Monday, December 28, 2009

love is a battlefield

maybe not, but why does wedding planning seem like a war sometimes? you win over one territory but before you have time to celebrate the opposition has stolen all of your provisions. at least that's how i'm feeling today. we're deep into the not so fun parts of planning at the moment, meaning we're working on the items that we need just to have the party function, but they aren't necessarily fun or pretty or personal items.
(images via Sperry)
today we finalized our tent decision, the long, arduous tent decision. this has been one of the biggest hurdles for us for a few reasons - the cost, the vendor, and the flooring. some of our original tent quotes were more than half of our entire wedding budget, and to add to it we need to pay to have a full floor installed (not on the top of my list, but a must have item for one of our parents, considering we're getting married in a field, women in heels, etc etc.)

"but we can't afford that" "well thats how much it costs" "but i'm the third of 3 to get married and i have a certain budget" "well it's going to cost more" "but we dont have more" "well thats what it costs"

this entire process has contributed to more than a few tears im ashamed to admit, and this conversation of we can't afford it but we have to pay it has happened on far too many occassions. eventually we found a vendor with an option in our price range, but the floor was either green rubber or carpet and INSANELY expensive and labor intensive (especially when considering forfeiting aesthetics.)

(images via Sperry)
to our delight planning a wedding at the same time as my future sister in law has worked to our advantage in a big way. after putting them in the not-in-our-wildest-dreams pile Sperry Tent contacted us to let us know that they would like to do our wedding and keep it in the family (since they are doing the other wedding) and that they would make it work for us and our budgetary constraints. with some cross family support and the help of the amazing staff at Sperry we will be having a gorgeous sail cloth tent with a full floor at our wedding. though i'd love to go alfresco - these tents really are gorgeous, the poles are an elegant teak, and the light in the sails really glow when the sun goes down.

success? yes. then whats the problem?

well,in working through this item the topic of restrooms came up.we have reserved 2 'executive portapottys' (portapotties with running water) for what we feel is a bargain, an essential, and something we know we need to have. a few hundred bucks for 2 and we put it in our past - so we thought.

now our decision is being challenged in favor of a bathroom trailer with electricity but for an extra almost $1500. can it really be worth it? what do you ladies think? i dont know if we can find the money for it in the first place, but even if we could - doesnt that seem like a lot for a potty? or is it worth it to make sure our guests are comfortable through out the event? i keep thinking my friends won't care, but will my grandma? i hate to admit it but she might.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

winter wedding inspiration from NYC

i just posted about holiday window displays on my other blog, twoifbysee, and i couldn't help but think there might be some winter brides out there that would find these Lord and Taylor decorations drool worthy. can you imagine a winter- woodland- white wedding? i usually not interested in crystal or bling of any kind but i think this is just beautiful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

stuck in design land

i've been super busy the last week or so finishing up all of my projects for school, ( i'm currently studying graphic design at night.) i haven't done much wedding thinking at all - which isn't really a bad thing. it's been refreshing to bury myself in something else, and something not so personal for a while.

to bridge the design-wedding gap i wanted to share a treat i made for sue and neil's wedding. I have to say, I'm proud of how it turned out and even more proud that they liked how it turned out, and actually incorporated it into their celebration.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

make your own holiday

splitting up the holidays is one of the hardest things about being in a relationship and starting a "new" family. since mike and i have moved home (back to boston from LA) we thought it would make our divvying up of the holidays easier since most of the family is within a few hours of each other, but it really hasn't and i think this is something we all have to adjust to. Between us there are three sets of parents (one set in california) and on top of that siblings with husbands, wives ,and children, with their own balancing act going on to help dictate who will be where when.

lucky for us my family celebrates christmas on christmas eve (a remnant from my parents' generation balancing act getting us kids to both grandmothers on christmas day) so it frees up christmas day for visiting mike's family. the wrench? the years in california. in the past i've been a brat about it and flown by myself on christmas morning to meet mike at his mom's so i can still have my family christmas, but i know that can't last forever, it breaks up the newest family, ours - and i think sets a bad president for when our children come. Trading off years is only fair to everyone, ( though i may not always be mature enough to see it!)

another issue we have been dealing with is that we miss hosting a holiday tradition. when we lived in LA i used to throw a big thanksgiving party for all of our misfit friends - and i loved it! we're entertainers and we miss it!

this year we decided to start a new tradition of our own to get all of the families together and to have a chance to host the event, by throwing a pre-christmas party. this saturday we are having both full families over (plus a few close friends) and we're really excited about it. we also just learned that my brother and sister-in-law will be spending christmas with her family this year which makes the idea of us all being together this weekend that much nicer. the tree is up, the egg nog has been purchased and the chex mix is in the oven as we speak - it's really starting to feel like the holidays in our little home.

how have you all been doing with the family holiday shuffle? have you found yourself having a hard time sharing or letting go of past traditions? have you started any new traditions of your own?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

flower trials

yesterday my sister, mother and i played with flowers from Blooms by the Box, 1 - to check out the quality of the product from Blooms by the Box, 2 - to do a trial, make sure we're up for doing the flowers ourselves and happy with the results, and 3 - to gauge how much we will need to order come the big day. (did i really just write a numbered list to introduce a post about flower arranging?)

well, i think this photo (hopefully) shows that the flowers were beautiful, and even prettier today than yesterday.

all in all it was a successful trial. we discovered that we don't love the tone of orange mum that we got, (good to know,) now to decide if we use less orange all together or find a replacement. I always liked the idea of orange ranunculus but i'm not sure if it will be in season, i think it might be a nice contrast to the texture of the mums.

we also discovered that we love the spider mums, while the football mums are rich and dense and amazing - they are almost too preppy for the farm-rustic-hand-tied feel i'm going for. using a combination of sizes and textures really worked the best - i really loved the contrast between he standard pom poms and one or two giant spider mums.

(trial bouquet)
the one comment from both my mom, and mike - was that they feel they are a little plain. I am going for simple and rustic and earthy but not exactly plain. I'm thinking of adding in some willow stems for a contrasting texture and have been looking at (said) ranunculus, maybe some little orange roses -i'm even thinking about some acorns to be a contrasting texture. what do you think?
(trial center piece in one of the vintage silver pitchers)

though it's not done yet, i have to say i'm excited to see the vision start to materialize!

any tips, pointers, and suggestions are of course welcome and appreciated!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

more vegas wedding treats

remember my friend's Vegas wedding i mentioned a little while back? Well sue, the bride has posted some more photos - showcasing her amazing Whirlingturban dress - go see!via postcards from a concrete garden

Monday, November 30, 2009

window shopping inspiration

while i braved the mall crowds with my mom this weekend (the goal to find her a dress for our wedding) i couldn't help but be drawn into the Anthropology storefront. yes, i do love poking around in anthropology regardless, and their window displays are always amazing, but in my wedding planning state of mind i was totally wowed by what looked like Martha Stewart tissue paper pom poms on steroids.

i talked to one of the sales clerks and she explained that the artist built a wire armature of sorts and then proceeded to attach the pom poms, made of different weights of paper and plastic trash bags - (yes plastic bags!) to the mold with wires. she also mentioned that the idea is for the sculpture to continue to grow into the store and outside of the storefront into the mall itself. so cool. I thought this would be a great way to incorporate the pom pom concept into your wedding in a slightly different way. wouldn't a wall of this amazing texture be a great ceremony backdrop? or photobooth backdrop?

I was also pleasantly surprised to see this fun take on vintage keys as decorations (looks like my escort cards, doesn't it?!) it made me so excited about the possibilities of my final key card product, so cute.

with this ring, i thee blog

hooray! I've been featured by Miss Mojito as an inspirational blogger today! Head over and check out the Q&A if you'd like to learn some more about me and how "i'm gonna marry you someday" came to be. thanks so much Miss Mojito!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

signs of obsession

...yep. I see them, and it's not about anything important at all. it's shoes. boy it seems even more shameful to say it out loud - but we're all being honest here, right?

here's the thing. i love blue shoes. i had this amazing pair of vintage blue peep toe pumps that i literally wore out through my twenties in LA. i still mourn them, so much so they are at this very moment sitting, unwearable, in my childhood closet at my parents house. i know, i know. i'll move on - but i need a replacement first.

needless to say, they are my model for the perfect wedding shoe, something i adore, something very me, and something that i can wear with jeans and a tank top out on the town long after my "big day" has passed.

well, after lots of hunting i found them, the color is a little different, perfect for my off white gown and rustic farm location, the embellishment is feminine and pretty enough for a wedding but not too foofy or bedazzled for every day wear AND they are on sale.

they are called 'reservations for two' sweet right? well, to my frustration this shoe was a 2008 model and i can't find it in my size anywhere! i've even contacted the manufacturer. so sad. but, at least i have a basis of comparison.

so, here comes the obsession. i find myself spending down time during the day alternating between searching for blue or teal pumps, peep-toes, shoes, and every other variation of terminology i can think to put into the browser to find a replacement or the illusive 'reservations for two.' Have any of you caught yourself doing this? Maybe for a dress or some other detail that has a hold on you?

well, today i found something that i think might work as an alternative, even from the same manufacturer (yes, maybe i was looking for the other shoe when i found it, so what!?)

what do you think? do i dare hold out and risk missing my chance to get a hold of this runner up? or will it always feel like a runner up? or really - who cares? i guess i need to stop caring, and hope in some small way getting this out to the blogosphere will help me rest.

oh, harold... that's *wonderful*. go and love some more.

Harold and Maude has been one of my favorite movies since i was about 15 years old. i even have a daisy tattoo as a friendly reminder to pay attention to my own imperfections and uniqueness and to not think of myself as just one of many lost in the field...and to remember that the opportunity to love is always worth a potentially broken heart.

Maude: I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They're so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be?
Harold: I don't know. One of these, maybe.
Maude: Why do you say that?
Harold: Because they're all alike.
Maude: Oooh, but they're *not*. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All *kinds* of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sorrow comes from people who are *this*,
[she points to a daisy]
Maude: yet allow themselves be treated as *that*.
[she gestures to a field of daisies]

Monday, November 23, 2009

i heart rifle design

being a design student i'm pretty set on making our invitations myself but if i could have my way - i would be able to make something as whimsical, folk art inspired, personal, and handmade as the work of Rifle Design.some of the techniques i am going to borrow from Rifle are incorporating my own handwriting into the design and not being afraid to use color. i love the use of turquoise, peaches, and browns that Anna frequently incorporates and the idea that not everything has to be on a white background, sometimes i feel like that is easy to forget!
...and - how great is this idea for a frame-able guestbook of sorts?
feel like you've heard a lot about Rifle lately? It's because the online shop opened today! go look, yes all of the stationary is going on my christmas list.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

location location location

i thought i'd share a bit about the place where mike and i are getting married to help fill out the big picture of our day.

we're having the wedding at mike's uncles' home, an historic farm in wells, maine-once the oliver west farm. the wedding will be in the yard somewhere close to the house, cocktails in the barn and reception in a tent by the pond. (lawn games and bon fire in various places!)
(pond just beyond the stone wall)

every august a big hoedown is held at the farm (see photos), the decor is a little different then what we'll have - but really - not too far off. mike's uncle is an antique dealer and the barn is full of eclectic treasures and nooks with seating areas full of vintage furniture. really it's a dream to me, i couldnt pay thousands of dollars and get anything more perfect for my wedding.
i have to admit, as much as i am in love with this location i was a little torn at first. the wedding won't be on my family's "turf" and i thought that might hurt my parents' feelings but as soon as we took them up to see it my father looked at me and said, "oh belles, it's perfect" and that's all it took. i was so happy to see they saw why i loved the place, and that it had nothing to do with turf or his side or my side, just that it's a beautiful place and the perfect place for OUR celebration.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

vegas wedding

i've been dying to talk about my dear friend susie's recent vegas wedding that we attended a few weeks back. the newlyweds have returned from paradise and sue is finally starting to share details from her amazing, vintage-cowboy-mexican-vegas wedding.
she was so beautiful, i kept calling her vintage wedding barbie (her waist seriously looked like it was 12 inches around in her fabulous one of a kind dress.) the two of them were so happy and the party was soooo much fun. sue has photos from the polaroid table up on her blog - you must go see!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

with a picture of you, holding a picture of me in the pocket of my blue jeans

couldn't help but share this love song. mike plays and sings, one of the first times he played in public he sang this song - i just think it's lovely.

Friday, November 13, 2009

color inspiration - the starting point

at some point last year i stumbled upon this look book from denim brand current/elliot and fell in love with the washed out denim, sun burnt weeds and faded blacktop pallet.

when we first began talking about having a fall wedding at the farm in Maine i had visions of flowy hippie gowns, yellowed grass, and baby's breath and queen ann's lace as far as the eye could see. I've since tweaked my vision, but i do still wish i could pop into the world of these images and hang out for an afternoon.

diy wedding bands

last night in class my friend and classmate TJ was sitting next to me playing with his wedding ring. at a break in the conversation he said to me, knowing i'm in the midst of wedding planning while holding the ring out in his hand, i made this out of a quarter. what?! yeah i made my ring and my wife's ring out of quarters. tell me more! how? did you melt them? you're not going to believe the love and dedication he put into these hand made circles of commitment.

TJ went on to explain to me that quarters made before 1964 are pure silver and therefore mailable. by standing the quarter on its side and hitting it with the back side of a spoon, repeatedly, while spinning the ridges eventually smooth out and start to spread the quarter as it flattens. For three years, before he asked his now wife to marry him he worked on the rings in his spare time. once the quarters were flattened to the size of the ring finger he took them to a jeweler to have the center cut out properly without jeopardizing the hours of tedious work he had put into them. when he finally proposed he had the two handmade rings to show in support of his love and commitment. amazing, right?
photo credit: dum spiro spero

when i asked TJ how he heard that such a thing could be done he said he heard a story once of a vietnam soldier who, while at war and missing his girl, used the same technique to return home to his sweetheart with wedding rings in hand.

one of the coolest things about the actual ring (aside from all of the obvious love, time, and work) is that you can actually see some of the writing of the quarter on the inside. amazing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

key to your heart?

or maybe it's more like the key to a happy marriage. ever since i saw this beautiful rustic barn wedding featured on 100 layer cake i have known that i wanted to steal the vintage key/escort card idea for our own rustic maine barn wedding. Mike came into the room this afternoon with a puzzled look on his face and a 20lb bag of keys that i won on ebay. here are some of my favorites.
everything from vegas motel room key to roller skate key is accounted for in the lot - we're already having a fun matching up the special keys with their wedding guest counterpart.
thanks to 100 layer cake for the inspiration!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

super 8 guestbook

one of my girlfriends, (after receiving our save the date) sent me this darling guestbook. soooo cute. we were thinking of going with the makeshift polaroid photobooth but there really is something amazing about living breathing moving memories, isn't there? and of course the super 8 film has an amazing aesthetic.

Keira & Dan's Hello Guest Book from Hello Super 8 on Vimeo.

Monday, November 9, 2009


i'm honored to have been thought of by Miss Chocolate Lover for a blog award!this one comes from brazil, translated "your blog is super cute!" - how cute is that?

i gladly pass the love on to these super cute blogs:
you can't take it with you
with this ring i thee blog
daydreams in lace
thoughts of the all consumed bride
girl with a ring
our day by design
postcards from a concrete garden

AND i've been honored by Stacy at
You Can't Take it With You with this FAB award! so cute, Stacy has been so sweet to me - she even gave me a blush worthy shout out in her interview over on Miss Mojito's Blog. Stacy if you are in Boston for the marathon this year we better meet for a cocktail!

I don't have any more friends to spread the love to yet - but i will save it up and send it on when i do....

I do have many many obsessions though.

1. I'm obsessed with records, yep big old round things that play music.
2. I'm obsessed with mid century modern furniture, glassware and knick-knacks.
3. I'm obsessed with design, printing, and places like Hatch Show Print.
4. I'm work in advertising and therefore am currently obsessed with Mad Men.
5. I'm obsessed with Tim Burton, Baz Lhurman, and stop motion animation.

holy cow another one! It has been a very well decorated week! thanks to Jenn from Love, Life, and Laughter for this lovely blog award! I am supposed to pass it on to 7 more ladies, but i think I'll hold onto this one for a little while too, spread out the blog love.

thank you to all of my new friends, readers, and wedding empathizers!

love a girl who holds the world in a paper cup

i'm in total romance land today thinking about love songs and romantic movies. I know this song was written for a son, but that doesn't mean its not about love.

Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup.
Drink it up.
Love her and she'll bring you luck.
And if you find she helps your mind, better take her home.
Don't you live alone.
Try to earn what lovers own.

And even though we ain't got money,
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

one big check mark

this weekend in addition to finding a bridesmaid dress for my future sister-in-law's wedding mike and i finally met with our tent/rental company (insert tears of frustration about having to shell out thousands of dollars for a stupid tent) and our officiant.

as it should be, meeting Julie (said officiant) made it all feel so so real. more real than bringing home the dress and more real than dropping off the save the dates, in such a good way. as we drove up to maine super early saturday morning i read some of the options for blessings, readings, prayers, and ring ceremonies she had sent us out loud to mike. there was something really sweet about reading a portion and knowing that mike loved it just as much as i did, or pausing to talk about which friends would be perfect to read something we had just heard, it just filled me with such warm rich love and excitement.

our officiant expelled positive energy and we're both so excited to have our marriage in her hands. in the midst of the stressful organizational and budgetary tasks and fun decorating tasks that we have been spending a lot of our planning time and energy dealing with, it was really grounding to spend some time focusing on what we want to say about our love and the life we are going to spend together.

something i really like about Julie is that she gave us sheets and sheets of options for every single part of the ceremony. some super traditional, some not so traditional, some short and to the point and some really poetic. she even included this excerpt from the velveteen rabbit:

“What is real?” asked the velveteen rabbit one day, when he and the toy skin horse were lying side by side in the nursery. “Real isn’t how you’re made.” said the toy skin horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When someone really loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but really loves you, then you become real.” “Does it hurt?’ asked the rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the skin horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up?” he asked, “Or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the skin horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Once you are real, you can’t become unreal again.”

I think it's kinda great and has really got us thinking out of the box about some of the readings we might want to include. since we are both film buffs - having met in film school - we're even thinking movie quotes. Have you guys started choosing readings? Are you going traditional? I'd love to hear what you have decided to include!

Friday, November 6, 2009

bad bridesmaid dresses

I'm in a bit of a goofy mood, and i happen to be bridesmaid dress shopping for Mike's sister's wedding tomorrow morning so i thought, let's enjoy some of the worst of the worst.

I have to say I've been lucky in the bridesmaid dress department for the most part (aside from wearing butter yellow, it wasn't the dress it was a color anyone would have struggled to pull off, especially a blondie with translucent skin like me.) So here's to making it through the wedding years without too many bad bridesmaid dresses.
My mom's girls wore something very close to the blue one on the left, floppy hat and all, though it's vintage enough I kinda like it again.

This one could be Kelly Kapowski's prom dress.
shiny+ crinkly= amazing

how do you solve a problem like maria?

thanks to for the inspiration and the laughs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

save the dates have landed

yep...mike and i have butterflies in our stomachs as the calls and emails of friends and family receiving their save the dates start to roll in - exciting! can't we just get married already?!

one thing that i have to admit we did, though i feel a little guilty about it, is hold back a few announcements. we have a handful of possible guests on a b-list that we are still on the fence about and decided not to send them save the dates. Is this cruel? The good news is they are all rather local so if/when they get the invitation they will have plenty of notice about the party - but what if they find out they were b-listers? i'm so afraid of hurting feelings but at the same time i am a bride on a budget and a big headcount is one thing that will for sure raise our prices.

have any of you dealt with this? any remorse? any backlash?

Monday, November 2, 2009

obsessing over the details or just super cute?

I have no perspective anymore, but i had to specially order these darling king and queen of hearts stamps for our save the dates and invites...aren't they cute? am i obsessive for worrying about what stamps i use? should i be picking out vows instead? probably but i couldnt help myself!i'm also secretly hoping we might need some additional postage so i can use some of these puppies.