Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Brides, Two Very Different Approaches

As some of you may recall, the Mister's sister got married at the beginning of April, and we have another wedding coming up in two weekends where the Mister will be serving as the best man.  We were heavily involved in getting everything set up for his sister's wedding, and we will also be doing this for the wedding coming up.  But that is where the similarities end. 

For his sister's wedding, she gave a list of things that need to be done to her informal "Day of Coordinator" (a.k.a. the Matron of Honor's husband) and that's it.  Word spread around that help was needed in getting everything ready and people showed up, asked him how they could help, and went to work.  Everything got done on time and we were no worse for the wear.  Okay, I was a little worse for the wear - I changed into flats before the ceremony even started.  There were a few occasions where he couldn't be found and people had questions for him,  or people wanted to help but didn't really know what to do, or her instruction weren't clear so we had to wing it.  But for the most part I'd say things went off without a hitch, and the Bride was certainly happy with how everything turned out.

On the other hand, I got an email the other day from the Bride for the wedding we will be attending in Colorado in two weekends.  It was a detailed timeline of events and tasks starting the Thursday before the wedding and going straight through to the day after the wedding.  I know exactly what is needed of me, when it needs to be done, and who will be helping me with it.  Based on this timeline, I can plan ahead a little better.  For example, I know that I am responsible for transporting all of the flower arrangements and linens from our hotel to the reception space after the ceremony (there's a 3 hour gap between the ceremony and reception) so I might want to change outfits to avoid getting dirty/sweaty in my nice new gettup

I've yet to decide which approach I think is better for our wedding.  From the perspective of a helper, I kind of like the more detailed approach better.  But I don't think it's necessary for our wedding because we have a full 24 hours to get everything ready (we check into the cabin at 4 p.m. on Friday and the wedding starts at 4:30 on Saturday).  Maybe a hybrid approach will work - assign tasks to specific people but not necessarily time frames for when it has to be done. 

What kind of approach to organizing your helpers are you taking (if you're taking one at all!)?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's funny how the universe works

Thanks ladies for all your words of encouragement about getting up the gumption to just ask my Aunt about doing my hair for the wedding.  Yesterday I went shopping with my Mom and asked her if she could delicately ask my Aunt about doing our hair.  Later in the evening I got a call from my Mom saying that she called my Aunt under the guise of confirming her travel plans for the wedding and my Aunt actually brought the hair issue up.  Apparently, she has been wanting to volunteer to do our hair but was afraid that I would feel like I couldn't say no!  Can you tell we're related?

The icing on the cake is that my Aunt's best friend/business partner really wants to come out to California with her but didn't want to just up and invite himself to the wedding.  My Aunt mentioned that he's a makeup artist and would love to do our makeup for the wedding.  So my Mom invited him to the wedding. (Side Note: it's not a big deal that she invited him.  Remember how we gave out parents an allotment of people they could invite to the wedding?  No?  That's okay, I forgive you.)

So now I leave you with some gratuitous hair and makeup inspiration photos.

(Kristen Bell via People)

(Mrs. Cowboy Boot via Weddingbee)

(Jessica Biel from here)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Asking is the hardest part

One of the items looming on my to-do list for quite some time now has been to figure out who is going to do hair and makeup for the wedding.  I've toyed with the idea of doing my own makeup, but there's no way in hell I'm doing my own hair.  It's far too difficult to deal with to take on that stress all by myself on my wedding day.  I've emailed dozens of hair and makeup artists in my area and received quotes that have been pretty consistent across the board - consistently WAY too expensive (remind me why I live near L.A. again???).  I found a couple of places that are affordable, but their portfolio's are less than stellar, in my opinion.  Since I just want simple hair and makeup they could probably do the job just fine, but I'd have to trek up the mountains to do a trial run, and I'm lazy.

This would put most brides in a really tough spot with some hard decisions to make.  But for me, there's an easy solution.  My Aunt has confirmed that she is coming to the wedding.  This aunt has been doing hair for 20+ years and owns her own (very successful) salon.  And a friend of mine is a makeup artist at Sephora.  She was actually recruited by Sephora to help them open a new store near where we live.  So, in other words, I've got friendors who can handle this situation and save me a ton of moola.

But I am having the hardest time working up the nerve to ask.  The last thing I want is for them to feel like they have to say yes even though they don't want to.  I hate the thought of making my Aunt feel like she's working when she's coming a long way, and spending a lot of money, to get to California for the wedding.  But at the same time, I'd love it if she did my hair.  It would be like old times.  When she was in beauty school I was her test dummy.  She even gave me a perm when I was 7 years old!  (And yes, it was awesome).  I do recognize the flip side, that maybe she would be really excited to do my hair.  But still.  It's hard to ask.

Maybe I'll have my Mom ask my Aunt to get a feel for whether she would want to do our hair.  It's her sister, and she'd be more likely to tell my Mom the truth than me.  This approach feels a little bit like a cop out, but whatever.  I'll grow a pair some other time.  My Mom is always asking to help with wedding stuff, so this can be her contribution!

What would you do if you were in my shoes?  Are you having a hard time asking people to help out with wedding stuff?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guys have it so easy, Part II

This weekend all of the guys in our wedding party were in town, so we capitalized on the situation and asked them all to meet us at Men's Warehouse at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning so we could select and buy their outfits for our wedding.  We had 6 guys to dress - the Mister, our dads, the best man, one groomsman, and the officiant (who is really a groomsman in disguise).  We had dropped one of our dogs off at the groomer's earlier that morning and right when we got to Men's Warehouse the groomer called and said Max was ready to be picked up, so I left the Mister at the store and took off to get our dog and drop him off at home.  I got back to Men's Warehouse around 10 a.m. and everyone had already picked out their suits.  I was amazed.  We got three different suit styles - a lighter gray for the Mister

(Jones New York gray stripe peak lapel suit)

a darker gray for "the Fathers" - my Dad, the Mister's dad, and our officiant

(Kenneth Cole charcoal multi stripe suit)

and black for the best man and groomsman

(Pronto Platinum black stripe suit)

You can't really tell from these pictures, but all of the suits are pinstriped and because that element carries through the whole thing looks really cohesive.  The men folk did good!

Then the guys took off to go find shirts and ties and I barely had to participate in the process.*  They found a light purple shirt that looked good with all three suit styles that we ended up purchasing and three different ties - one to go with each suit style.  The Mister found a nice pair of slip on shoes that worked with every suit and voila - we were out of there by noon.  It only took so long because everyone had to get measured and the salesman took a while writing up the order and figuring out what they had in stock and what needed to be ordered.  

Did you do suits for your wedding instead of tuxes?  Were you pleasantly surprised by your guys' fashion sense?

* I did have to put my foot down on one tie that looked like the tie version of one of Bill Cosby's sweaters.  But other than that I didn't have to really speak up other than to say "yes" when they asked me if I approved of what they picked.

(All photos courtesy of Men's Warehouse)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

The Mister got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I realize I've never shown off my ring on the blog before.  He picked the ring out all by himself and did a fantastic job.

Happy one year engage-aversay babe!

Oh, and P.S.  Yesterday the Mister took me to Macy's and we bought the earrings.  He was going to try to buy them for me as a surprise but he spilled the beans, which was good because with my bargain hunting prowess we were able to get the earrings for almost 70% off.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Decision Has Been Made!

After waffling, and waffling, and waffling some more over whether I wanted to DIY my flowers or hire a florist, I finally made a decision - we're hiring a florist.  I got a quote from a very lovely (and very reasonably priced) florist and decided that before I agreed to go with her I wanted to check out how much it would cost to get the flowers from a wholesaler in the Flower Mart instead.  Long story short, I got an email this morning from the wholesaler saying that he couldn't give me any price quote until about 2 weeks before the wedding since prices fluctuate so much, and that I'd need to give him a list of exactly what flowers I want and how many I want.  But that's the part I need help with!!!  Grrr. 

After getting this not very helpful response from the wholesaler, I was ready to throw in the towel on this zany idea of DIYing my flowers.  I texted the Mister to make sure we were on the same page, and then promptly emailed the florist saying that we wanted to book her services.  There, it's done.  A decision has been made and I cannot waffle anymore!

In all seriousness, though, I consider paying a little more money for a florist to be an investment in my sanity.  I sat back and thought about how my time has a value to it and that once I consider all the time I would need to put in to researching what flowers I need to order and how many, what supplies I need and how to care for the flowers so they don't wilt before the wedding, not to mention the time driving to L.A. to get the flowers two days before the wedding, it just wasn't worth it.  Plus, since we're not having many flowers to begin with it's not like the florist will break the bank (though we will go over budget slightly).  I'm willing to sacrifice some money if it means I can get rid of my flower-related stress because it's ridiculous.  I mean, c'mon, flowers are NOT supposed to be stressful, they're supposed to relieve stress!

Now I can go back to being a normal person who can enjoy flowers.  I already emailed the florist my flower inspiration board and that's all she needs.  I don't have to think about flowers one more time.  I'll have a bouquet full of flowers I think are pretty, but have no idea what they're called, and that's fine with me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

For My Dad

In honor of Father's Day this Sunday, and my Dad's 55th birthday today, I thought I'd share with you all the song I chose for our father-daughter dance - Neil Young's Heart of Gold.  The clip above is a live version from a show Neil did at Madison Square Garden.

I thought picking a father-daughter dance song would be hard, but once Heart of Gold came across my radar I was sold.  It's just perfect.  Enjoy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm contemplating getting a Brazilian Blowout.  Before getting engaged, I kept my hair pretty short.  In fact, I think the last time I had hair that was long enough to even hit my collar bone was 2006.  When we got engaged I was already overdue for a haircut and decided to just let it grow out since I have known since day one that I want an updo.  Just about a year later, this is how long my hair is now.

It's long, thick, dry, frizzy and hard to manage.  I've read about the miracles of the Brazilian Blowout and it is so, so tempting.  Luscious smooth and frizz-free hair without having to use products or blow dry?  Sign me up!  It only lasts up to 12 weeks so if I get it done now it will be pretty much worn out by the time our wedding rolls around.  So, it will get me through these next 110(!) days, I can get my updo, and then get my Post-Wedding Chop when we get back from our honeymoon.

My local salons charge around $300 for a Brazilian Blowout, so I'm having trouble pushing myself to make the appointment.  I keep thinking maybe I should try a home deep conditioning treatment or invest in some good anti-frizz products first.

What do you think?  Just say pocketbook be damned and go for the blowout, or try something cheaper first? Any recommendations for at home products?  Anyone out there had a Brazilian Blowout and have any words of wisdom for me?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jewelry love

I found these earrings at Macy's a while back and I tried my best to get over them.  But I just can't quit them.

But at $1,200 they are  They are regularly on sale and I get coupons galore from Macy's, and even then I'd still be spending upwards of $400.  Still not in the budget.

So I was torturing myself the other day by lusting over their perfection when I realized that there is a matching necklace too!

I'm not normally a necklace person, but I love this one.  I love how these pieces are simple and understated, but still visually interesting.  I'd love to wear these on my wedding day and then make them heirloom pieces that can get passed down generation to generation.  But I just can't justify $1000 on jewelry.  Sigh.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The mother of one of the Mister's oldest and dearest friends suddenly and unexpectedly passed away this weekend.  I had the great fortune to know this woman, if only for a short while.  She was so kind and sweet and always welcomed me into her home with open arms.  Her son is our officiant and is set to get married himself in just over a month.  My heart breaks for what he and his family are going through right now, and it has been a real reminder to me about what is really important.  This whole wedding we've been planning for the past year could crumble to pieces right before our eyes and it would all be okay.  We could get married in someone's backyard in shorts and flip flops and it would still be beautiful because we'd be surrounded by our family and friends.  I'd still have the Mister by my side in bed at night and we'd still grow old together.  

Posting will be sporadic at best this week.  I need to take some time to regroup and focus my energies on the important people in my life, not wedding details.  Though I will say this, wedding details are the perfect way to distract yourself when you need to escape the pain.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wedding Dreams

My wedding dreams have turned into wedding nightmares.  I haven't been having very many wedding dreams (that I can remember anyway) through the course of this planning process, but for the most part they have been pleasant.  Last night was a different story.  I slept like sh*t because I kept waking up from bad wedding dreams.  First, I dreamed that I was at home on our wedding day (because apparently in my dream I was getting married at home) and I was all by myself getting the house ready for the wedding.  All of a sudden I realized that the wedding was supposed to start in 10 minutes and I had done nothing - the house was a mess and I was in my pajamas - and no one was there to help me.   I ran upstairs to try to get ready just as guests started to arrive...and then I woke up.

The second dream was even more dramatic.  We were at a resort of some sort and the ceremony was about to start.  (Side Note: what's up with none of my wedding dreams being at our actual venue?).  I was in my dress and all made up and the processional had started and my Dad was M.I.A.  Then, just in the knick of time he shows up to walk me down the aisle, but he's drunk as a skunk, eating pizza, and wearing swim trunks.  I yelled at him to get upstairs and change, he got in an elevator, and then I decided to walk down the aisle alone.  Just as I started walking I woke up.

Sigh.  I think the first dream is obviously related to the stress of getting everything done and feeling like I'm shouldering the burden of doing it all.  But the second dream is just out of left field.  I don't think I have to worry about my Dad getting trashed and showing up in a bathing suit.  That's a relief, because I have no idea how I'd deal with that.

Have you been having whacked out wedding dreams?  Do tell!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guys have it so easy

The Mister, his best man and I went to Men's Warehouse yesterday after work to look at some suits. Since the Mister and his best man both had to go to Men's Warehouse anyway to get measured for tux rentals for their friend's wedding this July, we used this opportunity to see what we liked for our wedding.  The Mister and I agreed ages ago that  the men should wear gray suits instead of doing tux rentals.  Tuxes are just too formal for our woodsy wedding.

So we started browsing the stock with only three criteria in mind for finding the right suits:  a shade of gray, a two-button jacket, and flat front pants.  They had suits picked out in 10 minutes.  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it certainly wasn't more than 20 minutes and it definitely was less time than it took for both of them to get measured for their tux rentals!  Geez.  I wish I had it that easy when I was looking for my dress!  The Mister really likes a Jones New York suit that apparently isn't available online because I can't find it anyway on the Men's Warehouse website.  It's pretty similar to this suit, except it's a two button jacket instead of a 3-button jacket (and no pleated pants).

And for the groomsman/officiant we're leaning toward this Kenneth Cole number

(I wish I could find a better picture of this suit.  Who cuts off the head of a male model??? Source.)

We didn't purchase anything yet because Men's Warehouse is having a massive Buy One Get One sale right now that lasts until July 4th and to capitalize on it we need to buy the suits at once (or at least two at a time).  So we have a month get the measurements of the other groomsman and the officiant (who is essentially a groomsman...he's the one getting married in July and the Mister is his best man) and get the suits ordered.  We'll probably also have our dads get suits, though we'll let them pick different ones.  Obviously, nothing is set in stone but even if we end up picking different suits my mind is completely at ease because this trip reminded me of how ridiculously easy it is to dress men.

Was dressing the men in your wedding easy too?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

4 Months

In four months I'll be married!  Considering that the Mister and I do not have a single fully free weekend in the month of June and two weekends in July are already booked with events, I have a feeling that these four months are going to fly by.  Oh, and that's not including our yet to be scheduled shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties.  And my 30th birthday party.

OMG.  When am I going to get wedding stuff done???

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Post Script: Laying down the (in)law

Remember our guest list drama?  We finally had the conversations with our parents about the number of guests they can invite to the wedding and everything went over swimmingly.  We were waiting to have the conversation in person with the Mister's parents, but we could never seem to get them alone, so the Mister finally just called his dad and told him the deal:  he and his wife can invite 8 people to the wedding.  My parents will be getting the same amount of invites, but since they are divorced they'll have to split them 4 and 4 (or however else they choose to split parents get along pretty well so I trust them to work things out amicably.)

We decided on 8 as our "magic number" for a few reasons.  One, since my parents are divorced I wanted to pick a number that when divided in two still gave each of my parents an even number of invites.  For example, we thought about setting the number at 6, but then that means each of my parents would get 3 invites so they couldn't invite two couples.  Two, we had a feeling that we might get some resistance from my future in-laws if we set the number at 6 or lower.  We had an inkling of who they would want to invite and figured that 8 would cover the important people.*  Finally, we took a look at our guest list and we think that adding 16 guests will not put us over 100 people, though it may be close.  If we go over 100 people, our venue site fee goes up, so our goal is to stay under 100.

All in all, I think we finally put this monster issue to rest.  Thank god.  I don't know if I could manage to deal with it much more without blowing up on someone.  I've managed to keep my composure thus far, but at some point a girl's gotta let it all out.

* Our guesses as to who they wanted to invite in those 8 slots may turn out to be completely wrong.  When the Mister talked to his dad, apparently he started listing off people who we assumed would not make the cut.  But they don't have to get their final choices to us for a while, so it remains to be seen.