Saturday, January 31, 2009

warning: emotions ahead!

It seems to me that planning this wedding would be infinitely more fun if E was around. I'm perfectly content for him to think that most of the stuff I'm doing isn't worth his time. I don't expect him to have an opinion of the 12 invitation styles I'm trying to decide between...I just want him to be here. I'm not one to post about this, but E gets really upset when I vent/cry about missing him as he can't do much about it.

Somtimes I think I would literally give up this wedding if I could go back to our college days. We lived in the same dorm building, met eachother for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days, studied together in the library, walked to class, and cuddled on the couch to do homework. Even if we both had crazy days (he was a philosophy major (+ three minors) and always writing papers, and I was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper), we could still pop into the other's room to say goodnight.

E and I at my graduation open house. (and uncle T's peace sign) (also, don't ask about the facial hair...)
This was just a couple days before he moved back home. Little did we know what we were in for with this long-distance thing!

That was only 8 months ago! And I hardly remember it.

The last few months a bunch of distant family friends and people from my church have gotten engaged. For some reason, bridal jealousy has kicked in. I don't feel like my wedding is as special(i know it's not a competition, but it feels like it). I don't feel like i'm having nearly as much fun as everyone else is, having to plan the entire thing across the country from my love.

I know I'm the not only one in the world having to deal with this, but I am so wishing we could just go back to the non-stressful happy dating times.

When I look at the big picture, I know--we're only 5 months away from the big day and it's all over. But then I'll be moving and my entire life will change. Marriage is going to be so different from dating. I'm excited about it, but just a little apprehensive.

I would give an awful lot for a cheap date and walk around a college campus this weekend. :-(

Friday, January 30, 2009

Inspiration [Friday]

More from Snippet & Ink

Board #263: Pistachio and Cream

Board #243: campout

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

centerpiece mockup

You may remember when I purchased my first wedding-related items. I had a vision for a centerpiece I hadn't seen an exact replica of yet. Over the last few weeks, I've been accumulating wedding items (vases, ribbons, baskets, etc) and dropping them off in aunt jet's spare bedroom (also known as "my room" when I spend the night :-) ) for storage.

I went over there this week and she wanted to show my something! This is what I saw...

A mockup of our table centerpieces, made with a dried green hydrangea bunch from her garden. I love how aunt jet sprinkled the extra stones around the votives!

It's perfect! We bought little stones from the dollar store and decided that we would need 2 bags for every 3 centerpieces. Total of $12

We're going to use votives which came as one piece in the glass (slightly different from what's in the picture) Package of 12 for $5 X 5 packages = $25

Fishbowl vases $1.75 x 23 (we now only need 18 but are keeping the extra just in case!) $40

The only thing left to buy are the flowers, which should be around $130 from Fifty Flowers if we have to buy them (aunt jet has two or three large bushes and if they're blooming--they're free!)

So centerpiece total (barring any unforeseen design changes) = $207

That's less than $12 a table, folks.

That won't be the end table cost total as we still need table numbers, etc. But I am pretty freakin' happy with my super cheap centerpieces that are exactly what I want...and that I can still include fresh flowers!

If only I was having a fall wedding

There is nothing about this wedding I wouldn't want to replicate exactly, if only I was getting married in the fall...

(all photos by Natalie Moser)

The colors & aisle decor (and the twirl!)

this pose and setting

the brown tuxes! sigh. so glad we picked brown tuxes, even though we're having a summer wedding!

the flowers. Oh the bright fall-y orange and red and ivory flowers!! (and the details)

the dresses. (and did I mention the colors?)
yum. yum. yum.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ties I just gotta have

I saw these wonderful ties over at Bridechka and the Wedding, from Etsy seller, Toybreaker, and now I'm coveting.
(especially the one on the right)

Our colors: sage green and brown.
Our mood: Ok, I know, I've talked about our mood/theme enough. fairytale woods/rustic(our reception venue is surrounded in oak trees!)

doesn't this just fit perfectly?

The problem? Fi wil never approve. It's so not his style, which I guess means, it's not our wedding's style. (I'm trying to be compromising here. trying!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm a winner!

I just opened my email inbox to find a post from weddingbee, informing me that I won this beauty in the Blue Sprinkles necklace giveaway! Yay!!

Gorgeous, isn't it?

And, I immediately hopped over to the Blue Sprinkles website to see what other jewelry they offered. I found these cute little matching earrings!

But here's the thing. I already have my wedding day jewelry picked out! I had orginally planned on pearl jewelry, wearing a necklace from my grandparents I've had my whole life, pearl studs in my 2nd hole, and my grandmother's drop pearl earrings for my regular holes. (i.e. something old and something borrowed!)
So now what to do? Wear the Lily anyway (cuz it's beautiful and will look GREAT with the neckline on my dress).
Or stick with the plan and wear all pearls?
Here's the gold, add-a-pearl necklace I was planning on.

What do ya think? I need help!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inspiration [Friday]

I love, love, love the blog snippet & ink. If you don't, you will! Please go check it out.

My hands down favorite part of this blog is the inspiration boards. One look at them and you will by instantly whisked off into a world of color, inpiration mood and atmosphere that will blow your mind away! If you've alreayd selected a theme (though i like the word "mood" so much better), you're sure to find the perfect complients to it and get even more ideas. Haven't picked your color scheme, and you're in for a real treat! With almost 350 inspiration boards, you're sureto find (and be overwhelmed by!) the perfect color combo and style for the wedding of your dreams.

For now, here are a few that are reminiscent of my theme (rustic, fairytale woodland, earthy, elegant) & colors (sage green, chocolate brown, ivory and white)

Board #336: Moss and Twig

Board #287: Our Hearts' Garden

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Budget tip #1

Don't get the package deal!

Unless you are planning on everything, and I mean everything (serving fish or filet mignon plated meal, a traditional cake, full open bar, linens, etc) it is not going to be beneficial for you to just accept the wedding packages your venue offers.

Every "wedding" venue plans dinners for a myriad of other events (work luncheons, funerals, dinner parties, etc) and they have a completely different menu and "extras" options for those types of events.

Make sure you carefully compare pricing, but if you're planning on skipping anything that comes with your venue's wedding package, or subtituting anything (i.e. a chocolate fountain instead of a cake), it's very likely that paying for each item you choose, separately, will save you a great deal in the long run.

By serving wine and beer on a tab basis (versus an open bar), and bartering for a chocolate fountain, we are going to save around $4,000 on the reception!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the money stuff $$

I redesigned my blog a little big using a 3 column template from here, and I'm so happy I did!

It allowed me to add the budget feature I've been thinking about lately, which I orginally saw on That [Engaged] Girl's blog

I was struggling with how much personal information I wanted to share with the blogging world, but hey, it's just money, right? I'm not the slightest bit embarassed about how much we're spending, because it's the perfect amount for us. We cut the guest list by about 40 to make it happen, but we're spending less than half of what the average wedding costs in my area (around $27K).

We're contributing some, and my parents are chipping in most of the rest. I decided we needed to contribute a little to make our wedding exactly what we wanted. The budget does not include the costs of the reception that we are having in California the month after the wedding, as E's parents are paying for that entirely and I'm not responsible for the budget!
I'm also not SO set on this budget that if we go over, it'll break the bank. It's a realistic goal, I think. The more $ we save, though, the more gelato we get in Italy!! yum.

Check it out, and if you feel like it, share your wedding budget!
I'm sure I'll be posting a lot more about the budget and ways to save money in the future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ring photos--edited

I can't thank Sabrina (AKA blablover5) of The Introverted Bride enough for editing my engagement ring photos for me! What an improvement! She first enhanced AmyJean's photos over at The Relentless Bride and I sent her mine as well. What a talent (that i certainly don't possess!) I might just have to hire her to edit all my pictures. :-)

Here are a couple of my favorites. Check out the rest of the edited pictures here.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I've been tagged, and I'm laggin'.
Brenn over at When Preppy Meets Hippie was so kind as to award me the Fabulous Blog award.

Rules of the tag:List 5 Obsessions/Addictions that you have, and tag back to the person(s) that gave you the award. Post the rules and tag and additional 5 people.

1. $$$ Money. Pathetic, I know. But I can be OCD about the way I keep track of my money. I check my credit card and online bank statements several times a week. I save all my receipts. Fi wishes I would anal about the way I spend my money...but it doesn't always work out that way.

2. Blackberry's Brick-breaker. Seriously, if I am in any situation where I need to kill some time, or, I just get the urge, you can find me on my blackberry like it's a Gameboy, brick-breaking away. I got the finger cramps to prove it.
3. White flowers. I made this scrappy looking collage with photos from theknot's white wedding flower section. White seems so common, but these pictures prove that white can be done up right. So elegant. I can't wait to fill my reception hall, my church, my bridesmaids hands and my own with yummy white (and ivory) goodness.

4. Lattes, lattes, lattes. I cannot stress this enough. I wish I liked skinny lattes so I would feel less guilty about drinking them all the time. Also, caffeine does crazy things to my eyes, like making them twitch and squint... but that doesn't change my love for them. When I'm not drinking them, I'm thinking about them. Yum.

5. Researching Italy. That's right, folks. Italy. It's our honeymoon destination and even though fi isn't letting me help plan, I'd like to know where I'm going and what I want to see. We're heading to Milan, Florence and Venice and there will posts on that to come!
But now it's time for some tagging
from Ms. to Mrs.: Cuz I love her, she's putting together an amazing wedding on teeny budget...and also because she's BM #5..and one of my dearest friends.
That[Engaged]Girl: She's fun and fresh and doing the long-distance thing too, so I can relate. Plus she's planning a wedding on $3,000. Props to that!
Something Weddings: Brandy's got a fun story and a neat take on her wedding. She had to wait forever for the engagment ring (serously, I think would have given up after 9 years!) Go check her and her awesome polyvores out!
Blushing Bride Bulletin: This blog was the first non weddingbee blog I found. HisMrs introduced me (inadventertently) to the world of wedding blogging! And bonus, she's from SD so we'll soon share a hometown.
June Fifth: This girl posts inspiration pictures galore! I love them. She's fun and so obviously in love...and her hubby is such a romantic (check our her posts and you'll see why)

Why I am the indecisive bride

Because, literally, I cannot make a decision and stick with it (or be happy with one that can't be changed) for anything! And I've been like this for as long as I can remember. After this weekend, I decided that the very best title for this blog is the The Indecisive Bride.

A long time ago I posted about wedding dresses I was looking at. (yes, I just ended a sentence with a's been a long day). It's too bad that I haven't blogged about the whole journey of finding my dress, so I'll try to break up this long story into two posts. It's been a [self-imposed] nightmare because i just cannot make up my mind!

So here's the story:

Over Thanksgiving, my aunt and grandma mentioned to me about a seamstress in my area who makes wedding/prom dresses out of her home. They said I should check her out just in case she'd be able to make the dress I was interested in for cheaper than the boutique offered it ($$ was the only reason I hadn't purchased the dress at that point). About a week before Christmas I gave her call and set up a meeting with her. At this point, I was pretty set on a strapless dress by Private Label by G.

It had all the right ingredients.
Show off my shoulders/collar bones.
Fit my teeny chest without looking awkward.
A-line skirt.
No beading, sequins, glitter or lace. NONE! (how not girly is that!)...

Here she is (So not this veil!):

It wasn’t love at first sight. I’m not sure what it was. The look on my face in the other pictures where I am actually looking at the camera is kind of tired, and complacent. Later I tried to remember what I felt like when I had the dress on (like, did have the “moment”?) And as far as I can remember, I don’t think I did.
But I had the support of my family and friends.

Here’s what I learned. Don’t show your family and friends options and let them pick for you. This was my big mistake. Everyone like the strapless dress, including my mom. They commented how it showed off my assets (collarbone), I could wear a pushup bra for support and voila! The decision was made.

I called the seamstress and made an appointment with her to get some pricing information. She said she could make the dress for $500 including alterations (vs. $900 + alterations from the bridal boutique) I was sold, but trying to be cautious (ha. Who am I kidding! I don’t even know what cautious is. Just ask my fiance)
Nonetheless, I flipped through her portfolio, and talked to my friend and BM who had her prom dress made by the same seamstress (she’s been making dresses for 15 years!!) who gave her raving reviews.

Then I took a deep breath, wrote a check, signed a contract and checked "order wedding gown" off my to do list. Sigh of relief!

Is this story over? Course not. Stayed tuned for more :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

preparing for an important meeting

On Saturday, I go meet with my caterer about a few sticky options that need to be severely negotiated.

When i signed my contract to reserve the date, the planner (who is actually the cook, as the venue does not have a planner currently!) said we could work out all the details at a later date. (as far as food package, alcohol, dessert) I was lost and wasn't ready to sign up for anything specific yet...I just needed my date reserved.

So i ended up signing incomplete contracts, which has been hanging over my head since November. This was the most hasty decision of my wedding (and probably the biggest! yikes). I'm stil not completely sure I made the right decision with this venue, but there is no going back I am determined to transform the place into the fairy forest wonderland I imagine for my reception.

But what will we eat and drink?

family style. Easy peasy, once i heard my options. Too many people for a buffet, and I am not a fan of the pre-made plate that gets dropped in front of you. I am waiting until E comes out to do the tasting and pick two meals, a potato and two veggies.

My original thought was open bar. Looked at the price tag, and for my 180 guest wedding-no can do.

Then, i thought, oh look! they have a beer and wine package. Wait a minute, what? If you break out the food and the alcohol...the beer and wine package is hardly any cheaper. My eyes have glazed over to two big $ $ signs.

Mr. LL wants to just have wine at each table...and I'm still strugglin' with the price tag on each bottle of wine and champagne. So I'm going to try to renegotiate and see if they will allow me to bring in my own wine and just charge me a corking fee. I could live with that, stll saving myself $5-7/bottle of wine x 3 at a table x 20 tables = $300-$400. Relief.

That would leave me money for the...

Chocolate Fountain
This was E and I's first wedding decision after picking the date. We both hate cake and love chocolate fountains. So maybe it's not as orginal as i first thought (we came up with the idea while on our engagement dinner cruise)...but I don't care, it's not a cake!

Only, our venue charges $5/person/hour. And we're anticipating 180 or so guests! That adds up to close to $1000, which is pretty much way out of our budget for dessert!!

So what do I do?
  1. Ask if we can bring a chocolate fountain in (we have a friend who has a small one they might lend to us)...and work out a price for them to pay for the 'dippings'?
  2. Ask for 2-3 hours for the price of 1 hour?
  3. Just ask for a come-down in the price and only offer it for one hour (how long does a chocolate fountain need to be served anyway? until the dippings run out?)
I'm going with my mom and sister, but Aunt Jet is meeting me afterwards to check out the venue for design purposes. Then we are shopping for my veil lace, checking out the church, and looking at the bridesmaid dresses again. Whew! Busy wedding saturday. BUt I'm glad to be kept busy...and
HOLY crap!
Who is still reading this?!
My hands hurts from blogging so much all HAVE to be sick of reading it!

Go, go take a break. I am. I'll see you next week!

engagement story--with ALL the details

I originally posted my engagement story here, and have referred to it several times.
I knew I wanted to share all the lovely details, and after reading Miss Latte's post of her engagement story on weddngbee I was surprised at how similar our proposals were!

So, if you haven't read, here it is...nothing spared. If you've already read it, feel free to skim!

Back story:
Fi and I have lived 2,200 miles apart since we both graduated from college this past May. We had a little long distance practice over Christmas break and my subsequent trip to Africa where we were apart for 5 weeks, but over all--it's been a rough experience.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder? I don't think so. In my case, absence makes the heart sad, stressed, whiney and miserable!! Poor fiancé. He puts up with a lot.

We try to plan trips every 6-8 weeks to see each other. Usually after 4 weeks, I’m very impatient and after 6 I'm downright miserable. E seems to do much better with the long-distance thing; he says that knowing we'll be together forever helps him get through these months apart. Why doesn't that work for me?!

Fast forward--I flew out to Cali over Labor Day weekend, and gasp, our next planned trip wasn't until he came out here for Thanksgiving! It was going to be a long haul...and things were a little rocky for us in the beginning of October. I was sad and moany that he wasn't here and he was very busy and stressed in his first semester of seminary. I was ready to start planning our wedding, and now I knew I wouldn’t get a ring until at least Thanksgiving!

here's us at disneyland over Labor day weekend...soaking wet after splash mountain.

Then one week in October my dear great-aunt jet stopped by work to ask if she and uncle jet could take me out to dinner with my grandparents to thank me for house-sitting for them the month before. I thought it was strange that my grandparents were coming with, but they had gone on the same trip as the jets, and they mentioned wanting to show me pictures. Ok, I'm up for free dinner!

Aunt Jet called me the day before and said to dress up, we were going to a nice restaurant downtown. What? Neither of these couples is fancy, nor are they ‘downtown’ type of people…we live in the suburb that’s about 45-60 minutes outside of the city and rarely get there!

But I went with it. I called E that night and his phone was turned off. It was early, so I thought it was strange…but not too strange, because he often turns his phone off when he is studying, napping, sleeping, etc. (and it drives me crazy!!)

I left a message and didn’t worry when I got a call back about an hour and a half later from him. He sounded really tired and complained of a headache and that he was going to be bed right away and we could talk tomorrow. I was a little peeved he couldn’t make time for 10 minute chat before bed, and I think I hung up upset.

On Friday I woke up like it was any normal day, dressed up a little more than usual for work and texted E in the morning my usual message. After a couple texts back and forth, he said he needed to go “pay attention”. Of course, I thought he meant pay attention to class in seminary, where he should be! So I went back to work, kind of dreading heading downtown that night because I was tired.

On the way to the city, my grandma and aunt showed me all the pictures of their vacation. I grabbed my purse to show them a picture of my cousin I’d taken on my digital….and realized—oh no! I had left my camera at work that day. I was sad because I love taking pictures of the city, but then g-ma mentioned she had brought her camera. What? They never bring their camera out in public!

We got to Navy Pier and even though it was a little chilly grandpa wanted to walk outside to see the boats on the water. I grabbed his camera and starting snapping away as we made our way all the way down navy pier.

After handing the camera back, I heard my name being called. I instantly cringed. I thought for sure some old friend from school was coincidentally at Navy Pier at the same time and was going to make a big scene in front of my grandparents and the jets. I ignored the voice and kept chatting. I heard my name again, this time it was much more familiar…grandma nudged and I looked….

And there he was.
Dressed in the sport coat I scolded him for buying the week before.
Looking freezing cold, and nervous, but
More excited than I’ve ever seen him.

I. Stopped. Dead. In. My. Tracks.

And then, in a split second, as tears sprang to my eyes, I found myself running.

I dropped my purse. I threw my arms around his neck. I whisper-screamed into his ear…”are you really here?!” And I cried.

see my poor purse? and grandpa trying to snatch the perfect shot?

He gently removed my death grip from his neck, and dropped to his knee. He popped open the box and kept it short and sweet.

I blubbered, “Of course I’ll marry you”. I was shaking so badly, he could hardly put the ring on my ring after I asked him to. and then i laughed. and cried some more.

I love this photo because even though it's horribly fuzzy, you can completely see the surprise and thrill on my face

and happiness

Here I am calling my parents...and still trying to show off that ring.

Meet my grandparents, the B's. grammab's first words to me were "whew! I'm so glad that's over with! It was so hard to keep a secret!". grampab (a retired jeweler)picked out the center stone for my ring and set it.

The dinner cruise on the Odyssey was beyond cheesy (which is what I would've imagined a dinner cruise to be). It was completely romantic, delicious food, great service, and a fireworks show. I felt so lovey-dovey we decided to break some of our PDA rules and hold hands and sit next to eachother at the table (!)

The whole world stopped for that entire evening, and we made phone calls at 11pm on our way home.

A perfect start to this adventure of engagement...and now we're celebrating three months!

invitation wording, WHOA!

WARNING: this is a long an boring post about a very specific topic: how to word and arrange invitations when you are having two receptions. You are completely excused and forgiven if you ignore this post altogether...I just hope it helps someone out!

I posted this in response to this thread, and this one on wedding bee.

I have been very frustrated and dissapointed with the availability of etiquette and wording information for people holding two receptions for a couple whose family lives on opposite ends of the country. (i.e. not a destination wedding or a small private ceremony)

This seems like something that is very have a normal sized wedding/reception in bride's hometown, but groom's friends and family lives on the other side of the country(or out of the country), thus requiring a second reception.

I've by no means made a decision on wording for our invitations yet, but here's what I've got so far.

"...We're having a big wedding here and then a smaller reception out in California just for those who can't travel out. I am finding it so hard to find advice and wording for this because most 2-reception couples have tiny private ceremony or destination weddings and then invite family and friends to the "real party"; where we're having the big reception after the wedding, and just a small dinner party in california.

We have an even stickier situation, because there are about 50 people we are sending both the Chicago wedding/reception invitation and the Southern California reception invitation. In this case, we are inserting an envelope into the Chicago wedding invitations with an invitationto the SoCal reception WITHOUT the announcement (no need for an announcement inside a wedding invitation) . The announcement will go to the other 50 people who were not invited to the wedding.

Also, my parents are hosting my wedding, and his parents are hosting the I don't think we'll be putting our names first in either the announcement or the orginal invitation...but here are some ideas we're looking at for wording:

Mr and Mrs. Grooms' Parents
are happy to announce the marriage of their son
Groom's Name
toBride's name
daughter of Bride's Parents
on June X, 2009
Please join with us in celebrating their marriage at a dinner party
to be held in XX, CA
on July X, 2009.


Bride's name
groom's name
are pleased to announce
they will be marriedon Saturday, june X
with family and friends during ceremonyin Chicago
Please join us for acelebration dinner party
in California
Friday, July Xat 8:00 p.m


The pleasure of your companyis requested
at the wedding reception of Bride&Groom
who were married on June X in Chicago
Friday, the XX of July
at three o'clockLocation


We are delighted to announce our marriage.
Groom and bride exchanged vows
on July 22, 2008 in a ceremony in Chicago
We wish to share our joy with you.
Please join us at XXX for a celebration
Saturday, September 13 Starting at 2pm.

OR for a more caual feel:

Bride and Groom were/will be wed on june X in Chicago.
Please join with them and their families at a reception to celebrate.
Date: April 1, 2005 Time: 7:00 pm for dinner and drinks.Where:The Grooms' houseContact:
RSVP by March 20. We'd love to see you there.

Some links or resources:"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

blue bling

I saw this posted on the Etsy Wedding blog, made on etsy by seller muyinmolly and I was thinking that I would looove a ring like this for my 'somthing blue'. I am wearing pearls for my wedding day jewelry because it's the one wedding thing I've had planned since I was a little girl. How perfect to a. add another ring to my collection, b. fulfill my something blue with anything but a cliche blue garter, and c. stay in my pearl jewelry theme!

So why pearls? My paternal grandfather was a jeweler (he's retired)and when each of his granddaughters was born he started an add-a-pearl necklace for them. One pearl for the day they were born and two for every year up to age 18. Then, for my high school graduation they gave me pearl studs.

But, then again, I don't have to wear pearls head to toe...

what do you think of these other fun blue rings?

Also from etsy seller muyinmolly

Blue topaz

something a little simpler

And lastly, I've always had a thing for sapphire. Actually this ring is making my mouth water. $1000! I need to look away. But seriously. I want that ring.

E, are you reading this?...;-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 mean I have to actually make decisions?

My favorite great-aunt (who was in on my engagement surprise) and is quickly becoming my wedding coordinator/motivator in addition to my design and floral maven, gave me reality check last night when I popped over to her house for dinner after work.

"Katie", she said (let's call her Aunt Jet for the purpose of this blog)."I know you are online doing a lot of research and reading your blogs or whatever they are and seeing what you like and don't like...But you haven't made any decisions! We have a lot of things to do that we can start now so you are not a ball of stress two weeks before the wedding."

"But I like looking at other pretty weddings and dreaming!" I said.

She wasn't having it.

She made me sit down right there and make a to-do list. I have a deadline. I have to get back to her with information and decisions by the end of the week on ceremony decorations, my veil (which she is making), my reception dessert(no cake!, but can we afford it?), and the girls' bridesmaid dresses.

So I did. I made a decision.
A fingertip length mantilla veil.And just because I hate to post a blog without a are the pictures I'm sending her that I want her to model my veil after.
We're shopping for lace this weekend!


my veil budget?? $10.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Body Image, part two

See part one for the introduction to this series. Some of these pictures are hard to post...I'm not used to showing off my insecurities!

Insecurity #2: My left eye

This is probably my least favorite thing about myself...and there is nothing (I have found) that I can do to fix it.

I don't know if the technical term is "lazy eye" (that can't be truly correct, because my eye works just fine...), but my left eye does not open as wide as my right eye. When I smile, my right eye is wide open and my left eye is always squinting and almost closed. I smile BIG, all the time...and that magnifies the problem!
About 4 years ago I started noticing this and it has made me very self conscious of smiling. I have to focus very hard on keeping both eyes open, but that makes me looking frightened or confused instead of happy.

Some of my e-pics were ruined by this, and I'm so afraid of getting tired taking wedding pictures and letting my eye squint.

Here are some examples:

One of Mr LL's favorite engagement pictures, which I hate because of my eye!

disneyland with E and friends a couple years ago...I was tired.

halloween this year

I found it gets much worse when I am tired or drink alcohol or caffeine. So this latte lover is going to be going to bed on time on the night before her wedding, and drinking plain OJ in the morning, no lattes or mimosas :-(.

And just to convince myself that I'm not hopeless

Here is a photo of me trying very hard to keep both eyes's not soo bad.

What are your body insecurities that have been magnified now that you are a bride-to-be?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Body Image, pt 1

I try to keep them to myself, but I have a few (major and minor) insecurities about my body. I know this isn't surprising--I'm a woman after all! These insecurities don't have to do with weight, but they haunt me nonetheless...and I am so frightened that my wedding pictures will be ruined by them!

Insecurity #1: my teeth

In a family of four with us kids all 17-21 months apart, braces came all at the same time. My parents evaluated the situation and because my sister, K1 and my brother had much worse mouth situations than I, they were priviled enough to spend 2.5 years with a metal mouth.

I never cared much, because my teeth didn't seem so bad at age 13. (and they truly aren't as bad as they could be) ...until a biking spill where I spent sometime kissing the pavement, chipped my front tooth.

I have vampire fangs (This was one of the only pictures I foudn where you cuold see them...they're a lot worse, but I have finally figured out how to smile without showing them. Laughing, though? If my mouth is open at all, fear for your lives.

an overbite (that was a result of sucking my thumb as a baby, toddler and pre-schooler...until I was bribed out of it by beanie babies.)

(aww's Mr. LL and I at Disneyland 2 months before we started dating :-) )
and uneven top teeth...besides the chipped tooth.

I am pretty good at smiling just so, to avoid showing off all of my teeth flaws, but I am so scared that all my wedding pictures are going to make me look like 13-year-old vampire needing braces!
What are your wedding photograph insecurities (or everyday insecurities)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our Ceremony Reading

It's no secret (at least I hope it's not) that I am a Christian. E and I's primary goal for our ceremony is that the gospel is preached and that people understand how seriously we take marriage and why it was created.

So, our reading is not going to be from playwright, a romantic novel or a poet. (Although I would argue that our reading is a poetic, romantic and dramatic.)

With so many Bible verses speaking about love, we wanted to pick something unique that spoke about the true meaning of marriage (a reflection of Christ and His church) and that described us as a couple. E emailed me a few weeks ago with an option that has since become one of my favorite passages on love. It speaks about the passion and intensity of two people in love. I like the idea that this is our theme, because I want to stay focused on stayng "on fire" for eachother far beyond the honeymoon stage. (yes, that means being the cute 80-year-old couple who still kisses and holds hands in public)
I am so looking forward to our pastor speak on this verse, especially because he knows both of us very well....and our intent for our wedding ceremony.

Without further ado, our wedding verse...

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Blog TItle

Sorry for the confusion--but I figure I'm new enough to blogging to change my name.
I feel a little bit of pressure to have a really creative witty name like:

Relentless Bride
Broke-Ass Bride

and many others. But alas, I can't fool anyone. I'm far from creative. [But boy, do I try.]

When I was thinking about the type of bride I want to be know as, instead of referring to my creativity, my wedding theme, or my ability to budget, I kept thinking that the biggest thing about this wedding is that it is a launching pad for a lifelong marriage. In less than 6 months, E becomes my husband and I become his wife. I still can't get over how blessed I've been.

So, while this blog is all about planning for the big day, I think I'll start writing a little more about my planning for the marriage.

My situation is a little unique in that not only do E and I not live together....we live over 2,000 miles away from eachother. And will be long distance for the entire length of our engagement.

So marriage for us means, moving out of our parents homes (we're living there for purely monetary reasons for our first year out of college because we knew this wedding and many $ expenses were coming), my moving out of state and out of the Chicago suburbs for the first time in my life--all the way across the country to a new climate, culture, and lifestyle in many ways. A new job, a first home together (whether it be a house, condo or apartment), a new roommate.

It's exciting and scary, but I can't wait.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

a tiny accomplishment and a not-so-tiny dissapointment: only a blogger would understand

As I was posting another comment on the WeddingBee boards I noticed something exciting:

This is probably completely insignificant to most of you, but recently WeddingBee added a Bee level feature which allowed them to track the comments made on boards and blog posts. I feel like I've been a Newbee forEVER, so it was exciting to see the progress I've made in being active on the boards and blog.

But the much more dissapointing news. I got this email in my inbox on my last day in California...


I know I should set my expectations low when it comes to something like this. Only 5% or so of WannaBee's that apply actually get in. Besides, other than the long-distance aspect of my relationship and my awesome engagement , our wedding is probably too run of the mill. No destination wedding, quirky or blended family, crazy themes.

But it makes me feel like I gotta step it up in the bloggin world. So look out bride bloggers--more creativity, wit, and charm is coming your way.

~til next time

DIY: Christmas photo ornament

I'm back, I'm back!
And while I'm not excited to look outside and see very dreary, dead Chicago winter weather, I'm happy to be back to the blogging world after the unintentional holiday break.

One of the presents I got for E's mom was a photo ornament. I wanted it to look unique and simple.
I was going to look for a tutorial, but I had to do it over the weekend we had no internet. (i.e. completely on my own. Ahhh!)

So, without further ado, my very DIY christmas ornament. Hope this is helpful. (I never realized how hard it is to take pictures of DIY project when you're doing it by yourself!)

Supplies needed:
a glass ball ornament (or two)
thread or fishing line
markers (optional)

First, purchase clear glass ball ornament (75% off after-Christmas sale, in my case :-) )

Print a photo for the ornament (I printed mine at home on our HP photo printer and it worked just fine!). Make sure the pictures is set so that you can easily cut a circle from the middle (about half the size of the photograph) and not cut off anything that you want in! I chose E's favorite picture from our engagement shoot, the one his family put on their christmas card.

Use a circular scrapbooking stencil and razors to make a circle. (can be found at Creative Memories) You can also trace around a soup or vegetable can and cut with a scissors. Mine was 3" in diameter for a 3.18" ball ornament.

You can either write or print and paste names and dates to the back of the ornament. This wasn't necessary but I know 5 years from now my parents will not remember how old this picture is, so I decided to just take a couple sharpies and write on the back of the picture. For FMIL's though, I printed it in a nice script font and pasted it on the back (sorry i didn't take pictures of that one!)

This next step, I didn't anticipate at all. But, live and learn. (*ahem* craft and learn) But I found the best way to make sure your photo is going to stay where you want it in the glass ball is to use thread. I chose white thread because it was easily accessible. For something less conspicuous you could use clear thread or fishing line.

Thread a needle and carefully find the top of the picture (if you aren't careful, the picture will hand sideways. (see it's slightly crooked?) Make sure to leave about 6 inches of thread on each side so it doesn't come out when you place the picture in the ornament.

 Remove the metal top from the ornament. Carefully and quickly, roll the picture into a tight curl and nsert into the top of ornament.

Once it is complete inside the ornament, it will probably still look curled. I found the best way was to fold with the printed side of the picture facing in. I used my pinky to carefully flatten the picture out once it was inside the ornament. You could also used a q-tip. Just stroke gently and firmly a couple times. It should flatten out!

 Take the thread and place one side in each of these two tiny holes. Tie a knot at the top. You will need to judge how far down you want the picture to hang in the ornament, or if you want no thread to show at all. (tie it very tight with three or four knots)

Gently place the cap back on the ornament with the two tension wires placed behind the photo.

Cut an 8 inch piece of cloth ribbon (i found this great silver glittery wire ribbon in my basement). Thread through the wire hook and tie a knot at the top.

Voila! My DIY photo ornament. I love how these turned out...even though it wasn't as smooth or quick as I was planning on! I may do more in the future and try decorating the pictures, filling the ornament with some glitter etc. It's a great little gift for parents and fiance!

All three packaged and ready to be gifted to parents, future in-laws, and E.


Latte Love All rights reserved © 2008-2011 | I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley