Thursday, May 31, 2012

The honeymooners...

It didn't take us long to decide what we were going to do for our honeymoon....

Not a tropical beach vacation:

On the beach at Cow Wreck, Anegada, the British Virgin Islands, February 2012 

Or a European holiday:

In Paris, March 2011

But a sailing adventure!

Osprey underway, July 2011
Yep, when you own a boat, you try to spend as much time as possible enjoying it!  We've decided to position the boat down in the Chesapeake and spend two weeks cruising those waters.  We can't wait to see some new sights.

Osprey motoring out of Edgartown last summer.

Plus we can take our crazy dog Bosley along!

A wet day on the water in September last year, with Bosley the dog. 

What are you doing for your honeymoon?  Does it involve one of your favorite hobbies?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Children are a blessing...

Mr. C and I like kids.  We are excited to have kids of our own one day.  And many of our friends and family members have kids.  We like those kids a lot.  However, we have decided not to invite children to our wedding.  

We've communicated this decision via our website and via word of mouth, and we did the whole "__ of 2 attending" thing on the response cards.  (We hear sometimes this still doesn't work but we're hoping for the best!)  We've suggested child care options in Austin and we have talked with friends about their plans to bring in-laws along to watch the kids on the wedding day, or to leave the kids back at home with a grandma/aunt/etc.

It hasn't been as controversial as I originally thought, but it's been a bit of a challenge.  I think mostly we're both concerned about not hurting people's feelings.  We're certainly not trying to say we don't like kids, and particularly not your kids, we're just trying to make this an event that is reflective of us and the type of celebration we want to have.  We really think it would be fun for all the adults to get a night (or weekend) off to enjoy themselves!  Plus, we have so many friends and family with many kids, it would have added a huge number to our guest list.

One of my girlfriends sent me a note saying she may not be able to join us because she's not sure they can get the whole child care thing figured out, and she wants to respect our "no kids" wishes.  She said she might try to come by herself and leave her son at home with her husband.  She also said she hopes I don't hate her!  I replied that of course I don't hate her; the whole idea is really just to make it a fun night for all the adults, and if it's not possible for her to be there, then there will be lots of photos and recaps I can share with her afterward.

Another couple is expecting a baby soon and made a comment recently about how the trip to Austin might be their baby's first travel adventure.  We were with some other friends at the time so we didn't say anything, but from the full context of the conversation, it sounds like maybe they haven't realized that we're not inviting kids.  Not sure how we're going to handle that one just yet, but an awkward conversation is on the horizon, I guess.

I'm not going to stress about it - we'll be happy to see everyone who makes it to the event, and we can't control what people decide to do.  I do hope the guests who do make arrangements to have someone watch their kids for the night won't be disgruntled if someone totally misses the memo, though!

If you decided not to have kids at your wedding, how did you share the news?  Did you have any parents show up with their kiddos anyway?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shopping Sunday: registry-o-rama!

We've (and when I say we've, I mean I've) been slowly building a registry since last fall.   Mr. C didn't understand the point of a registry and felt like it was an outright solicitation for gifts.   My view has always been that many people will actually want to buy us a gift and not just feel obligated to do so, though I guess some will feel obligated - but either way, shouldn't we help them to buy things that we actually want and will use?

Building the registry has been a bit of a challenge, as Mr. C and I have been living together for about three and a half years now, and we're no longer in our 20s, so we already own many of the things that would usually go on a registry.  However, this seems like a nice way to replace some things that might be getting worn down, add other options, and some new decor.

I started out with two registries initially.  The first was Crate and Barrel.  Mr. C and I love to cook, bake, and entertain, so this seemed like an easy pick.  We like their stuff, most of it is reasonably priced, and they are easy to order from.

We threw a "catch-all" celebration (post-holiday/birthday/engagement/Chinese New Year's party) in January at our house, and a number of our friends gifted us with some things off this registry, which we have been happily using since:
Acacia Salad Bowl and Servers 

Bellamy Carafe

Rectangular Serving Platter

The second registry is at Macy's. I felt like I had to pick a department store (not sure why?) so Macy's was the one I chose.  Our registry there is pretty small, with things like new measuring cups, potholders, canisters...and a meat cleaver (added at Mr. C's request).

Should I be concerned?
Henckels meat cleaver; Image via Amazon

I wasn't thrilled with the bedding and bath options at either of the first two stores, so I decided to add a third registry: Pottery Barn.  I haven't bought much from Pottery Barn recently myself, but they do have great bedding and bath stuff, so I went with my gut and registered for those categories there.   I'm looking very much forward to fluffy new towels and some fresh sheets, coverlets, and pillows for our master bedroom and guest room.

PB Classic 820-gram weight towels

Matine Toile Duvet Cover

We don't have nearly as many registry items as we will wedding guests, but I'm sure some will prefer not to buy a physical gift and will go with a card instead.  We've also suggested gift cards on the registries for those who would prefer that route.

It's been fun slowly adding to the lists online as we think of things that might be useful or nice to have.  I can't imagine how much more difficult it must have been when you had to visit the store to put a registry together!

Did you register?  How did you decide where to register and what to register for?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sad shipping...

I mentioned earlier that my aunt is going to be baking a series of layer cakes for our wedding, instead of a traditional tiered/stacked cake.  I keep seeing great examples of this cake table idea online, so I guess it's a bit trendy, but it really will work out the best for us, so I'm sticking to it.

Pretty cakes!
Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Nadine Photography / Event by Yellow Umbrella Events

Because we'll need a few cake plates / stands, I have been keeping an eye out for pieces that I might like.  I recently ordered this gorgeous vintage cake plate from a company out in California:

Isn't it pretty?
Image via / Cake plate from Edisen
Sadly, the cross-country shipment did not treat this little guy so well, and when it arrived, it looked more like this:

So sad!
I wrote to the shop*, lamenting the loss of the beautiful plate, and they put through a refund right away.  Sadly, it was a one-of-a-kind vintage piece, so I won't be able to get a replacement.  Boooo.

Cake plate shopping continues...

*I just want to emphasize how great I think Edisen is, and that the shipment issue wasn't their fault.  It was really wrapped up in there - just didn't make it through all the box tossing that the delivery guys must have put it through, despite the giant "FRAGILE" on the box.  Sigh.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Oh my.

Spotted these on Elements of Style....

Image from

I'm not sure who thought these were necessary.  Bridal Uggs?  Seriously?

Am I the only one who is sighing with despair at this sure sign of the apocalypse?  (Besides Erin, of course.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To bling or not to bling...

Last night, I stopped by the jewelers to check out some of the wedding bands he had on hand.  It's the same place P got my engagement ring.  The owner is a vintage and estate dealer and so he had lots of unique pieces.

I had thought I would probably want just a plain platinum band to go with my engagement ring, but I tried on a few rings that had more bling.  This one was my favorite - five crisscut diamonds, set sideways on the band.

Zing zing!  Lotsa bling!
I'm surprised, but I kinda like the way they look together.  And I also like the idea that whenever I do choose to just wear my wedding band without the engagement ring (which might happen quite a bit on the boat), I'll still have some sparkle.

They also put my engagement ring through the steam cleaner thingy, so it's looking super sparkly now.  I wish I had one of those at my house!

What do you think?  Too much bling?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dressing the MOB!

My mom wasn't originally really sure what she wanted to wear for the wedding, and Mr. C's mom and stepmom were already asking me what they should wear pretty early on in the wedding planning.  Finally around January, I told them both that my mom really hadn't decided on her dress yet, as the wedding was still so far away... and that as soon as I knew more I would let them know!

Because our ceremony will be outside and it's likely to be a tad bit warm when we are taking photos and such, I suggested she steer away from the standard long dress with drapey jacket that  seems to dominate the MOB options.  Mom also lives pretty far from the nearest big city, so she has had limited opportunities to shop in person.  We turned to the trusty internet and found a few possibilities: 

Image of Nina dress via Audrey's Mother of the Bride
Image via Light In The Box
Image of Jade dress via Jasmine Bridal
Then I saw this Adrianna Papell dress on someone's mom in an online wedding recap (I think?), in a light beige color, and I sought it out for my mom to take a look at: 

Adrianna Papell dress from Nordstrom

Mom liked this one a lot, so she's ordering it in a couple of colors and sizes to see how it looks.  She might also go shopping in person in Houston to see what she can find.  I want her to find something she really loves!

And hopefully she'll have a dress soon so I can let the MOG and S-MOG know all about it, and they can go shopping for their own attire!

How did your mom pick her dress?  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Insurance for assurance?

My mom asked me the other day if I had purchased wedding insurance.  The question kind of threw me for a loop, as while I had added my engagement ring onto our renter's insurance policy (the thought of losing it made me feel sick until the policy was updated!), I hadn't really thought about purchasing insurance for the wedding itself.  I told her I'd look into it.

Image via Forbes / Photo by Alan Cleaver
One of the largest offerers of wedding insurance in the US seems to be WedSafe.  They offer two different types of insurance - Wedding Event Cancellation/Postponement Insurance, and Wedding Liability Insurance.

They suggest the following concerns might lead you to purchase Wedding Event Cancellation/Postponement Insurance:

  • Concern about recovering deposits if a vendor goes bankrupt or doesn't show
  • Concern that extreme weather or an unexpected illness / injury could force cancellation/postponement
  • If bride/groom is in the military and might be asked to forgo leave (thus missing the wedding)

Vendors are a wildcard, though we have contracts with all of them that cover for any cancellation or other issues, for the most part.  I guess there is always the possibility that a hurricane could hit Texas the weekend of our wedding, but I suppose I'd be more concerned about that if we were going to be in Houston than in Austin.  And of course there is always a chance someone (bride, groom, important family member) could become ill and be unable to attend.  Thankfully neither of us are in the military so no chance of the third issue.

WedSafe also suggets the following might lead to a need for Wedding Liability Insurance:

  • If the venue requires your own liability insurance
  • If you're concerned about legal liability for alcohol-related accidents
  • If you're concerned about lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury

Our venue doesn't require us to have liability insurance ourselves, but it does require vendors to have insurance.  We are hoping to eliminate the second issue by having transportation available from the hotels to the venue, so everyone can have a good time and not worry about being on the road as a driver.  And as for the third...well, I certainly hope everyone has fun, but not so much fun that they do something silly and hurt themselves.

All in all, I think we're going to forgo the wedding insurance policy.  We're having this shindig come rain or shine, and we'll do the best we can if anything goes sideways, I guess.

Did you look into wedding insurance?  How did you make a decision?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finger lickin' good...

Mr. C and I had our second date at a restaurant called Hill Country BBQ in New York.  It had opened earlier that year, and on our first date I had mentioned I really wanted to go there but I hadn't been yet.  So, he smartly offered it up as our second date location.

Image via Collingswood Foodies

After a funny meet up at their front bar (Mr. C admitted later that he actually didn't recognize me (!) and it took him a minute to determine that yes, I was the girl he was looking for), we had a blast listening to some live music and eating delicious BBQ.  It is still the most authentic Texas barbecue I've had outside the state - in fact, they actually fly their jalapeno-cheese sausage up from Kreuz Market in Texas!  (For any of you homesick Texans in DC, they also opened a Hill Country location there last year!  Go!  Hurry!)

Our love for BBQ is one of the reasons why we thought Austin would be a great wedding location.  Though Mr. C isn't from Texas, he definitely loves some Texas food.  When we chose Pecan Grove as our location, we knew for sure our BBQ vision would come true!  We cannot wait to have a delicious meal of Salt Lick brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and some good ol' white bread and butter.

Image of tasty Salt Lick BBQ via Cooking Matt
That photo actually makes my mouth water.  Who needs boring old wedding standbys of chicken/steak and whipped potatoes, when you can have serious bbq deliciousness?!

And we even get one of my favorite desserts - peach and blackberry cobbler, which comes complete with a memory of my childhood, Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Image of Salt Lick cobbler and ice cream via Bayside Ramblings
Blue Bell is "the little creamery in Brenham," and each time I go home I usually pick up a pint of their Buttered Pecan just to have a little bit before I head back to the east coast.  (Full disclosure: Hill Country BBQ also carries Blue Bell!  It's a little taste of home whenever I need it...but they haven't had Buttered Pecan yet when I've been there.)

Image via Felt and Honey

I hope our guests enjoy the Salt Lick experience as much as I know Mr. C and I will.  I think we might need to buy bibs, or aprons, or something, so we can chow down!

Is the food you are serving at your wedding close to your heart?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life gets in the way...

...of even the most committed wedding planner.  This past week has been a tough one, with news of a very dear friend receiving a cancer diagnosis, ongoing difficult conversations at work, and delays to our planned schedule for getting our boat back in the water.  It all makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

But, that won't do any good for anyone.  So instead, I'm trying to focus on the things I can control, rather than those I can't.  Thinking positive thoughts for my friend. Working away at those difficult conversations at the office, and making room for the emotion that comes along with them.  Checking the list of things that need to get done on the boat, and envisioning happy weekends on the water later in June.  And getting back on a regular blogging schedule, of course.

How do you deal with difficult news?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A rose is a rose is a rose...

I have always loved flowers, so there was no question about whether or not we'd be having flowers as decoration at the wedding.  After considering the DIY route for a hot minute, I decided that given the distance and the hassle, hiring a florist was going to be the best option.  

Similar to my process for finding a photographer, I sent emails and set up phone calls with a number of florists in Austin.  After a number of discussions and proposals, and a few missed connections (florists are busy people!), I finally decided on Posey Events.

My emails and phone conversations with Madeleine at Posey were awesome - she really seemed to get me and my ideas, and she even went so far as to say at the end of our first phone chat that it all sounded quite similar to the vibe she was hoping to create at her own wedding, which is happening in October.  I told her I would be happy to be the dress rehearsal for her own shindig - anything to help create some love in the flowers!  (Is it just me, or can you tell when the florists really believe in their work?!)  She was super-responsive and send a very detailed proposal back to me for my review.  After a few tweaks, we were all set and I signed and sent in a deposit.  I had a florist!

Now for the good stuff - the inspiration photos!

Right now the picture I have in my mind is that as the bride, I will carry a light and creamy bouquet, mostly in neutral tones, but my bridesmaids will carry bouquets in darker tones similar to their dresses.  Mixed into both bouquets, hopefully tying them all together a bit, will be beautiful antique hydrangeas like the ones in this photo:

Image via and flowers by Love the Blooms

So my bouquet might look something like one of these, incorporating those hydrangeas:

Image via Inspired Bride / Photo by Tinywater Photography 
Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Kate-Belle Photography / Flowers by Le Belle Fleur

Image via and flowers by Stems

Then for the bridesmaids' bouquets and the ceremony and reception decorations, I really want saturated colors - rich pinks, magentas, and burgundies, playing off the bridesmaids' dresses, but with bright and dark tones all mixed together.   Here are some examples:

Image via and flowers by Posey Events
Image via Ruffled / Flowers by Honey of a Thousand Flowers

Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs / Photo by Rebekah Westover / Flowers by Bella Fiori

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Leslee Mitchell / Flowers by Lily and Company

And together, we'll look something like these gorgeous bridal parties:

Another spiced wine wedding!
Image via WeddingBee / Photo by RMN Photography / Flowers by Westwood's Heaven Scent

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Katie Pietrowski / Flowers by Fancy Flowers

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Katherine Salvatori / Flowers by Flor del Monte

I'll share more about ceremony and reception decorations, and bouts for the groomsmen, family flowers, etc, later...but for now, what do you think of the light/dark combination for our bouquets?  I feel pretty confident about it, but who knows what might change in the next couple of months...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Put a ring on it...groom edition

Mr. C is adamant about not wearing a wedding ring.

He blames this desire to go ring-less on his uncle, who actually lost his ring finger due to his wedding ring - he was jumping off the back of a truck at a job site and got his ring caught.  Apparently his finger stayed on the truck.  (Yikes.)

Mr. C is definitely a handy guy and likes to work with his hands a lot, so I can see his concern about hurting himself somehow as a result of the ring.  I still think he's being a little bit silly, though.  He doesn't currently wear any jewelry at all (not even a watch) so I think that is probably more of the issue than the story about his uncle.  (Side note: Mr. C apparently used to have a tongue ring back in college (!!!) but I cannot even picture it.  If I hadn't seen the hole in his tongue I wouldn't believe him one bit!)  I suppose wearing a wedding ring would just take some getting used to.

I have at least convinced him that he is going to get a ring anyway, regardless of if he wears it again after our wedding day.  I couldn't picture just having him give me a ring at our ceremony, and me giving him nothing in return!

We'll see what he decides to do after the wedding, but I'm hoping he'll decide it's kind of cool and maybe he'll wear it sometimes.  At least for special occasions?

Do any of you have fiances who are opposed to wearing a ring?  How do you feel about it?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This way please...

You all know we're doing a bit of a rustic vibe for our wedding, what with the bbq and the hand-embroidered table names and all.  And then there is a little pinch of nautical thrown in with our tables being named after parts of a boat.

I was kind of torn on which direction to go for letting our guests know at which table they would each be seated.   Going the "rustic" direction conjured up ideas like windowpanes:

Image via Beyond White on Etsy
Or chalkboards:
Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs / Photo by Leigh Miller Photography
Or tags clipped to twine or chicken wire?

Image via ShabbyNChic on Etsy

All very pretty...but then going the nautical route gave me thoughts of boats:

Image via Alden Blair Events / Photo by Brett Alison Photography
And more boats:

Image via The Knot / Photo by Dru Nadler Photography

Or maybe anchors?

Image via Whispering Pines
After some consultation with my mom, and a few different ideas, I have decided to use...


Image from Hello Love Blog / Calligraphy by Laura Hooper

We won't be going super fancy like the compasses above that feature Laura Hooper's calligraphy (aren't they beautiful?), but instead will be tying kraft paper tags to each compass, with the guest's name and table number handwritten on the tag.

How's that for a nautical + rustic combo?! (More posts on the further development of rustic-nautical-chic on their way!)  Plus, they double as a cute keepsake from the day for each guest.  I hadn't planned on doing favors, but I think these will work nicely.

What did you decide to use for your escort cards?  Did you go with an object?  Traditional escort cards?  Or a big list written on something cool like a door or window?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The art of illusion!

A girl wants to look her best on her wedding day - which may be the most photographed occasion of her life.  Though I have often done my own makeup for formal occasions, I know that I would want some professional help for the wedding.  Knowing I would be emotional (read: teary) and also hot (read: sweaty) on our day, thus likely puffy-eyed and sweaty (oh, lovely), I was keen to find a makeup artist who was equal to the task of making me look glamorous, yet not unlike myself, with staying power.

I broke out the trusty Google search once again, looking for makeup artists in Austin who showcased brides who were natural yet polished.  I didn't want any crazy spray tan shiny lacquer glitter makeup.  I just wanted to look like me, but better.

I felt lucky to find Maris Malone Calderon, who clearly had a talent for bringing out the best in her brides.  Here are just a few examples of her work:

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Forever Photography

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Clayton Austin
Image via and Photo by The Nichols
Image via Green Wedding Shoes / Photo by The Nichols

Maris herself is a stunner, too - take a look at her website and you'll see what I mean.  I shared with her some photos of myself in makeup I like and makeup I don't like (prior weddings and formal events were helpful for that!) and she and I seemed to be on the same page about what look I'd be going for.  It was  a no-brainer to book her for our wedding - she'll be doing my makeup as well as makeup for bridesmaids J & J, and my mom.  I'll be having a makeup trial with her in Austin about a month before the wedding, and I can't wait to see what she does!

Are you having someone do your makeup for you, or are you going the DIY route?  How did you make your decision?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Polish it up...

For the past six months or so, I have been downright obsessed with getting manicures.  Now, I've always been a fan of a good manicure (NYC manicures are fab!) as I really feel it keeps your nails healthier and happier.  However, I have been pretty religious about manicures every week or two in recent months.  I'm sure this is due in no small part due to the sparkler on my ring finger.  Something just doesn't look quite right when I have ragged uneven nails next to a pretty shiny bling-y ring!

This is the manicure I got after our engagement weekend, before meeting bridesmaid NYC J for lunch to share the news:
Color: OPI's Mimosas for the Mr. and Mrs.  I thought it quite appropriate. 

I would say that soft pink polish is a pretty typical look for me, as I tend to be more conservative with the colors.  I can picture a manicure like the one above for our wedding day.  But, over the past month or so I've started to move away from the neutrals.  I've been strangely drawn to darker colors instead - two weeks ago I had an awesome navy blue (which was oddly quite pretty) but I unfortunately didn't take any pictures.  This is the color I selected tonight, for a mani/pedi session with an old friend, during which we chatted about her recent job change and my slowly crystallizing wedding plans:

Color: Essie's Angora Cardi
I also like to arrive home after a manicure or pedicure and tell P the name of the color while holding up my hand or foot, because usually I think the puns or other silliness they often use for the names are funny.  This usually results in P rolling his eyes while I giggle.  I think my favorite reaction from him was to OPI's "I'm Not Really A Waitress" - that one actually prompted a smile!

Have you been extra attentive to your nails since getting engaged?  Anyone else a fan of the punny nail polish names?