I love being engaged. It's not always easy, but in the end, I'm pretty over-the-moon happy.
Ever since reading this a few years ago in an anthology of seminal feminist writings, I have held on dearly to this Dora Russell quote (1925). Now that I have more time to plan the wedding of my dreams, I can once again focus on the details that will make it personalized and meaningful. I would like this quote to be in the program:
"There is nothing in life to compare with this uniting of minds and bodies in men and women who have laid aside hostility and fear and seek in love the fullest understanding of themselves and of the universe."
Born, raised, and hoping to stay in the Northwest, I can't help but to love the beautiful nature that surrounds us. I think it is positively wonderful when weddings can bring in elements of the natural world so that they come across as fresh, organic, and less commercial.
Here are some examples of things that I absolutely love for their environmental friendliness...
This website is dedicated to recycling metals, precious stones, and other materials in order to create beautiful jewelry. This method removes the danger of buying into conflict diamonds/materials, and does not leave a negative impact on the planet. I found this ring, which I think is just beautiful. It's not wedding jewelry, but gives an idea of the unique pieces that this company sells.
Do-it-yourself invitations already cut back on waste, cost, shipping, etc. Recycled paper can add a beautiful touch to the final product. I found some impressive creations at Custom Paper, which could be easily replicated. There are many places, online and locally, that sell attractice recycled paper products.
Viva Terra is just one example of a company which produces natural and organic decorations and accents. Local flea and farmer's markets and community co-ops also offer different ideas. I love when greenery, rocks, twigs, and water are used (it's a surprising departure from the usual flowers!). I also think that candles and lanterns can warm up a reception, even in the late morning or afternoon. There is a certain timeless quality about natural light (and if I do end up having a winter wedding, I will need lots of light!).
Yesterday, Fiance and I walked through the Fremont Sunday Market, one of our favorite things to do while in Seattle. There are so many stunning objects made locally or just creatively recycled. It is a goal of mine to add the elements of nature and artisan craft to my wedding.
F and I took my ring in today to get resized before I head abroad. I've only been wearing the ring for a little over a month, but I feel so naked without it! I love my ring, but I didn't realize how much of a friend she has become.
In her honor I will post her picture for the world to see. I think if she was to have a name, it would be something vintage-y, like Ruth.
As you can see, she's a little tight, making my finger feel like a sausage in a just too tight casing. So she is getting resized up a quarter of a size.
In other news... My mother has saved my life! I was complaining in my last post of being overwhelmed and not being able to find an easy way of seeing the venues in the Portland area. Yesterday, my mom introduced me to a website that has changed my life.
This website has dozens and dozens of venues! Places I hadn't heard of/thought of. I has officially contacted at least 3 places for pricing information, and if they fit our budget then I will contact them for tour. Yay! I feel like I'm not a complete, way-behind failure!
One of the places I'm looking into is this: http://www.andersonlodge.com/ which offers exactly what I was lamenting for before, a lodge that you rent out for the whole weekend and everyone hangs out and it's like a big family/friend reunion! I really want to drive up there and check them out, it's actually a really good price in comparison to everything else for the length of time we would get it for.
I'm feeling much more excited about the whole wedding planning process!
Maybe I will venture out and check out some wedding gowns tomorrow, maybe see if the Mama wants to go.
It's been a stressful few weeks; I'll be going to study overseas in two weeks. In the meantime, I'm trying to take advantage of this time that I'm in my hometown in order to get some crucial wedding business done- ie The Venue... dunh dunh dunh.
Ok, so I'm going to be honest. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed about this whole wedding planning thing. We decided that we wanted to get married next summer, and when we decided that in July we felt like that was plenty of time. And I guess it still is. But considering the fact that I'm going to be out of the country for four months... I guess I'm feeling like I should be getting a whole lot more done. The only thing we've checked off the list is finding an officiant... and I haven't even talked to him about it yet. *Gulp*
At least I'm getting a little further in being able to help F feel like he is being included... he's even bringing up wedding business on his own!
I think tomorrow we are going to be checking out some venues. Here's what we have discussed: we want the ceremony and reception to be at the same place. We really want them both to be outside, in a more natural location (maybe in looks more than geographically location). I want a lot of natural flowers, and water if possible. We need it to be easy for our older relatives to get around. We want it to be pretty close to Vancouver so that people are having to trek too far, or drive too far late at night.
Personally, I love the idea of renting out a B&B and having a whole wedding weekend, a la . F and I haven't set a budget yet, but it will not be too much more than that, him being a working man paying off school debts and me being a student, coming back to the country with a huge student loan.
I just keep collecting pictures of things that I love, so I know what I like, and what I don't like. Is that enough? I haven't decided yet.
In the meantime, things that I love:
I'm still having a love affair with cocktail dresses
I love the simple, small centerpieces, especially when there are more than one. And especially when they are all the same color in each container.
Flowers that look like they are freshly picked.
I love this picture for a couple of reasons. One, I just love the picture. They look so happy! I love her dress, I love his light brown suit, and I love his shoes.
Admittedly this is me. At this point, although finding a dress is one more thing that I need to do, this is one that I have tried and really loved myself in, but this one was out of my budget. So, I'm keeping my eyes open.
I love self-created save the dates, especially the ones that include pictures. I'm going to ask a friend if she will take sort of engagement type photos that we can use for our save the dates.
Simple centerpieces mixed with an adorable tablecloth equals <3
Some things that I know I don't like, and some things that I feel are a waste of time and money: - Throwing the bouquet- tacky - Programs? I don't get the point other than another waste of paper - A get-away-car... if I'm having the ceremony at night, will any one be around long enough to see it? - Elaborate escort cards - Engagement photos, bridal shoot- what's the point? - Tiaras - Purses for the bride - A change of outfit for the bride- hello? you just spent all that money so you can switch clothes?
Ok, this is a long enough post. I'm going to try and remember to take my camera along with me as we go along and search for our venue. Wish me luck!
Am I the only one having this much trouble getting organized? Or deciding on things for the wedding?
With a little bit of time to finally sit down and think things through, the Fiance and I created the first draft of both our guest list and the budget. Oy vey... weddings are stressful. I am trying so stay optimistic, but three things are plaguing my mind right now.
1. How can we cut back this guest list? It's at 130. I know... not bad, right? But our budget is much better suited for 75-100. Besides, if we have the reception at the Victorian house, we will not have the space for more than 80. 85, maybe.
2. Where are we having the ceremony? I love this boathouse on the Bellingham Bay, but, once again, not enough space for 130.
3. Why can't I find a wedding dress? The sick irony is that back when I first got engaged, I tried on two... TWO... dresses that fit me so well and were both under $200.00. I should just go back and try and find them this time around (it was the David's Bridal sale, and it's happening again).
Researching composting options after contemplating how much food waste I threw in the trash last year, I started thinking about recycling and my wedding. Why does everything have to be new and expensive? Well, it doesn't have to be. There is so much out there that is creatively salvaged or reused. Perhaps in my quest to shrink costs I can also diminish my carbon footprint.
What happens to wedding dresses? Really expensive ones, even? They get worn. One time.
And then they are put back away into the closet for good.
Here's where my obsession with a bargain comes into play. This little number, a silk organza Priscilla of Boston gown which was originally $3,000.00, is now $300. It was worn for five hours. She's throwing in her shoes for free:
This 2 Be gown, my personal favorite after this scavenger hunt, still has its tags. My size, and $350 (but this could be haggled down):
While many questions remain, I truly hope that I will find something to begin the foundation with. I realized today, first day of September, that autumn creeping up on us. That means one year--and really, with grad school, research, work, life... that's a very short time. Eeeeeep!