Friday, June 26, 2009


A little less than 9 months from the wedding. Here's what I have completed:


Here is what is left:

-Wedding party
-Save the dates

and on... and on... and on...

Take away messages:

I finish graduate school in 6 weeks. Maybe I should just stop trying to do this while I am a student.

Exciting updates:
-Fiance and I are both working! Both employed! And they are actually jobs we really enjoy. So we will actually be able to afford a *budget* wedding. And not live in a box. Yes!

-Tomorrow we're signing the lease for this gorgeous condo we're renting for the next year.

So, in summation, I feel fortunate right now. Sometimes I worry that this wedding will never get planned because I seem to be a work-aholic in every OTHER area of my life, but I keep telling myself that nine months is plenty of time. Right? Minus 6 weeks. So, more like seven months. Uh, maybe I need to hurry up and delegate...


Sunday, June 21, 2009

I have a problem

I was at a friends wedding yesterday (which was inspiration galore) but there was another guest there who was wearing the most adorable dress. So with a glass or two of wine in me I approached her and asked where she had gotten it. Turns out that this is a Calvin Klein dress she had purchased at TJ Maxx but she knew they had them on Today I checked it out and I am officially in love with Calvin Klein sundresses.

How gorgeous would my ladies look in different CK dresses in one color?
This was the dress the girl was wearing (she had it in a beautiful butter yellow) and I love the pistachio color

And there are more beauties!

If I decide to make yellow a more prominent color I love this dress, it would flatter so many shapes. And it has pockets!

While I love the kelly green, it's too green for our palette, but I have been looking for a good brown dress...

Apricot is one of our secondary colors, and I love the brown too. Could I maybe have all my girls in different colors? And box pleats are adorable and flattering!

Love the style and casualness of this dress. Have I mentioned I have been obsessed with yellow recently?
These were all found on and they are all under $90 and they have all the elements I want in a bridesmaids dress: adorableness, flattering features, affordability, and rewearability!

Here are some more dresses I found searching the web:

David's bridal (who I'm trying to avoid because their bridesmaids dresses LOOK like bridesmaid dresses)

J Crew, who doesn't love J Crew? But they are so much more expensive than I want to ask the girls to spend...

More J Crew, I love this dress actually. I kind of want to get it for me.

Anyway, my plan is to (eventually) pick my bridesmaids and weigh all the options out with them and get their opinions because, well, I have smart, sassy friends.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And now for something completely different

One of the cds I play during naptime at work is a mix of Jack Johnson. I love it. You can really only play "Tender Lullabies" so many times without going crazy... I love to sing along to Jack and his simple yet beautiful songs.

A couple always catch my ear and make me wonder how I can incorporate them into the wedding. He sings of such sweet, tender love that it makes me so happy and excited.

[Verse 1:]
There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
Like a shoebox of photographs,
With sepiatone loving,
Love is the answer
At least for most of the questions in my heart,
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing,
its always better when we're together

Mmm, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together
Source and rest of lyrics
Can you imagine this as the first dance song? I don't want the typical slow, sway song... I love that it has a little beat that is a little bit different.

I also love Do You Remember:

Well, I was crazy about you then and now
The craziest thing of all, over ten years have gone by
And you're still mine, we're locked in time
Let's rewind

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New wedding time waster

Oh my gosh, this new program is awesome. I'm excited... It's called Springpad.

There is a Wedding Planner feature and it is so cool. And it's free! There is an invite manager, and you can upload contacts from facebook and from gmail that way you don't have to type all your contacts in individually. There's a task list which isn't ridiculous like The Knot list which has tons of miscellaneous crap on it. It's basic and you can add or subtract easily. You can set a 'complete by date'. There is a vendor category with suggested vendors that are in your area. There is an idea area where you can put all your ideas, and you can note stuff like the old Google notebook which doe not exist anymore. And there's a budget area.

Can you tell I'm pretty excited? I found all this just in the few minutes I've clicked around. It seems pretty easy too!


Mom and I were talking about reception things and have decided that we may need to rethink the color scheme because (and this sounds ridiculously bride-zilla-y) the green paint of the reception space clashes with the green that we had chosen to be one of our main colors.

One option is that we don't change the color scheme, we just limit the amount that is in the reception space and use it a lot more outside. Problem with this is that I really don't want all chocolate linens because I think it will be too dark for a summer wedding. So I suggested using half chocolate tablecloths and half different patterned tablecloths that incorporate all the different colors.

My mom just cannot picture this, and thinks it will look odd.

I think it will look fantastic, refreshing, and fun.

A la these pictures:



Plus I think it will tone down the formality of having a summer Saturday night wedding.

Who is right? Who has more visual style, Mom or me?

summer again

Garden party.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meet our venue!

After an extensive, and frankly, ridiculous venue search we have decided on our venue.

Meet the Fairgate Inn.

We loved this venue. When I asked Mister F what his top two favorites were he said "Fairgate" and? "Fairgate". So that settled it, Mister F was in love and I was as well as I pictured English country garden, vintage beautifulness.

I'm so excited. I know that there are probably other places that are "better" than this one, but just walking through here made me so happy and so excited. I'm having a bit of a hard time letting the venue search go though, I'm constantly thinking about it. I need a new task...

We are going to have a meeting with the wedding coordinator soon to set and finalize the contract and wedding date.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Just a little pet peeve. I know folks mean well, but it's ridiculous when a minor acquaintance is trying to become the wedding planner. Um, can we just go back to being two people who had a casual working relationship? Thanks.


Venue visit #8

Last weekend Ma, Mister F and I went to visit one last venue. I forgot my camera and Mister F's was dead so we have the wonderful photos from the camera phone! (We think quick on our feet) Not the best quality, but you get the idea. I also stole a fee photos from the website, shhhhh don't tell.

Lewis River Golf Course

We really liked the rustic simplicity of it and we liked how free we were to choose where we put everything. And the view and location were pretty spectacular.

We have FINALLY decided on a venue. Eight venue visits later, I hope this is the toughest decision we have to make because WHEW it has been exhausting!

The venue we chose was one of the last two I visited... the Fairgate Inn and this one (Lewis River). Even though we only have like 6 readers and a few of you (due to facebook) already know which one we picked, I still want a tiny element of surprise considering this has been such a huge thing for us... I'm going to leave all 4 of you hanging until tomorrow when I announce our wedding venue and date :D

Le sigh

These are the only reason I would even consider having our wedding in late May, early June. These are so beautiful and easy to put together.

Fresh from our backyard... peonies!!

love love love

While they wont be at our wedding, at least they are sitting on my kitchen table

Monday, June 8, 2009

inspirations from my life

I am about to embark upon a really challenging summer. Just when I need to take a break. But I was browsing through my photos, and I'll share a few that are inspiring me to keep going. Fiance has an interview tomorrow for a position that could really help us. No matter what, I love him. That's what this is all about!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

More free cuteness!

How cute are these napkin wraps?

Download the template and instructions from Style Me Pretty

Another Venue Visit today

We're doing another venue visit today kind of informally because the event coordinator there wouldn't be able to meet with us until the end of this month (I was a little shocked at that...) After we go there I want to make a decision about our decided venue, so check back later for the photos of this venue and (hopefully) our decided venue!

But I've been looking back through a lot of my inspiration photos lately so I thought I'd share some of those as a change of pace. These give a rough idea of what has been inspiring me lately and what I hope our wedding will feel like.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What I was going to originally going to post

VistaPrint is running a huge sale right now (although if you get the emails like me, it seems like they are always running a huge sale...) but there is one thing (ok, more than one thing) that I wish I could take advantage of.

FREE customized Rubber Stamp! All you have to pay is shipping.

I like the free options and I think they would be perfect for printing the return addresses on our invitations. The reason I don't feel like now is the time to be ordering this is because F and I are planning to buy a home together in the next couple of months and so when that time comes I will want to have the invitations returned to that address.

But I still want it :)

They are also offering 140 return address for free as well. They have 4604 designs of return labels to choose from!

And, they are offering 100 standard sized (5.47" x 4.21") postcards for free (FREE!). It would be perfect for save the dates. You do have to pay $3.74 as a one time fee to upload your own images if you want to or you can choose to use one of their designs (they have 2229 of them...)

Here is what I came up with.

This was the original design:

Here is how I customized it:

Just within this design you could change the colors, fonts, sizes and placement of everything. Vistaprint is so easy to use. I mean, soooo easy.

To get 100 of these postcards (with full color front and greyscale postcard style back) can cost as little as $6.71 (!) depending on how quickly you want them to come. That is like $0.6 a card.

Another deal I wish I could take advantage of right now...

They are also offering a free tote bags and discounts if you order more than one, which I think could be a great gift for a couple you know getting married or maybe as bridesmaids gifts.
Ok that probably just sounded like a huge ad for VistaPrint, but I just want so many things and can have none, so I hope someone benefits from these.

100 posts!!


We've made it to 100 posts! I was going to post something else, but I think I'll do a little background on the blog. Anna and I were living together when we both got engaged last July. We knew we wanted to stay in contact about wedding plans while I moved away from the amazing city we were living in to do my Europe thing and Anna stayed to work incredibly hard on her Master's degree.

I think we started this blog last August? A lot of things have changed for both of us since then and it's nice to have had this blog to document it all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Post #99

Mandie! We're almost to 100... isn't that amazing?

Just a post-script on my last wedding update. It was really nice to see somebody else praising the simplicity and elegance of the JCrew dress that I will be wearing at my wedding.

This weekend, I am stopping by the place where dreams are strangled by corporate megalomaniacs, er, David's Bridal, to pick up a dark plum sash for my midsection. I do, however, really enjoy the broach they used to style it for this magazine photo:


tids and bits

Only one week away from our Great Gatsby-themed engagement party! I am so fabulously excited!

In other news:

-Fiance is graduating in just a couple days with his Master's degree
-I finished a large chunk of my research, and I am ready to follow in his footsteps this August (it's official--I applied and set the date for my defense!)
-We both have solid leads on incredible jobs up here in the town we really do not want to leave
-It's been 90 degrees lately, and the other night we visited our venue and looked out at the boats and swooned for awhile (even though we won't have that weather for our wedding... at least I hope we don't because that would be bad news for the environment)
-Oh! We are pretty much committed to an invitation! The story:

I was shocked when Fiance enthusiastically pointed to an invitation example in one of my Jewish wedding books. The text reads (in Hebrew) "Ani l'dodi v'dodi li" which means "I am my beloved and my beloved is mine" (Song of Songs). I was like okay... um, I love this, but really? And we decided really. So the invitations are going to be really beautiful. I don't have the design ready to share yet, but the front has two pine trees in green against a purple background (our colors) and the text runs across the top. On the bottom is our date. Inside will be all of the details, which will be succint because I refuse to be one of those people who spends 80 hours on making the invitations. I am pursuing a career and I don't have time for that!

-I am furiously reading books on interfaith ceremonies because I just know we will end up having to write our own. There is wonderful stuff out there, but this process takes a lot of time. The ceremony is more important to us than the reception, so it will be the focus of quite a bit of effort.
-One more note on the invitations. We are having an informal lunch the day before we get married. It will be Mexican food. We met in Mexcio... so there is the connection. Guests who are invited to this will get a little insert with the info printed on the back of a Loteria card (el corazon to be exact). I thought of this and I am proud of myself for squeezing out just a little creativity!

Well, I am busy finishing school and learning copious amounts of civil rights law in preparation for my job this summer. Still, I feel very blessed that Fiance and I are still able to do things together (like kayaking and eating good food), and I am incredibly amazed at how much more I am able to fit into my days.

We'll see what happens from here! That's my life motto these days.


The top contender

I'm watching My Best Friend's Wedding and I was inspired to finish what I started... (Have I mention that I love bad TV and movies? I Confess.) Warning, lots of text and pictures... I got excited!

You may (or may not, I don't judge) have read in my last post that I have visited many a venue with an array of different people (F, ma, dad). One of the sites we visited last weekend quickly became our favorite. I'll show you pictures and explain why. Meet The Fairgate Inn.

These are pictures from their website:

The Inn from the front

At the end of the night

The ceremony site, a beautiful gazebo

Which can then turn into the dancing area!

Reception area all decked out (chairs not included, unfortunately)

The deal with this place is that it is an Inn that you rent out and everything is on site.

These are pictures of the 'conservatory' where receptions are held. I love the dark floors, the vaulted ceilings, the green walls (to go with our color scheme?).
My mother would die if she knew I was putting this up

F wore his most grown up outfit, Ghostbusters tee and plaid shorts. Silly.

Grand entrance!

Gorgeous chandeliers

Archway I will walk through with my Fajah (yes, this is a real word! From Urban Dictionary: How the dutch or one with a dutch accent say the word "Father. So there.) The wedding coordinator (Stacey) said that by summer this will be completely covered in flowers and greenery.

Tent the guests will sit under. Ma is not sure she likes this, but I think it's smart because it's bound to be ridiculously hot on a July evening). PLUS! Stacey said this can be turned into a space for dancing in the evening, it opens right off the reception area. And I can hang up lights or Chinese lanterns, or other beautiful things....

Ceremony gazebo, it will have seasonal flowers all over it

Other pictures of the site:

Things we love about it:
- Wedding planning included
- Lots of dates still available
- Only one wedding scheduled per weekend
- You rent out the rooms of the Inn and they provide the guests with a snack in the evening (and any remaining alcohol) and then a full breakfast in the morning.
- Just about everything is included: wedding coordinator, tables, linens, plates, utensils, bartenders, waitstaff, set-up, take-down, parking lot and attendants, Stacey said they even have vases and anything else that we may need to borrow (or as she put it, "after 9 years, we have stuff")
- They offer more time there on the day than any other place I've looked at
- I love being able to open it all up to our guests, but everyone still remains close
- Dancing outside under a tent? Gorgeous.
- Room for a kick-ass "kids" room. My little brother (who will be 17) and my little cousins (all in their teens) will probably get bored, so I'm thinking xbox, rockband, DDR, energy drinks etc etc

Things I don't like:
- The cost. It's a few thousand (!!) more than I wanted to spend. I know my parents would be more than willing to make up the difference, but I hate to ask them to do that. On the other hand, this is where we're planning on spending around 80% of our budget.
- The reception chairs. I know this is picky, but that it really all I don't like... and I'm think big ovesized white bows to detract from the red?

We came home and Mister F was enthused! I asked him, "this place really inspired you didn't it?" and he said that for the first time he was actually able to envision our wedding. I loved seeing him come up with ideas without prompting.

My mama has done a ton of research into venues, so we're going to visit a few more places just for comparison (I feel safe in doing this due to the amount of space left available). But, tentatively, I have a venue?