Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What didn't matter, and finding my "wedding zen"

In the months leading up to our wedding, I definitely was stressed about the details.  Despite my stress, I somehow managed to find my "wedding zen" a few days before the wedding.  Once we got to Madison, I didn't want to work on any more wedding tasks.  I wanted to drink Wisconsin beer and sit outside with my friends, I wanted to go to my favorite restaurants in Madison that I missed, I wanted to stay up late sitting in our best man's living room, laughing and talking about nothing and everything.  And that's what I did.  I even went to see Sex and The City 2 with all of my friends who were in town, the day before the wedding.  I had 8 missed calls after the movie was over.  I looked at them, and then turned off my phone.  I'm a bad ass.

Here is what didn't matter:

-I didn't really like our flowers.  My bouquet had purple in it, and I really can't stand purple, especially when it's mixed with pink.  But I LOVED the last minute flowers Tami (the restaurant owner) put together for the outside tables.  So I focused on those.
-My mom was super angry about anything and everything, but disguising it in the most disgustingly passive-aggressive way.  I showered her with kindness and moved on.
-Our hand-fasting ceremony didn't go exactly as planned, because we didn't rehearse it with the ribbons (which we forgot to bring to the rehearsal, probably because I was at SATC2 about an hour before).  It was still incredibly moving and special.
-Our iPod play-list was on shuffle, so immediately after our first dance, "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" came on.  Not the transition we were looking for, but everyone busted a move, and we modified the playlist accordingly.
-The programs didn't get passed out until the last minute.  My awesome preggo bridesmaid (and pretty much the go-to person for anything ceremony related) realized that the groomsmen forgot to pass them out, and busted out the programs right before we began our procession.  
-I left the vintage handkerchiefs I painstakingly collected for months in New Orleans.  Now I have a cool collection that I have no idea what to do with.

You will forget some of the details you worked so hard on.  People won't behave the way you want them.  Not every vendor is going to perfectly execute your vision.  Your wedding will not be perfect.

But when you walk down that aisle and see your future partner waiting with an expression on their face like this:

that is all you will care about.  I promise.

*all photos by the incredibly talented Kara Layne.  The first is of the outside of the restaurant where our reception was held, along with those awesome flowers from the farmers market that Tami put together at the last minute.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our (surprisingly successful) dancing playlist

I mentioned before that we had an iPod wedding.  Putting together the cocktail and dinner playlist was amazing, and pretty much a piece of cake.  P is a HUGE music snob, he's that guy that knows about a band before anyone else does.  (This was actually mentioned during a toast at our wedding, and everyone cracked up.)  We had a great time putting together 5+ hours of music that we've come to love over the last 6 years we've been together.

And the dancing playlist?  The future hubs (at that time) wanted NOTHING to do with it.  While I've definitely gotten into the music that he likes, I am not above rocking out to mainstream pop music.  At the same time, I DESPISE cheesy wedding music.  Putting together the dancing playlist was on my to-do list from the beginning, and I seriously stressed about it.  Finally, I enlisted the help of some friends, relied heavily on advice from fellow bloggers, and bit the bullet.  I was so nervous that no one would dance, but it actually was a huge success.

All I wanted when I was planning my playlist was examples from "cool" weddings.   So I hope this helps some of you!

New Partner                         the frames (this was our first dance song)
First Day of My Life Bright Eyes
Blister In the Sun         Violent Femmes *
Hey Ya!                     OutKast
Give it 2 Me                 Madonna
P.Y.T.                        Michael Jackson
Superstition                         Stevie Wonder
These Arms of Mine         Otis Redding
Let's Stay Together         Al Green
Gold Digger                     Kanye West
Single Ladies                    BeyoncĂ©             *
Bust a Move                         Young MC   
Billie Jean                         Michael Jackson *
Carry Out                          Timbaland (featuring J.T.)           *
Just Dance                 Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis      *
That's Where It's At         Sam Cooke
Marry Song                 Band Of Horses
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson
Poison                         Bell Biv DeVoe                      *
Ignition (Remix)         R. Kelly                                      *
Kiss                                 Prince & The Revolution
Promiscuous                         Nelly Furtado
Sexy Chick (feat. Akon) David Guetta
Cupid Shuffle            Cupid                                                     *
January Wedding         The Avett Brothers
Sea Of Love                     Cat Power
(When You Gonna) Give It Up to Me Keyshia Cole & Sean Paul      *
Tik Tok                         Ke$ha                                                      *
Track 16                 Neal's mashups Volume 3
Forever                                 Chris Brown                               *
Sussudio                                 Phil Collins                               *
You Make My Dreams         Hall & Oates                                               *     
Juicy                         The Notorious B.I.G.
Galang                         M.I.A.
OMG (feat. Usher                                                       *

*these were the songs that had people in a dancing frenzy.  Don't ask about Sussudio.  You would have to know our friends.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It a sneak peek from our wedding

And it was wonderful.  Of course there were things that went wrong, but I didn't care.  It was an amazing experience, and I was just so full of joy and gratitude all day long.  I will be doing recaps as soon as I am not exhausted and swamped with work, but for now check out our photographer's sneak peek on her blog.

Ooh, and if you comment on our photographer's blog post, you will help us win some free prints!  (50 comments gets us an 8X10, two 5X7s, and an 11X14.  So help a sister out...)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This is why we plan weddings...

From Jose Villa

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dumping my first vendor

Breaking up is hard to do y'all.  Seriously.

I am very picky when it comes to my hair.  And I'm not just your average picky girl.  I grew up in a salon.  My mom was a nail technician, and also did make-up and facials, and I would go there after school when she didn't have a baby-sitter for me.  When I was too old for a baby sitter, I became the salon mascot of sorts.  I swept hair, folded towels, folded foils, cleaned out sinks, ran errands, etc.  The stylists tipped me out, and I had it made.  I never once paid for hair cut/style/color/products, and the girls experimented with my crazy thick hair when they were bored.

I had an amazing guy in Madison who did my hair.  At this ridiculously amazing, sort of punk-rock salon that I adored.  (here is their website if you want to check it out:
Unfortunately, Jason doesn't really do up-dos.  He sort of hates them.  So I felt bad asking him to do mine for the wedding.  I asked a friend of a friend, and over the holidays I had my trial.  I went to her armed with these inspiration pictures.

I have no idea where this one is from, let me know if you do.

What she gave me was a frizzy, lopsided mess. 

She kept saying things like "on the day of, I will smooth it out, on the day of, I will curl it a little".  What I couldn't figure out, is why she was charging me for a trial, yet not doing the things she would do on the day of? 

I think my face here pretty much says it all.  I was not impressed.  So I emailed/pleaded with Jason, and he basically laughed at me for not asking him sooner.  Then I broke up with my  stylist over an email.  Some things just have to be done.

Have you had to break up with any vendors?

*iPhone photography of the hair trial mess by the lovely bridesmaid Vero, who I think may have been laughing at me a little bit.  You should see the pics from 2 hours later when the hair was completely falling out.  Not pretty.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Laying some ground rules

(Sorry for my lack of posting lately.  Things have been a bit crazy lately with work/wedding planning/life.  What I need to remember is that blogging actually helps relieve the stress, rather than adds to it.)

On Thursday evening, I was happily waiting for the street car on St. Charles with P and his friends that had just arrived for his bachelor party.  (Don't worry, I was about to peace out to my friends house for the weekend so they could have a man-fest, but I spend the first night with them, which proved to be an amazing time.)  While we were waiting, I noticed I had a voicemail from my mom.  Now, if you've been reading this blog, you know that my relationship with my mom is an interesting one, and she really doesn't call me that often.  I was hoping that she was calling me to let me know how amazing our wedding invites were (that she should have receieved over a week ago), so I happily called her back.  Instead I received some serious drama on the other end when she picked up.  She tried to pull me in, once again, to the drama surrounding my brother and his never-ending divorce with my former MOH and very dear friend.  She basically accused me of some ridiculousness, and instead of fighting with her, I decided to try a new route.

I played the bride card.  That's right folks.  I told her that I did not want to hear about my brother and his drama, her drama (she is apparently about to get her 4th divorce, but she has been saying this every few months for the last 4 years), or anything else negative UNTIL AFTER THE WEDDING.  If she wants to call me and talk flowers, programs, dresses, unicorns, and fairies, that's fine.  But if she wants to talk about family drama, she can turn elsewhere.  I said this all very calmly and sweetly (with an underlying tone of "if you don't like it, you can shove it") and then I ended the conversation. 

It was so liberating.  As I've grown older and wiser I've realized that sometimes it's OK to be selfish.  And this is one of those times. 

Has anyone else played the bride card to put an end to some nonsense?  Did you feel as liberated as I did/do?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The best wedding fight I'm letting him win

So P doesn't really care about too many wedding details.  However, the details he does care about he has very strong opinions about.

For instance:
  • no halter top wedding gown - please don't even ask.  For some reason, I think he once saw a somewhat questionable looking bride in a halter style gown and thinks any halter style looks a bit slutty.  I for one, have no boobs, so I am incapable of looking slutty in anything, but I didn't even need to argue this point because I'm not a huge halter fan anyway.
  • no fancy wedding cake - no problem, I don't want one either
  • no weird DJ - again, we are on the same page here
  • no garter toss, bouquet toss, etc. - ditto
But the most important thing to him is music.  Since we are iPod DJ-ing it up, we have total control here.  He is more concerned about the slower music, as the hip hop/dance music is more my department.  He has been steadily working away at our cocktail hour/dinner music playlist, and it is a thing of beauty.  I will get around to posting it soon, I promise.

Here comes the disagreement: our first dance.  We both have songs we love.  I presented mine, which he really liked.

It's great, right?  But then he hit me with his:

He has put this song on countless mixes for me, it is a cover of a Will Oldham song, and it is so perfect.  Seriously, when we listened to it and thought about it being our first song, we both got a little teary.

So I'm letting him win this one.  'Cause his is way better.  (Just don't tell him that.)

Friday, March 19, 2010


I read this post on a practical wedding this morning and I could not stop thinking about it.  Because that is where we are at right now.  We are a little over two months out, and things are stressful.

I've found myself picking fights with P over stupid stuff about wedding planning.  (He does not read this, if he did, he would be rejoicing right now at that admission.)  Seriously.   The problem is, he doesn't care about the details.  And as  I mentioned before, I don't really have anyone helping me out with anything.

So what to do?  Most of the time, I really enjoy planning, I'm an organizer by nature and I love coming up with a vision.  But now we are getting down to the nitty gritty details, and that is not my strength.  We are having our wedding in the city we used to live, I don't have a lot of people there I can delegate things to.  One of my bridesmaids lives there, but I am afraid to give her too much. 

I don't want this to become a time that I look back at and all I remember is stress.  I want this to be about us, about our love, about getting ready for our marraige.  But instead I feel like I have so much anxiety about what has to get done and how it will get there.  I just don't want to get lost in it.

Has anyone else been here?  What did you do to pull yourself out of it?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One year ago today

We were backpacking through Europe on our last spring break as graduate students.  It was my first time even using a passport and I was beyond excited.  It was the fourth day of our trip and our first full day in Paris.  Now if you know me, you know that I've been dreaming of traveling to Europe since middle school.  But what I was most excited for was Paris.  P, well, he was not so excited about Paris.  He was more excited about the other parts of our trip (London, Amsterdam, our Belgian tour with our dear friend, etc.).  In fact, he kept raining on my Paris parade pre-trip, and pretty much had me believing that he was dreading our 3 days in Paris.  So much so that I sat him down at our first (delicious and perfectly ordered in my rusty French) Parisian dinner and lectured him about putting on a happy face for the next 60 hours.
We woke up early that morning and headed to Montmarte, ready to see the beautiful Sacre Couer.  My French historian college roommate recommended that we pay the 2 Euro or so to hike up to the top, as it was the best view of the city.  When we arrived at the top, a little winded, I was seriously amazed.   P put his arm around me, I leaned my head on his shoulder and took it all in, trying to savor the moment.
"Hey Linds, will you do something for me?"
P, of course, was bugging me about taking a picture or something.  I turned to him, a little annoyed, and then saw him with this goofy grin on his face.  Then he said, "Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?"
I replied, "WHAT?"
So he repeated himself.
Again, I said "WHAT?"  (this time, I'm told I was laughing.  Slightly hysterically. I believe this to be an exaggeration.)
Then I noticed he was holding a ring.  He wasn't down on one knee, it wasn't in a box, he just had it in his hand.  It was so him.  So perfect.  Of course I said yes.  (and proceeded to wear it on my middle finger for the next 10 days, because it was way to big, but I wanted to wear it anyway).

Here is a picture of us that we made some other tourists take a few minutes later:

(if I look a little stunned, it's because I was.  I had NO IDEA.  The boy is not a planner, this was surprising.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Does anyone else find this totally crazy?!?

Last weekend, Gilt Groupe had a wedding weekend sale, which was pretty amazing.  They had designer dresses for more than 50% off, bridesmaid dresses, beautiful wedding jewelry, and even honeymoon packages.  While I didn't end up purchasing anything (the prices were still pretty steep, even with the discount), I did have fun looking.  I didn't expect, however, to stumble upon this:

Now, I have nothing against cleanses.  Personally, I've never done one.  I've considered it, but I just love solid food too much!  P and I are talking about doing a 10 day vegan cleanse soon, which I think will be great, but that's probably as close as we are going to get.  But, I digress.  
The crazy thing was how this thing was marketed.  One of the packages they were selling was a cleanse for your whole bridal party.  Now I've heard of some crazy brides telling their bridesmaids to lose weight, but I thought that was some sort of bridal myth/urban legend.  What would my bridesmaids do if I told them they had to do a cleanse?  Well I think they would either slap me, laugh uncontrollably, or tell me off.  And that's why I love them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What to wear on my head

While I have always dreamed of the perfect dress, I have never dreamed about a veil.  To be honest, I knew going into this that I wouldn't wear a veil.  (also, I have kind of a big head, which makes the whole veil thing interesting.)  Anyway, I tried one on for my sister-in-law just to appease her, but my heart wasn't in it.  (I even tried on a tiara, which is soo not my style.  I laughed out loud and I think I pissed off the bridal attendant.) 
If I was going to wear a veil, I would wear a mantilla veil.  Something about mantilla veils just gets me.  Here are a couple that make me wish I was a brunette who wanted to wear one:

OK, let's focus.  (Clearly I am feeling a little ADD today.)  After my no veil decision, I started to pay attention to hair flowers, since I'm not really a headband girl.  I discovered these from Etsy seller myrakim:

They were really beautiful, but I was still unsure about my ability to pull off a birdcage veil.  That, and I was concerned that a big a** flower would make my rather large head look even bigger.  (Seriously people, I have a huge head.  I don't think I realized this until I was getting fitted for my high school graduation cap, and then I realized why hats never look good on me.  Numbers don't lie.)  Anyway, I saved these in my Etsy favorites folder until one day I stumbled upon ohmydeer's etsy shop.  I requested a custom order, a smaller ivory gardenia, with a vintage inspired center and a little bit of birdcage veil netting (it's as close as I'm gonna get to a veil).  Here is what she came up with:

I really love it.  I'm not completely sure how I'm going to wear my hair yet, perhaps I will throw that one out to y'all in another post.  But chalk this one up to another Etsy purchase.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honoring loved ones at your wedding

So, in light of recent events, P and I are thinking about how to honor his uncle at our wedding, while still making it a joyous, celebratory occasion.  One thing that we are doing FOR SURE is toasting with a shot of drambuie at the reception.  It was something we did in his honor after the funeral, since it was his favorite drink.   While we were taking our shots we looked at each other and knew we would be doing the same thing for Uncle Ken at our wedding.
The one thing I am struggling with is how to honor him at the ceremony.  Do we have our officiant say something?  If so, what?
Also, I've heard of the idea of leaving a chair empty w/a flower on it, but I'm worried that would just make it more difficult on his aunt.

I'm open to ideas, throw 'em at me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pre-marital Counseling, is it worth it?

P and I are considering pre-marital counseling.  Now, don't get all freaked out and ask me what's wrong.  We are better than we've ever been, and SO ready to get married.  But I really believe in the value of pre-marital counseling when it is done right.  (If you are unconvinced, read this post.) 

The problem is, it has been really hard to find non-religious and affordable pre-marital counseling here in NOLA.  We went to two different people that I found through Internet searches for initial searches and they were just not right.   The first lady?  Creeper.  Seriously.  We left her place, took one look at each other, and we were both like, "no way".  The next one cancelled on us like four different times. 

We finally found someone who sounds like she has her sh*t together, and from talking to her over the phone it sounds like we would be compatible.  The problem?  She costs $65 a session.  Apparently this is cheap, but we are on budget here.  Especially since we just dipped into our savings to buy two expensive flights to Wisconsin on short notice.  I'm starting to think I will put my psychology major to good use and lead our pre-marital counseling sessions myself.  I kid, I kid. 

So, I'm asking y'all for advice.  Have you done it?  Is it worth it?  How many sessions do you need to go to in order to really make it "worth your while"?  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Like ripping off a band-aid

I've been debating writing this post for a while, and I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about it.  But in order to really understand some of the decisions we are making for our wedding, you kind of need to understand what happened with our planning.  (and maybe I can just direct people to this post when they ask me why I don't have a maid of honor, 'cause I'm sick of explaining...)

So, as you may know, I haven't really had the best examples of marriage in my family.  What you don't know is that until recently, I did have one example.  You see, my brother and his wife were married for almost 8 years when the boy asked me to marry him.  His wife, let's call her Betty, was one of my closest friends.  We couldn't have been more different.  She was conservative, I'm a total liberal.  She's country, I'm city.  She hates being away from family, I moved away the first chance I got.  But we bonded when she was dating my brother 9 years ago, I was the maid of honor in their wedding, and now we really just think of each other as sisters.  Since then, she and my brother have really been my one source of stability.  Their home was where I stayed during the holidays, they were who I brought P home to meet, etc.  P and my brother got along perfectly.  My brother and I have always had a fierce closeness, we talk about everything, and we have a bond that I cherish more than I can explain. 

Flash forward to the day we got back from our backpacking trip.  Betty and my brother were the first people I called to share the news.  I, of course, asked Betty to be my MOH, and my brother to be a groomsman.  Four weeks later I found out that my brother had left Betty after months of cheating on her.  She was an absolute wreck, had lost an unspeakable amount of weight, and needed me.  I finished my last paper, skipped graduation, and drove the 7 hours to their home to try to support her and figure out what the hell was going on with my brother.  In the meantime, I picked up a pretty awful case of anxiety, and put our wedding planning on hold. 

A lot has happened since then.  Betty and my brother are in the middle of a pretty nasty divorce.  My brother and I have just begun to talk again, trying to piece together our relationship after over 9 months of radio silence (he refused to talk to me at first, and then I refused to talk to him).  Betty and I are trying to figure out how we can still be friends, without it being too difficult for her.  We decided it would be too hard for her to come to the wedding, and so now I am MOH-less.  As of now, my brother is coming ALONE, and I am trying to figure out how I feel about that. 

It's basically a hot mess.  And the truth is, a lot of people expected me to cut and run.  No wedding, no marriage, no boy.  Because I was freaked out.  But actually, this whole thing has made me love him more.  He has been incredibly supportive, understanding, and we have talked about things we never would have before.  It's definitely changed me a bit.  (I'm more cautious about other women, for one.  Which I never was before.)  It's made wedding planning extremely difficult and emotional at times.  But I know it's made us stronger. 

*By the way, I have 5 AMAZING bridesmaids.  I just didn't want to replace Betty, it just didn't feel right, which is why I don't have an MOH.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

a traditionally-untraditional processional

Hi everyone!  Thanks for being patient with my lack of blogging.  Things have been really difficult for P and I the last week or so.  This last weekend was spent grieving with his family and celebrating his uncle's life.  Honestly, while it was difficult, it was a beautiful experience.  His family really has become my family, and being there was so hard, but it was what we both needed.

So, I've been thinking a lot about the wedding processional, or what I want to walk down the aisle to.  What you may have noticed about me/us, is that I tend to embrace certain traditions, easily dismiss others, and can't make up my mind on a few (changing my name anyone?).  Anyways, we decided a while ago that we are going to have a simple guitar and fiddle duo play our ceremony.  It speaks to our southernness, we love it, and they will be joining the rest of their bluegrass band immediately following the ceremony for some serious revelry. 
I mentioned to the fiddle player (who I feel so connected to already, as she is in grad school for education, just like we were last year), that it would be so cool if they could do a blue-grassy, simple version of Canon in D.  She sent me this link, explaining that the first minute is more what they would sound like, since they wouldn't be rocking out quite as much as these guys (unless I feel like running down the aisle).  So imagine it slowed down a bit, and enjoy.
I love it.  Check it out:

Umm, amazing.  They rock.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Losing part of my new family

I haven't written much in the past week.  This week has been pretty difficult for P and I, and it's just going to get even more difficult in a couple of days.  My future uncle passed away, and we will be going back to Wisconsin this Thursday to be with the P's family and attend the funeral.  In the midst of dealing with our grief, we've both had to work, and I've had to do some wedding related stuff as well (finalize our invites, talk with ceremony musicians, etc.).  It felt weird to be doing those things, and I had a moment where I remembered that I sent my future mother in law an email about a junior bridesmaid dress, pretty much 12 hours before he passed away.  And I felt sick about it.  Then I remembered reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers ever, and I went back and re-read it.  One quote in particular stood out to me, where she says,
"Weddings are hope for the future, hope for a new generation, hope that love and family can win out over everything else. Weddings are not more important then life, and they don't stand apart from life, but they represent something bigger then us, and undoubtedly bigger then the dress we wear or the flowers we carry."

This week I will be joining my soon to be family in an incredibly difficult time.  I know it will bring us closer, and this is what being a family is all about. 

*Photo from Our Labor of Love, I know I've used it before, but this is what we need from friends and family right now, and this image just speaks to me.

**We were reminiscing about his uncle the other day, and remembered a great story about him.  Last summer, right after we got engaged, we were all up at his family's cottage in Wisconsin.  His aunt had asked me about what I was planning to do about the whole "giving away" process because of my situation with my father.  I explained to her that I was going to walk myself down the aisle.  Later that day, his uncle came up to him and told him that if I wanted someone to walk me down the aisle he would be honored to.  (at the time he was already sick, and we have always been close).  It's one of the few times I've ever seen P cry, and it was  a really special moment I will always remember.

Monday, February 22, 2010

On finding help when you need it

You know how the wedding world is filled with brides complaining about over-involved mothers, awful future mother-in-laws, pushy sisters, and other overbearing wedding helpers?  Yeah, well, I don't have that problem.
I have the opposite problem.  I don't have any help.  And it's really frustrating.  Now, this isn't a pity party.  Let me explain.  Most of the time, I really enjoy planning this shindig on my own.  This wedding is going to be, well, a wedding of our own.  It's really going to reflect my style, what we value as a couple, and what we want on our wedding day.  Which is what a lot of brides with mom-zilla's could only dream of.
The problem is, every once in a while, I really wish I had some help.  My mom and I have an interesting relationship.  I love her fiercely, and she loves me, but she is rather emotionally immature, and is not at a point in her life where she can really focus on other people.  (Case in point, when I call her for advice, she vents about how she is thinking of getting a divorce from her now 4th husband, complains about my brother, complains about her job, wanting to lose weight, etc.)  She will be there (hopefully), she is making our table numbers (cross your fingers), and I love her.  But I can't rely on her, 27 years of being her daughter has taught me that.
My mother in law?  Well, she is a wonderful woman.  But she is just not really interested in this stuff.  She has a thirteen year old daughter (P's half sister), and she is pretty busy with her own stuff.  When I ask her questions via email, she sends me one word responses. 
So when I was having a minor freak out about what time to start the ceremony, and I had to decide this week? I had no idea who to turn to. 
Anyone else in a similar situation?  Where did you go for help?

*P is very zen about wedding planning.  And by zen, I mean he says "everything will work out".  He says this with only planning what he is in charge of (man attire, playlist, man gifts).  Oy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If I decide to change my name, I am still calling myself a feminist

I am waging a war in my head about whether or not to change my name.  Rewind to a few months ago, when I was sure I was going to take P's last name as my own.  I was talking on the phone to one of my best friends and she said something like "since you are not changing your name...blah, blah, blah".  It definitely made me pause.
Why would she assume I was NOT changing my name?  Well, probably because I am what my conservative family describes as a "bleeding heart liberal".  (I take zero offense to that.) So then I started thinking, and that's what got me in trouble.  So here you go, the reason for keeping my current last name, and the reasons for taking my partners last name.

Reasons for keeping my last name:
-My last name is unique, I've never met anyone else with my last name, and a lot of my friends call me by my last name
-I have a bachelors degree, a masters degree, and other accomplishments I am pretty proud of, all under this name
-I really despise the statement that it can make, that I have to give up a part of who I am because I am becoming a wife, so now I need a new name?  I just don't buy that.

Reasons for taking my partner's last name:
-He is my family.  Seriously.  I have one hell of an eff'd up family and he has been my family for years
-This goes against what I said above (I told you I was conflicted), but I kind of LIKE the statement that it makes.  The statement that I am starting a new family with my husband and taking a new name to symbolize that
-I have no ties to my father, or anyone else with my last name (my mother has a different last name), in fact, I really don't like my father at all, so it would be liberating to give up his name
-IF we ever have children (we are undecided) I want us to all share a name
-I want to share the same last name with my partner, there is just something so special about that
-Trivial, but my current last name is HARD to spell, and my partner's last name is cool and simple

To me, these are all very valid reasons (except maybe that last one).  I don't judge anyone who decides either way because I firmly believe you have to decide what is right for you.  Now only if I could figure out what is right for me...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm taking a break from my regularly wedding focused posts for this

I saw this today:

...and laughed out loud.  I felt I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn't share it and hopefully make you laugh out loud too.  You're welcome.

I'm off to enjoy Mardi Gras (I love living in New Orleans), have a fab weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finding our own path

So P and I have been together for over 5 years now, and on our wedding day we will be one week away from the 6 year mark.  We've never broken up during those years, but we've definitely had our rough patches.
We met when we were taking on one of the hardest things we've both ever done, and we were both immersed in our jobs.  During our first two years together, we lived 2 1/2 hours apart, and saw each other about two weekends a month.  Our relationship really grew strong over those years, and when I was offered a job in St. Louis, we decided to move there together.  We lived together for one year in St. Louis, and it. was. hard.  He didn't have a steady job, and he was really unhappy.  I hated my new job, and I was struggling with what I wanted in our relationship.  It was not pretty, people.  So what did I do?  I applied to grad school and told him I was going in the fall.  He decided to apply to grad school as well, got in, and then we were ready to move.  But we did something that I think a lot of people didn't understand.  We decided not to live together.  For the first time, we lived in the same city, but in our own places.  And it was the best thing we could have done for our relationship.
Over the two years in grad school we both grew up a bit, and we were able to have really honest conversations about what we wanted and needed in our relationship.  We both needed to figure out what we wanted and needed before we could really strengthen our relationship.  We got engaged towards the end of those two years, and then moved across the country together.  This time we were ready, and living together has been amazing.
I know our story is a bit unconventional, I'm sure some people raised their eyebrows when we decided to live apart, but for us it was the right decision.  Now I don't have any doubts, and am so sure that I want this man to be my partner in life.  He's my family. 
Anyone else have a not so traditional relationship path?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To look more feminine....

When I started this whole wedding planning journey, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.  But a lot of things have surprised me along the way.  One of the biggest surprises is the very blunt expectation that all brides must be trying to achieve the best body possible for their wedding day.

Now don't misinterpret me here.  I think it is AWESOME to be in great shape, and your wedding day can be a great "get healthy" goal date.  I know I want to feel bad-ass in my dress, and thus have begun doing arm weights for the first time in my life.  (I want GUNS!  I know I'm not going to get Madonna arms, but I at least want some definition.) 

What I think is messed up is the expectation that you must be trying to lose weight.  I had two different bridal shop people ask me how much weight I was planning to lose.  Say what?  I wear a size 4, and while I have some trouble areas (love handles, anyone?), I don't think I need to lose weight.  And even if I did?  Its so inappropriate for this random person to assume that I want to.  I can only imagine what they say to girls who are even a little overweight.  It makes me cringe.

The kicker was when I went to my seamstress and she told me I either needed to lose weight or get some Spanx if I wanted to look "more feminine" in my dress.  Seriously?  So feminine means without curves?  Not last time I checked.  (I was planning on getting some Spanx anyway, but now I'm just annoyed.) 

Anyone else had crazy run-ins like this?  Did you tell them off?  (I wish I had.  I was just so shocked I was rendered speechless.  Next time I go to my seamstress I'm bringing back-up and having a couple drinks before hand.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Etsy Wedding Invitations

I am neither crafty nor patient.  So all this DIY invitation stuff I read about sounds really great, but it's not gonna happen.  However, I love the idea of buying stuff from talented people with their own businesses, rather than from huge online businesses or expensive stores.    Enter Etsy.  I love Etsy.  I will one day write a post on all of the cool stuff I've gotten from there.  (I've already posted about our awesome save the dates, which I am still LOVING.)
So, here are some of the invites I considered, from some really amazing Etsy artisans:

These were really lovely, simple and well designed.  I was THIS CLOSE to choosing these.  The seller was amazing to work with, and asked a bunch of questions to get the "feel" of our wedding before sending us a customized sample.

Handmade, linen invitations with eco friendly envelopes.  Again, the seller was great to work with.  They were a little too plain for me, but really lovely. 

If our wedding invite budget was double what it is, I would have bought these.  They were WAY out of our price range.  The coolest part?  The seller will include customized vintage-style RSVP postcards for each guest with THEIR hometown on it.  So cool.  Someone please get these and tell me all about them. 

And the finalist.  I was so indecisive about wedding invites, but I kept coming back to these.  Simple, a little different, great quality, and super affordable.  I entered one of her giveaways she was hosting, and she gave me 15% off the entire suite.  Awesome.

On our invites, the flower petals will be sage green, the envelopes will be a pewter grey, and the writing will be in black and blush pink to go with our rather loose color palette.  I'm as psyched as I can be about wedding invitations.  To be honest, this is something I don't really care that much about.  I just knew I wanted to like them, and they needed to be less than 4 bucks a pop.  Done and done.  I feel so accomplished. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ummm, yeah...

So I stopped blogging for a while.  Why?  Well, a couple of reasons:
-I started this blog because I was applying to blog on a site with a bunch of brides, and when my application was turned down, I was a little bummed.
-Reading over some of my entries (not all) I realized I didn't sound like me. Perhaps it was because I was trying to fit the personality of the website I was applying to?  I'm not sure.   But I'm really much more direct, honest, and a touch sarcastic than I was coming off in some of my sugary sweet posts.  The posts I like the most?  The ones where I am being real and honest, and the ones that reflect my personal style.

So here's to more of that.  And thanks to The Bowie Bride, for leaving me a comment that made me realize what I liked about blogging in the first place.  So this should be better now.  I'm blogging about what speaks to me, not what I think might fit in with another website.  Here goes nothin'...