Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a bad blogger.

Yes, I am a bad blogger. lol

As the holidays have approached, and the wedding planning has moved into higher gear, I find that I have very little time for simple things, like blogging. And for that I apologize to whomever might be reading, and waiting for another post.

I'm sorry!

The good news is, things are happening!

Hopefully I can post an update soon. Hint: My dress arrived early and it is beautiful! :D

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I care.

Interesting conversation with the FH last night.

The way that this most recent discussion started was over envelope labels of all things, but we've had little versions for weeks.

We are two months behind on sending out Save-the-Dates. TWO MONTHS. They need to go out

I'm pretty sure M questioned my sanity when I told him I wanted all the Save-the-Dates outlined in orange.

M: "Why do we need the edges to be orange?"
Me: "Because it will add just a little touch that people won't expect and might enjoy."
M: "I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't asked me which edge color I liked best."
Me: "Yes, but someone will notice. It's something easy we can do to make them a little more special."
M: "I don't think anyone cares."
Me: "I care."

Then we moved on to how we were going to address them. Poor M.

M: "I think we should just buy address labels and print them."
Me: "I'm going to design a wrap-around label that will have the invitee's address on them."
M: "Can't we just do that for the invites?"
Me: "We could, but this will pull everything together. From the beginning it will look stellar."
M: "But my parents already have a file with all their addresses in those little address labels."
Me: "I don't like the little address labels. They are impersonal and lack any kind of tie-in for the way the rest of the invite suite will look."
M: "We should just do the fancy ones for the invitations."
Me: "Then I will just hand write them this time." (Yes, I dislike those little labels enough that I was willing to hand write 125 addresses.)
M: "I don't think anyone cares."
Me: "I care."

Then we discussed stamps.

Me: "We should get the King and Queen ones."
M: "Why?"
Me: "Because they are cute, and they interact, and they are the King and Queen of Hearts and say 'Love' on them."
M: "Does that matter?"
Me: "To me it does."
M: "I don't think anybody cares."
Me: "I care."

Last night I brought envelope wraps again.

Me: "I really think we need to do the nice wrap-around label."
M: "Isn't that just more work?"
Me: "It won't take any longer than addressing them by hand. And I realized that we need to have our website on there so people know where to stay." turns computer around "And look how awesome they look."
M: "They do look really good. I like them. But I thought we were doing them for invitations."
Me: "We can do different ones for invitations."
M: "I don't think anyone will notice."
Me: "I will notice, I will care. This is what I do, it must look awesome."

Before anyone starts throwing certain 10-letter B-words around. Let me explain.

And I'm pretty sure he gets where I'm coming from, and I felt a little overzealous explaining it to him, but I really wanted him to understand where I was coming from.

See, I'm a Graphic Designer. I went to school, I have the degree, and although I get to do very little design that makes me happy in my current job, I have a couple of freelance clients, and I design for a living. It is what pays my bills. (Even, and especially, wedding bills. :D)

So therefore, my Save-the-Dates, and my Invitations are not just a wedding necessity. They don't just need to look nice because that is what you do for weddings, because that is the proper thing to do. We can't just pick them out of a book, because that is the most outrageous cop-out.

I need to design them and they need to be masterpieces because it's a matter of pride.

This is what I studied, this is what I do, and to do anything less than something stellar for my own use would be a tremendous failure.

This is why I care. This is why I come off a little control-freakish in nature. Because I am putting my design, my brand, out there.

And I think that all of my teachers and myself would be disappointed if they looked like I did them in five seconds or less. :(

Will they be perfect? Probably not. Will they match? Yes. But mostly, I will be putting out a product that I loved making, that means something special to me, and that looks like a completed project. So, yes, in the end, even if I'm the only one...

I care.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cupcake Tasting

Yesterday M and I decided to do some impromptu cupcake tasting.

(Yes, cupcakes. We're not really into traditional cake, and cupcakes are cute and easy.)
(And yes, they're popular right now, but apparently Utah is a little behind the times, and we'd actually be setting the trend, not riding it. Who knew?)

These were impromptu because we just walked into store-fronts, we didn't make appointments. So we didn't really get the full "cake-tasting" experience, but we saw enough to count. lol (And who knew cupcakes could cost so much?!?)

The first bakery simply drew us in because they are ENTIRELY GLUTEN FREE. Yes, for celiac folks, you read that right, GLUTEN FREE!

Which is important (to me, not so much M) because several guests and one member of the bridal party are Celiac*, so I need to make sure I have something for them to eat so I'm not poisoning them day of. :) 

Their storefront is a little different, they are in an industrial area, and their "cafe" area is a little confusing. (When you first walk in you are faced with a hallway to a door to the backroom. You have to go through a different door to get to the "cafe" area.) M was a little skeptical, they make a lot of claims about the quality of their gluten free cupcakes, namely, that no one will be able to tell the difference. We tried a vanilla-strawberry cupcake and a peanut butter cupcake. Well folks, it would be tougher than usual, but at the end of the day you are still eating a gluten-free cupcake.

They were good, especially for gluten free. (Which usually is very dense and drier than a usual cake/cupcake.) The icing was killer, which is saying something because neither of us like a lot of icing. But M's cupcake was closer to a muffin, and tasted like a cookie. And they just weren't killer. So although we'll keep it in the back of our minds for providing for our Celiac guests, I don't think we'll be ordering too much from there.

The other bakery we visited is a little bit better set up. It's in a strip mall, and they've got better branding. (It's the graphic designer in me. :D) And their shop is really cute!

We tried peach cobbler, lemon raspberry, and cheesecake. Our definite favorite was the peach cobbler! So tasty! The lemon (icing) raspberry (cake) was good, but it needed just a tad less lemon. The icing overwhelmed the cake. The cheesecake was okay. But not killer. It was more like an ordinary cupcake.

I've had other cupcakes from this location before, so I know the cheesecake cupcake is a fluke. :)

We still have a couple places that we are trying to get in contact with to do real tastings, so the adventure continues, but I think we're off to a good start!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We've established...

... that I stalk wedding blogs and have for years right??

Ok, just checking. Just making sure that everyone is aware of my obsession. lol

I've been on vacation for the last two weeks, hence the absence, and when I came back my Google reader had 1000+ items waiting for me. Yes, you read that properly, 1000+ (1194 to be exact, well, as of the first time I checked the total - it could have been more).

And that is after I logged on twice during my vacation and read around 500 items. Oy.

Anyways... I am slowly working through my 1000+ items, (but in the last three days I have yet to get below the 1000 mark. Why? Because people keep posting!) and today I read this really great post from Meg over at A Practical Wedding. She's awesome. Seriously. Check it out. I'll wait...

Back? Ok. So, she posted basically two weeks ago about how she went and tried trapeze flying, but her post is about pushing through the fear that comes with something new. (It seems to have started with a fear of dancing lessons that someone else brought up... I think.)

It really struck me. She specifically mentions how as adults we never push ourselves, and I immediately thought back to the vacation I just took, and how my mother talked me into cliff jumping. Into a river.

She didn't really press too hard, but I wouldn't have done it if she hadn't suggested it, and waited to watch and take a picture. Why? Because. Because I had never done it before, because I was too busy doing nothing, because it was outside of my comfort zone, and I never would have thought of it.

I did it, and it was totally fun. (sorry everyone, no pictures yet...) I'm not saying there wasn't one moment of "well, crap... this is really high..." but I needed my mom to make that initial push. And I'm usually the one pushing for the oddities and doing things just to be able to say "I did that!"

So, in the end, Meg is right. As adults we don't step out on that limb enough, we don't push ourselves enough, we take the easy road. Even those of us who enjoy the road not taken.

Now I really want to find something to go into the wedding that we'll make us both step outside of our comfort zones. Hmmmmm... flash mob anyone?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Own it.

So I'm a little quirky. (weird, odd, whatever...) This is something that my fiance knows and loves about me, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come with it's own struggles.

I had this little speech (such as it is) for M the other day when we looked at me like I was crazy for wanting Chucks for the groomsmen, but then I turned around and needed it myself when I found myself waffling between two decisions for the sake of what's normal.

So I'm going to put it here in case anyone else needs it, or, more specifically, if I need it again. (And I'm sure I will.)

No matter what you are doing, what decision you are making, what centerpieces you choose to have - be they navy, plum, or pink-polka dotted - If it is you and you own it not one person will second guess.

This is coming from a girl that wore red Chucks to her senior prom, with a prom dress. (I even still have them.) The only person to raise an eyebrow was my mother, because she always wants me to be a lady, but even she had to admit, it was very me.

And as we tried on dresses, I lean towards the more vintage-y vibe, including a bird cage veil. Again, no one thought twice but my mother, and only because it wasn't her style. Her exact words? "It's very you."

So own it. All of it. Whatever you decide, it is yours to have and hold and love forever. Not one person will remember it later, except you and your SO. So do whatever you want, and if it's different, quirky, or even a little odd, that's okay, because most likely you are a little different, quirky, or odd.

I'll step off my soapbox now. Just remember...

Friday, August 5, 2011

We have a dress!

Well, we have a piece of paper that says we purchased a dress. I don't actually have one in hand.

And I don't have any pictures to show you either. My good friend, bridesmaid Mi, brought a camera and took lots of pictures as I tried things on, but won't let me see any of them. So, I don't even have anything to look at, other than my memories of actually wearing it.

BUT, it does exist, it is coming, and I'm excited!!

The consultant at the salon was so sweet and so great. My mom was flying in for the weekend, and I really wanted her to see me in a particular dress (and I really wanted to see me in that dress). So I called the salon, they close at 6 and my mom's flight didn't arrive until 5, and asked if they would mind if I dashed in just to try on one dress. The consultant spent a few minutes confirming that they had the dress, and then agreed.

To hedge my bets, I also made appointments at a couple other locations, just in case my dress ideas didn't work out.

We walked in the salon at 5:45, and the consultant told us that she'd be happy to stay and let me try on as many as I'd like.

Wow, really?

So I picked up the one that I was there for and half a dozen others and headed to a dressing room. There were definitely a couple maybes, and I saved the one I wanted for last, so I wouldn't be comparing them all to that one.

Once I put on the dress I was there for, it was obvious. This was the one! I would have taken it home and slept in it had it been the proper color (it was Ivory). lol

It won't be here until December! (I guess that happens a lot with this designer...) but until then I can still admire the pictures online right? :-D

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We have a date!!

I won't be sharing the exact day here for, well, privacy reasons. I don't want anyone to crash our wedding!!

We're not sure where yet, but the decision has been made for March.

It was actually rather easy.

See, I went in to try on dresses at a David's Bridal in SoCal.* (I went home for my birthday, and, um, COMIC CON. Yes, I'm a geek. :D) At the end of the appointment, the consultant tried to confirm the date that I'd given them when signing up for their website. It was sometime in May, mainly because I didn't have a date.

May doesn't work for various reasons, so I laughed and told her that it was probably more like March, and then arbitrarily picked a weekend that I knew M didn't have to work.

Turns out, this is the same day that my mom has been giving the vendors she's calling, for different various reasons.

It's like the clouds opened up and angels sang. Ok, not really, but it seemed a really easy decision. I came home, discussed it with M for 2.5 seconds, and the decision was made.

Now for a venue, and the big stuff is almost done. :D

*And no, I didn't find a dress. But there were a couple of serious contenders. lol

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Easy. Peasy. Done.

Some decisions have been really easy.

I mean ridiculously so. I bring it up, we discuss for maybe 10 minutes, tops, decision gets made.

Easy. Peasy. Done. lol

Which decisions? 

Favors: We will not be doing favors. I know I had this great idea but apparently no one in Utah does favors, M had never even heard of them. As I mentioned before, I understand that they are a kind of "Thank You" for the guests, but I have a hard time deciding to fork out $3 to $5 for a knickknack that most will forget, and we will end up throwing away. While we both really like the donation idea, if favors aren't really necessary, we would rather invest that money back into the wedding.

Cake: Traditional cakes are beautiful, don't get me wrong. Gorgeous even. How could you not love visions such as these?

I don't even like pink, but this is beautiful!
Photo by o'holysweet! on Flickr

I love square cakes! So cool.
Cake from

We even know someone who is an AMAZING cake artist, and needs to go into business (**hint, hint** you know who you are....:D )

However, traditional tiered cakes bring in a whole new set of costs. More plates, more utensils, someone to cut it... So, we're nixing that in favor of cupcakes. Oh, we'll have some kind of small round for us to cut and share, but for everyone else? Cupcakes. Delicious and beautiful cupcakes. Mmmmmm...

Groom and groomsmen attire: Tuxes are a bit stuffy, and not really "us", and the rentals don't fit well. Suits are a good stand-in for some, but again, not really "us" and not all of the guys would use it again if we asked them to purchase one. Not to mention that M and at least one of his groomsmen are tall guys and not all shops carry tall sizes. (Which is a travesty.) So, we're going to go with some kind of vest and slacks/khakis/jeans, and I'm thinking Chucks, but that's yet to be determined. M is not on board for Chucks, I might get outvoted on this one. (So this one is not quite finished, but the big decision is made, so it counts right?) I'm thinking something like these...

Image via
Except they'd all match, well, maybe match. lol
Image via

Photo Booth: Perhaps a bit overdone in some circles, it's still a novel idea here in Utah. And everyone I tell is super excited. Although he says otherwise, I don't think M was entirely sold on the idea right up front. He was willing to go along with it, but was unsure of the success. That is, until a coworker of his said that he'd seen it at a wedding, and it was a complete hit. And then M's mom got in on the action and said that she a) LOVED THEM and b) thought it was a fantastic idea. So, while the cost may become an issue for this one, we're totally on board if we can swing it. (And we're planning on heading to the local goodwill store for some cheap props, because they can only make it more awesome!)

See? Four decisions, DONE. :D

Now to decide the big stuff. (You know, when and where... lol)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

But but but but.....

...I wants it!!

Obviously, being engaged is making me look more carefully at all the shows and blogs that I frequent.

And I'm making Excel spreadsheets with pricing, and lists of potential ideas, and venues, and, and, and trying to figure out exactly what I want. (Which is more difficult than it sounds, simply because I know a lot of the gamut of what's available. *le sigh*) Don't believe it when people say that planning for yourself is easy when you've done it for other people, they lie. lol

And though, for now, my spreadsheet lists prices that are pulled mostly from thin air (we'll call them "educated guesses") some of the items I'm pricing out are coming in very close to what I hoped was a *high* estimate. Discussing them a bit with M, he of course had the very sensible attitude of "we'll just cut non-essentials, or bring them down drastically" to which I had the equally opposite albeit internal response of "but I WANTS it!!"

Because I do. Just the way I'm envisioning. I really want that dress (which could be on sale by the time I'm buying) and I want those photographers, from Florida, nevermind that we live in Utah, and it's expensive to fly them out here. I. Want. Them. And I don't want to sell my coveted dress afterward, because I think it would be fun to have a "trash the dress" session. Very in vogue right now, but I think it would be totally fun, especially given that M is a HUGE baseball fan. Can you imagine playing in your wedding dress? :D

Kind of like this... (without the sliding, I'd break my ankle, haha)
Video is The Ultimate "Trash the Dress" Session by Keith Cephus from Vimeo.

All of this dialogue takes place in my head, of course, in a matter of moments. My inner two-year-old and my semi-sensible-adult duking it out, but still both leaning towards the more spoiled-brat side of, but why NOT?!?

M then stated his main point. A very good point. Simply that, although he doesn't want me to look back and think "I wish we had done this" (one which I'm sure my mother would agree with) and he really wants me to have everything I want (because, and I quote, "at the end it is your (meaning me) day, not just ours, and you should get exactly what you want") he also wants to make sure I keep my eyes firmly planted on the fact that this is a celebration of the life we would be beginning together. Not the photo booth that would be totally fun, but pricey, or the centerpieces that have yet to be designed, but the fact that we love each other, and will be spending the rest of our lives together.

Everyone together now... awwwwww

I'm glad that he can kick my crazy planning in the rear and bring me back. Because he's right. It's not about the bridesmaids' dresses. It's not about whether or not he wears a tux or a suit, or whatever, or even the venue. It's about us.

So while my inner two-year-old fights the good fight, M is amazing, and will bring me back. And at the end of it all, it will be amazing and I will love it.

Sorry two-year-old me. Certain things are more important.
(Including not turning into the biggest bridezilla ever. :D )

What about you and your plans? Anything that you crave? Anything that you've had to remove for cost reasons?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bridesmaids Part II

(This is part two of an earlier post, see it here if you want to start at the beginning...)

So... bridesmaids. How many is too many? Who should be included? Do I really need to stop at three?

I've always figured I'd have three bridesmaids, including the MOH. Why? I don't know. Maybe because my mother had three, maybe because it always bugs me when I see brides with 12. (Are all twelve of those women really that close to you? Really? Don't you have to sleep at some point?)

I've since changed my mind. Well, I've discussed it with those that are older and wiser, and decided that my cap of three was exceedingly naive. Like I said, I don't know where it came from, but now it's gone, so

Keep moving forward!! - Image via
(I LOVE this movie!! :D)

So, after much discussion, I realized that while 12 was still excessive, having a couple of "additional" bridesmaids was only my problem, no one else cared. And after discussing the role of bridesmaids (they are not just my support staff they are our support staff, and the same goes for his guys) and after a lot of soul searching for who and what I wanted about my original ideas and choices, it was decided.

I will have all of them. :D

J (who I sadly don't have a digital picture of at the moment) will be my MOH. Why? Because. She is my best friend, my support, my laugh buddy, geek-out partner, and so many other things. To not have her be my MOH would be a travesty. It is so understood between us that this would happen, I didn't even really have to ask and she was planning things. :D (I did ask, btw, wanted to make sure she had the opportunity to turn it down if she so wanted. She didn't. lol)

Next up? N. My sister, partner in our sibling crime syndicate (seriously, you and your siblings are like a mini-mafia, think about it...) and cheerleader/bodyguard. (No picture of her either... :( What is wrong with me?)

In no particular order...

Mi. - To be honest, it's ridiculous that we became friends. Against all odds really, but I love her. She was my manager at an unnamed corporate coffee giant ;-). I don't get to see her often enough, miss her terribly, and haven't yet had the opportunity to ask, but given how excited she was when I told her I was engaged, I have very little doubt she'll say yes. (And scream - loudly. lol)

A - We've known each other as long as I've known J, and they've known each other much longer, but weren't really good friends until mythology/photography class in high school. :D Her husband tells us constantly that our friendship makes no sense. We could not see or talk to each other for months, and then hang out like no time has passed at all. The more I thought about it the more I could not imagine the day without her. She wasn't expecting to be asked, which made it really special when I did.  She's also signed herself up to be my personal bouncer if I feel someone needs to be told what-for. (as have several others) and she's willing to dress in whatever obnoxious color I choose, and she will force the other girls as well if necessary. (Hopefully she'll be excited with my dress decisions.) Having that love and support means a lot. (From everyone, not just her. :D)

Ja - M's sister. I don't know her all that well, but every time we've spent time together it's been a blast. I have very little doubts that we'll become close as time passes, and she'll be wonderful to have as we begin our new family.

Junior Party Person - Ch. She's cute, she's cuddly, and she's my littlest biggest fan. Haha. I don't like the term "Junior Bridesmaid" but she's almost too old to be a flower girl (and will be by the time the wedding happens). So I unabashedly stole the title "Party Person" from Ms. Ferris Wheel at (Seriously, go check it out, those ladies are AWESOME.) and added junior to the front of that. It sounds way cooler. lol

So there you go. I can't picture anyone else I'd rather have up there, and wouldn't really want to take anyone away. We'll be lopsided, because I think M is looking at six guys (and two ring bearers), but that's okay. We don't need to match. Why? Because we're awesome like that!

Next up in the Bridesmaids saga: shopping!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bridesmaids Part 1

Such a funny movie! - Image via

This is labeled "Part 1" because I actually wrote this post several weeks ago, but never got around to finishing, editing, and then posting. I since then have made several decisions, and actually started asking, but in an effort at full decision-making disclosure here is the first half. :)

In the course of this I've been thinking about who I want standing as my "support staff" ** on the big day. How many people do I want standing next to me? Do we need to have equal amounts? (His "staff" versus my "staff"?)

Two spots are easy for me. Possibly three. (Depending on when this shindig actually goes down.) But then it gets hazy.

My little sister, N, informed me the other day (read as weeks ago, lol) on the phone that she will be my MOH. She cites some long-ago (and forgotten) promise made as small children. I know it had to be loooong ago, because in more recent times (read as the last 55% of my life, literally) I've always planned on my best friend J being my MOH. But not too long, because as extremely small children we fought worse than cats and dogs, to the point of asking my parents if we could take her back and get a new one, as she was obviously broken. She also informed me of a few other... ideas she had. I told her the plan as I saw it thus far (mostly) and she calmed a bit.

Everything aside, N and J are definite placements. J, without whom, many sad sad days would have been even sadder, and who has listened to me and my ranting far more often than anyone, and then my oldest younger sister, N. She's my personal bodyguard (we are VERY protective of each other, mama bear syndrome in full force), and really, my other best friend. I then have another younger sister, who's just at the max age for a flower girl, but who would totally ham it up, or she could be a junior bridesmaid. (Not sure I love that moniker... :/)

But then comes what I have always considered the last available position (more on this in the next post...), as more than three bridesmaids is a lot (although it sounds as though M might have more groomsmen than that). M has a sister, Ja, and he was in her wedding, and so he feels that she should be part of ours, and I have two friends who are very dear to me for different reasons, A and Mi. I lean more towards one friend and the more I think about it, the more I want her there, because not only will she will tell me to sit my bridezilla butt down and take a chill pill, but she will just generally be a hoot and a loving presence that I don't think I want to go without, but I need to consider all of them because they are all important in different ways. (Otherwise I wouldn't be considering them, right? lol) 

What do you think? Is there a cap on an acceptable number of bridesmaids? Do I need to have as many as M has groomsmen? Did you have this many problems deciding?

** I say this not because I think of them as "the help" but more because it is a HUGE job to be there for the bride (maybe not so much for the groom) and to love her even when she goes a little crazy... to be the support that she needs and wants from nobody else. It's meant with love and affection, not to be derogatory in any way.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I feel like my brain is skipping all over the place from moment to moment.

The current moment is worried about shoes. Somewhat what shoes will I ask my bridesmaids to wear, but mostly what shoes will I wear?!?!?

Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that height has always been a big deal for me in dating. (Really, a BIG deal.) In a relationship, I wanted to feel like I was protected, not like I could beat the guy up. Being six foot myself, this is no easy task.

Lucky for me, M is somewhere in the vicinity of 6' 3". (YAY! lol)

Here comes the rub, if I wear any heels that are currently in my possession, I will either be the same height or taller. Not a problem for most, HUGE problem for me, especially since height has been an issue forever. I don't want to be taller, that defeats the point, and although to be the same size wouldn't be that bad, I really would like to be shorter.

So, this puts me in flats right? Except I don't particularly like flats (unless they are sneakers or sandals). I have feet proportionate to my body (read, larger than average) and once fancy flat shoes are bumped up to my size, they can be a little atrocious. I could always wear Chucks or sandals, but I'd need the right dress to pull if off.

And now, thanks to my obsessive reading of the wedding blog-o-sphere, I've seen the beautiful shoes over at

From the Romance Collection - Image from

Handpainted for your particular day. *sigh* gorgeous! (With a price tag to match, ouch.)

It's totally a small personal problem in the grand scheme of things, but a problem nonetheless. :(

Friday, July 15, 2011

To Kid or Not to Kid

Okay, so we keep making what amount to little decisions - at least until we have a venue and a day - but here's a debate that I've heard often in the wedding world.

Should we have an adult only wedding? There are many pros and cons for or against having kids. So when my mom, my wedding planner (:D) called and asked which we were doing, I didn't even call M to discuss.

I can't imagine such an event without the children in our lives. M has two nephews, and through my "Utah family" I have several nieces and nephews, and we adore all of them. And I mean that, to my core. Those kids make me smile, and that's a joy that I can't see having a wedding day without.

I mentioned that we wanted to have ring bearers and a flower girl, and she stated that we could just have those kids, but I can't exclude the rest of the kids.

Later I talked with M about it, and although he played devil's advocated for about 2.5 seconds, he agrees. How could we possibly exclude any of our youngest supporters?

So, kid filled wedding it is!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cultural Differences...

Ok, so I'm running into a bunch of little things that I thought were wedding planning staples, that people here in Utah have never heard of.

I'm unsure if it's just a cultural difference between CA and UT, or if it's something else.

For instance, favors. No one in Utah has really heard of these. We've decided not to do them, so there's not a lot of problems there, but it surprises me that a place where weddings happen all. the. time. wouldn't have something like this in place. Seriously, no one has heard of them. After hearing them described, FMIL (future-mother-in-law) K tried to convince us we wanted to do them, but I told her our reasons against them, and she acquiesced.

Another difference? Who gets invited to the ceremony/reception. They traditionally invite more people to the reception than the ceremony, and they do a separate meal for each, with the ceremony meal being much higher end than the reception meal. Which might be a product of the "Catholic Gap" that I've read about in the blog-o-sphere. FMIL K was raised Catholic, and M's parents were married in a Catholic church, so this isn't an unreasonable assumption (at least to my mind). However, in my experience, if you go this route you invite more people to the ceremony than the reception, because the ceremony is cheaper, and only those at the reception get a meal. Of course, I'm also used to the two being very close together, where everyone invited attends both, and M and I aren't really planning on having a Catholic ceremony, so the gap won't be an issue. But who knows? This one confuses me a little...

Slightly related to the last one: RSVP cards. No one here seems to do RSVP cards, which seems expensive. Of course, they're also sending their invites only 2 weeks (or less) before the ceremony. However, with this mentality, you don't know how many people you are feeding, and so you have to plan on feeding everyone you invite. Umm, yeah, can you say pricey? What if only half shows? If we have RSVPs then we can tell the caterer that we won't need food for 150, only 90 (or what-have-you). When I talked to M's parents about this, they both looked at me like I'd just had the best idea ever, and told me so, but they had never heard of them to this point.

Like I said, I don't know if I just happened to hit the cultural wall just right, or if some of what I consider expectations are just CA things (I suspect the former, especially since the blog-o-sphere seems to see things my way) but these are some weird things I've come across.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweetening Life: The Proposal

Or - How we got engaged.

Sorry about the twin titles thing, but a wedding blog I read dubs recaps with cute titles related to the blogger's avatar. I've always thought it was cute, and since our first initials are M&M (:D) I couldn't resist.

Anyway, I promised the full story, so here it is.

Months and months ago M and I started talking about going up to Park City to see some of the galleries up there. It was something that we found in common when we first started dating, and we always had the "someday" plan of going up there to just wander around for the day.

Sometime in mid-June M asked if I wanted to go up on July 2nd. We both had the day off (his schedule doesn't include traditional weekends) and it seemed like a good time to go. (He sweetened the deal by suggesting some shopping at the outlets up there. :D How could I say no? lol)

I used to facepaint in Park City on the weekends, and still do occasionally, so I suggested we go the 3rd, then we could actually attend the event I had worked so many times, and see all the galleries, and go shopping. Winning all around. M insisted that the 2nd was really the only day, as he had plans for us on Sunday. What plans? I asked. "Don't worry about it." was the response. (He set me up!! I was totally thinking it was going to happen on Sunday!!)

So the morning of the 2nd comes, we meet at his house, and then head to Park City through a gorgeous canyon, stopping anytime there is something interesting on the side of the road. (Yes, we're apparently those people. lol) He's a little quiet, and I ask several times if he's okay. Yep, perfect, awesome, great, etc. etc. I *subtly* check his pockets for small box-like shapes, but there are none. Content in his assurances, and the fact that I know he's doing something the next day, I relax and enjoy the drive. And the shopping. (We ran through that outlet center faster than I would have thought possible, or maybe that's just because it wasn't me and a bunch of other women?) I ended up with a dress, a new pair of jeans (that fit great, a feat since I'm tall) and a shirt, he gets a shirt and a pair of shorts.

We finally pull into Park City in the early afternoon, and start perusing galleries and stores as we come to them. Our motto: Looks interesting? Let's go! :D M seems to have brightened some, he's not so quiet, and so we just wander and enjoy ourselves. (I'm an oblivious chatterbox when the mood strikes, which probably helped immensely.) We had most the galleries to ourselves, so we took our time and examined each piece as if we were famous art critics. Don't pretend you wouldn't.

When we get about halfway down the street, M suddenly wants to cut across and start up the other side. This strikes me as odd, because I know there are galleries farther down, but okay, sure, why not. (See? Oblivious.)

We went into a couple other galleries on that side of the street, and then we went into one where there were a ton of people. A couple of couples and kids, and just people. The only gallery of the day to have people in it. From my perspective, we wandered around. From M's perspective, he very carefully herded me from one section to another, lol, trying to wait until the gallery emptied. (I'm not unconvinced that the curators might have quietly gone around asking people to leave, one family I was talking to left quite abruptly. "OK kids, time to go!")

Now I was allowed to wander freely, although I didn't know it, and I wandered to one of the back walls and around a false wall in the middle, which I never even looked at. I don't know why, but I just spun around it super fast, not even thinking about it. M stood on the side I had missed and called to me, now in almost another part of the store, "Hey babe, these are pretty cool, you should come look at these."

So I wander back there, and as I come around the corner, I catch my name on the wall. My first thought? "Well, that's weird... why would my name be on the wall?" It looked to be in letter form, framed and hung on the wall of the gallery. So I started reading the letter, and about halfway down I see his reflection kneel.


Yep. That's my very first well formed thought. So I finished reading, and spun around, and well, here's the video of what happened from there. :D

Proposal Video

Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to embed it properly. :(

So, there it is! :D It still makes me smile/cry.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


That's right! And you heard it here, ummm, 150th hand. lol (I pulled that number out of thin air, but it could be true. If you are reading it here first then you haven't been on Facebook to see my four or five posts about it. haha)

Part of the reason that it wasn't here first? Well, I had many many many phone calls to make so that my important people didn't hear it from a third party source. (Namely family, don't get upset people I didn't call, I love you too!)

So yes, it's official! It's funny, I knew people would be asking when and where, but my mother started it all 20 minutes after the proposal! Ummmm, yeah, not something we'd really discussed/decided yet. lol (other than the afore-mentioned thoughts)

Details post to follow! (There's a video!!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So.... the ring is here.

M dropped me off (in the middle of a date, lol) at his parents' house to go pick it up. At first it was "We need to go run some errands for my parents" and then when pressed it turned into "I need to go to the Post Office to pick something up."

I know where he ordered it from. It came from New York, more specifically, Grand Island, New York.

The website is here, for those that are interested. I found this a couple months ago when he asked about ring choices, and LOVED the reverse cradle idea. 

My favorite, the Adare. Image from
(I'm coming up in the blog world, now I have PICTURES, lol)

Can you see how beautiful it is though? And the though I know it's not a must for some, I really loved the idea that the engagement ring and wedding band worked together. :) The center ring of gold?? That's the wedding band. Cool huh?

Their work is all custom, so I don't know what it looks like, at all. Although I did give him the pages of the ones I liked specifically, (and he had a hard time keeping his design a complete surprise) so I have a general idea. 

I also know that we have plans on Sunday that he refuses to share with me, and after picking the ring up he was asking all sorts of questions about my favorite dates, etc, etc. 

So... things are happening!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Unintentional Hiatus

Sorry there haven't been any posts of late. Especially after my posting frenzy of the first few weeks. lol (Can that be considered a frenzy?)

There are some posts I'm working on, but some of them really should wait until there is a more definite "yes-this-is-happening" decision. Right now I feel like I'm counting my chickens before they hatch, while simultaneously trying not to make decisions and just take in all the ideas the wedding blog-o-sphere has to offer. Collecting the information so hopefully, when it matters, I can just make the necessary decisions without waffling too much.

Until then, I'm not sure much is going to happen here.

But you never know. ;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Think about it...

This post is about wedding dresses... and I can almost guarantee that this post is not what you think...

This is an obsession of mine since one of my mom's very first weddings.

The backside of dresses. More specifically, how women look in the backside of their dress.

I don't mean to be indelicate, but let's face it ladies, people are going to be staring at your rear for a good portion of your ceremony. (Depending on how long it is, type of ceremony, etc. Your experience may vary.)

Years ago, my mother planned a medieval themed wedding for a couple, and the bride was... not skinny. To add insult to injury, her bridesmaids, and her gown consultant, had convinced her that she looked fantastic in a deep purple, crushed velvet gown, with added-on white tulle rouching at the hips. My mother still laughs to this day at my private comment to her, saying that my 15-year-old self really summed it up perfectly...

"That's a dress that looked good on the size 2 mannequin (which I seriously doubt), and nobody told her that it didn't translate that well to a size 24..." :/ (Even at 15, I knew what was going on... )

I wasn't trying to be insulting, but the service was at least an hour to an hour and a half long, and her back was to us most of the time.

Now, this doesn't apply to just plus-sized brides, I certainly mean no insult to those of us with larger physiques. (I myself am considered a plus-size by most modern standards...) I just want to draw attention to the fact that you really need to pay attention to what your dress looks like from behind. Your dress may look FANTASTIC from the front (and if it doesn't why are you wearing it?) but please please please make sure you take a look in the mirror at the back, and that it is truly doing you every favor it can.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wedding Where?

I struggle with thinking about a location to get married. And by struggle, I mean a huge, epic, relentlessly tiring and emotionally charged, internal battle of immense pros and cons.

Probably 90% of the people in our state already know exactly where they want their ceremony. I know my best friend already knows. M and I live in a state that is predominantly LDS, which means that they usually get married in a temple.

However, M and I are not LDS, (although we are mistaken for it all the time, me more so than him) and so it is completely up to us where our ceremony is. Which is great. Wonderful.

Sort of. :/

See, the problem is that my family (extended-adopted Utah families non-withstanding... love you guys!) lives two states away, while his whole family is here. And so no matter where me plan it, someone will have to travel, it's just a matter of who and how far.

I know this is a decision that doesn't need to be made until we actually have a ring and a date... but it's driving me bonkers.

Compounded with the fact that although more people will have to travel to California, if we choose to do it there, it might be cheaper in the long run because my mother (the wedding planner, remember?) will be able to use her contacts to get us the things we/I want. (With the amazing exception of Henry, her florist, who has already told her that if Utah is the place, he will be there to do the flowers, he doesn't care! :D )

Did you struggle with picking a ceremony location? Anyone who thought about it as obsessively as me?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ooooo, I like this...

First, a question:

Who actually keeps the favors they receive at weddings?

I think the only time I have, it was a packet that you plant in the ground, and it sprouted flowers. (Well, it was supposed to sprout flowers...)

So when I recently discovered a bride that used donations to a cause of the attendee's choice as her wedding favors, I have to admit, it really caught my eye.

Something that I'm sure only those cleaning up after a wedding know, but people don't seem to keep favors. I can't tell you how many times I've cleaned up after a wedding, and had a whole box of favors that people forgot. Those that do make it home are probably either tossed later or used/eaten (or whatever their purpose) and then forgotten.

I'm sure there are some of you out there that really do love wedding favors, but the majority seems to support the idea that they are frivolous. So why not make that money go to good use? At least donated, it will help someone in the long run...

Both M and I have people in our lives that we love who have been affected by cancer, so maybe we will make a donation to the American Cancer Society, or something. (Of course, I have to talk to him first... this is just my idea at this point.) Plus, I bet a lot of our guests know someone affected as well, so this would be a great thing for everyone, right?

Just a thought. (that I love!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's done!

Well, the prep is done. Now he just needs to drop to one knee and ask. lol :-P

Last night M asked my parents for their blessing. No one will tell me exact details, but I've been told that it was very sweet (my mom) and from the heart (mom again), that it wasn't as eloquent as practiced (M), my mom cried (M and dad), and that my dad was unprepared and in denial (mom and dad).

My poor mom, it was an emotional roller coaster yesterday. First that, then graduation, then meeting M's parents... I gave her like five hugs at graduation, she was crying so much!

Apparently when my best friend J said told my parents that M wanted to talk to them, my mom knew, but my dad walked around saying "That can't possibly be it, he wants to talk about what car we're taking to graduation. That can't be it." lol My dad is so cute sometimes. :-D

So now I get to be the nervous wreck every time M looks like he's going to kneel... He's already said that he's going to purposely drop to a knee to tie his shoes, while picking up things he's dropped, etc. etc.

And then the planning!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I don't quite see the appeal...

... of having paper straws at your wedding.

Maybe it makes me more of a "traditionalist", but I just don't see why certain brides love them.

I'm sure they work fine, and I'm sure they don't... well... deteriorate in your beverage as you drink. Because that would defy the very purpose of a straw. And although I certainly like their clean look, and the fact they come in multiple colors, I just don't see what they add to your special event. I suppose if you were having a themed wedding, they might fit in.

But there are some brides that simply squee over them, theme or not, and I'm not sure I understand.

Are there any current wedding trends that you dislike? Any that are a little off the radar that you wish more brides would love?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Did you?

So, my boyfriend is making jewelry inquiries and engagement noises.

Small inquiries for months, but I took these as "Someday in the future/let's make sure we're on the same page" and now less subtle inquiries... "What kind of metal do you like?" or "Do you like my sister/cousin/mother's ring? Why?"

And I know that in less than two weeks he'll have the perfect opportunity to talk to my parents without my presence (I'm graduating college so they'll be in town), and without trying to get to California (where I'm originally from) without me and without me knowing.

Which brings me to my question for the post. Do I tell my parents that I highly suspect there will be a blessing request coming their way? I've told him it's important to me, and I know that he's thought about it, but do I need to warn my parents? Or is that his job?

In other words, should I warn my parents of his intentions (which they probably already assume) or do I make it his job to tell them?

Talking with other married women, they almost all universally say to leave it alone, but I can't help but feel I'm throwing him to the wolves a teensy bit since he's only met them once when we traveled out there a couple of months ago. :/

At least all my siblings won't be joining us, my roommate has a story of when she tortured her now brother-in-law while waiting to speak to her parents. Small blessings I suppose.

Why do you think? Should I warn them? Or just leave it be?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I admit it...

I truly am a wedding planner's daughter.

Since the age of twelve I have watched my mother plan her events. And pretty close to there began helping/working on the events as well. Although I never really graduated to planner status, I certainly was right there in the thick of it.

My mom, L, didn't start out in wedding planning, it snuck up on her. Originally she only did fundraisers. But then one of her friend's daughters was getting married, and then one of her friends, and then one of my friends.... You can see where this is going. One wedding for this friend, one for that friend... and pretty soon you're doing weddings for people that you only tenuously have any kind of relationship with. (my best friend's cousin's brother-in-law's sister's friend from second grade....)

Which leads to me. Overly-analytical at weddings, knowledgeable about the costs of rentals, and ready to scrutinize every aspect of the day. (To myself of course, I'm not horribly mean.) I'm known to watch Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding, and Bridezillas, among other wedding-related shows. Sunday on the We network, or wedding show day, is my favorite television day of the week. I frequent wedding blogs, photographer's blogs, and I'm known to hang out on Why? Because I live and breathe that stuff. I truly enjoy it. Why? Because I was raised right there. I've seen successful weddings and flops. I've seen weddings done "on the cheap" and a couple that were several thousand dollars. The whole gamut was just part of growing up, and is firmly ingrained in my brain.

Now, with my boyfriend asking jewelry questions and making engagement noises, I though I might need a place to put down my thoughts. Also, it's been suggested that I become a planner myself. (Something my mother has been trying to convince me of for the last couple of years.) And it might be nice to have a place to show brides that I actually have every idea of what I'm talking about... and they should trust me with the most important day of their lives thus far. :D

So here we go!