Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shoe salvation!

Although I've been worrying about colorful shoes that will match the wedding, look what I just found thanks to the delightful Junebug. Light orange shoes would totally match... and could not be sassier!

Getaway modes

One of our favorite things about having the wedding at The Sanderling is how easy it will be for everyone to get to the reception... a simple walk across the street. For everyone staying at the Sanderling - including us! - the trip back "home" that night couldn't be any easier.

But in the spirit of getaway celebrations - and in lieu of having nothing more exotic than my surely fabulous footwear that night to travel in - here are some of my favorite getaway ideas for the rest of you.

Golf cart: East Hill Photography. Bicycle: Michele Waite. Pom pom'd vintage car: Martha Stewart. Canoe: Emilie, Inc. Scooter: East Hill Photography. Motorcycle: Red Fish Photo. Trolley: Bridal Wave TV. What the heck is that thing?!: Heartistic Foto.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Second-guessing the details

As fun and exciting as planning a wedding is, I know that everyone has moments of doubt about wedding details. Lately I'm doing all sorts of second-guessing. For instance:
  • Colors. I haven't seen any swoon-worthy shoes in coral or peach, and the idea of white shoes is so very blah. (Let's not even discuss Dyeables, and I know I can find decent metallics but that's not exciting me right now, either.) The shoe dilemma has me second-guessing our entire color plan. What if I should be using hues that represent the ocean? Don't I need a darker complementary color that's not in the same color family? These shoes are worth turning the entire wedding blue and green, for instance. They're that gorgeous. What about blue-ish and peach/orange? What about navy blue? I could be just as happy with casual blue suits for the guys as I am with khaki ones. There are loads of fabulous hot pink shoes to choose from, as well. So are we back to pink and orange, then? Or do I stick with my plan and just wear the blue shoes as a "something blue" even if they don't match the rest of the wedding? Of course, my absolute favorite color, apple green, is still out of contention as a primary color because I feel like it's too non-beachy. Sigh...
  • Officiant. Our top-secret officiant plan might be off. Now what to do? Go with an officiant who's been recommended but who still doesn't know us? That feels so generic and out of synch with our creative ceremony/vow ideas, but we might have to change course.
  • The Dress. I thought I found my dress a month or so ago, and since I'm such an early bird I'm taking advantage of an October trunk show to order it, when I'll get a discount. But that gives me all sorts of time to question it. What if it's not the right dress? What if I should be trying on dresses every week until then to be sure? What if I end up wishing I'd gone with something fun and tea-length, or a different material, or a different neckline? What if it photographs badly? What about how I wanted the dress to zip up effortlessly and casually and feel confident enough not to wear steel trappings underneath? Is that only possible if I'm in the gym 15 hours a week until May? And what about Trevor's insistence that I not get all "crazy bride shrink-down" on him?
  • The Logistics. What if in the end our wedding is too much trouble for the people we really want to attend to get to? We're trying to make things easy for folks, but there's still extensive travel and expenses involved. What if all the rooms fill up too fast? What if the rental house coordination doesn't happen? What if everyone waits too long to plan it (despite our early Save the Dates) and it becomes too much for them to deal with?
Ahhh! I want my clarity back! :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Letterpress love

As a lifelong lover of paper (stationery stores were my candy store as a fifth-grader), the thought of picking out wedding invitations was something that excited me from the beginning. Even though I embrace technology like a champ, our wedding website has an RSVP option built in already, and I have an environmental conscience, I just couldn't bear the thought of not sending out beautiful invitations. And of course - of course - they would be letterpress. There is just nothing like holding beautiful paper and seeing gorgeous, colorful designs and script pressed right into its flesh.

We've been on a couple of field trips to stationery stores to check out what's around, and for the most part, all we do is snore at most of what's available. Nearly everything feels too generic, traditional, or boring. The difference was clear to me yesterday, when a sample invitation pack I ordered from a fabulous invitation company arrived. I just couldn't stop oohing and aahing over the invitations, and Trevor really liked one of them right away, too. As with nearly everything, Trevor is a fantastic co-planner in that he has an actual opinion: he likes modern design, he prefers square invitations to traditional rectangles, he likes right-justified text rather than centered text, and is a fan of interesting typography. So much to work with there!

So letterpress + creativity + good design + eco-friendly practices/paper = $$$, right? What else is new... But really, the oohing and aahing potential! Having just one occasion to justify something gorgeous and letterpressed and suitable for framing!

So the options, then:
  • Letterpress invitations ordered through a small press
  • Custom-made letterpress invitations created through a local small press (we would incorporate an emblem made just for us)
Thankfully, resources abound online for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite letterpress companies ... their work is just outstanding: Bella Figura, CECI New York, Delphine Press, Louella Press, Papercupp, Wiley Valentine (and so many more!).

Whatever will we decide?!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wedding scandal!

At a hotel bar on Saturday night, Trevor and I were lucky enough to witness all sorts of wedding shenanigans taking place around us. The bar was filled with wedding guests who'd come straight from the reception in the same hotel, and they were hammered. The drama included:
  • Woman falling over
  • Woman having a fight with her husband
  • Woman yelling at her mother
  • One guy gearing up for a fight, with another telling him, "I have your back"
  • "I'm just too old for all this," according to an older woman leaving the bar with her husband
  • Various states of dress-up decline: shirttails out, ties off, buttons undone, no shoes, in some cases a complete change into pajamas and flipflops
It was enough to make us wonder... what are the scandals going to be at our wedding? It was pretty fun fodder for a couple of drinks, actually. We're thinking along the lines of the garage-party craziness of Tracy's wedding, the groom getting us kicked out of both the reception and the after-party at Nancy's wedding, and of course Mikaela's apocalyptic storm on top of the volcano... all the stories that have us still talking about each wedding, the reasons why each was way more fun than if nothing out-of-the-ordinary had taken place.

So if you're on the guest list, chances are we already debated the chances of your contribution to scandal at the wedding. Did any of you make the cut on par with a bridesmaid getting extra-friendly with a guest on top of a table at a wedding that Trevor once attended?

We'll never tell... ;-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who says you can't get wet at a wedding?


I wonder if we can dress up canoes or kayaks and have them docked at the sound for people to paddle around in during the reception? I'm already thinking about organizing a kayaking trip on the sound while Trevor leads a golf outing at some point during the weekend, but having boating options at the wedding? So much fun!

So far this is the only canoe that we know will be at the reception, and it'll be filled with beer and ice. Not quite the same thing. ;-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mint Julep Madness

Thanks to a fantastic new restaurant in Dallas, I recently discovered how much I love mint juleps, which may or may not have a lot to do with the divine cups they are served in. Happily, I now have the makings of a wedding decor plan that will let me incorporate mint julep cups into the table arrangements.

My mom, my sister, and I are brainstorming a table plan that will combine various elements I love: color, eclecticism, detail, and whimsy. I don't want centerpieces that are too matchy-matchy, or so tall and dramatic that the guests I will have painstakingly seated together can't carry on a conversation. I want the tables to be fun, warm, and personal.

We're going to do a mix of textures, colors, patterns, and sizes at each table. Some elements will be homemade, and some will be finds from dusty antique stores and random auctions. We'll have a mix of cloth, ribbon, and metal at each table. Think a random smattering of silver bud vases, tiny pitchers, and of course mint julep cups, mingling with cloth-, ribbon-, and button-covered cylindrical containers of varying heights. Lots of pattern, texture, and of course flowers.

The ceiling of our tent will roughly mirror the tables, by the way - fun (not too dressy) silver chandeliers and paper lanterns in coral, peach, pink, and orange.

Stay tuned for me to find the appropriate time/concentration to do inspiration boards for both of these. It'll be a good project to help me put a clear vision together.

And in the meantime, I'll be dusting off the Sanderling catering policy to see if we can serve signature drinks while we're getting our photos taken on the beach. Mint juleps, anyone?

Fun mint julep cup wedding details:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beach wedding without shells?

So even though we're having a beach wedding, I've been pretty resistant to any kind of beach-themed decor. There are so many beautiful blue/white/brown beach weddings out there that use shells, boats, and starfish to great effect. As nice as that look can be, though, it just doesn't feel like me. It seems like there are so many more tacky "beach theme" weddings than classy ones, and perhaps that is the problem. Not surprising, then, that I've been rejecting every shell idea I've been given out of hand.

It's true, I know, that conch shells beautifully combine the light oranges and pinks of our wedding. My sister happens to have bags of them in her garage that we found in the Outer Banks a couple of summers ago. So maybe a subtle conch placement or two would be okay, but an entire theme seems a little too obvious, somehow. That said, how adorable are these shell place card holders?!

A little tropical for the Outer Banks, perhaps, but maybe not. Maybe I'll surprise myself with this one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Antiquated Traditions: Giving Away the Bride

In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.

This one is one of the most personal for me.

Giving Away the Bride
Remember that Women’s Studies class you took in college? Allow us to summarize: All of our society’s gender issues stem from the fact that fathers once used their daughters as currency to a) pay off a debt to a wealthier land owner, b) symbolize a sacrificial, monetary peace offering to an opposing tribe or c) buy their way into a higher social strata. So next time you tear up watching a beaming father walk his little girl down the aisle, remember that it’s just a tiny, barbaric little hold over from the days when daughters were nothing but dollar signs to daddy dearest. And that veil she’s wearing? Yeah, that was so the groom wouldn’t know if he was stuck with an uggo until it was time to kiss the bride and too late to back out on the transaction. (There is also some superstitious B.S. about warding off evil spirits, but we think you’ll agree that hiding a busted grill from the husband-to-be is a more practical purpose.)
So Thompson's tongue-in-cheek description aside, this one is serious for me. First, in full disclosure, I adore my father. We look a lot alike, we think a lot alike, and we act a lot alike. We really do get along famously, and always have. One of my all-time favorite photos is of my sister and my dad walking down the aisle. A picture like that of my dad and me? It'd be a classic.

But when it comes down to it, the symbolism of being "given away" is simply more than I can swallow. My parents are and always have been equal partners - both work, both parent, both clean, both cook (although in fairness, Dad mostly grills while Mom's domain is the kitchen). There is nothing in their partnership that ever suggested to me once growing up that anything they took on together would be anything but a 50/50 split. In fact, during the years when my father had to work out of state and came home only on the weekends, my mom handled everything herself, with her usual take-charge aplomb. Everyone who meets my mom knows in a second that this is a woman who gets things done. Strong women are the standard in my family, on both sides. I also have two fantastic grandmothers who were both known to verbally kick the hell out of my grandfathers from time to time, and fantastic aunts who have raised the smartest, most talented, and most fun girls I can imagine in my cousins.

So the "giving away," then? I just can't go through with it. Even though I know there's not a speck of icky gender politics in our family perspective, it's important to me to make a different statement about family, marriage, and gender than the one that's so often made without thinking. And to be honest, part of the reason the idea of marriage made me nervous in the past was because my parents' marriage was the unattainable model that my relationships always fell short of matching. Until now. Trevor, after all, asked both my parents for "permission" before he proposed. I don't think the concept of just asking my father ever even crossed his mind... it's not who any of us are. So why wouldn't I want both of them with me when I finally do make a lifetime commitment?

Next May, I won't be "given away" by my father. Instead, I'll walk down the aisle with both my parents beside me, one on each arm. To me, it mirrors my parents' relationship, my relationship with them, and my relationship with Trevor. I can't think of anything more personally fitting, actually.

(Oh, and no veil, either. It's another obvious holdover from the days of presentation and barter, and I really don't see the point. Plus, I'll be at the beach, and our wedding will be much too laid-back an affair to deal with a huge, billowy face covering.)

Update: For more thoughts on another bride's decision to walk with both of her parents (which is Jewish tradition, by the way), as well as a great photo from a real wedding using both parents, see A Practical Wedding.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Plan B

There's always Vegas, and then there's the quickie OBX getaway wedding. In BCBG sparkles. Using our florist. So beautiful... I love it!

Thanks, A Practical Wedding.

Antiquated Traditions: Garter and Bouquet Toss

In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.

This one is truly - and appropriately - horrifying.

Garter and Bouquet Toss

This pair of rituals has long been the scourge of the modern wedding guest. What could possibly be more humiliating than being forced out to the center of a parquet dance floor while a wedding DJ advertises your lack of a boyfriend and then being expected to further demonstrate your desperation by diving for flying flowers? Wait…. Yup, we can top that. How about grasping in the air for a lacy piece of undergarment that until moments ago resided uncomfortably close to the crotch of your buddy’s wife? At any other point in time, that would make you a total perv, so why is it acceptable at a wedding? Well, hold on to your scruples boys and girls, because the history behind these customs is downright dirty.
It used to be that after the bride and groom said, “I do,” they were to go immediately into a nearby room and “close the deal” and consummate the marriage. Obviously, to really make it official, there would need to be witnesses, which basically led to hordes of wedding guests crowding around the bed, pushing and shoving to get a good view and hopefully to get their hands on a lucky piece of the bride’s dress as it was ripped from her body. Sometimes the greedy guests helped get the process going by grabbing at the bride’s dress as she walked by, hoping for a few threads of good fortune. In time, it seems, people realized that this was all a bit, well… creepy, and it was decided that for modesty’s sake the bride could toss her bouquet as a diversion as she made her getaway and the groom could simply remove an item of the bride’s undergarments and then toss it back outside to the waiting throngs to prove that he was about to, uh, get ‘er done.
In short... HELL NO. Although I must give props to my oldest friend in the world Allie, who not only led a bouquet toss at her wedding but called out on the mike, "Young feminists to the dancefloor!" before doing so. I love you, Allie. :-)

At our deal, no bouquet or garter tosses whatsoever. No implications that anyone should be desperate to get married, or ever get married if they're not inclined. No massive eye-rolling among my girlfriends. None of our single guy friends/Trevor's young cousins symbolically putting their heads up my dress. Any questions?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ceremony chairs

The chairs we're using for the Sanderling ceremony are very simple: standard white, wooden folding chairs. I think we need to add as much color as possible to the site, using flowers (of course!), but also fabric around the white chairs to brighten things up. Here are a few fabric/chair ideas I've seen online:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shoe porn

Louboutin Crystal-Trimmed Sandals


Last weekend Trevor's mother tried on a few dresses, and his father's girlfriend is itching to do the same. My mom? Not so much. While Ali and Jeanne were anxious to "follow the Mother of the Bride's lead," which apparently is what tradition calls for, my mom is not interested in shopping for an outfit until approximately April.

So Mom, this one's for you. :-) And remember: think beachy-warmweather-fun!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Antiquated Traditions: The White Wedding Dress

In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.
The White Wedding Dress
...there was a time when a bride’s wedding attire was simply the best thing in her closet (talk about “off the rack”), and could be any color, even black. To convince her groom that she came from a wealthy family, brides would also pile on layers of fur, silk and velvet, as apparently grooms didn’t care if his wife-to-be reeked of sweaty B.O. as long as she was loaded. It was dear ol’ Queen Victoria (whose reign lasted from 1837-1901) who made white fashionable. She wore a pale gown trimmed in orange blossoms for her 1840 wedding to her first cousin, Prince Albert.
How interesting that our interpretation of white as a chaste, virginal color isn't even part of the tradition's conception. I'd venture a guess that most people make that association; I certainly did. I hated the idea of wearing the traditional "chaste" color while so obviously not being chaste myself (sorry, Mom). But when it came down to it, I decided to wear white for the following reasons:
  • When else am I going to wear a white dress?
  • Sometimes I can be strangely old-fashioned. Maybe this is one of those times.
  • Great photos
  • Not having to defend the decision on our wedding day

As for white v. ivory, white feels beachier and more outdoorsy than ivory, and looks better with a light suit.

Trevor actually loved the idea of me wearing a short, flirty dress ("you have the stems for it"), but that damn old-fashionedness is coming into play again with the length... And to be honest, I think of huge dresses as being more antiquated than those that are white or just long. My dress will be decidedly fitted, and I think I've even managed to keep the cleavage in check!

As for being draped in furs and gold? Trevor already knows that I don't have any money. ;-)

Bride Typology A: The Romantic

I met the sweetest bride in the world this weekend, and she made me feel like the anti-girl.

On a mini-vacay with Trevor's fam in Connecticut, his sisters, mother, and I went to our appointment at The White Dress By the Shore a little too decaffienated for what awaited us. Turned out that our appointed sales associate was a former student of Trevor's mother. She's also the most adorable, blondest, roundest thing in the world, who squealed like crazy when she saw Trevor's mom. Liberal use of the phrases "meant to be," "the best day of work ever," and "I'm just so excited to part of your son's day" followed. In my bride typology lexicon, she is what we will henceforth refer to as The Romantic.

The Romantic is getting married in October. When we commented on her antique engagement ring, she got very serious, her eyes welled up with tears, her hand went over her heart, and she said:

"My fiancee sparkles so much more than this ring does."

Just call me Grinch, but there's no way I could ever say that with a straight face.

The Romantic lives for that kind of thing, though. This day is Her Dream. Love conquers all. Sweetness prevails. Cake and roses everywhere. And really, what better job for her than to outfit brides and bridesmaids every day?

True to her job description, The Romantic rallied us through a morning of bridesmaid dress try-ons peppered with such romantic earnestness that we all felt like grinches by comparison. Just how effective was she? We changed the bridesmaid dresses to something more romantic. The sweeter, twirlier look prevailed.

Of course it did.