Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Martha & The Minerals

First let me say, yesterday was my birthday. Oh, thank you. :)

My lovely fella got me something I had been wanting for quite some time...

Bare Minerals makeup!

I've wanted this for about a year but it's a bit pricey so I never took the plunge. But this is what having a fella on your birthday is for, right? ;) Because I'll be doing my own makeup at my wedding I wanted to get something that would give me a really fantastic complexion. So when I asked the girls at WeddingBee.com if it would be a good wedding day makeup, and they said to go for it, I decided to drop some birthday hints. ;)

I'm a very fair skinned girl and finding a foundation that matches my complexion can be hard, but the lightest starter kit matches my skin beautifully. The texture of the makeup is really smooth and not dry at all. I was afraid that because it was a powder it would dry out my skin (which is combination) but once it's on it feels like a liquid foundation. Only smoother, it nearly looks airbrushed. My favorite thing about it is how natural it looks. There is no makeup line what-so-ever. You really do look like you just have great skin.

And yesterday, while Tanner & I were having a bit of a tiff (just a little one ;) ) he told me that my skin had a really nice glow to it. Haha, so either it makes a really noticeable difference, or he was just trying to get out of trouble. But regardless, this is definitely what I'm using for my wedding day.

On to Martha.

Now really, I'm not a crazy huge Martha Stewart fan, I like her enough and she's always good for a few ideas and pretty pictures, but sometimes I think her designs are a little simple for me.

Which is why I don't know why this happened.

The ol' girl has a line of crafting supplies at Michaels. I purchased an 'all purpose' marker of hers in green as a stamp marker. To ink one of her leaf stamps for the backs of my envelopes.

First the marker:

I got it at Michael's for about $2. Which is expensive for a thin little marker, but it said Martha Stewart on it and my sense went out the window. The green is nice enough, and at the time I thought to myself "The green is nice enough' but that's not exactly a rave review is it? No, it is not. And I bought the thing anyway.

The real trouble was finally evident to me when I got it home, took it out to play with it and realized that *I do not want to draw the ink onto my leaf stamp for every single envelope I have to stamp.* Holy Moses, where was my brain? So, a little embarassed, I put it away. Then I took it out again and doodled, because it cost me $2 so I might as well see how it could be useful. It's not a bad marker, it's just not an especially good one either. They don't offer these markers in an array of colors, just a few very specific shades of very Martha-y colors (subdued, trendy hues to coordinat with her line of crafty stuff). And the ink is just regular marker ink, not extra anythingy. So... why did I buy it?

I see now that I was ambushed. Somebody with a very keen eye knew just how to play me & my DIYing brethren and had all of these beautiful papers and ribbons and markers and gizmos and widgets and put them in a very beautiful layout and clearly I was tricked into buying that marker.

See what I mean? Even knowing what I know now I still want to dig around in there!

So my advice is, know what you want when you pass by that Martha Stewart section. Or you'll end up with pretty little things you don't need :)

Now, the stamp set on the other hand was a fantastic buy. Two nice sized leaves (no frills, just a clean line drawing) for $10 total! That is such a great deal, and they're really nice quality. They come in a package of two, and it was a toss up between those or the lovely little birdies. I am using birds in the wedding, but because the leaf stamps were almost sold out I went for those. The birds I may go back and get later, and hopefully they're all I'll come home with.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

But what would I do with it?

I was shopping last night and came across a 12 yard bolt of fabric. It's *the* green and nearly identical in texture to the BM's dresses. (Nice silky taffeta, only this is softer) It was under $3 a yard and I really, really wanted to take that baby home with me. I wasn't there looking for fabric, I shouldn't even have been in the fabric section of the store. But I was mysteriously drawn there...

I didn't buy it. I told myself way back at the begining of this game that I would *not* under any circumstances buy anything weddingy on impulse that I wouldn't know what to do with once I got it home. This way I would surely save myself a ton of money.

But now I'm thinking... it's *the* green. Which is hard to come by. And it's an untouched, complete bolt with a lot of useable yardage. And people use fabric at weddings, right? Besides, isn't $2.90 a yard a really good deal? Oh my head is spinning.

My point is, should I go back and get it? Before somebody else does? And if I do... what will I do with it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well we blew our chances with 41 cent stamps on the invites. My fella took a dummy invite to the PO and it turns out the wax seal makes it too lumpy & they won't fit through "the slot" whatever that is.

So now we're stuck with those pastel heart wedding stamps. They're ok and they'll get the invitations where they need to be... but we were both really looking forward to using the Marvel Comics ones. But I'll live, they're still going on the RSVP's. ;)

Tonight we're putting our invitations together. It's an all out invitation blitz. I have my station: right in front of the computer addressing envelopes. And my unbelievably helpful Tanner will be at our far-too-small kitchen table folding our belly bands. As soon as I get a few put together I'll take a photo and show you all a finished product. (Please forgive my lack of photography! My time is being devoured by the guest list monster.)

Edit: Here is a hastily taken teaser photo of poor quality... It's our first invite (so excuse any goofiness please!) I got excited and wanted to share. :)

Man, that flash really shows off that unwanted glossiness. :/
Oh well, better pictures later. Back to work!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

12 Dancing Princesses

I have found my shoes (I think).
The thing about me is I can't ever make up my mind.
I know what I want *in* my wedding shoes.

1. No heel (Tanner is only 2 inches taller than me. The veil & hair have already called those 2 inches.)
2. Cuteness
3. They must be red!

Now I know that the idea of wearing red shoes with your white (ivory in my case) wedding dress may not be for everybody. But honestly, white shoes are not for me. I muss them up and they make my feet look bigger (big white feet, it's true). But I adore red shoes, I really do. So for me this is a no brainer. And I had no idea this was something women did. When I saw a bride with red shoes on The Knot I was both happy (yay! it's acceptable!) and upset (aw! I thought this would be original!) But I quickly got over myself when I saw these sexy babies:

These shoes light my fire.

I sent this photo to my mother (expecting to hear "Ew, dear those are all torn up.") who said 'They remind me of the 12 Dancing Princesses'. Which was one of my favorite stories as a child. She made the connection because the frayed seams on the shoes are like the worn shoes of the 12 princesses who dance the night away in a magical castle and then leave their frayed shoes at the foot of their bed to be found by confused castlefolk in the morning. No one knows why their shoes are tattered until a handsome farmer comes along... he eats a magical invisibility flower... there is some sneaking... cut to the chase they all live happily ever after. Anyhow once she said that I really wanted to buy these shoes. I'm not a princessy girl, really, but what a cool idea, right? So romantic.

And I really want to dance my magical wedding night away in red shoes...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Swatch Switch

Guys, I was freaking out.

My MIL sent me a swatch in the mail of my BM's dresses. Very generous thing of her to do, I was grateful and so happy because no shops out here would let me order one. ('What? Why aren't you ordering the dresses through us?' they say. 'Because my BM's live in a another state' I say. 'Well, TOO BAD, Missy!' they say. Click.)

So I awaited the arrival of my little moss green (which Bari Jay calls Olive, but it's completely moss) taffeta swatch with so much eagerness...
And then I got it.
It was *not* the right color. It was so... to use Tanner's term 'olive drab'. I was so depressed. I had my heart set on moss green. I had searched for months for the perfect dress in the perfect shade. Sure there were lots of beautiful red dresses, pretty peach dresses... lovely blues but I really yearned for moss green. I couldn't put my girls in this! And yet I already had! I'd forced them to don moss green's old sad loveless uncle, pity green. It was not cheerful or bright or shiny or... hey it's not shiny! It's not even taffeta!! Perhaps...

So I called up the shop Conni & Franc in Morgantown, WV and was completely impressed by some top notch customer service. She even remembered my order! By *my* name. Genius. So I told her my woes and (with my fingers crossed) explained to her my hope that maybe somehow I was sent the wrong swatch..?

Indeed!! Glorious second chance!! I had been sent a swatch of olive satin and not olive taffeta!! And she offered to send me a sample of the taffeta (that she assured me the dresses were ordered in) free of charge! I was both floored by the offer (again, no one else would give me the time of day) and blissfully happy. I gave her my address and faced the world with new hope.

Well ladies, yesterday I got my swatch. And it is perfect. There is no other word to describe it. It is absolutely without a doubt the exact color and texture I was hoping for. I was so excited I was bouncing around, calling my mother, hugging my fella. I cannot wait to see my BM's in this most perfect shade of green. Sigh.

The one on the right is the satin, the left is the actual taffeta. You can't tell the difference in the photo as much as in person, but the satin is matte and much darker. The taffeta is shimmery and iridescent and gorgeous and makes me happy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man

When I say 'Brown Tuxedo' what comes to mind?
I'm finding out that for many people it's this:

Which is not exactly the look we are going for.

My Hubs is not a flashy guy, he is however excited about getting to get all dressed up for our nuptials. In fact, I remember in High School (we were best buds) he was excited about graduation because he'd get to wear a suit. And he searched high and low for the perfect tie. So for him, this wedding is another chance to look sharp. He's excited again, I can tell. He's even mentioned to me that when we're standing there getting married I'll stand out in white but all the guys blend together in black tuxes.

His solution- brown tuxes. If they've all got to match he says then let them match in brown, at least its different. Also, because our wedding will be outdoors with earthy fall colors (and because there won't be a stitch of black on anything) brown would be more fitting. I agree and you know, I think it's a great idea. Here's the one he's picked out:

Photo courtesy of jimsformalwear.com

See? Sexy.

Anyhow we took a look at it in person and It's actually a very nice tuxedo. He tried it on and all I can say is ladies, look forward to seeing your man in a tux. ;)

This does create a bit of a problem for our little ring bearer. His tux would be the same price as the men's tuxes. I can't ask her to spend $150 on a tiny tuxedo for one day, especially given the fact that he's a little boy and the wedding is outdoors... So our little man will probably end up in this suit:

Close match, eh? Not bad at all. She found this suit herself (motivated by the tux rental price) at boyssuitsandtuxedos.com for about half the price of the rental - and he can keep it. His mother shall not fear dirt nor feeding the child. The fact that it's not the same cut (and that the brown might not be *exactly* the same) doesn't bother me one bit because after a matching vest, tie & boutonniere nobody will be able to tell the difference.

And he'll be a little guy in a suit, who doesn't love that?

So now we've got to get my man fitted & find a nice vest/tie combo. Which makes me happy because I'll get to see some more of him in the tux ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Mother, the Artist

I come from a fairly talented bloodline if I do say so myself. ;) Artists, carpenters, musicians... all sorts of creative people.
So it didn't surprise me when I was emailing my aunt (aka wedding planner in the field) about my Autumny screen printed votives idea and she sent me these:

Aren't they lovely?? My aunt had my mother draw these up for her years ago for some reason or another (she's always having people draw things for her). I love them! They have such a soft, storybook quality to them. In fact, they're pretty much exactly what I had in mind, hah.

I'm hoping to print them onto vellum (or whatever ends up working) and then wrap that around my votives. Picture it in your head, it's beautiful.

I've had this idea for a while. I just had no idea how to do it. Anyhow after a trial and error (mostly error) session with sticky tissue paper, stencil paint, and a few glasses of red wine I've realized that without a screen printer my best bet may be the vellum printing option.

I'll give it a shot when I can get myself to a printer. I'm excited! Wish me luck!

Monday, August 13, 2007

'Chill' sayeth the Lord

Guess what!
We have a officiant!! How awesome is that!? Tanner finally found one! And (drumroll please) here he is!!
Pastor Navarro! He's a Lutheran Pastor at a church in Conroe, Texas (about 30 mins from where the wedding will be held) and he's got a bio on that website, read about him. You'll like him. In fact, I liked him from the moment I laid eyes on his picture on that website.
He's even got a slight Mexican accent (Tanner says, he spoke to him) so how cool is that? And he said he wants us to both write a paragraph about ourselves and why we want God's blessing on our marriage so that he can add it to his reading. Aw, so neat! I didn't even know they did that. And he even fits my shallowest criteria of being not young. Don't tell him I said that. But I really wanted to be married by an older guy. What luck!!
This changes everything of course. Now if the Bagpiping Minister can't make it it's a-ok. But if he can then he'll come and just play the pipes for us. This is all turning out so beautifully.
Anyway I feel so good. I can finally stop worrying because now we're not sending out 100 invitations to an officiantless wedding. I was honestly thinking if things kept going like they were I'd have to get Grandpa ordained online.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Angel Ladies Will Take Care of Your Ladies*

I am related to our entire bridal party. My new sisters in law will serve as my maids and my little brothers are our groomsmen. My adorable little cousins will play the roles of Flower Girl & Ring Bearer. So cute.
Ladies first, more on the fellas later.
After a HUGE amount of hunting & searching both online and on foot, and months of stress and struggle trying to find the perfect moss green bridesmaids dresses I happened upon this beautiful frock at barijay.com:

How gorgeous is that dress!? I want one for myself.
It comes in a lovely shade of olive taffeta that will surely do. I wanted something in the right green and that would be flattering to a young lady, and was long enough that they wouldn't freeze to death. This dress was perfect.
Because my bridesmaids are both in their teens my mother in law would be purchasing both of their dresses, so I absolutely needed to stay within her budget. The only problem was it's $50 over her budget of $150 a dress. Finding a dress for under $150 isn't impossible, but when you're looking for a certain color it can be hard. And even before we discussed money I knew I didn't want to burden her with a huge dress bill. (Great way to start a relationship, no?)
I showed this gown to her when I found it online for $150, extremely happy with myself for ending this dress saga. However, when she decided she wasn't really comfortable buying them online she went to a local shop in West Virginia and got them both for $200 a piece!! When she told me I was mortified. I felt completely responsible. But she assured me she knew the wedding would be expensive and was completely ok with it (and refused our offer to pay the difference). She even said she really liked the dress. :)
So all is well and the girls have their dresses ordered. They should arrive in a few weeks and I can't wait to get some pictures!!

Now my completely adorable flower girl:

Isn't she the most beautiful little thing?
Her mother found this dress at a shop in Bryan, Texas for about $60 and sent me a photo. (This was after we settled on one at David's Bridal that was $120 and not really that thrilling.) You can't really see it here but there is some beautiful embroidery on the organza skirt overlay in the the perfect shades of gold, green & red. I love this dress. The red sash will be replaced by a velvet one in the shade of the bridesmaid's dresses. The kid's going to steal the show. And she loves the dress because it passes the 'twirl test'. (You know, where you twirl and the skirt flies out around you.)

*That's actually the name of a Thai dish at the delicious Nit Noi, but I think it applies here as well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Look of Love

My major inspiriation...

I want so badly to be able to achieve this sort of warm glow at my reception. The photo on the top is so close to what I have in mind that if you took out those tables you'd pretty much have it. The lanterns & twinkle lights are spot on.
The photo on the bottom is so romantic. Again, those lights and the autumny feel are just perfect.

I don't know who this little girl is but I love the pathway behind her. That's something i'm going to shoot for. Perhaps on the path from the barn to the bonfire and surrounding the garden. Lovely.

Replace those beautiful flowers with some beautiful autumn leaves (courtousey of my new Mother in Law who will be bringing them with her from West Virginia) and you've pretty much got my centerpieces. I'm thinking dark brown tablecloths instead of white so that the leaves will really pop. By the way, said tablecloths won't be cloth at all, but instead paper. I know it sounds strange but it was *so* much cheaper than renting and I think they're actually quite nice! Also there's none of the hassle that comes with renting, and if anything gets on them it's no big deal.

Instead of getting married under an arch of some sort (which isn't really my style) I've decided we're going to string up some flower heads (fake I'm certain, but who will notice?) and hang them like these in the photo behind us as our backdrop. Our wedding will be held in the garden so these beauties will be hanging from the trees. So romantic. I think we'll add some ribbon in there too just to give it weight.

Isn't that the coolest thing?! I'm going to figure out how to make these in bulk. I found this little sweetie on etsy.com (a wonderful site for homemade works of art) for sale by maryink and realized my ideas actually were possible! Yay! I'd been wanting to somehow put an autumn scene on a votive using ink & tissue paper and now that I know it's been done I just need to get to an art supply store!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Kilt Issue

We went over to Tanner's friends house yesterday and I asked one of the guys (who had just come back from England where he had bought himself a kilt)
"Would you think it would be weird to be married by a guy in a kilt?"
To which Tanner adds "And he's got bagpipes."
And his friend's answer was "I think it would be weirder if he didn't have the bagpipes."

Brilliant answer!

Ok to you this may mean nothing. But to me this was a big win for my side. I've got this Preacher man friend that I would *love* to have officiate our wedding, if he can make it. (Long story, but he may be in Europe in November. He doesn't know yet.) He's retired so he's old (I know it's kinda strange, but I want to be married by an old man.) He *plays the bagpipes* and *has a kilt*!! This is beauty. I tried to set this up as a surprise for Hubs but my crazy mother spilled the beans at the Florist. So now he knows and he's not sure about it! So I guess it's a good thing he knows now, if I'd surprised him and he was uncomfortable I don't know what would have happened. But it shocks me so much that he didn't jump at the chance. He *loves* bagpipes and kilts and all that jazz. He even mentioned having a bagpiper at the wedding! ...So to me, having a bagpiping Preacher do our ceremony seemed perfect, but to him I think it seems like it may be too much.

Mind you, this is coming from a guy that has a cartoon character tattooed on his chest.

But now, thanks to his friend's nice spin on things I may be winning him over. Because really, its just the bagpipes that he's unsure about. I adore the idea. So now I just need to get him to come around. ;) Which I do believe will happen... more on this later.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

*The* Cake

Behold... divine inspiration:

My wonderful aunt has offered to make our cake, (free!! bless her soul) and we have given her these photos as inspiration. I love the earthy feel of the one on the right. (I want to stick my finger in that icing.) But Hubs said that looks homemade, which broke my heart because that's part of why I love it! He, on the other hand, loves the clean lines of the one on the left... So we're hoping for a blend of the two. She'll take the icing and leaves from the cake on the left and the mix of autumn goodies from the one on the right to create our perfect cake. Sounds delicious to me. And she's a brilliant cake maker, the woman is an artist (I believe she's going to use fondant and an airbrush to create those leaves. So cool!) So I know our cake is going to be beautiful. I can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We can dance if we learn to

Ok so we haven't picked out our wedding dance song yet. And we can't agree on one that we both want (this causes me much anguish) so I decided to put the cart before the horse and ordered this DVD:

"The Wedding Dance" was one of the highest rated DVD for learning how to dance that Amazon had, and it's *for your first dance*! It cost about $30 after regular shipping. Way less than lessons, and I got Hubby to agree to this. Lessons didn't seem to light his fire.
We both watched it yesterday and I gotta tell you, I'm excited. It's very easy to follow and takes things nice and slow. You can check it out on its website: NowYoureDancing.com I think what I like most about the DVD is its lack of hoakeyness. How-To DVDs can sometimes be a little corny & awkward. This was neither. In fact, Hubs has no problem with it. (He even seems a little excited about learning now. Woo hoo!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007


We picked up the invitations today! They're (as much as I hate to say it) not exactly what I had in mind. The invite is way too glossy but that's ok because I'm my own worst critic and Hubs loves them.

First let me show you our inspiration:

This is an invitation by Oblation Papers that we saw in the latest issue of Weddings InStyle. The one in the magazine was actually in shades of green, and Hubs liked it so much he took a photo of it with his camera phone so I could work from it at home.

So using that layout and then adding what I wanted our invitations to have we came up with this...

I designed them using Photoshop and we had them printed at a Kinkos in Mobile, AL (such a drive!) by the sweetest guy ever. If you're ever in there and Antwon helps you out, tell him we said Hi. :)
I gotta say, the color of the RSVP's paper doesn't really knock my socks off. The flecks are far too blue for me. But it was either that or stark white, and I wanted some texture so I went with it. And I'm learning to roll with the punches so there they ya go. Also there is a tree that you can barely see behind the words on the invite, it blends in with the background a bit now. But, if you know its there you can see it! Oh well.
Printing our own invites and RSVPs came to about $200 for 125 sets. Which ain't bad. Now all I have to do is make the belly bands out of some delicious card stock, find a coordinating ribbon and order the wax seal stuff. I'm thinking of getting this glue gun-able wax from NostalgicImpressions.com because ordinary sealing wax breaks when it goes through the mail, and this should be much more durable. Also its offered in an array of beautiful colors. The 'granite pearl' does things to me.
Then when all that is said and done Hubs and I will assemble our brains out. Hopefully my total (including the invites and without stamps) will be less than $250. Hopefully. I may nix the ribbon if it starts to get pricey.
Stamps is going to hurt, those things are expensive when you have to buy potentially 250 of them. So to ease our pain we're going to get the Marvel Superhero & possibly Star Wars editions.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The fanciest dress I've ever owned.

This is possibly my favorite part.
My wedding gown is gorgeous. Right now it's with the alterations lady and I miss it dearly. It took me one afternoon to find it, and I only went to one shop. That is, of course, ridiculous because it took me months to find my prom dress. But as soon as I put this one on I thought what all brides hope to think when they see "the" dress:
"Man, I look good in this."
So when my mother and aunt (who came out here to shop with me, bless 'em) all agreed we bought the thing and went out for pizza.
It would have been enough that the dress was gorgeous and perfect but it was also half price. Oh yes, this was the only way I could have afforded it. After taxes and buying the big garment bag to hang it in my total came to around $400. For me, that price was as perfect as the dress. And I got it for half because the shop, Deedy's Bridal, was redoing its inventory and getting rid of a lot of sample gowns. Man, how lucky can you be?? So ladies, pay attention and ask around, you may strike gold.
I'd be more descriptive of the gown but Hubs reads this :) And thankfully all he knows about it is that 'it looks huge in the bag' Hah.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A little backstory

My fiance/husband and I decided to get married before we got married out of necessity. He's an Airman in the US Air Force and I was an uninsured clerk at an insurance agency. Anyone that's been without health insurance knows how that scary that can be.
We decided- Hey, we're getting married anyway. Why not have the perks right now? So off we went and it just took one afternoon to become Mr & Mrs. And, just like that, I'm an Air Force wife. They let me on base and everything.
Our wedding will be held in the town we met, which is hundreds of miles from the town we live in. This can really throw off planning. But I've never planned a wedding before so if this is harder than it could be I really couldn't say. I've heard its hard no matter what, and I can see the truth in that.

Decided to add more to my plate.

My fiance/husband and I were actually married last April in the Mobile, Alabama courthouse by the most Southern-est gentleman you could ever hope for. (He could have walked right out of The Long Hot Summer.) It was a wonderful, spontaneous experience and completely and utterly romantic. However, there was no veil, I didn't toss a thing and my dear new husband never got to untie old shoes from his rear bumper.
Obviously, something was missing.
Enter the wedding planning. Because I cannot budget, and because if I did have a budget it would of the shoestring sort, I am going to try to 'diy' as much as I possibly can when it comes to this wedding.
I'm very much looking forward to it. Here's hoping it all turns out.