Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First Real DIY - Ring Bearer Pillow

So we were sitting at home the other day, going over the list of things we have to do in 18(!!) days, and we realized we completely forgot about the ring bearer pillow! Our ring bearer is Thomas’ super-cute nephew, and he needed something equally cute to carry down the aisle. So off we went to Michaels/Hancocks to see what we could whip up. I followed this tutorial here -- kind of. Most of it I just ghetto-rigged until it looked alright!

First up - cutting out and pinning the fabric. Not too hard, because my mom actually did this part.
Then, it was time for the sewing.
I hadn’t really done this before, so it was intense. Make sure you leave a hole at the top so that you can stuff it!
After it’s stuffed to your satisfaction, sew up the hole. By hand.
Then, somehow attach all the ribbon and the buttons and the flower together using the most awkward, contrived stitching possible! Also, make sure you never ever show your face in a picture.
Finally, you have a ring-bearer pillow! (Mine is about 7.25x7.25)

And there’s my first DIY that will be actually used in the wedding!

Friday, March 05, 2010

... Hello.

So, I have been a very bad blogger. I posted the first part of a two part entry and then fell off of the earth for oh, 5 months? I apologize for the long absence but life kind of got in the way and I ran out of things to talk about, so I didn’t.

Anyway, to finally finish the cliffhanger, we went with Caterer B - the less-expensive caterer with the amazing appetizers. In addition to being less expensive, I love their coordinator. She’s very responsive, very accepting of things I’d like, and we will actually have 4 entree choices - fish, beef, chicken, and a veggie meal! I’m really excited to have all the different options.

There’s actually a lot of stuff going on right now that I should share with you.. pictures of our invitations (arriving today! any minute now!), what we’re going to do with the inner envelopes (actually, I need to figure this out myself..), my final bridesmaid dress selection, my accessories.. so many things! I’m trying to get back on track so that all my long-distance bridesmaids can feel more in the loop, so that’s plenty of motivation for me. If I slack, feel free to call me out on it!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

But what will we eat?

We started our search for a caterer with the list of preferred caterer's from Cator Woolford - obviously, better to find a caterer on the list than to pay an extra $1,000 to bring in someone else! Being the dedicated bride/researcher that I am, I went to the websites of every single one, crossing out the ones that didn't really appeal to me. Then I sent the rest emails - and continued crossing people off based on their lack of response, very strange response, or any number of things. I tend to go with my gut in most cases - so even if I couldn't explain why I was crossing them off, I would. What can I say? Not all my reasons have to make sense! I'm a bride!

When it came down to it, we were left with 2 caterers. And after meeting with my DOC (the wonderful Daria of Circle of Love Weddings) and getting her recommendation, we had 1 more. That caterer wasn't on the list of preferred caterers.. but they were willing to split the cost with us 50/50.

Since I was trying to get all the major vendors booked before I left in August, and it was already July by this point, AND I was trying to let Thomas have the tasting experience as well, we scheduled to have all our tastings over a period of 2 days. Plus, I figured that we would definitely know who we liked best if we had them all in a row.

Disclaimer: My camera was stolen before I had uploaded the pictures from our catering meetings. So we have no pictures from the tastings, which is so sad I can hardly stand it. We experienced some really awesome presentations.

First up was Monday lunch at one of the more trendy caterers in the Atlanta area. Thomas and I went, along with my brother/man-of-honor. There's a group of vendors in the area that all seem to have a similar aesthetic appeal, and they work together on a lot of weddings. Their food is fantastic - they actually have a restaurant that we often eat at for brunch - but their prices definitely reflected the fact that they are an in-demand caterer. This was actually Thomas' favorite for the food, since their beef was really fantastic. However, the cake was not as good.. Though they gave us huge slices, it was kind of dry and crumbly, and they charged an extra fee to bring in your own cake. But it was definitely something we could work around in order to get some delicious dinner.

That evening, my mom, BM C, Thomas and I went to dinner at the caterer that Daria had recommended. It was not as trendy, and doesn't have quite the reputation as the first one, which meant they were also significantly cheaper. Also, their beef was not quite as good, a little on the tough side, but their chicken was much better than at the first caterer. Their prices were also significantly less, and I was absolutely in love with this appetizer they had.. watermelon and mozzarella with a balsamic vinaigrette. So good. But Thomas got food poisoning the next day.. and since no one else did, we weren't really sure where he got it, but he thinks it was this caterer.

My new favorite flavor combination! 

The next day, my mom and I were supposed to go to the third caterer, but it ended up getting pushed back two days. When we went, their office had no air conditioning, but it certainly didn't detract from the overall experience. Their food was excellent, but definitely more on the traditional "wedding food" side of things. They were on the price point in between the first two. In addition, they had a lot of experience.. I think they said they had been catering in the Atlanta area over 20 years, so I knew they would have a lot of contacts with other vendors. However, when explaining some of my ideas for the wedding, they were a little more negative and less accommodating than the other two had seemed.

Time for a little House Hunters style question! Which caterer did I choose? A) The trendy, expensive caterer with delicious meat? B) The less-expensive caterer with the amazing appetizer that might have given Thomas food poisoning? or C) The more traditional, experienced caterer with delicious "wedding food" and a less-than-positive attitude?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nosce Nuptialis

Ok, so I don't really know latin. And that's probably not even correct.. it's a version of "temet nosce" which is itself a version of "nosce te ipsum" - know thyself. So my translation is supposed to read "know thy wedding." My cousin actually has this tattooed on her wrists, which is how it came to me so quickly when trying to describe the recent shift in my wedding outlook.

The past couple of weeks have been interesting, wedding-wise. We're trying to decide on a save-the-date design, and I'm unemployed so I have a lot of time to see wedding porn, and all of the inspiration has been slightly overwhelming. I was second-guessing everything - color palette, dress, invitation styles... you name it, I was probably losing sleep over it. Irrational, I know, but there are so many awesome weddings out there, it can be hard to really delineate what you actually want, and what fits you the best. And when kick-ass DIY (by a graphic designer) invitations show up in your mail, and they look SO good, and they're so minimal, and black and yellow in their text-only goodness, I was a little worried. Oh, and their website matches. And is also perfect. Our website? It's only a template! And it's not even filled out all the way! We're clearly not doing enough!

Obviously, I was kind of losing my mind. Then all of the sudden, I had this strange epiphany. This was my wedding. I had picked all these original things because I loved them. And I still love them. So, I will have my gorgeous dress, and my purple and grey (and pink! new addition) color scheme, my rectangular tables and christmas lights and my tent, and I will love it because these are all my favorite things.

(Made over at the stylecircle - visit to see all credits)

Did you ever feel like you were drowning in wedding inspiration, and that maybe you were doing everything all wrong? When did you have your wedding epiphany moment?

Kreativ Blogger Award!

I was very surprised yesterday when I was looking through my google reader and saw that the wonderful Lauralou at had tagged me with a Kreativ Blogger Award!

Part of the deal with this award is that you have to post 7 facts about yourself, and then tag 7 bloggers. I'm really bad about tagging people, so I will probably skip that step, but I am more than happy to share 7 facts about me!

1. Ice cream is one of my most favorite things on the planet. It doesn't matter what flavor (as long as it's not coffee), but one of my all-time favorites is chocolate chip cookie dough - though the store brand oatmeal cookie dough ice cream is a very close second!

2. I spent my elementary school years living in Prague, in the Czech Republic. It was a really incredible experience, and I think it has influenced me in many different ways. I would love to give my children the opportunity to move around when they are younger, even if it's not overseas, because I think the process of making new friends and adjusting to changes really helps in overall development.

3. I have this inexplicable interest in all things zodiac. All of the descriptions of my star sign have always fit very well with my personality, and I love reading my horoscope. I recently found out that you also have a moon sign and a rising sign, and both of mine fit me really well also! It's totally bizarre but really interesting.

4. I really don't like calling people that I don't know. If it's for work I am fine with it, but for personal stuff for some reason I just avoid it. Which is hard when you're planning a wedding from far away... there's several calls I need to make but I keep finding other things to do instead!

5. My dad thinks that the character Bones on TV is a lot like me. I don't pick up on jokes very well, and I take things pretty seriously, but I also have a pretty dry sense of humor. I think the comparison is pretty accurate.

6. I just graduated with a degree in criminal justice, and then realized I can't think of any criminal justice job I would actually want. So I've applied to Teach for America, and hopefully by this time next year I'll be teaching !

7. I have slight OCD when it comes to things being straight. And being divisible by 5. Whenever I sit down at a dinner table, I automatically make sure that all my knives and forks are perfectly straight along the bottom. And I much prefer all numbers in my life to be divisible by five. It's just a weird thing.

There you have it! 7 things about me that you might not know otherwise. I know it wasn't really wedding related, but I have a couple wedding posts lined up so look for those soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dresses for the 'Maids

I have to admit, I'm pretty sure that I've looked at every single bridesmaid's dress that is currently in production. That may sound like an exaggeration, but I promise you it's not. See, I have a great group of 4 girls standing up with me as my bridesmaids.. but they are all very different shapes. One is pretty busty, one is super-petite, and the other two are fairly average. Also, I happen to love these girls a lot, and I wanted to make sure that they look really good at my wedding! Oh, and it had to be in a deep purple color, which was surprisingly hard to find at the point of my search.

The first real contender was Dessy dress #6553. Here it is on me (obviously not in the correct color):

I love how the top kind of mirrors the top of my dress (which I'm still figuring out how to show you!), and the waistband really nips in your waist. The dress also has pockets(!!!) and I think overall matches the formality level of the wedding pretty well. I love pockets. Unfortunately, it's strapless. And I was really looking for non-strapless for my super-busty bridesmaid. It does come with removable spaghetti straps, so it's still definitely a possibility. Another problem was that it was tea-length, when most people preferred knee-length and so it would have to be hemmed.

I came across the second dress kind of by accident, I was looking at someone's post on the WeddingBee boards and had to go to the David's Bridal website to look at her dress, and lo and behold there was a very cute printed dress with straps. And it was purple!

No real problems here, except that the more I think about it, the more I feel like it doesn't entirely fit the feel of the wedding. Perhaps it comes across as too casual? Or am I way overthinking this? I do love the print, and think that it does make it more wearable post-wedding.. I guess I'll just have to see how it looks like on all the girls and make a decision that way!

This decision is made all the harder by the fact that three of my girls are currently in Georgia, one is in Guam(!!) and I am in Kentucky. I am planning a trip down to Georgia soon, but it's also a matter of getting all the girls there together (oh, did I mention they're all in different cities too?). So we'll see how it all turns out. Obviously, I have some time to go before I have to make any hard and fast decisions.

What do you think? Which dress is your favorite?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Differing Allegiances

Given that it is Gameday, I thought this was an appropriate topic! See, Thomas and I both love college football.. but we cheer for different teams in the same conference. ...Oops. And it's never more apparent than on Saturdays, when we have to decide which game to watch. I also feel like we have more than your average allegiance to our teams, since both of us actually played in the marching band for our respective teams. Any guesses as to our teams? I've alluded to several factors that could identify it..

Thomas is an ardent UK Cats supporter..

While I am 100% a UGA fan! (I'm the person on the second row on the right)

Needless to say, this creates an interesting smack talk dynamic. UK is not historically known as a football school, so I usually win those competitions.. But UGA's basketball program leaves a little bit to be desired, whereas UK is usually a basketball powerhouse. And while I have caved and bought a Kentucky shirt - I do live in Lexington, after all, and went to a game in person - he has yet to own any Georgia paraphernalia.

It's also interesting to see how we interact when one person's team wins and the other's loses. That happened the very first weekend of this season, when my beloved 'Dawgs couldn't pull it out against Oklahoma State, and I was pretty upset. Meanwhile, he was happy about the Cats win against Miami (Ohio). The winner has to both console and be celebratory at the same time - which is pretty hard to do! I can only imagine what will happen after we play each other later this season. We have successfully gotten through it before, so hopefully this time is no different. It does help that he cares a litttleee bit less than I do. However, we both respect that we will not alter our support of our alum.

Is there anything you and your FI will not agree on? Do you have any friendly competitions that add a little bit of fun to your relationship?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If the shoe fits..

Hi, my name is Laura, and I have a shoe problem. As in, I really really like shoes of the high-heeled variety, and I own more pairs than anyone should really have. 

To really prove my point, here's a picture of my heel collection (plus some flats and sandals) from when my shoe rack collapsed and I had to glue it back together - which meant putting all my shoes on the bathroom floor. 

As a result of having all these wonderful shoes, I have developed a bit of a reputation as the girl who always has cute shoes. I don't think this is a bad reputation to have by any means, but I knew I had better have some pretty cute shoes for my wedding.

Even before seeing all the amazing images online of brides with brightly colored shoes, I knew that my shoes would probably not be white. I want to be able to wear these shoes over and over again - and maybe even before the wedding (blasphemy, I know!). Since we had already picked out the colors by the time I was looking at shoes, I knew I was looking for a pair of purple heels. I didn't really have any other qualifications - other than perhaps not too tall, and not a stiletto (hello ceremony on the grass) - so I was just open to whatever came my way. 

One day, I was just browsing around on various shoe websites, not looking for wedding shoes, when I found them! They were the perfect shade of dark purple, had a peep-toe, and the knot on the top added a bit of interest. After price-checking on a couple different shoe websites, I found that they were in fact cheapest at the designers store. So - I bought them! They're actually in the picture above, though I won't be surprised if you can't see them, since the picture color is a little off. 

Pictures, you say? Of course! I took my shoes for a little photoshoot around my apartment. Here they are in all their glory - the Nina Kyleen-LS in grape luster satin. 

Inside, they weren't really looking like the right color, so I went outside for some natural light. 

I love the knot detail on the front.

I'm so excited for the shots of me holding up my dress with the shoes showing! Obviously, finding the right shoes wasn't really a problem for me, since I just happened upon them. I like to think it was wedding fate.

Was finding your shoes a joy or a trial for you? Are you going the colored shoe route or sticking with a more bridal white?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Engagement Pictures!

You know how they say that good things come to those who wait? Well, in the case of our engagement pictures, that was definitely true! We had our session at the beginning of July, and on Saturday we got our CD of pictures in the mail - you better believe I did a little jumping up and down right there at the mailbox. I was really glad we did them, because we were pretty awkward in front of the camera at first (mostly Thomas - I'm used to being in front since he's a photographer) but hopefully we will remember all the tricks at our wedding and just avoid the awkward part altogether. 

It's definitely hard to pick just a few to show you, but I'm pretty sure no one else wants to see all 84 pictures, so I'll give it a shot. 

One of the very first pictures we took, so we were getting used to being in front of the camera.

I'm pretty sure this is one of my favorite pictures. We just both look really happy.

On the roof! I was slightly terrified during this picture, since I was sitting up on a railing, but I don't think it shows.

In the stairwell. Thomas thinks he looks like he's not paying attention - I think it just makes us both like pretty awesome.

Outfit change. Love love love those red shoes.

My wonderful fiance :-)

Gratuitous portrait of myself. I have a bad habit of doing the head-turn, but Thomas thinks it actually kind of works in this picture.

Last one. I love the parking deck shot.
(all pictures by Nam Nguyen)

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I do! If it wasn't too ridiculous, I would probably have posted every picture - I love them all.

Did you have engagement pictures taken? Did you end up using them in some way for the wedding or just keep them for yourself?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our Engagement Story

I just realized, in all my forgetfulness, that I have also never posted how I actually came to be planning a wedding. With the recent engagement of two of my very good friends last night, I thought now would be a good time to share our engagement story.

(our friends who got engaged last night - we were the sneaky surprise photographers!)

We had been talking about marriage for a long time - think since we started dating in March of 2008. In December, we started talking about it a lot more seriously, and began looking at rings. Between December and February we made several trips to jewelry stores, and in early February I found the ring that I thought was perfect. Unbeknownst to me, Thomas actually called the store two days later (on a Monday) and asked them how soon they could have it ready. At this point, I still thought he was saving up or deciding between all the options or maybe just dragging his feet, so I was still very impatient.

The weekend of our one-year anniversary also happened to be the weekend of a major fraternity event, at which Thomas was running for office in his district. I went to be supportive, and also because I didn't want to spend our one-year anniversary sitting in Athens, GA while he had a fun weekend up in Toledo, OH. So I drove up to Kentucky on Thursday, and we drove to Ohio on Friday. That Saturday was our one-year anniversary, and we spent it in leadership classes and promoting his campaign. That day also happened to be our friends birthday, so that night all of us planned on going out to get pizza and drinks to celebrate. Since Thomas was still campaigning, we left a lot later than they did, and by that time it was very dark, and very cold. The restaurant was only a block away though, so off we walked.

Instead of turning right to go to the restaurant, Thomas decided that he wanted to go see the gazebo by the river that he had pointed out to me earlier in the day. I don't do very well with cold, or being late, so I was being a bit cranky, and kept point out the fact that the wind was probably blowing at least 40 miles per hour. We got to the gazebo, he set down his papers.. and they promptly started blowing away. I frantically tried to pick them all up, since they were all his campaign papers, and he was just trying to get me to focus on him.

He started telling me all about how he had ordered the ring, and had talked to my dad.. but my ring hadn't come in yet. I must have looked disappointed, so he said that maybe we could just take a picture out here in this gazebo thing. He had my camera in his jacket pocket, so he reached in and pulled out .. the ring box! I immediately asked him if he was serious, he asked if he should get down on one knee (uhm, yes!) and then he asked me to marry him. Clearly, I said yes :-)

Right after it happened. Here, you can see just how dark it really was!

I immediately began this strange combination of laughing and crying - evidenced by the mascara smudged all around my eyes.

We went back the next day to take some pictures in the place where it actually happened. This is the "gazebo" thing. It ended up being on the campus of a company that makes pink insulation.

A reenactment, and also one of my favorite pictures.

A close-up of the ring!

So, that's how we came to be engaged on the banks of the Ohio River, far away from where we met (Orlando, FL) where we had our first date (Atlanta) and where we currently live (Lexington, KY!)