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'...