Thursday, April 23, 2009

all things floral

Hello duckies!

The long-promised post about wedding flowers! I mentioned awhile back that I had finally decided on concrete images for the types of flowers I want to use at the wedding as well as the arrangements. After the Maid of Honor and I browsed our local wholesale flower shop (and Costco and a few other shops) we came up with a few ideas of hardy flowers that would be in season and would stand up in the weather.

1) Kangaroo Paws

(image from miss_armour)

You've seen before. I used it in a previous post where I had some musings about flowers I was considering. Surprisingly, they remain in the updated vision. (Is it really that surprising when they are free? Thank you good friends!) Though I want to still use the kangaroo paws, I'll probably only have them on side tables like the ones for the guest book. It's really such an architectural plant and had we decided to still have the reception at the original venue, it would hold up nicely against the more modern and clean lines of the Zen garden. However, with the garden turning into a backyard garden, it's not really the lush romantic feel I'm looking for. I think it would be an interesting detail in some rooms (bathrooms? front entryway? kitchen?) in some tall vases, but the look would be a little on the sparse side because the branches are so very interesting on their own.

2) Pink Hydrangeas, White Roses and Greens

(image from ... ? If you know it, send me a message and I'll credit you)

This is my favorite of the centerpieces I've got filed away on the computer. It really goes well with the pink part of the color scheme (though, technically, we have no official "colors" for the wedding) plus I could probably throw in some peach as well (a concession to the orange requested by the Boy; does peach count as orange?). Sprays of hydrangeas, maybe creamy roses and difference plants in greens; it's full, low to the table, completely romantic and airy and at home in a garden reception. I plan to surround the centerpieces with candle votives (who doesn't love the glow of candlelight?).

I am torn by the next two images. I want to use at least one of the ideas on a few different tables.

3. Hydrangeas in Vials

(image by mellow_stuff)

The first idea is to gather a trio of vials and fill each with a single branch of hydrangeas (I don't know why but I've recently grown to really like the look of them for the wedding). I don't know if I'll get vials but I like the idea of using very few flowers that add a lot of punch.

4) Hydrangeas in Clear Glass Vase

(image by adam_binsz)

Same flowers, fewer containers. This appeals to me as I don't know what I'll do with all the vases and bottles and other assorted containers after the wedding. The fewer we have left over, the better but I can't seem to sacrifice the vision for practicality.

5) Tulips and Sprays

(image by snippet & ink)

Actually, I probably wouldn't go with tulips for the wedding even though they are my favorite flowers (in red, please!). I think they'd wilt in the summer sun and there is nothing sadder than a wilted tulip. I don't want any sadness at the wedding so I have actually banished my favorite poesy in favor of hardier ones like roses (this could work with a few of the glasses containing sprays and sprigs of --dare I say it... baby's breath!). I liked this scene so much I have enlisted a few friends to start collecting bottles and jars and all sorts of colored glass. I can recycle after the wedding.

6) Sweet Peas

(image by Blondie's Highlights)

I like the pop of the blue in the vase (plus love the fractured glass look as well) and I'd probably combine the last two images into a single vision. I'd have a collection of 3 to 5 vases/containers with the stronger coloring of this photo. I've never actually seen a sweet pea in real life but I googled it and they are actually really pretty. if I used sweet peas (which the MOH has suggested I also use some in my bouquet) it would be a really sentimental gesture as the future MIL actually refers to me often as Sweet Pea.

You'll notice that I said I'd be choosing a few of these options (if not all) for the different tables. Does this mean I have an attention span problem? Probably. But I like the charm of different tables offering different delicacies for the eye to devour; and who says you can't do it yourself on a budget? One just has to be a little creative and be a tad bit neurotic.

Enough about the centerpieces though, onward march towards the inspiration for the bouquet!

I love this bouquet. It has pink ranunculus, some roses and berries. Since peonies will not be in season for the wedding and anemones were a little too modern for the style we're going with, I thought ranunculus were the perfect choice for the bouquet (maybe in the vases too). I like the gardeny feel of it.

(image by orawrat)

For the bottom of the bouquet (where you hold it), I wanted to wrap it with typewriter keys and all! Since I won't get my books as part of the decor (did I mention I got my masters in English Lit?), I figure it would be a nice nod to my love of all things literary. (image from weddingbee's Mrs. Lovebug)

Do you know what I learned from this? While I loved flowers at home, I didn't originally think I'd use them much in our decoration because I thought, wouldn't this be a great way to save some money? I can decorate with plants and fruits and books. *sigh* I love books. But now it seems like there are flowers everywhere, even at the ceremony site (granted, we aren't providing that). In the end, we're going with what we love and while money is an important consideration, there are more ways than one to achieve that all-star wedding look that still somehow retains that charm that is our love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(K)not a Bride's Best Friend

I've been avoiding going back on The Knot web page I started ages ago (truth be told, even before we officially got engaged to become Mr. and Mrs.). I got it because, at the time, it was the only source I could think of for all things wedding. Right around the time the Boy and I started ring shopping, I glimpsed The Knot wedding planning book and scooped it up. It was my introduction to the wild ride of wedding planning. I was overwhelmed and we hadn't even gotten engaged. By the time it happened, I was well versed in both the book form and the website. I happily checked every day to see if anyone had looked at our profile, browsed wedding dresses and took quizzes that purported to tell me what kind of bride I was. It was fun and frivolous, like eating cotton candy--lots of fluff but not that must substance.
Then I discovered that there were other (gasp!) wedding websites out there and tons of fabulous blogs to read through.
I first found peoniesandpolaroids and from there fell in love with other sites (see the side bar for my favorites, folks). And after awhile, I found myself less and less on The Knot. I grew more resentful for the intrusive nature of the site, how the weddings seemed to blur together after awhile and it started bleeding into my vision of what I wanted for our wedding, twisting and winding itself around until I didn't recognize it at all.
Thus, I began to avoid signing onto The Knot. Silly, I know, running and hiding from a website. But I never said I was the most courageous gal around. Today, I finally logged on after months of ignoring it and found that our checklist of things to do (never mind the ones--that's right, more than one version--I have on several sheets of paper hidden in all sorts of pockets, purses, under stacks of paper) was overwhelming, to say the least. According to The Knot, this is what I should have accomplished three months prior to the Day:
The Knot's List (the biggies!) and Where We're At:
1. Decide on the Caterer
After much hemming and hawing, we were able to go with a fun barbecue type of meal for the wedding. We're getting the food dropped off at the reception style, served buffet style. Super casual and easy. We're serving pink and regular lemonade and iced tea in mason jars. We're also planning on doing some baking ourselves the week of for a little dessert buffet station that goes with the food. I think we may opt to make some Asian and vegetarian foods as well. How 'bout homemade lasagna, pasta, egg rolls and fried rice? I know, what an odd combination of food but it seems more homey to have such a delicious smorgasbord as our wedding fare. Must make sure there are enough napkins present.
2. Decide on the Officiant
I admit, we are sorely behind on this one. We've looked but not seriously. People have been giving us business cards, trying to set up meetings for us but we cannot make a commitment. Did I mention we have less than 3 months to the wedding? I think part of our problem is that we haven't really sat down and discussed what we want from the ceremony itself. I do want to incorporate some cultural things from my side into the ceremony but I'm fuzzy on which details I want to actually add. The Boy has mentioned that a friend of his can play the bag pipes at the ceremony as well as a nod to his Scottish heritage (luckily both of us really enjoy it and it reminds us of our adventures in England). I think we need to decide what we want before we decide on who it is that will be marrying us, don't you think?
3. Finalize your Guest List
Uh, we sorta did. And then I invited one of two (or more) people because I didn't factor in (why I didn't I'll never know) that most people will be bringing their significant other or a date. Which puts us at our original count (about 80 or so). I was a little disappointed. I had begun imagining a small ceremony and reception for 50 people. This is what happens when one doesn't pay close enough attention to one's Excel spreadsheet.
4. Hire Your Photographer
Done! They're awesome. More detailed post on them later.
5. Narrow Down Your Gown Choices and Make a Decision
Another one I got right! Whoo! It currently sits in my best friend's parents' home waiting for the first dress fitting that should take place next month.
6. Book Reception Band or DJ
I have mixed feelings on this. You see, the Boy and I have very eclectic musical tastes and one of the few genres we agree on is 80s music (I know, a strange choice). So we decided to go with the ipod plus sound system. However, I have mixed feelings on this now. I still love the idea of being in control of what music is being played (I am a tad bit neurotic when it comes to this) but I wonder if we should hire someone to DJ to help control the mood of the party, introduce us and special moments at the reception. Currently, I am thinking of asking my brother to help out with this part. He may be a little too happy to oblige but I'll have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't slip one of his personal (yes, he writes music on the side) songs in there. I may ask our more musically-minded pals if they would sing/play at the reception as well.
7. Book Your Honeymoon
Not booked. But we finally decided on a destination.
8. Choose Your Florist
No florist. We're going DIY folks. Thankfully, my pals and I are fairly creative individuals so I think it will go well. Plus I have a friend who once worked as a florist so if I really needed advice I could ask her about it.
9. Order Invitations
Another DIY project. It actually echos a bit of the Save the Date cards we made earlier. I handmade this fun little scene and will be using it on our invites. I should be making them this weekend so I'll post the process when I'm doing it. Oddly enough, making this has inspired to to possibly launch my own little shop on etsy. But more on that later....
10. Reserve Rental Equipment
Again, we're behind on this too! We should do this for the ceremony and reception sites!
11. Groom's Attire
Uh, I have some notions concerning vests for the Boy. He is thinking suits. Maybe different colored ties? I think he is shopping for this with the groomsmen this weekend or next.
12. Purchase Wedding Bands
Mine are done (he got it as a set when he bought the engagement ring) but his has yet to be purchased. Ugh, I hate trying to drag the Boy ring shopping.
13. Arrange Day Of Transportation
Thanks to the future MIL, this is not mine to think of! Whoo hoo! Cross that one off my list of things to do. I do hope she leans towards a cool pink Cadillac. That would be awesome.
14. to 100. A million other little things that make my head spin. Really, my head is catching some air right now.
But you know what happened? Instead of hyperventilating and crying in frustration, I had a moment of Zen-like calmness, an epiphany, a revelation if you will.
Here's the thing:
Our wedding would never be the kind in magazines or TV shows or other people's blogs, let alone the kind featured on the knot. But our wedding would be filled with love from the people who knew us best, lots of fun times and personalized touches that meant a great deal to us. In short, our wedding would be very US, a celebration of who we are and our commitment to continue loving each other as best as we can. It's going to be messy and a little unpredictable, but who wants a boring wedding? Not me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Wedding That Could've Been

I already posted once today but I came across this while browsing around and I just HAD to share.

(all images by kiss the groom)

Isn't this the most delicious wedding idea you ever did see? If I could've talked the Boy into this, I would've. What girl wouldn't love to have a fairy inspired wedding? It's so romantic and woodsy yet warm and magical.

Couldn't you imagine carrying this handmade bouquet to an altar of flowers and nature shining down on you as you say your vows of devotion and love?

How about trusting your wedding bands in a little box lined with moss? This is perfect with the blue lining on top, like the sky acting like a canopy over the wedding.

I'd love to raise a toast to the Mr. and all our friends and family for celebrating with us with a moss and leaf covered confection like this goblet. It seems like it grew out of the roots of a tree near a babbling brook and that one only need to pick it up, dip it into the tangy clear water and drink to health and happiness.

I love these as coasters. Or booster seats for yours truly.

I love all the sweet touches.

Oh Boy, wouldn't you like to have a woodsy and magical fairy wedding?

Kiss the Girls

I adore my bridesmaids, I do. I had a vision of what I wanted them to wear:
(image from theknot)

I wanted the look to be soft and romantic, to echo the vintage sensibility that emanates through most of the wedding decoration. None of the gals would wear the same dress as they are three different ladies, with three different body types and three different styles.

(image from perfect bound)

As much as I was trying to infuse a sense of the Boy and myself into every aspect of the wedding, I wanted our friends to be able to express themselves in their dress as well. Considering that none of them had the same taste in clothes, I figured that would be easy. I wanted each to pick something in a blueish gray tone or soft pinks or peaches because, though we’ve since decided NOT to declare wedding colors (see the mishap of the change in heart), these colors seemed prominent in the things I was choosing to include.

My only request (I guess, beside a general color scheme) was that it be something softer and lighter in overall feel. I loved the idea of hand stitched details, embroidery or ruffles, creative draping, and other fun little details that would add personality to an outfit. Because, after all, my friends were nothing if not characters in themselves. Why not showcase that at the wedding as well?

(image from snippet & ink)

When it came time to make my vision into reality, things did not prove to be so easy as I imagined. I was torn between my original ideas and the images that were staring at me every time I opened a bridal magazine or clicked on a wedding website. Can we say, visual stimulus overload?

One day, I would jump for joy thinking I had found the dresses the girls should wear. Since we all live in varying cities, I would email the links to the dresses I thought they could get for the wedding. I’d wait, hear back, they’d choose a dress…and then I’d change my minds. Or they’d present me with an idea of dresses they could wear, I’d like it, but ultimately I’d change my mind again as I didn’t feel it was really staying true to the nature of the vision I had in my mind’s eye of what I wanted the feel and look of my wedding to be.

Then it happened. Four attempts later (which included one brief dalliance with a series of Melissa Sweet dresses and only time constraints stopped us going forward with it), I found the dress. Or dresses, depending on how you look at it.

This was such a sweet dress from Anthropologie that I actually made the decision (and stuck to it) and had the maids purchase this dress. I was a little sad that they all ended up with the same dress, but lo and behold, it actually was the kind of dress that kit well on different body types (surprise surprise). And then my best friend and maid of honor came to the rescue! She remembered that I wanted each of them to look different (which is why I had wanted them in different dresses). One evening, bored and alone in her apartment to the north, she took the dress off the hanger and decided to play dress up. It was during this bout of silliness that she discovered that the sash was so long, one could tie it in any way across the body to create different looks. I was elated by the news and quickly emailed the others.

One MOH’s spring break, she came home for the week and we betook ourselves to all do all things wedding related. She checked out the venue for the ceremony (see previous post), we went to a wholesale flower shop and picked out flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces (I’ll have to post on that later), shopped for wedding shoes (I think I found them and must order them soon), got a mini makeup trial (uh, still need more work in this area) and then headed to Anthropologie and tried on the dress in real life.

She showed me the different was to tie the sash around to create a halter look

A Grecian goddess look,

Something a little more covered up on the top (though this would need a broach or something to keep it in place) (images by me)

And a variety of other ways (I liked some ideas better than others). Took pictures in the changing room (by the way, don’t you love the changing rooms there? I wish I had a closet area like that in my place!) and sent them along to everyone else. Each gal has decided on a way they are going to wear their dress (thank goodness, they picked different things), each with different accessories and jewelry, different hair and shoes and in general, the only thing that will be the same is that they all bought the same dress.

What do we learn from all of this?
1) It’s OK to procrastinate. You might get a few more gray hairs out of it but that’s half the fun.
2) Not everything will go the way you want it to.
3) Stop looking at so may wedding blogs. Be true to who you are and your vision because, after all, it’s YOUR wedding and no one else’s.
4) Compromise is a beautiful thing. I hope to keep this lesson close to my heart throughout all of our marriage.