Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No. More. Shoes!

While perusing the Barneys New York sale online tonight after embroidering yet another table name ("cleat," if anyone is wondering!), I spotted these.

Manolo Blahnik Catalina / Image from Barneys

People.  These are gorgeous.  Manolos, bridal as all get out, simple but fun, and with a "something blue" insole!

They are on sale for $269 (orig $675!), with sizes 10, 10.5, and 11 left.  Please, someone, buy them.  I already bought my shoes, but it's totally taking all my willpower not to snap these up just because they have my size.  And someone should have them if I can't.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Be our guest, part two...

Recently I posted some thoughts about what might work well for a non-traditional guest book.  My frontrunner idea in that post was a framed linotype print of Texas that guests could sign and we could hang on our wall.  Then my bridesmaid/best bud/awesome girlfriend Chicago J oh-so-sweetly reminded me that I already had a great idea for a guest book, and it was not a print of Texas.

(Clearly my wedding brain has developed some holes, and information is leaking out.  It might be because I'm solidly into the double-digit countdown to the big day.  Just a hunch.)

And, it just so happens that I like my original idea better than the framed print idea.  Thanks, Chicago J!

So what is this idea, you wonder?  Well, it's a verjaardagskalender! 

A verjaardagskalender is a perpetual calendar used to keep track of birthdays (the name literally means birthday calendar), but can also include other events like anniversaries and deaths.  Every Dutch household has one, or so I'm told.  

Mr. C's family is Dutch.  His dad was born in the Netherlands and emigrated to the US in his teens, and Mr. C lived and worked in the Netherlands right after college for a couple of years.  Mr. C and I have been to the Netherlands together twice, mostly for friends' weddings.  On one of those trips, we visited some family friends, and Mr. C joked that I needed to make sure to write my name in on their birthday calendar.   (I didn't do it, thankfully.  Later he told me it would have been quite funny if I had.  Apparently one does not write one's name on someone else's verjaardagskalender, at least not unless asked to do so!)

Did I mention that these calendars are traditionally kept in the bathroom? 

The ubiquitous verjaardagskalender.  (Image via Expatica)

Pretty funny that they are hung on the wall next to the toilet, but rather sensible at the same time.  (I think the Dutch are quite practical in their approach to many things.)  You are in the bathroom at least once a day, so you're sure to see whose birthday is coming up.  And your guests can check to see if their name is on your calendar when they visit the loo!

Anyway, I thought using a verjaardagskalender as our guest book at the wedding would be perfect.  We'll post a sign asking each guest to write his or her full name on the appropriate date line, with a little explanation about the calendar.  It will be fun to see who at the party has the same birthday, and we'll have a full birthday calendar to hang in our bathroom when we get home.

Now I just need to find the right calendar - after all, we're going to be looking at it for many years to come!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The higher the hair...

Haha, just kidding.  I definitely do not intend to go for this hairstyle at my wedding:

Hilary Duff - image via Dress Safari

While I think a high bun can be elegant - on the right person, in the right situation - Mr. C would laugh me out of the room if I walked down the aisle with a big bun on top of my head.  Instead, as I've mentioned before, I'm probably going to go for a low messy knot of curls.  I have been looking for something pretty to wear in my hair, similar to the jewelry in these photos:

Image via The Knot / Photo by Eric Cable

Image via Wedding Chicks / Photo by Erich McVey 

I actually bought two sets of hair combs on The Aisle New York last fall, right after we got engaged.  I was overly excited to buy my first wedding related item (aside from magazines, of course!) and I think I might have jumped the gun a little bit.

The combs I bought last fall - I have four of them.  I put the pen in the photo for scale. 

I bought two sets thinking that I'd wear two combs and each of my bridesmaids could wear one comb. I could definitely tuck two of the combs into my updo, where the crystals are in the image above from The Knot.  Or even on the sides?  But now that a lot more of the wedding has come together, I'm not totally sure if those combs are the right ones, so I've been looking for alternatives.  I've found a few options that I like, with pearls and a bit of a sparkle.  

I would use this at the back of my head instead.  
Comb from Hair Comes the Bride.

Comb from Cinderella's Pumpkin

Comb from Everything Bride on Etsy

I've also been contemplating a flower as an option, but I think the pearls/rhinestones are more me than a flower.  And it really looks best pinned on the side, but I'm not sure I want that.

Image via The Knot / Photo by Jesse Leake Photography
Hair by Mary Belieu - It's a Date at the Powder Room

I will probably just let my hairstylist guide me on all of this and save myself lots of hemming and hawing.  I have a trial scheduled in Austin in late August (can't wait to share photos of that - I have a makeup trial the same day!)

Are you wearing any accessories in your hair?  What is your favorite look? 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beat the heat...

We had some crazy hot weather in NYC recently, and it really got me thinking about how we're going to keep our guests cool during our wedding ceremony.

The high temperatures in late September in Austin have historically hovered around 90 degrees.  Last year, after a summer of record dry spells and heat, the high on our wedding date (if it had been last year) was a toasty 102.9 degrees.  Yikes.   Let's hope we don't have a repeat of that craziness this year.

Our ceremony is set for 5:30, so thankfully, the hottest part of the day will be over by the time our guests arrive at the site.  The wedding party and families, however, will probably need to load up on hankies and ice water, as we'll be taking photos from 3:30 - 5 pm, which appears to be prime time for sweating.  Lovely.

Maybe I could make everyone a set of wrist sweatbands?  
Image via CraftSanity

Some ideas I've had that might make life a little cooler for everyone on the day of:

1) Have water/tea/lemonade/beer ready and waiting for guests as they arrive.   I'm not sure how this will work logistics-wise, but I plan on talking to the site coordinator and bartender about what we might be able to do to make sure guests are hydrated.

Pre-ceremony drink table - so cute!  
Image via WeddingBee

Use an old boat for a cooler?  
Image via Brides / Photo by Iris Photography

2)  Fans.  I would either go with something really simple, like the sandalwood fans below, or if I can find the time, I'm thinking about making paddle fan programs.

Sandalwood Fan from Koyal Wholesale 

Paddle fan programs! 
Image via Three Eggs Design on Etsy

3)  Start on time, and keep it short!  Our ceremony is not religious, nor are we incorporating songs or other performances.  We currently have two, maybe three readings, a speech from the judge, our vows and the ring exchange, and that's pretty much it.  I'd be surprised if it takes more than 20 minutes.   I don't want it to be so short that our guests feel short-changed, but if it's crazy hot out, we will definitely want to move things along!

Are you having an outdoor ceremony?  What are your plans to keep your guests from sweating?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Be our guest...

I am not a fan of the traditional guest book. 

Image via My Dream Wedding
Luckily, I have seen so many fun and creative ideas for ways to record guests' attendance.   I am having a hard time choosing one that I like best!

Thumbprint trees (also cute when the person signs the thumbprint): 

Image via Wedzu

A signature frame: 

Image via Wedding by Color

Adding signatures to a poster with your wedding date and info and a colorful graphic: 

Image via Martha Stewart

To get away from framed paper, you could ask for advice:

Image via Marry This

Or maybe just forget the paper completely and have guests sign Jenga blocks instead? 

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Taylor Lord Photography

Or how about a bench?!

Image via Ana White

We won't be able to do anything too large, like a bench, as we won't be able to get it back home from Texas to NYC!  (Kind of a bummer, because I think the bench is really neat - and I have since learned that this is actually the one Mrs. Sand Dollar made for her wedding!)

So, to keep it simple but still a little different, I think I will go for something that is kind of a mash-up of the signature frame and the poster, like a cool print that everyone can sign.  I really like the idea of being able to hang it on our wall afterward.   

This print is the front runner at the moment: 

Print by thebigharumph on Etsy

I've asked if the seller can make the print on a larger paper size in order to have enough room for everyone to sign around it, and that is definitely possible.  I also like that it incorporates our wedding location but isn't overtly wedding-y.  Mr. C and I are not fans of creating a "wedding altar" at home.  (You know what I'm talking about!)

What do you think?  And what are you planning to do for your guestbook? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Party attire for the bride...

Mr. C's mom is throwing an "open house" for us back in his hometown in Michigan in July, so that friends and family who won't be able to make it down to Texas can celebrate with us in town.  Many of them have never met me since we live out in NYC, so it will be a fun afternoon of food and celebration.

Mr. C says I have to bring my "NYC style," as they will all be expecting me to be fabulous.  No pressure or anything.   So I've been trying to find something fun to wear that won't be too fancy or too casual, but just right.  And kind of bride-ish, maybe?

I got this cute Lilly Pulitzer dress on sale recently - seems to be a good mix of fun and bridal, and good for a summer afternoon party.  Can you see it with a bright necklace or bracelets and some fun sandals?

Lilly "Blossom" dress in white lace

And this isn't very bride-ish, but I'm kind of loving it.  It's sweet and simple but also a gives a nod to our sailing habit:

Mona dress from Anthropologie
And look at the back!

So cute!
Which one do you like better?  Or are they both misses?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When I'm not planning a wedding...

...I'm probably at the office.  But if I'm not at the office, then I'm probably working on our boat.

This weekend P and I were up in Newport finishing the preparations for our sailboat Osprey to finally go in the water this week.  It was the last time I'll work on Osprey in the yard up there, as we're moving her back to New Jersey this season.  As I worked under sunny skies at polishing the stainless steel on top of the cabin, I couldn't help but think about a similar weekend last October when I was sitting on top of the cabin in the sun, working hard at sanding the toe rail.  At the end of that day, Patrick surprised me by asking me to marry him.

This weekend we spent two long days finishing up a number of projects (installing hardware, painting the bottom, polishing the stainless, replacing lights, caulking and replacing the rub rail...the list goes on).  We are dirty and bone tired, but we had a good time, we worked hard together, and we have a beautiful boat to show for it.
Boy is she shiny!!!

Weekends like this one make me glad we are a good team.  As P says, there's nothing like a boat as a symbol of a relationship.  Hard work, pulling your own weight, and a whole lotta love - they each need those in equal measure.  It seems just right for us that we'll be spending the first two weeks of our marriage cruising the Chesapeake on Osprey

Family portrait in front of Osprey, who has a shiny new paint job. 

What makes you feel like you and your significant other make a good team?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

She's crafty...

Suitcases seem especially popular as card boxes these days.

Super cute! 
Image from Ruffled / Photo by Jonas Peterson 

Though I liked the idea of using a vintage suitcase, I decided I wanted to look for something else.  Something not too huge, but not too small, and rather unobtrusive.

I got lucky pretty quickly, as this box from Pier 1 fit the bill exactly:

Water Hyacinth Box 

It's a reasonable size (15x12x8), it fits in with some of the jute, burlap, and other natural touches we're including in the wedding decor, and it has a lid, which is helpful for keeping everything contained and in one place.  One more item checked off the list!

Also, after seeing the awesome tutorial for yarn wrapped words that Miss Dragon posted, I knew I had to incorporate that into my DIY efforts for the wedding, too:

"Love" wrapped in yarn from Family Chic

So, I found the wired clothesline on Amazon and decided to try my hand at shaping the word "cards" to prop up against the card box.  Here's how it went.

Yarn and wired clothesline, ready to go!

First I managed to eke this out:

Yup.  I cut the clothesline too short.  And it's kind of a hot mess all around.  Let's try again:

Slightly better.
This one is better, and I started to try to wrap it with yarn to see how it would look.  Then I decided it was actually kind of too big.  So I tried one more time.

I was much happier with this version.  It's a bit smaller than my second attempt, and I think it will look great once it's fully wrapped in yarn.  I'm working on that and hope to show you a final photo soon!

(And yes, that's yet another table name awaiting embroidery.  I have several of those left to do.)

Are you going to have a card box at your wedding?  Will you use a suitcase, or something else?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy birthday, MOB!

Today is my mom's birthday, which has me thinking about the passing of time.  Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations - they all mark important milestones in life.

My mom and I have always been close.  She has that uncanny ability to hold back when I need to figure things out for myself, and to step forward when she can tell I am yearning for guidance.  She has been a great shoulder to lean on during the wedding planning process, and I can tell she's having fun watching all the plans take shape, and adding her own touches here and there. 

Mom and me, 1983-ish

She and my dad basically eloped in Alaska (they were married by Mrs. Claus at the Santa Claus House at the North Pole - nope, I'm not kidding!)  So this whole wedding thing - big fun party, with all the trimmings and details, bunches of friends and family, and a whole lotta collective joy - is not only exciting for me, it's exciting for her.

Mom and Dad on their wedding day, 1975 (yes, Dad is totally rockin a powder blue tux)

I'm also her only child, and I can imagine it must be pretty darn neat to watch your daughter get married.
Maybe someday I'll get to have the same experience.

Mom and me sailing on the Hudson, summer 2010

Mom, I'll always be yours, and I'm so glad to have you with me as I take this step forward in my life.  Happy birthday, and I love you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Clutch City!

I know I won't be needing it all that much on the big day, but I felt compelled to buy a clutch to go with my gown.  I figured I should at least have lipstick and gloss, a bit of powder, and some bobby pins on hand.  And a handkerchief, of course, as I know there will be happy tears!

I shopped online, and it was a tough search.  There were so many options!

This one has a pretty bow:

"Social Butterfly" Clutch from Clutch Chic on Etsy

And this one is simple, with lace:

"Antoinette" Clutch from DavieandChiyo on Etsy 

This one is made of soft rosettes:

"Peyton" Clutch from Belles and Crystals on Etsy

This one could even be my something blue!

Lauren Merkin "Louise" clutch / Image from Nordstrom

But this pretty little vintage clutch ultimately won my heart:

"Blanched Blossoms" Clutch from Edisen

It's the perfect size for the essentials, and I love that it's vintage and thus pretty much one-of-a-kind, as so many of the details of my wedding are shaping up to be. 

Did you bother with a clutch or bag at your wedding?  Or just entrust your lipstick to someone with pockets?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thinly veiled threat...

P sometimes watches Four Weddings.  (He will kill me if you tell him I told you that, so let's pretend I didn't tell you.)  He thinks the premise is brilliant -  there are no paid actors, there is always some sort of catty drama, and the prizes are probably paid for by the sponsor.  Smart approach for the producers, right?

Anyway, we were watching an episode recently and one of the brides on the show had chosen a veil with a blusher.  I couldn't find a picture of that particular bride online, but it was this kind of idea:

Image from Charlotte's Weddings

As we're watching, P pipes up and says: "I really don't like it when the veil is over the girl's face.  It looks kind of weird."

This from the man who rarely shares an opinion on anything I wear (other than "you look great, dear!")  Who knew he would have an opinion on a veil?!  I managed to keep a perfect poker face and said something like "I guess not everyone would like the same style."  Then I changed the subject.

I haven't told him a thing about what I'm wearing on our wedding day, but I will be wearing a veil.   Good thing it doesn't have a blusher, though, hm?  

What do you think of veils?  Short-ish or long-ish?  Blusher or no blusher?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Something old...

I found a white hair on my head the other day, y'all.  Right at the front of my hairline, smack dab in the middle.  Not grey, not silver, straight up white.

I was actually at work at the time, and I pulled that sucker right out of my head.  Then checked to make sure it was in fact white.  (It was.)

Cue mild freakout, under fluorescent office lights, which I can definitely say is not the ideal place to be when having a mild freakout about your age.

Sometimes I feel like the "something old" at my wedding is going to be, well, me.   I'm not saying 33 is senior citizen territory, but in the wedding world, I suppose it's on the older end of the spectrum.  I take comfort in knowing I'll be happy and in love on the big day, which I am certain does more to keep a person looking young than anything else.

But I'll be keeping an eye out for the return of that stupid white hair.

I think I'm going to go buy some wrinkle cream now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A song for you...

I'm finding it a bit hard to choose music selections for the wedding, our first dance in particular.  I'm not sure if I'm indecisive, or if I just love everything too much!  I am torn between a few choices.

Feet Don't Touch the Ground - Stoney LaRue
This one is a song we listened to many times in the early days of our relationship.  It holds memories of lazy Sunday mornings with coffee and breakfast in bed.

Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
We heard this one on the night we got engaged (there was a wedding taking place that night at the yacht club, and the band was playing it outside our window), and then again on the radio as we were driving home the day after.  Seemed like a sign...so it could be the song?

Stick Around - Reckless Kelly
A bit of a more upbeat / humorous tune, this one is by one of our favorite bands.  I'll actually be walking down the aisle to an instrumental version of another song of theirs (which will be a surprise for Mr. C - don't tell him!)

Crazy Girl - Eli Young Band
I just love this song.  We could have been the subject of the lyrics - we had a very similar conversation a couple of years ago.  I played it for Mr. C on a road trip and he laughed, because I was so right.  But I'm not in an asylum, don't worry.

She's Like Texas - Josh Abbott
This is a nod to my Texas heritage, and the wedding location.

What do you like the best?  Did you have a hard time picking your song?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A garter for good luck!

We have decided we aren't going to do a bouquet or garter toss at our wedding, mostly because the majority of our guests are already married!  However, I still plan to wear a garter underneath my gown.  There aren't too many opportunities for that, so I'm going to take advantage.

Flat lace garters like this one are really pretty, and kind of a different look:

Image via Be Chic Accessories on Etsy
This one is a little more traditional:

Image via JLWeddings on Etsy
This one has feathers!

Image via Live Adorned on Etsy
This one is simple, but adds something blue: 

Image via The Garter Girl

And this one combines everything I've shown above except feathers, I think: 

Image via GarterLady on Etsy
I'll probably wind up with something like the last one, which has a traditional look, pretty lace, and something blue. 

Are you wearing a garter at your wedding? 

Friday, June 1, 2012

To bling or not to bling...

What a happy day - I found my wedding ring!

After work I stopped by Doyle & Doyle, a beautiful jewelry store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  The store is a total work of art, with jewels hung in frames on the walls, like paintings.

Image via Doyle & Doyle
They specialize in antique and estate fine jewelry, and I had poked around their website already, so I was fairly certain I would find what I wanted there.  I went in feeling positive.

Sure enough, after trying on a number of stunning and unique platinum bands, both with and without diamonds, this beautiful band won me over:

Why, hello!
I love that it's sparkly but not overpowering.  It's truly a lovely match for my engagement ring, too, with that vintage hand-mounted look:

And, if I didn't need a clearer sign that it was meant to be: it was a perfect fit, no sizing necessary.   As my adorable salesman said, a Cinderella moment.  He polished it up, rang up the sale, and off I went.

Hooray!  Now I'll just have to stop myself from trying it on all the time between now and September...

p.s. Note the red manicure, which I have to say is aging pretty well five days in.  Color is Essie's "Wife Goes On."  Heehee.