm sure there are more resources, but those are the few that I found.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Christo and Jeanne-Claude set up 7,503 of these gates in Central Park, and I wanted to see them so badly. How great would it be to recreate something like this at a wedding?! I know, it would be awesome.
I like the focal point created by a huppah or defining an aisle, but I'm not Jewish and I'm not crazy about runners. Huppahs have become more mainstream now, and I love the symbolism of starting a new family with your intended under a common shelter. I just had a thought..a gate huppah! Could it happen? Put three of them together with an open front so people can see and there you go! There's planty of wind out here on the prairie to move those babies around, too.
Photo from Christo and Jeanne-Claude's website.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
1901 - Phoenix
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
any Lady Gaga song, for sure
Galang - M.I.A.
Read My Mind - The Killers
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
Hopefully keeping this running list now will help me when it comes to downloading the things later.
Reading her blog makes me feel like I'm back home. It's about her upcoming wedding, style, life, and other neat things. She lives in Hoboken, NJ which means she can basically spit with some force and hit New York. A lot of the recent reading I've done on other wedding blogs has been about the emotion involved in changing/not changing your name. I don't have a lot of name changing turmoil or identity wrapped up in my name, but I do have a lot of identity wrapped up in being a New Yorker. Also with my Westere European heritage even though my family never practiced anything really traditional. I don't know how that happened, but I strongly identify with being Italian (maybe because that's how I look).
Anyway, I was thnking of ways to incorporate our cultural heritage into the wedding and was having trouble finding things that don't involve money. Here's the playlist from my epic cd.
1) The Wait-The Pretenders*
2) American Music - The Violent Femmes
3) My Doorbell - The White Stripes*
4) Hello Operator - The White Stripes
5) Invisible - Modest Mouse
6) Float On - Modest Mouse
7) Smash Your Head - Girltalk
8) Thought At Work - The Roots*
9) Wave of Mutilation - The Pixies
10) Deceptacon - Le Tigre
11) Summertime - The Sundays
12) We Are The Sleepyheads - Belle and Sebastian
13) The Summer - Yo La Tengo
14) Catch The Wind - Donovan*
15) Northern Sky - Nick Drake*
16) Waltz - Fiona Apple
* = possible DIY DJ selections
Friday, May 7, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
A while ago I got sick of thinking about it and told people my theme was going to be "Shit That I Like." I think it's a good idea. I think just incorporating shit that you like into your wedding will automatically make it personal, meaningful, fun, and beautiful. Take this picture from the Knot. Whoever posted this was so surprised that a wedding without a color scheme could actually *gasp* work. I love it because it falls into the shit I like category, as in "I don't care if it's periwinkle or cerise, just get some color in there." I think it's inviting, fun, and not formal or stuffy at all, which I care about.
Picture from The Knot
Monday, April 19, 2010
We laughed about how this was our final thought about what to do with a billion dollars, but then I thought maybe that was a bad thing.
Obviously to think of it dead last indicates that it's not as important as these other life goals and family, which means that our priorities are inthe right place. I don't think it means we don't care about getting married because we do, but not that much will change. It's not like we have to get used to living with eachother because we've been doing it for over 3 years. We already feel like we're living the way we would be if we were already married. Some days I just want to be married already and plan a party instead. Andrew talked me out of eloping a long time ago, but I still think about it.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Photo via Regretsy.com
So, clearly I have a bias against stationary. It is very pretty and can help set the tone of the wedding, but I personally feel like Big Paper is cashing in on the purported need for menus, programs, the complicated package of 5 cards you get with every wedding invitation, seating arrangement cards (I don't even know what they're called), and all the other paper crap we are made to think we need because it's tradition. I hate thinking of all that wasted paper that will end up in a landfill.
One cool option that's been around for a while are those invitations made with seeds in the paper. Stick it in the ground to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I will be looking for ways to reduce the amount of paper I use, and probably investing in a wedding website of some sort to use for RSVP's.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I am completely enjoying my long engagement. I am in grad school and working full time, and I can't begin to imagine how I would plan a wedding right now. I have to structure all my free time in order to get all my reading done as it is. Thinking about adding cake and food testings, DIY projects, touring venues, writing vows, etc to that makes me tired and it would suck all the joy out of the process. I am enjoying being an engaged person and everything that comes with it rather than someone planning a wedding. Most people I've seen get married in recent years follow the 8-10 month rule (as in 8-10 moths after the engagement there will be a wedding) and I'm sure this is by necessity in some cases. If I were in the throws of planning right now there would be a lot of ideas I would miss because of the time crunch, I would miss the opportunity to deliberate and think about what I really want, and worst of all I would miss being engaged! My missing sense of urgency contributes to my high level of comfort with our long engagement too. I am in no rush for any reason. I'm lucky in that respect.
I didn't think joining the world of engaged people would feel different, but it does. After a four year relationship and 3 years living together, I thought the only palpable difference would be having a ring on all the time. I don't know about you, but I felt immediately different in an excited and deliriously happy kind of way. Everything we had talked about was suddenly happening: lifetime committment, a public and legal expression of love/joining of our families, and building a life together. It's not that these things don't exist if you decide to start wedding planning right away, they totally do, I just think I would be missing out on this time with my intended to enjoy this moment in time and these wonderful feelings of anticipation, deep love, and comfort that I'm having. I have never been like this. I am always thinking 5 steps ahead, so jumping into planning would have been totally natural. I am not usually an in-the-moment kind of gal, so this is new for me...but nice.
I was finally spurred into action to write this post because of this video on Offbeat Bride. While there is definitely some good advice in there for the perpetually anxiety ridden bride, Ariel does say that this can be caused by a long engagement. I agree that having a year or more to mull over what people will think, are these linen colors right, do I have enough food, can drive you mad with worry. I think one answer to this dilemma is know thyself. If you are a worrier and can swing it, get married sooner rather than later. If you want time to think and collect information give yourself that time. That all sounds a little cut and dry, but starting from a point where you know you limits and can work around issues that will drive you crazy is probably a great place to start. Woulda, shoulda, coulda, right? I'm really determined to follow this "make a decision and stick to it" thing, which will also serve you well no matter what your personality is.
I am personally loving all this time I have to deliberate and just be. Anyone else love the long engagement?
Monday, March 29, 2010
I forget where this was, but somewhere a Madison bride said she took her guests to a u-pick berry farm, and then used their yield as part of the wedding dessert. Love this idea! It's a fun group project that directly contributes to the reception. Also a great way to get people to mix and mingle.
Several brides have purposefully held their weddings downtown (coincidentally at the same location) for several reasons. Everything you need (hotels, venues, food, entertainment) is within walking distance so no one has to rent a car. Utilizing all that downtown has to offer showcases the city at its best, and also shows out-of-towners why we love this place so much and call it home.
I hope to turn our wedding into a weekend long celebration/mini vacation since everyone will be coming from several states away. I am trying to remember the things I love about Madison and using that as a springboard for planning events, venue selection, food, etc. More to follow as it develops.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
They always look like this above. Just people getting down without caring who thinks what or wondering who's watching them. I haven't experienced this kind of freedom in a space this public, and I miss it. I am not one to whistfully remember college as the best years of my life, but that atmosphere of freely dancing till you drop with your girls is one I really miss. Every time Krush Girls made an appearance we were there, and we had the best time. I think we left every time saying how this one was the best one, not the party last month we thought was the most fun. Only the MIA concert has ever surpassed it.
I desperately want to recreate this atmosphere of non-judgmental fun at the reception, and I think conjuring the spirit of Krush Girls will do just that. For those of you who remember Krush Girls, leave me some song suggestions. I plan on dancing like a maniac, so bring your dancing shoes and your game face because it is ON! We're planning on doing a DIY DJ with our MP3 players, so hooray for complete creative control! For those of you who don't dance, there will be board games et al.
Photos courtesy of Nuci's Space.
As we were developing a food shopping list yesterday, I added that we needed to go to the mall and get shampoo. Expensive, salon brand, herbal shampoo that we've been indulging in with our extra funds. He gave me that you've got to be kidding look (everybody's significant other has one) and reminded me that I was just saying that we need to cut back because I just started grad school, and he hopes to start in a little over a year. I didn't like to be reminded of this, but he's absolutely right.
This is a tiny example, but we both routinely serve as a reality check for the other. We keep each other honest and on track. We help remind each other what's important (school, not shampoo), and I think this bodes well for the time when we do get down to the nitty gritty of wedding planning. It's easy to get carried away if you don't have something or someone to ground you. Should I spend $1.00 extra per invitation for the cooler paper? Do we have enough flowers for lush centerpieces? Whatever the issue becomes, one of us will always be there to tell the other who cares. I'm also confident that this will help us achieve a happy and successful marriage. We each feel safe confronting the other with a dissenting opinion, but it's always done in a caring way. It's never used as an excuse to attack or put down the other person. This is a small way in which I'm reminded that I have found the best person for me.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
My original plan to buy something on the cheap that could ideally be altered into a functional party dress was a good one, and one I planned to follow through with, but I didn't have that feeling you get when you find something that is perfect for YOU. No, I am not in search of the illusive magical bridal high that you're supposed to have over every little detail; however, I wanted to buy a dress that I would feel excited about wearing instead of focusing only on the reusable aspect. Having the right dress and being comfortable is important to me.
I am also really glad I went with my mom and sister because they helped me pick. I could easily have gone to several stores and picked something I liked at each, but I would have had trouble committing. I am somewhat indecisive about big things, and thinking "yeah, this is nice, but what if there's something else at another store..." is so something I would do. I am sticking with the advice I took to heart and committing to my decisions. I love my dress and I'm excited about wearing it. It has all the aspects of other dresses I liked and nothing I hate. I want to alter it slightly when it comes in, but that's easy enough to have done in town.
When both your mom and sister spontaneously cry, you know you've found the right dress.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I am a reader of some of these blogs, and while I find them very inspirational as well as a forum for discussing issues surrounding marriage and why the Wedding Industrial Complex has made getting married such a crazy process, I'm longing for something a little different. If you love vintage that's great! Go for whatever makes you you, but personally I'm looking for a little more variety. There are a million resources for vintage shops, people who make vintage style clothes, etc, etc. If I wanted that I'd be set, but I wish the blog world would showcase something a little different. For me right now, it's pretty much OffbeatBride or bust. Are you out there non-vintage wedding bloggers? Wedding bloggers of color?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I am secretly in love with hats, but I never wear them because the cowboy hat is the only style that looks good on me. It's a sad, sad thing. It's because of my ears. They're pretty big and stick out a bit at the top. This past December a kid said I could be an elf with my big ears. Yeah. So, I don't wear hats, but I really want to.
I mean, come on! That hat is killer! I'm really into the idea of wearing a cocktail hat especially since I'm not crazy about veils. There's got to be something that would balance out my crazy ears. I couldn't find a millinery in Madison, but there are two schools in town with fashion design programs (UW and MATC). I don't know if they teach hat making, but it's possible. This would be a great way to use a local resource and support a poor college student.
Awesome. How can you not love that?! This last one is a little more Kentucky Derby than I'd go for, but you get the idea.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
2) Garter toss - I also refuse to make a mock sexual display of myself and my husband as he ventures comically up my dress to pull off my garter and throw it to one of his dude friends. Gross. I have seen this done at other weddings and thought it was cute because the couple was into it, but when I think about doing it myself I again want to vomit.
I basically won't be tossing anything.
3) Have a head table - This is the traditional way to go, and may be a good organizational choice for larger or more formal weddings, but I hate the exclusivity and on displayness of the head table. The rest of the guests always look to the head table for their cues as to when they can eat, get up, etc. I want people to wander around freely, mingle, and not feel constrained by faux formality. That's not how we roll. I also really hate being stared at, and this would inevitably happen at a head table.
That's all the stuff I hate for now! There will be more later, I'm sure.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Photography is really important to me in general, but especially for our wedding. I love having a visual record of important events and people in my life to refer to. While this is a priority, I do not want to spend an arm and a leg. I feel like her prices are very fair, especially for an experienced wedding photographer. She could charge a lot more, but doesn't (and please don't start!) Also, booking Becca means you have her for the entire day. This is also really important to me in choosing a photographer because I do not want to pick and choose which 6 or 8 hours of the day will be the most important and need documentation. I'd rather have someone floating around all day snapping away at people laughing and having fun.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
"Another thing that we did that I think helped a bunch was to make decisions and stick with them...Bought a dress-done. Picked the caterer-done...I had to stop worrying about the choices we were making and just let things be done."
Love this advice because really, with the wedding powers that be shoving pictures and advertisements down your throat you could constantly change your mind. This leads me into my second attempt at wedding dress shopping. I say attempt for a reason.
I heard about Just For You consignment store in Verona, and I really wanted to check it out for the obvious budget and environmentally friendly reasons. Once I went on my first shopping trip, I figured it would be nice to get a dress picked and in the closet. The more I have checked off my list when we set a date, the better, right? I called to get their hours and the woman asks me when I'm getting married. We haven't set a specific date, but we're thinking tentatively fall 2011. I tell her this and the following happens:
Her: I'm going to tell you something that's going to sound kind of weird, but hear me out, okay?
H: (adamently) You're looking for a dress too early. You need to stop.
H: I know how it is, you just got engaged, you're excited, and the first thing you want to do is get a dress. What I'm trying to save you from is buying something now, growing to hate it, and having to buy another one later.
M: ...Well....that certainly gives me something to think about. Thank you.
I've seen it happen on tv where the bride wants a dress for the ceremony and a different one for the rehearsal. That's your perrogative if you want a costume change, but I do not understand growing to hate a dress you liked enough to buy and then ditching it for a whole new one! At least think about alterations or something to make it more like what you want. Come on now, people!
Obviously she wouldn't have given me this advice if she hadn't seen this happen before, but the assumption and the delivery were all wrong. She actually said the words "you need to stop" and I'm pretty sure she doesn't know me or my plans. Also, I don't like being told what to do, especially be strangers with an air of "oh, you'll see" if I don't follow their well-meaning but totally out of place advice. I imagine it's akin to people without children telling an expectant mother how to parent. The tone of this-is-what-brides-do-and-you're-a-bride-so-you-will-obsess-over-your-dress completely turned me off in all of three minutes. Sometimes I feel like I should cut her more slack, but if this is how she views a bride simply asking for her store's hours I can't help but feel it would color the whole experience. I may end up going there in the interest of investigating another local resource and saving money, but i'll check eBay first.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Jewelers Workshop - This place sounds like a ton of fun. Not only can you custom design your own jewelry, be involved in every step of the process, and walk away with a unique handmade piece, but you can contribute old or donated jewelry to the making of the new piece. The trade-in value will help ease the cost, and the sentimental value of wearing a wedding ring made from pieces donated from the ones you love is too good to pass up. Plus, Richard Armstrong, the man who started and owns Jewelers Workshop, is from Huntington, Long Island (aka my hometown)! Enough said. Go Yankees!
Capital City Coin and Jewelry - I couldn't find a ton of information on this place, but they are advertised as having custom design services, too. They also buy old gold, so recycling old jewelry may also be possible to contribute to your custom design.
Studio Jewelers - This is another store I would definitely check out. These guys not only buy old gold, but if you take your trade-in as store credit you get an extra 20%. What a great way to finance your custom wedding rings. A big selling point for me is that Studio Jewelers also deals in conflict-free diamonds. As I said before, if I had known about blood diamonds before I bought one, I would have only bought conflict-free. They also have Eli the shop cat to cuddle during your visit. Bonus!
I think any one of these stores would offer a fun experience with personalized results. Since I already have wedding rings and I am an earring freak (I have over 30 pair) it might be fun to custom design a knock out pair of wedding day earrings made from donated gold. I like the symbolism of blending two new families through jewelry contributions into something new and special.
Pictures from JewelersWorkshop.com and StudioJewelersWi.com respectively
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This is in no way a reflection of my experience at Premiere Couture. Getting a coupon at a wedding show with an expiration date enticed me to make an appointment. I fell in love with a simple, sassy Nicole Miller dress at the show and was utterly shocked to find that it was well below my $1500 arbitrary dress budget. This dress allowance is in no way based on any kind of arithmetic. I simply guessed what I could spend on a dress and still sleep soundly at night. I've also prioritised our attire as something we care about more than..say...menus and seating charts and stationary. My goal is also to find a wedding dress that can be taken up, dyed, and turned into a party dress for all future occasions. If I could find a great dress within my budget and get 10% off why not get the dress shopping out of the way, right? Remind me to tell you a story about the other point-of-view later.
Anyway, my dressistant asked me what I was looking for/not looking for and my price range, and let me tell you...she delivered. She did not show me one dress over $1500, but there was still a huge range of styles to choose from. I was a little concerned about that since my price limit is on the cheap side of wedding dresses, but I tried on 8 or 9 entirely different styles in my $ range.
I was also worried that I was going to be pressured to buy in a smarmy slick sales-type way, but this never happened. She was much more concerned with my happiness than the price tag or sealing the deal. She was also very knowlegable about body types and the way different fabrics, cuts, and styles worked on me. I really felt like I was being taken care of. I did get to try on the Nicole Miller, and oh my God I found a winner. It is everything I wanted-no pouf, form-fitting, v-neck, open back. It is so f'ing beautiful and it fit my personality and my, but it's sassy! There's a bit of a decolletage issue, if you catch my drift, but my dressistant informed me that this could be fixed with a panel of lace or scrap silk from the hem. I also specifically remember saying that I don't care about the neckline issue. I'll find a way to wear it. *dreamy sigh* I may wear that dress yet. In case you couldn't tell, I am one satisfied customer.
One of my friends I invited along asked me if I felt like a bride, and I think I kind of said yes, but I'm not sure. Upon reflection, I kind of felt like I was playing dress-up and I suppose that's true. I hardly ever dress that fancy. I don't have galas to attend or premieres at which I need to make an appearance. I also have been asking myself the "do I want to wear white" question. I love neutrals and earth tones accented with pops of bright color, and the idea of that on a dress is very appealing. I also avoid white clothing like the plague in everyday life because I get it dirty. The color white has no symbolic meaning for me, but it is part of the iconic bride image, and I may want to take this opportunity to drape myself in a stain prone color just to prove to myself that I can wear white incident-free.
P.S. - Premiere Couture recently had a trunk show featuring a designer who uses sustainable fabrics, and there are dresses featured on their blog made in the USA if that's something you are taking into consideration as you shop. My other friend said she wished she'd known about the store so she could have shopped there for her wedding dress. Definitely check it out, you guys.