Oct 31, 2011

Save the Date? Meh

I'm not sure what I thought the reaction to our save the dates would be. Maybe something like this:
Okay, maybe not that psyched. But I did anticipate a bunch of excited phone calls, "the date is SO saved" texts from friends, that type of thing.
But we got nothing! Save the dates were mailed to around 120 people; three days later, not one person had commented.  I started to worry that something went wrong, since our recipients were mostly local and usually receive things the next day. We did use a flourishy, decorative font on the envelopes, after all.  Maybe the post office couldn't read them. I made a few phone calls to check on the situation. Things were fine.
In the end, my MOH and her mother reacted excitedly, calling them classy and beautiful, and Mr. B's mom heard from two guests. On my side, my dad's sister called to acknowledge receipt, and I'm not sure what was said but I know that the exchange somehow wound up in an argument. Definitely not the outcome we were going for! 
So 5 total acknowledgements out of 120. This surprised me because I spoke to plenty of recipients- friends, bridesmaids, cousins- in the five days since we mailed them. I don't expect the world to turn upside down because Mr. B and I formally announced our wedding date, it's old news now anyway, but since I was talking with people regardless, I thought they'd mention it. 
It's not keeping me up at night or anything, but after spending money and time on them, I have to admit I was hoping for a few compliments! At least notice the effort we put into beautifully addressing them, at midnight on a Saturday night no less!

Oh well. Hopefully the invites get our guests a little more pumped.

What reactions did your save the dates get?

Oct 26, 2011

The Bachelorette Debate

I have two separate groups of friends. The first is my bridesmaids, the girls I've grown up with and who are my closest friends. I love our girly nights in, usually involving wine and someone's couch. 

And then there's mine and Mr. B's shared group. I met them back in high school, when I became friends with Mr. B himself, and they're my Saturday nights friends- the people I booze with, go on vacations with, and do all sorts of crazy things (ie, ghost hunting, 4 am karaoke, etc) with. The group is huge, and a ton of fun.

(There's Mr. B mean mugging in the sweater combo)

So at a party with the guys last weekend, bachelor/ette talk came up. I wanted to go out in NYC, and I wanted both groups of friends to come. But when I mentioned this to the boys, they were appalled. Reactions went something like this:

"What! We don't want to come to a bachelorette party!"

"Shouldn't that just be with girls? I mean...isn't there going to be like, penis stuff there?"

And my personal favorite, said in complete horror:
"Oh no, does that mean  you're going to want to come to Mr. B's bachelor party now?"
(FYI, no, absolutely not).

I was really surprised at the reactions! All I want for the bachelorette (which, I realize is months away and not my place to plan anyway) is to have an awesome night out with everyone I love, kind of like a huge birthday party. The girls are cool with it, but apparently I'm going to have to call it by a different name if I don't want the boys to freak out! But I'll get them there, I know it!

What's your take on co-ed bachelor/bachelorette parties? Would you do it? Would your friends?

Oct 23, 2011

STD Reveal

Okay so a while back, I made a list of September goals, and then promptly accomplished 1 of 4. 

But that changes today! We might be a month behind our goal, but no matter: we've finally finished our save the dates, and will be mailing them out early this week! 

After a unanimous vote for a photo save the date, we ordered the Beautiful Band design from Wedding Paper Divas, and used one of our favorite engagement pictures. It came out, in my opinion, awesome:

Here's the JPEG proof close up, edited, obviously:

We addressed them on the computer, feeding the envelopes through the printer. It was gloriously easy- the Paper Divas envelope stock didn't jam a single time, and we got 70 save the dates addressed in under two hours! The envelopes are my favorite part actually. I LOVE the font (Exmouth, a free download on dafont.com
The whole thing:

Overall, these didn't break the bank. We clocked in at around $125 for 75 save the dates, and 90 envelopes with our return address printed on them.  The paper stock is nice and thick, and we received them in just a week after ordering. I'm really happy with them, and I'm looking forward to hearing some feedback from our guests!

Oct 17, 2011

My Latest Wedding Obsession...

Is table settings! After our meeting with Jenny last week, I’m all about them. Putting some effort into the table design really make a difference in the look of the reception. I mean, think about it- what are your guests staring at all night? The table in front of them. I kind of can’t believe that as wedding-obsessed as I get, I never even considered this.

Oh well, now I am making up for lost time by drooling over the billion combinations you can create, mixing napkins, chargers, china, and linens. I won’t be using all, obviously, but I’m starting to gather some inspiration. I’m hoping to create an elegant look with a hint of vintage:

Although my mom is busting my chops about using these more modern chargers:

 And I love, love, love the classic, simple lines of this set up:

Anyway, I am working under some budget constraints when it comes to choosing the linens, so I have to choose carefully. Right now, I’m considering using champagne linens for the tables, ivory linen napkins, and a beautiful china plate or a charger (budget doesn’t allow for both). I’m really into these particular china patterns, both from Party Rentals LTD:
 Gold Florentine


But I’m not sure if renting china is worth the money. A charger would be a bit cheaper, and size-wise, would make more of an impact, though the china is more theme appropriate.And prettyyyyy.

Anyway, as much fun as I’m having, our florist doesn’t show us the whole look (full sample centerpieces, linen options, etc) until one month before the wedding, so I’ve got a really long time before I have to make a decision. Not that that's killing me a little bit or anything.

Did you do anything to jazz up your tables? What did you use?

Oct 15, 2011

Holy Cow I Think I Got One Here

Mr. B is a huge, huge, huge Weezer fan. Though we haven't liked their music since the Pinkerton album, we still, for some reason, attend every show religiously. Observe: 

We’re also gigantic fans of Tally Hall and Ozma, so I really wanted our wedding song to be by one of those bands. It would be personal, fitting, and offbeat, maybe even a little badass.

Except apparently whoever’s writing these songs has a horrible love life. Every song by each band has one or two sweet lines*, followed by chorus after chorus about broken hearts. I sifted through the lyrics of all my favorites but struggled to find something right, until I remembered (what in hindsight should have been really obvious) Falling for You by Weezer. Have a listen:
 (From You Tube)

I suppose it's not perfect, it’s really about the beginning of a relationship, but beggars can't be choosers right? And the lyrics are cool anyway, especially the "gotta go turn in my rock star card and get fat and old with you" line.

So I thought I solved our wedding song dilemma, and I presented my suggestion to Mr. B.

He hated it. "We can't dance to this!" he objected. "It's too fast. We'll look ridiculous."

I argued that we can't dance and will look ridiculous anyway, so what difference did it make? 

We went back and forth for awhile, polling our family and friends. But though they agreed with using it, Mr. B still didn't come around. I put it aside for awhile, mentally resigning myself to paying for the dance lessons required to make this song work.

And then Mr. B went to an Arctic Monkeys concert and came back with the best suggestion ever: Baby I'm Yours, originally done by Barbara Lewis in the 60s, now covered by them. Listen:

It's PERFECT. Easy to dance to, vintagey and romantic in keeping with the theme of our wedding, and so us. I'm known for my penchant for oldies songs, as well as an unwillingness to join the 21st century (still rockin a flip phone with no Internet access, what upp) and the Arctic Monkeys element makes it very Mr. B. Hearing this song was like finding each other, finding our venue, finding my dress (you like how shallow that list gets?) - when we knew, we knew.

YAY Mr. B! I'm so excited for our first dance now!

*Totally have a REALLY AWESOME plan for those sweet lines. Except I want to surprise Mr. B so I can't tell you until after the wedding!  But it’s gonna be GOOD.

Oct 12, 2011

Want It, Can't Have It

Something I’ve noticed in wedding planning is that there's so many awesome items out there that it’s extremely easy to fall  head over heels for something that just doesn’t work for your affair. Like you might be having a formal blacktie reception and then die for rustic letterpress invites that look like concert posters. When that happens, sometimes you just have to admit defeat and move on, leaving your loved item behind.

I’m having this issue with my bridesmaids’ dresses. I am obsessed with a Lazaro to the point that I like it as much as my own dress (also Lazaro, coincidentally) and I’m honestly kinda jealous I don’t get to wear  it. It literally hurts to think about how elegant my girls are going to look. I’m not kidding.

Here, see for yourself!

That’s my maid of honor, looking awesome. And yes, that is a train- I LOVE that feature!

Problem is, the dress only comes in really dark colors, and I had my heart set on a cream and gold color scheme. I’m totally willing to compromise on the shade of gold- champagne, fawn, bronze, whatever- but not on the gold itself. This blue color is really amazing, but it’s not gold. The dress comes in a pretty shade of silver, but again, that’s not gold. And I love gold bridesmaids:

My original inspiration for gold, from the Knot

There is a small ray of light: the owner of the shop where I bought my dress is seeing the Lazaro spring show this Saturday, and if the spring line includes gold, she may be able to preorder it. But no guarantees.

So I’m prepping myself for defeat, and trying to move on to another dress. Right now,  I’m leaning towards these two options (in gold, of course):
 Impressions 3107- I do really like this, and the pearl brooch goes with my pearl theme!

 This was nice, hard to tell since it's a size 100 million, but very flattering. I'm a little concerned the satin quality is cheap looking though. This is a Dessy, but I forget the style number.

Thoughts? Which ones do you guys like?

Oct 10, 2011

Now We're Set

Lately I’ve been wanting to think about the detail elements of the wedding- paper, card boxes, flowers- but I’ve found myself with piles of inspiration and no cohesive theme. Cream, gold, lace, pearls, baby blue, and sapphire blurred together in my head, crippling me from getting started.

Enter Jenny Orsini, wedding planner and owner of Pampered Bride Weddings (and wedding planning superstar to me).

We didn’t have the budget for a full-on wedding planner, but my mom suggested we meet with her for her theme and d├ęcor consultation service. It was affordable, and my mom reasoned it was worth it to spend a little and solidify things now, to avoid making pricey mistakes later on. 

And I am SO glad we went. I showed up with a collection of inspiration pictures, and Jenny got my style immediately. She was super nice and came up with many ideas that I loved. She was upfront about money and honest about what would be in our decor/floral budget. She helped me to realize the design elements I really wanted were lace and pearls, and that the baby blue I was trying to make happen was just not going to work. We came up with the look for the tables, flowers, and paper products, which I’ll be posting about as I do them, but here’s a sneak preview for now:

I'm honestly still swooning

We got some good pieces of advice, which were all things I've stupidly never thought of, so I’ll share below:

  • Put some effort into the placecard table since it’s the first  thing guests see when they walk in, before the cocktail hour, and before the ceremony.  (Guess who did not once even think about this? Oh hi me).
  • Table settings are how you bring your theme to life. I had assumed linens, chargers, etc were out of our budget. She showed us how to make it work, and I am SO much more excited about things now.
  • She was able to give honest (if a little scary!) feedback on our vendors, since they were all people she was very familiar with. We may be looking for a new florist now, but we appreciated the nobullshit talk.  
  • Bridesmaids: they should never be as elegant as you (that sounds terrible in writing, I'm sorry!), and don't worry if they don't match your room decor exactly. They'll be photographed next to you, not next to your table setting. 
I’m extremely grateful to my mom for the idea to do this. We had a ton of fun planning, and now I feel so much more like I’m back in the swing of things and ready to make things happen.  

Any of you out there using a wedding planner at all? 

Oct 4, 2011

Friendship Changes

At my first job, I shared a cube with a girl named Cindy, who had the most gorgeous wedding ever, a destination in the Bahamas. I loved to look at her pictures.

I noticed in the ceremony shots she surrounded entirely by guys. “Where’s your bridal party?” I asked.

She explained that they decided to have her husbands’ two brothers as best men, and her best friend of 17 years as her maid of honor, except the girl was clearly nowhere to be found.

“She got married and stopped talking to me” Cindy explained, as if this was totally normal.

I was confused. “That doesn’t make sense.”

Cindy told me that she’d been the maid of honor in her best friend’s destination wedding 8 months prior, but by the time it was her turn, her friend was settled into married life, spending her time with her husband and their families. She said her friend barely returned her calls, and had very little interest in keeping the friendship up. By the time Cindy’s wedding rolled around, their friendship was in such disrepair that the girl wasn’t even invited.

Okay look, I don’t know Cindy or her friend too well; her story may have more to it,  but I was 22 and fresh out of college when I heard this, and it totally freaked me out. My life was still about being attached to my roommates, bonding over dollar mugs of beer and Sunday movie marathons. I couldn’t imagine the idea of that any of it changing. Cindy had always struck me as a bit odd, so I shrugged off the story, assuming that kind of thing didn’t happen to, well, more normal people.

Yeeeeah… it does. (You knew that was coming, right?)  I haven’t had a situation quite as dramatic as Cindy’s, but I notice changes in other areas. Some friendships change because we’re in different life circumstances, and either can’t or don’t want to bother understanding each other. Some friends fade more, when you realize who you really have time for. And some friendships I took for granted I’m now realizing are the best ones I have.

One of said dollar mug drunk nights

I’m changing too. I notice myself actively disengaging from certain people. Mr. B and I have a hilarious and awesome group of guy friends, who I used to have personal relationships with. I think they’re awesome but I have less in common with them. Their lives are about picking up girls in a West Village bar until 4 am, which is cool for them, but I’m more likely to get my panties in a bunch over the latest issue of Food and Wine (I really wish I was kidding).

So things do change. At 22, it never occurred to me I’d stop dressing up in spiky heels and pregaming on $4 champagne. Or at least, I didn’t know it would end quickly. I miss it sometimes, but I’m also different too, learning more about myself, my friendships, and my priorities. And you know what? I’m still lucky enough to be surrounded by great people.

And if I need to revert back, I am only a 10 minute train ride from those West Village bars.
 The drinking buddies at a bar night in Cabo last month

Have you seen changes in your friendships as you’ve gotten older and/or engaged?