Jul 26, 2011

I Love Mr. B

Lately, as we get going on our lives together, I am extremely aware of how lucky I am to have someone like Mr. B in my life, and I’ve been feeling more appreciative than ever.

I am grateful for the way Mr. B indulges me in the things I like to do. Even though he is happiest at home on the couch with his guitar and his dog, he's always up for anything I suggest. He could care less about food but takes me to every foodie place that I 'need' to check out. He rides shotgun when the mood to drive around the shore towns strikes, and he follows me as I snap away with the camera, attempting to document my beloved Jersey Shore. He comes for beach trips in the middle of January, he lights up the firepit during a July heatwave because I want to sit outside and drink beer. And he always remembers to buy my favorite cheese for a fireside snack. But best of all he has fun doing it, because we're together.
  One of those wintertime beach trips

Sometimes I'm not good enough about showing him the same courtesy, when I complain that I can't deal with another Wilco/Hard Lessons/Tally Hall concert, or find myself in a cranky mood because I'm not feeling what we have planned for the night. Mr. B is so even-keeled, always happy, always relaxed, rarely worried, and I think that's one of my favorite things about him. We gravitate towards our opposites, and my mood is constantly flipping between psychotically happy, crazy anxious, or just plain tired. I am an eternal worrier, and I need my other half to fill in this gap, to teach me how to relax, to calm my  nerves and to balance me out. My dad told me the secret to a happy marriage is to put the other person's needs above your own, and for them to do the same (and my parents have been married a looong time!), and Mr. B just does that naturally.

 Putting up with my shenanigans...clearly this is the psycho happy variety

Sometimes it is his actions and the things he doesn't say- when he knows I want something and he doesn't and he just keeps his mouth shut and lets me be. Or the way he's learned and acts on little things about me, like the fact that I NEED to eat breakfast first thing in the morning or I will go crazy.  Or when I just need to rant and rant about something awesome I’ve read/discovered/decided (Boy, I'm really a catch aren't I!) Once he even surprised me, out of nowhere, with Bruce Springsteen tickets!

I love so many other things about Mr. B. He's been a great partner so far in setting up our apartment. I love how we have kind of naturally and evenly divided the work. I'm really thankful he has an awesome job, works hard, and does well (On that note, I am grateful for the career decisions he didn't go through with too).I'm lucky to have found someone who knows me inside and out, who doesn't blink at things I do or say that I cringe over later, someone who is the only person I can tell everything to, someone who I can sit on the couch with and talk to for hours before we even realize we forgot to put the TV on.

I love that he has his own hobbies, playing in a band and on a softball team, and that he understands my need for space and gives me my time to read or shop or see the girls.  I love that he knows when to listen to me vent and when to be constructive, and I love the hilarious emails he sends me every morning that are the first thing I see when I check my email at work.

I could go on and on, but we’d be here for days, so you guys tell me: What kicks ass about your fiances?

Love you!

Jul 19, 2011

Bridesmaid Guilt

The other day, I made a list of the bridesmaids’ potential expenses.

There’s a LOT of them: dress, shoes, accessories, nails, hair, makeup, hotel, bachelorette, shower, and related gifts. Things could quickly could reach the thousand dollar mark.  I am racked with guilt at them spending so much, even though it is the reason that I asked, not told, them to be bridesmaids. We all know what being a bridesmaid entails, and I know they are comfortable or they wouldn't have said yes, yet I still feel bad about it.

To make it easier on them, I wanted to cover hair, makeup, nails, and hotel, but that would be $2,000+ for me, and I can’t definitively commit to all that right now,  especially considering no one else does it. But I feel bad anyway.

For sure, I want to cover makeup OR hair for each bridesmaid, their choice. Which might seem nice, except I’m secretly feeling guilty for an inner bridezilla thought:  certain girls kind of need their makeup done. But you can’t exactly tell your friends, who are beautiful, that their tinted moisturizer won’t photograph well next to professional makeup, right? (Eek I feel mean just typing that!)

I feel guilty that my wedding is going to eat up a lot of their schedules- an entire weekend and probably that Friday off from work, weekends for showers and dress shopping and bachelorettes, especially when they have super busy work and school schedules.

I feel bad that some of them are really unhappily single/waiting and that it's hard on them to be reminded of weddings. They're doing the best they can, I know, though lightening up on the haterade wouldn’t kill them either.

I'm also kind of uncomfortable with the idea that a bridal party feels like choosing favorites. Like, out of 4 equally close cousins, I only chose BM Katie. So doesn't make it seem as if I like her better? I don't, I just thought she'd be the most into it.  Or the maid of honor: it feels a little like openly identifying my favorite person, when all my friends mean a lot to me or they wouldn't be bridesmaids! Even though my MOH is especially significant to me, I hate that it's like saying she's above the rest, when I'm not looking to make any declarations.  It was uncomfortable too because I really struggled with, and still feel uneasy about, not adding BM Kelly as a co-MOH. She is an amazing friend, but at the time I feared offending everyone else by having 2 MOHs (“Oh look, two made the cut but the rest of you still didn’t. Sorry!”). 

And it works both ways- my MOH and BM Kelly are both engaged, and I will not be maid of honor to either of them, which makes me feel (surprise!) bad. Rationally I know it’s stupid, possibly crazy, but I can’t help but feel kind of hurt, as if the two people who are my most important ladies, don’t have reciprocal attitudes about me.
But I know when it’s my turn, I am thrilled to be a bridesmaid for my friends. The spending doesn't bother me,  and I’m genuinely pumped to be part of the planning, shopping, and events. So I wonder why I waste my time feeling guilty and assuming my girls don’t feel the same way?

Can anyone identify with my weird mix of bridesmaid guilt and happiness at sharing my wedding with friends?

Jul 18, 2011

Fall Inspiration

Today's post is very indirectly in honor of BM Kelly, who got engaged last Wednesday night! Kelly has always been an amazing friend to me, and especially has been during my engagement. Despite really wanting to be engaged herself (and feeling nowhere near it), she was always incredibly supportive of everything, wanting to talk weddings for hours,  being involved, and showering me with thoughtful gifts. It definitely can be hard to find girls who can put aside their own feelings and completely support you in your happiness, and I am so, so glad to see her engaged now too! Her boyfriend totally took her (and everyone else!) by major surprise. Anyway, since she hopes for a fall of 2013 wedding, I thought I'd share some fall inspiration boards today!

For September:

Love this unusual blend of colors: fall-appropriate orange and gold mixed with pastels. It’s the perfect Indian summer vibe for a September affair.

For October: A New, Darker Brown

A fall wedding always conjures up images of browns and gold but I love the intense chocolate that adds drama to this board.  Plus, your bridesmaids will thank you- everyone looks good in an espresso shade!

For November: Dark and Fall-y

Frida Kahlo aside, this is a pretty cool board. The bold, rich color combo works great for a late November wedding.

Plus I'm seeing lots of fall stationary inspiration. This menu card and centerpiece set up would be perfect with the plum tones on the Dark and Fall-y board:

The picture below spawned an obsession with having a November wedding (vetoed by my groom  and our moms). It also started my love of cardboard colored paper, as seen in my BM cards and engagement party invites. 

Warm colors and rustic Pottery Barn style touches? Yeah, I'm in love!

Fall is my favorite season, so it’s no surprise that I have a soft spot for all things autumn when it comes to wedding planning. What’s your favorite seasonal wedding theme?

Jul 13, 2011

For the Boys

Mr. B and our groomsmen are rabidly into music. Collectively, they play the guitar, bass,  piano, drums,  melodica, and harmonica. They’ve had some incarnation of a band since before they were old enough to drive, and I used to love to go follow them around to clubs to watch.

Just getting started, rehearsing in Ben's garage- ps the date on this photo is not right! This was early 2000s, before I met any of them!
The most recent incarnation, playing in the East Village. That's Mr. B front and center!

Now that we’re a little older and all working fulltime, the band is defunct, but they’re intensely devoted to their favorite musicians, who mainly include Weezer*, Ozma**, Tally Hall, and Pearl Jam. The boys travel all over to see their respective favorites, from flying to Wisconsin for PJ to camping out in line in NYC to see Weezer or Ben Folds play shows three days in a row. I think I personally have been dragged to at least four Weezer shows in the past year alone, and now there’s rumors of, God help me, even more of them. 

The other day, Mr. B mentioned he wanted to wear an Ozma pin on his wedding tux.  I loved the idea, and it hit me that we could attach the pin to the boutionnieres!  I think it would make them a little more original, while showcasing a lot of Mr. B and the boys’ rocker personalities.

Unfortunately, Ozma pins don't exist, since they were never a huge band. But a few years back, I bought a set of Weezer pins that Mr. B, GM Ben, and I wore on our bags. I still have some, so I figured we could use those, and then maybe get some PJ ones for GMs Josh and Phil. Of course, this leaves out our two brothers, both of whom aren’t super into music, and definitely aren’t into Weezer. But maybe they can represent Brad by wearing the Weezer pins anyway, or maybe the Based God has pins.

One of the pins clipped to my bag

Anyway, here is a rudimentary Photoshop mockup of what I’m thinking:

I think my mom thinks this is trashy but I am completely obsessed with the idea. It's not even that noticeable. Also, I’ve yet to see it on a wedding blog, which makes me feel like I invented something cool. I can’t wait to see if our florist can make this happen!  I know the boys will really love this!

*I realize I'm yapping on about their great taste in music and Weezer has some of the worst music out there- that's only their new stuff! The stuff from the 90s is really what we like to hear.
**Listen to them.

Jul 12, 2011

Required Reading: Interfaith Edition

This particular post may not apply to everyone, but if you are in an interfaith relationship (well, more specifically a Christian/Jewish one), I wanted to share a few books that I found to be very helpful. Also I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures, Blogger's acting funny tonight.

So first things first: the ceremony. I'm using Celebrating Interfaith Marriages: Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony by Rabbi Devon Lerner. The book provides different options and ideas for creating a balanced ceremony that respects both religions' traditions (and families, a big consideration). She includes some sample ceremony ideas, as well as some options for readings. Plus it has info for all branches of Christianity, whether Catholic, Baptist, whatever. Though we have some rules set by our officiants, the book is really helpful for putting together the rest of our ceremony.

And then once you're married, Joan C. Hawxhurst's Interfaith Family Guidebook is a good resource for what comes next. It explains some of the issues interfaith couples may face, some of which never really occurred to me. Plus, it really stresses the importance of open discussion (ie, being able to admit to each other you might just have a complete bias) as well as how to make the discussions productive. It also goes into how holidays can be celebrated, and how to manage family, as interfaith issues can cause problems among family members. It also includes lots of additional resources, like books or websites, for interfaith couples. Just a note, it's out of print, so you do have to get it used Amazon.

If you happen to be in a relationship with someone Jewish (or I guess also if you're interesd in Judaism or Jewish yourself), I highly recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism by Rabbi Ben Blech. This book was so interesting. The author goes through the basic beliefs of Judaism, like Jewish beliefs on Creation, marriage, family, and kosher laws, as well as details the many different Jewish holidays. He tells tons of little parables, includes lots of history and tradition, and the "whys" behind things. I especially love how meaningful and symbolic so many elements of Judaism are. As a pretty strong Catholic I'm not looking to convert, but I found so many things in this book that enhanced or strengthened my current beliefs. It also helped me form a mental outline of which particular holidays we could celebrate, and how.  I've already warned Mr. B's family that we're taking Hanukkah this year!
Conversely, the Idiot's Guide to Catholicism kind of sucked. It lacked the real-life application like the Judaism book had, and really just went into lectures on the politics and history of the Church, Vatican 2, whatnot, with surprisingly not enough actual Jesus. Beyond the New Testament, I can't really suggest a good guide for Christian/Catholic stuff right now, but hey, the NT has all you really need, right?

Jul 11, 2011

Americana Inspiration

At seven months into my engagement, I've made my big vendor decisions, finalized my colors and overall look, but it's still too soon to do the real detail work of bringing it to life. This, coupled with my new job and upcoming move (which I think I may have mentioned a few thousand times), means my wedding planning is in a bit of a lull for now.

So since I don't have much of my own work to share, I've decided to post some of my favorite inspiration boards randomly in themed posts over the next few weeks. It's too late for me to be changing these kinds of things (and I don't want to anyway!), but maybe I can share something that might work for someone out there. And besides, great inspiration can be appropriated for things other than weddings.  I am definitely seeing ways to work these kooky cute ideas into regular life.

I'll start with a few of my favorites that have sort of a vintage, Americana theme going on:

Kitschy Key West by Snippet & Ink

I just love the happy, sun-bleached shades here. It seems like something a casual, fun-loving couple would have for their destination wedding. It's a slightly different take on all the retro/vintage things out there, and while it's definitely kitschy, it manages to avoid being too theme-y.

Juliet by 100 Layer Cake
I have to admit that though I find this way too cartoonish for a wedding, I am still somehow really drawn to this board. I love the unexpected and bold color combo, and the way it really strongly evokes an emotion of 40s postwar travel and excitement. I'd love to adapt this theme for a 4th of July party.
(Also, I should admit that I scoured Ebay attempting to find and purchase my own copy of those bright blue aircraft prints. No luck unfortunately.)

Faded Blue Nautical by Snippet and Ink
I am completely obsessed with the nautical New England vibe of this board. It makes me wish my family wore J. Crew and went crabbing during our summers on the Cape (we don't have classy summers on a cape, we have sausage and peppers in our backyard near the Jersey shore). I love the relaxing, Atlantic, all-American look here, and the way the navy pops against the white, gray, and natural tones. I can't use this palette for my wedding, but I earmarked it for my future home. I hope Mr. B is prepared for my intense coastal decorating ideas, because this is too awesome to waste!.

Have you been able to use wedding inspiration for something non-wedding related?