Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shoe obsessed

I will admit that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to shoes. I absolutely adore them. I have yet to own a pair of Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos, or Christian Louibitons , and what better event to splurge on a pair?

I am also ebay obsessed, especially when it comes to pricey designer purchases, so I am fairly confident I will be able to find my dream shoes at a deep discount.

The first shoe I thought I wanted was the famous "stolen shoe" from Sex and the City.  (The episode where Carrie is forced to take her shoes off at a friend's party and they are missing when she goes to leave.  Yes, I am a huge SATC dork.)  I just love the silver fabulousness of them, and I can just imagine them peeking out from under my dress (when I lift it a little to show them off, of course!) 
Feast your eyes upon these!
You can usually find these on Ebay for a fraction of their sale price, if you don't mind getting a floor sample.   Unfortunately, when I tried them on at Saks, they just were not what I wanted.  I love them, but they were almost a little too bridal for me, if that makes sense.
The next shoes I tried on were these fabulous Jimmy Choos:
I really liked the gold color of these.  They are very strappy, but somehow comfortable.  However, I have not found them on Ebay at all (for an affordable price). 
So, the search continues!  I am not opposed to color and have really just been searching Ebay for the designers in my size and price range.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Giving myself away

One of the most difficult decisions I had to make for our wedding was what to do about the whole "giving away the bride" thing.  I have never been close with my father since my parents's divorce when I was 9.  I see him occasionally, less than once a year since I graduated from college, and he barely knows anything about me as a person.  He has met P once, and we've been together for 5 years. 
Having him give me away would be just for show and tradition.  It would feel entirely false to me, and would not reflect what we want our ceremony to be.  So I've decided to walk down the aisle alone. 
When I told my father, I decided to spin it as more of an "I'm a independent woman" thing, and less of a "you have no right giving me away" thing.  Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), he reacted very negatively and has since told us that he will not be attending our wedding and does not wish to have me in his life anymore. 

While it was difficult to hear that from him, I know now, more than ever, that I made the right decision.  Our wedding day is going to be about us and the people we love and care for most.  We are not going to do anything that doesn't feel right to us or reflect us as a couple. 

In a gesture that made both me and P cry, one of P's uncles offered to walk me down the aisle.  We are both close to him, and because he has been ill for quite some time, he is one of the reasons we decided on a Wisconsin wedding.  I thanked him profusely through my tears, but let him know that I am happy with the idea of giving myself away!

And it's not going to be as lonely as it sounds!  I am a very independent lady, and the idea of walking confidently towards my future husband and our life together thrills me.  It will be completely special for both of us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little New Orleans flavor

Now that we live in New Orleans, we were thinking about how we would incorporate some New Orleans flair into our wedding.  At first I was thinking favors, but I'm not sure we are going to do favors at all.  Then one day when I was walking in the French Quarter, I saw a wedding parade!

Doesn't that look fabulous?

It is a tradition in New Orleans to have a second line parade after the ceremony.  Usually this includes a brass band, and everyone dances and waves their umbrellas or napkins/tissues while they march/dance.  This works incredibly well if you can parade it from your ceremony to your reception.

And guess what, our reception venue is only a few blocks away from our ceremony site!  So we are going to have our own version of a New Orleans wedding parade!  Ours will involve our bluegrass band and those beautiful vintage hankies.  I am also on the lookout for a bunch of parasols at a bargain price.

This is one of the parts of our wedding I am most excited for. I know that our photographer will get some amazing shots of us all marching towards the reception!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cocktails by the lake

One of the reasons I love our ceremony site is that it is located right on a lake.

Perfect spot for pictures, no?

P and I really do not want a large space of time in between the ceremony and reception. We both dislike the idea of leaving our guests to take pictures, while they are off at our reception celebrating. So we are bringing the cocktail hour to the ceremony! Weather permitting, everyone will go outside and sip on lemonade, champagne, or a signature cocktail (yet to be determined), while we take pictures right outside! Guests can take pictures on the lake as well, or just mingle and listen to bluegrass while we capture the moments!

There is tons of inspiration for the laid-back cocktail hour vibe we are going for. I used my favorite new inspiration board builder to create this:

laid back cocktail hour

Align Center

Now wouldn't that be the perfect way to transition from our ceremony to our reception? And just wait until you hear how we are getting to our reception...

Do you have a cocktail hour vision?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vintage Hankies

One day, during my wedding blog searching I found these:

Now, like I mentioned, I am DIY challenged, so I knew that I could never make these. However, it did give me the idea of using vintage hankies in place of cocktail napkins. I love this idea because it is eco-friendly and adds just a bit of a vintage vibe. I'm envisioning stacks of colorful vintage hankies on the cocktail tables! Perfect.
Here are the hankies I've already acquired (all through eBay, of course):

I still need a lot more (60 or so!), but I am an ebay-pro, so I'm not worried!
Are you scouring ebay for any vintage finds for your wedding?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amazing inspiration board

Carly, of Inspiring Brides, made this wonderful inspiration board for me. I gave her some color details (sage, white, navy as our dark color, and touches of pink and gold) and some of our wedding details (bluegrass, the parade, no matchy-matchy bridesmaids, etc) and she created this board:

I am loving the bridesmaid dresses and the cocktail hour inspiration in this board. 
If you are interested, check out Carly's blog and contact her with your details.  She makes custom inspiration boards for brides out of the goodness of her heart. How cool is that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Will you be my bridesmaid?

In asking my lovely ladies to be my bridesmaids, I knew that I wanted to do something special. All of my bridesmaids live long distance from me (2 in California, 2 in Michigan, and one in Florida), so I couldn't ask them in person.

And so the search for bridesmaid cards began!

A DIY option:
Once Wed  Disclaimer: I could never do this. My friends would laugh out loud and want to know when the wedding had gotten to my brain.  I'm not exactly a paper doll sort of a girl.

And then I stumbled upon Etsy and found that there is a whole genre of bridesmaids cards.  Seriously, I was overwhelmed. Finally, I found an option that fit my style/price range and ordered them up.

Here they are:

Etsy Seller SongbirdPie
I'm digging the rustic vibe of these cards. She added each girl's name to the top and even made me a MOH and junior bridesmaid card. This seller was wonderful to work with and the cards were less than $2 each, w/envelopes.
Of course, I ended up calling all of them first because I just couldn't wait, but all of my ladies loved their cards. My favorite response was a text that read "Of course I will be your bridesmaid, you crafty little minx". I love my friends.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Playing with colors

When we first got engaged, I got the idea of navy bridesmaids dresses stuck in my head. I thought about just picking whatever color closest to navy that J.Crew had in their dress line, and letting my bridesmaids pick whatever they wanted.

A bridal party with a similar idea:

However, the more I thought about/looked at color combinations with navy dresses, I kept coming up with navy/yellow/white, or navy/pink/some other color. Those combinations are wonderful, but they are just not me, and just did not feel right.

So I let go of the navy bridesmaid idea and started to look at inspiration photos to see what I loved/felt drawn too. (FYI, I have free reign here as long as I don't "go overboard with the pink."  Got it.)

Here is what I kept being drawn to:

All images via Style Me Pretty
This vision was just so much more us. It's not really about the color palette (although soft green, lilac, light pink, ivory, and gold do seem to keep coming up), but more about the vision. I keep being drawn to a shabby-chic, casual elegance theme. And that is something I can plan around.
I may come up with a defined color palette if I need to, but for now, I am going to let my vision and inspiration photos do the work.
Now if only I could figure out what the bridesmaids should wear....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Bluegrass Ceremony

One of the ways we are making our ceremony reflect us as a couple is by having a bluegrass band play! P is not a fan of string quartets, and as much as I love the image of a bride walking down to Canon in D, I love the idea of something more personal.

Bluegrass is a perfect choice for us because we first met and fell in love in North Carolina, and we used to listen to bluegrass music all the time when we lived there! Some of my best memories of North Carolina involve long Sunday drives where we would listen to the local NPR station play bluegrass. P lived in a big ole farmhouse then, and we used to have big bonfire parties where a couple of his friends would play the banjo and guitar. Ahhh, memories...

So far, the plan is to have the bluegrass band play all during the ceremony (while people are being seated, the processional, and the recessional) and also during the cocktail hour directly following the ceremony. If the weather is beautiful, that means they will be playing right on the lake, while we take pictures and our guests minge. Perfect.

Now I just need ideas for what songs they are going to play. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Using our resources

While Wisconsin may not have sandy beaches, it does have a couple of perks for P and I in regards to wedding planning. And they are HUGE perks.

1. P has a florist in his family. (Feel free to cue hallelujah music.) That's right, a florist. And because they are incredibly generous human beings, they are giving us our flowers for our wedding present. When they told us this, I almost wept. This is amazing for me because when I was cutting expense categories, I was finding it easy to give up many things, but I could not bring myself to skimp on flowers. Now I am not going to take advantage of their kindness by having a floral explosion, but I do have plans for some lovely flowers.

(I adore this bouquet!)

2. The restaurant I worked at during grad school (aka, my second home) is going to shut down for our reception. We are going to get a ridiculous deal on some of the most amazing food I've ever had. I will personally know the talented chefs making our food and the servers working the event. Pretty cool.

Check out how beautiful this restaurant is:

(did I mention it has a view of the capitol? And that the linens and tableware in general is beyond what we could hope for? Ummmm, yeah.)
Are you having your wedding somewhere because of your connections/resources there?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

But there aren't beautiful beaches in Wisconsin!

My dream location:


(ok, so it's not always that bad...)
That's right, we are getting married in Wisconsin. I've let go of the beach wedding dream, and for good reason. Other than me, the most important people in the P's life are his grandparents. They've always been there for him (especially when his family was going through difficult times), and they are truly amazing people. So amazing, that they love and accept me even though I am not Catholic, and they are completely fine with us having a non-religious ceremony. (and they are reeeeally Catholic, like attend church every day Catholic) Anyway, they are both over 80 and can't travel long distances anymore. In addition, P has another family member that we are both close with that can't fly because of a medical condition.
So it just started to make sense to plan a Wisconsin wedding. The wedding will be in Madison, where we both lived during grad school and is very special to us. His family will easily be able to drive in, and it is a great city for all of our friends who will be coming in from out of town.
And you know what? I'm not even upset about the whole beach wedding thing. Because honoring the people we love is more important than following a vision that I had in my head. Enough said.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I dream of beach weddings...

I must admit, that long before I even met P, I knew what I wanted my wedding to look like. (That's right, it was MY wedding. I've now learned to plan OUR wedding, but that's for another post!) Because I have a touch of what my friend Abby describes as "a little bit of a hippie vibe", I gravitated towards a laid-back, barefoot beach wedding. Something about feeling the sand beneath your feet and the ocean at your back as you recite your vows to your beloved is just so perfect. For example, take a look at this:

or this:

How can you not want to grab your significant other and run to a beach to get married now?!?
-All images from the lovely Kathryn at Snippet and Ink (http://snippetandink.blogspot.com/)

But I've had to let go of my fabulous beach wedding dream and trade it for an even more fabulous vision that speaks to who P and I are as a couple. Because we are a team, and this wedding is about us. And that's what its all about.

Did you have a completely different vision of your wedding before you started planning? Did that vision change? Why/why not?