Friday, November 18, 2011

Feeling Centered

Over the last few months, and with an increasing intensity over the last few days, I have become consumed with the need to spruce up our centerpieces.  When we originally saw the wrought iron with crystal embellishment candle holders (hard to explain and I can't get my picture off my phone!) I thought they were absolutely lovely.  Now I look at them and feel that there's *something* missing.  The problem is, I can't figure out what that something is.

The height overall, is decent - not so high you can't see your table mates, not so low they don't have impact.  They go with the overall feel of the venue, but there's some warmth or something that is missing.

This led to a flurry of research *echem* watching bridal shows *echem* which left me even more confused.

If I could have my dream centerpieces, and money was no object, my table would look something like this:

But we have neither the space nor budget for that much decoration.  Or that many flowers.  So, here are some of the other ideas I toyed with:

Submerged Flowers

Maybe with Colored Water???

There is something so lovely about seeing the flowers this way.  Magical and romantic, but maybe too modern for out venue?  And would this work with the wrought iron? There seemed a few too many issues with this idea, so I continued my search.


There are actually some truly amazing things that you can do with candles as your centerpiece focus.  I tried to find images where the candles were costars, so to speak.  I love how candlelight adds the romance and easily ties into a vintage feel.  I looked toward the 3rd picture with the mirror bouncing the light back up as good idea of how I could incorporate different size candles with the candelabra thing (maybe it would go where the hydrangeas are), but then I realized It's just all candles, there's no color.  And thats when I got a bit more focused in what I want.  I would love to say it's the first picture in the candle set that set me on track, but it's really what I came across when looking up "Aquarium Gravel."

Yes, this is an odd thing to search when looking for centerpiece inspiration.  However, we recently decided that violet aquarium gravel was the perfect accent piece to another wedding project (more on that to come!) and I thought maybe it could add color sprinkled on the bottom of the candle holder, or on a glass piece like above, or maybe in a vase with water and floating candles.  I was in no way prepared for what I stumbled across.

Mason Jars

It was love at first sight.  Somehow, despite seeing these sorts of arrangements all over the intranet I never thought about this for my own reception.  I'm not sure if I wrote this look off because I had it filed under "shabby chic" in my head and I consider my wedding "vintage romance" or if it was simply because I stopped envisioning flowers playing a major role in our wedding when I picked our venue. For whatever the reason, I didn't see how this could work... until it stole my breath.

The venue would provide us with 2 of the candle holders per circle table, and 3-4 for the rectangle tables.  If I used different size mason jars, and maybe a votive/tealight or two, I could have the varying heights, and add warmth and color to the tables.

There was one other element that really cinched this idea for me.  The vintage handkerchief in that first picture in this grouping.  I had been wanting to find a way to incorporate these, after seeing all the lovely tears of joy and save the dates that had been made with these.  It just wasn't quite the feel we were going for, however, there is something so feminine and lovely about the hankie it never completely left my mind.  If I use is as the base of my arrangement, and then alternate with different combinations of the mason jar arrangements and candleholders, I will have a real cohesive look that still matches the feel of the venue and period, but is a little softer, a little more romantic, and much more me!

The best part is the jars are relatively inexpensive, and with only 3-4 flowers per jar, I wouldn't have to spend an arm and a leg on them.  Candles are easy to buy in bulk, and the hankies could become the centerpiece item guests take home (do people still do that? I remember this from the weddings I went to as a child).  We will have black faux-antique frames that will have the table names in them as well.  I don't think we would need to worry about anything else, but we could always do some petals or maybe even aquarium gravel (haha!) lightly around the bottom just to finish it off.

So what do you think?  Did I find the most perfect centerpiece inspiration or what?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why We Will NOT Be Having A Dollar Dance

This post is going to be a therapeutic one for me, but is about an issue that has been a huge point of contention between myself, my future husband and our families.  The Dollar Dance.

You would think that is such a silly thing to have stress about, but I can tell you in complete honesty, this silly insignificant part of the reception has made me want to curl up in a ball and cry more times then I can count.

Here are the issues:

-Every wedding I have ever gone to growing up had one, and it was my absolute favorite part of the reception because I got to have that special moment with the bride/groom.
-It would give me a moment to spend time with guests more personally then just going around to the tables and saying "hello."
-My family really wants one.
-My side of the family expects this and is coming prepared (apparently this is how people help pay for honeymoons - which is not something I knew).

-Will's family thinks its tacky and has never had one.
-Will has serious anxiety about the thought of having to dance one on one with people he doesn't really know.
-Will does not like to be the center of attention.
-The entire idea makes Will completely unhappy.
-I'm not 100% comfortable with the thought of begging for money from guests that have likely already brought gifts and have traveled near and far to be a guest at my wedding.
-The entire idea makes Will completely unhappy. [this needed to be listed twice, because it's probably the biggest factor]

As you can see from the above, it's sort of a clashing of cultures.  Will and I have both been cornered about this numerous times, by numerous people.  I think the day we announced our engagement we were cautioned to stay away from "tacky and undignified" traditions because our guests would be offended and we would regret it.  No joke.

The funny thing to me, is that the money part of it really isn't a factor at all.  I know that this is a tradition our guests would be familiar with, so I highly doubt anyone would be offended, other than those that will remain nameless, and who have very vocally already addressed the issue.  The part that makes me sad about the idea is not getting to have that time with my guests, since it was so special for me as a guest to experience it.

HOWEVER, the whole purpose of this entire day is about becoming an "US" not an "I."  Therefore, I can't really make a decision to make other people, or even myself, happy, knowing how perfectly unhappy it would make my husband on OUR day.  He is a shy person, and he gets physically ill at the thought of being the center of attention for any length of time (another reason we are keeping our parent dance short and doing it at the same time).  I have to respect this.  I DO respect this.  The last person I want to be miserable is my husband on our wedding day!

So no, there will not be a Dollar Dance at our wedding.  And no, it's not because we were told it was tacky.  And no, I will not regret not having one.  All I want is for our day to be as meaningful and special as it can, and I refuse to ruin it by forcing him to do something that he does not want to do.  Period.  If that means I have to give up something, that's okay because the entire foundation of successful relationships is based on compromise, and there are so many little details he has stood back and let me take control of.  I will give him this.  He deserves to have a say, more then anyone else.  And I love him. So I really can't think of a better reason not to have a Dollar Dance.  And after hearing said reason, I am sure you all agree.  Or, if you don't, then you will at least respect how difficult a decision this was, and understand.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shoe Dazzled!

So maybe I wasn’t the best with the sharing of wedding projects yesterday.  As you could tell I was a little overwhelmed by everything that is going on.  To that end, I did want to share a very large accomplishment with you all.  I finished a shoe!  My right shoe is finished. YAYYYYYY! I know, I know there’s still another one to do, you nay sayers, but after 11 months (or maybe 8 hours in total) one of these is finally done.  And she looks fabulous!  Here’s our photoshoot:

Yay for the Breakfast Club in the Background!

And there you have it.  Righty is allll done!  (Did you see my mom's, I mean, my left shoe in the background.) hahahahahaah

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 5 Month Mark...OR...The Other "D" Word

Holy Canoli! Seriously... 5 months? Didn't I just do the 6 month post like 3 days ago?  Bride brain is in full effect, but it is also in the midst of an epic battle with stress induced procrastination.  That was a mouthful of words.  In a nutshell, bride brain is the equivalent of your brain turning into swiss cheese.  You can pretty much only focus on wedding related things, and everything else becomes some sort of black hole in your brain.  You forget things, like what day it is, that you're cooking dinner, that you should probably go to work in order to pay for said wedding... yea, it's ridiculous.  I think this is a clinical disease.

As it is, I have a weird sense of procrastination.  Actually, let's back up, stress has a weird effect on me.  It can either make me uber paranoid and focused, so that I knock out projects weeks in advanced, just to get away from the stress. OR, as seems to be the case right now, I get these lovely blinders and just completely forget that I actually need to be doing something.  So those 5 hours I spent watching "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" yesterday are a clear indication I have gone down the wrong path.  I wish I was living in my other paranoid world.  At least then I could feel more confident.

I managed to spend about 3 hours yesterday organizing what I jokingly refer to as "Wedding Central," but is really just my Grandma's idea of Hell (read: dusty clutter pile a 'la hoarders).  Okay, maybe it wasn't hoarder status, more like the stock pile definition from Extreme Couponing: "the only thing that separates hoards from stock piles is dust... a very thin line of dust." haha.  I got so overwhelmed just ORGANIZING the supplies for these projects, that I sort of started at everything for awhile and kept finding reasons to wander into the bedroom to play with Scooter.

Anyway, back to weddings.  I feel as though I am constantly hacking away at this to-do list, and the silly thing never seems to go away.  Just this last week I spent about 4 days on our program inserts.  Just formatting and finding the right font, and figuring out how the pagination was suppose to go.  Why did this have to take 4 days?!?!?!

This brings me to a new revelation about myself:  Delegation in not something I excel at. I have figured out why this is.  Actually, let me back up again.  I cringe when I think of passing off projects to other people.  More then once, or twice... people have asked why I don't get a group together to do projects.  Well, I figured out the answer.  It's two-fold.  First:  I worry that they will not care enough to do the projects the way I want them to.  I am not talking bow tying, because a bow is pretty standard, but I do require a certain level of attention to detail.  This mean getting the sticker as close to center as possible.  Or cutting the ribbon the right size. IE: the same size as the other ribbons.

You laugh, but this has happened to me, and I only have a finite amount of supplies and finances, so I am left with projects that are OBVIOUSLY messed up.  Why would I go to all the trouble to work on things myself, just to do a half-assed job?  Its like punishing yourself for caring in the first place.  And I am the only one invested enough to meet this demand, as I have learned.

Second: people let you down.  This is akin to House's mantra "People lie."  It's simply the truth.  I do not believe this out of some mean spiteful place in people, I simply think its human error.  People in their heart of hearts mean to do well, but inevitably, they let you down.  They don't do what they say they will, they complain when you ask them to follow up on a promise, or as I am learning and which is probably the worst feeling of all, they are so envious of your status that they subconsciously begin to sabotage you.  Seriously, laugh if you will.  Just wait until you get married and watch and see what people start to say and do to you.

I think the combination of these two things has me living in constant fear of having anyone other than my future husband working on projects.  I would hand things off if I could, honest, but this bride brained compulsion, mixed with the horrifying truth of human nature has turned me into an OCD Monster.  I just can't let go.  And I just can't trust people.  This makes me incredibly sad.

During such a happy time in my life, I wish there were more people I felt I could lean on and share things with.  But here's the truth they never tell you: people don't care about you and your life (read: wedding) as much as you do.  PERIOD.  They may humor you, but $20 says they're off in their happy place while you ramble on about invitations and the importance of Scriptina v. Mutlu.  (if you know what that is, you have been a DIY Bride.)  Its not that they don't care about YOU, its just... well after hearing you talk about yourself for 4 hours straight, they need you to be their friend too.  And with bride brain, you just don't remember that.

So perhaps this is why my nearest and dearest have gone into hiding.  Or maybe they are simply preoccupied with their own lives (gasp) but the truth is, when I look around, they aren't around me.  I'm not bitter about this, so please don't read this as a complaint.  This is simply something I can come to learn about myself, and my inability to delegate my Hydra.  I wish I could trust in people enough to hand off the equivalent of my baby, but truth is, when I feel like I found a task to share... there's no one around me to lean on to share it with except the person I'm going to lean on for the rest of our lives.  And that's okay with me.  Even if I have to be a stressball for the next 5 months.

Friday, November 4, 2011

If You Like It, Then You Should... Throw Money At It?

Friends, I would like to start this off by saying I officially have 3 readers. Yes! (Hi Justin!!!)

As the days are literally starting to fly by (seriously, its already November... where the the hell did October go?) I find myself spending more time buying things for the wedding, then working on projects.  I am guessing this will be a familiar state for the next 5.5 months (gag... 5 1/2 freaking months... seriously time to get my bride-to-be booty in gear...)

With all of the stress that is just snowballing, it really is easier to say "F-it, lets just pay for it and have it done" then to keep finding ways to make it myself, for less.  Because lets be honest friends, time is money... actually saving time = sanity... which is priceless.

All of that said, there are still 4 major projects in the works.  Finishing up my shoes (which I plan to make huge strides in this evening... haha strides... get it?) starting and finishing my veil, the programs (which require actually having a set schedule and plan... hmmm maybe I should start really thinking about this? you know, because its the part where we're actually doing the whole "I do" thing...) and the favors - which is a mini project and can't be done until March anyway.  Actually, wait, I also have to sit down and assemble and address the invitations... how the heck did that not make it into my list?!?! Side Story: totally ordered the invites yesterday without even sitting down once to think about what the heck they were suppose to say... errr... yes, this is a prime example of wanting to throw money at things so they go away.  Its sort of like an epic game of hot potato, I turn into a utter spaz when the potato (ball?) is in my hands and need to fling it away from me in all haste!

Back to my never ending hydra: I also have not factored in the stupid escort cards... (I only call them stupid because I cannot think of any sort of fun way to do this.  I mean really people... the thought of figuring out where people will sit to avoid potential world wars is just madness... not to mention I don't know who is officially coming... so this is another March project!) I need to finish up the table names and bar signs... oh, and figure out how our guest book set up is going to work, and ask the mister to assemble that madness... [yes there was more money throwing going on here as well...]

Yikes.  See what I mean? Snowballs.  Hydras.  Money.  I think there's an equation there, but I am not entirely certain of how it looks.  Maybe: Hydra = Snowball = Money...

or Snowball + Hydra = Avalanche of Stress + Money.




Yea, that sounds about right. Poor Piggy...

Anyway, as you can tell from the musings above, I may be getting towards the end of my creativity rope, but that's okay. I just need to follow through on the things that I have in the works, and I think thats doable in 5.5 months (gag! really, the physical reaction to that countdown is just nuts!) but I have a feeling there will be much more money throwing in my future!