Happy Halloween, everyone! (Yes, I know it’s Oct. 30, but I can’t help it – I’ve been in the Halloween spirit ever since I stumbled upon a viewing of “Hocus Pocus” on ABC Family last week). While this post has nothing to do with the spooks and scares of Halloween, I wanted to share with you readers the fruit of a solid 20-minute brainstorming session I had last night.
Like many, many individuals throughout the United States, J and I are learning that no one is exempt from the forces of an unpredictable economy. While I feel fortunate to have a full time job that I enjoy with coworkers that are successful and smart people, J has recently lost one of his part-time jobs due to budget cuts. Life has been very difficult for J these past few weeks, since he loved his job (he was a sports blogger covering high school sports for the state of South Dakota). However, J and I feel fortunate that he still has another part time job (working with kids with behavioral health issues), since we realize that so many Americans are without employment and have been for quite some time.
Still, it’s been hard to be excited about planning a wedding when J and my lives are now marked by financial uncertainty. However, as I sat in our living room last night, I instantly became inspired by an unconventional thought: what if, in my mind, I think of our wedding as not one, but two weddings?
I know, that sounds a little backward, right? I mean, one wedding will be expensive enough. Let me explain: Of course, J and I will only have one wedding, but until we’re sure of our financial situation (i.e. until J secures employment), I’ll be planning for both A) the wedding we’re currently planning now (church ceremony, reception at the Washington Pavilion, 80-100 guests) AND B) a much smaller (40 people max), more intimate wedding and reception with family and close friends only.
Make sense? Let me tell you about wedding #2:
- I imagine the ceremony being held in the Law Library of the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls (the space can hold between 40 and 50 people).
- For the ceremony, we would invite our parents and siblings, our grandmothers, and our wedding party, along with a few other close family members and friends. Depending on our budget, we may be able to invite more of our family and friends to the reception, but I feel comfortable with the small number at the ceremony.
- We could still have bachelor and bachelorette parties and a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, no matter which wedding we choose/are able to have.
- There’s no reason that I couldn’t wear a wedding gown, or that J couldn’t wear a tux – it’s still our wedding, no matter how big or small it is, or where it takes place! We also could still exchange rings and have a meaningful wedding ceremony that reflects who we are as individuals and as a couple.
- We could still have save-the-dates, wedding invitations, programs, menus, and a guest book. In fact, since we would be making less copies of everything, we may be able to afford letterpress, a luxury that I just can’t seem to let go of!
- We could still have our chosen team of photographers from Creative Kindling, Kara & Aaron Hansen. Regardless of the scale of the wedding, we’ll still want to remember the day!
- We could still have a reception (depending on money), and we could even have a dance if we wanted to! Or, I love the idea of a mini-dance; I know that I want to dance with Jordan for the first time as husband and wife, and I know that I want to dance with my father and I’m sure Jordan and his mother would like a turn on the dance floor. We could even still hear speeches from our honor attendants, and then throw the bouquet/garter!
- We could still decorate the ceremony space in the Law Library (with pomander balls on the chairs, birdcages, flowers, etc.). We could also still have centerpieces at the reception tables (fewer people = fewer centerpieces = less money spent!), as well as a bouquet for me and bout’s for the guys.
- We could still have a cake! (Smaller cake = less money spent!)
- We could still have ceremony music. I want to walk with my father to the tune of a trumpet cantata, and trumpet players don’t need much room. I also would LOVE for J’s sister Larissa to sing a hymn or a song for us a capella.
Here’s a list of things I feel we might have to sacrifice or do differently:
- I’m not sure that I could still have a bridal shower. To me, it seems silly to ask the 40 people we’re inviting to our wedding to purchase a gift for a small bridal shower and then turn around and purchase a wedding gift as well. Maybe there’s an alternative to a bridal shower that I can host or have my mother host? I just don’t want to sacrifice some girl time with the women in my family and in J’s family. Any ideas, readers?
- My gut reaction is that we should still register for gifts (because our family and friends will probably still want to give us wedding gifts, no matter the scale of our wedding), but I feel strange registering for a lot of items. Maybe we just scale down our registry, not eliminate it altogether?
- A gift-opening brunch. Again, I’m not sure if we will need one if we’ll be having such a small wedding, but at the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice more time to spend with our families. Maybe we just have a brunch the morning after to celebrate our first day as a married couple? Other ideas?
I would LOVE to know what you all think about this two-wedding plan; feel free to email me at email@example.com, or comment on this post! Have a relaxing weekend, everyone!
Tags: Halloween, Hocus Pocus, Old Courthouse Museum, Washington Pavilion
Posted in Budget Weddings, Our Wedding, Venues | 1 Comment »
Photo Credit: The Chicago Bridal Salon
Readers, I think I found my wedding gown.
Last weekend, I traveled to Sioux City, IA, with my Mom and Dad to a bridal salon called Happily Ever After. The morning began with me pinning blue clothespins on the gowns I wanted to try on. Jessica, the owner of the salon, was helping me with the gowns; she was wonderful! The salon’s seamstress also was a huge help.
I don’t remember many of the other gowns I tried on (I tried on about 10), but of all of the gowns I wore that day, I spent the majority of my three-hour-long appointment switching between two completely different gowns, both designed by Alfred Angelo.
The first Alfred Angelo gown is a classic gown full of elegance and grace. The portrait neckline (think V-neck) and the hug-the-shoulder straps were very flattering. The back of the gown is so gorgeous:
Photo Credit: Alfred Angelo Style #1148
While I love, love, LOVE how skinny this gown makes me feel, and how simple and elegant it is, I felt like this gown represents more of a refined vintage theme, an interpretation I’m not including in our wedding. I picture this gown being worn with a fur wrap, chandelier earrings and a feather fascinator. I picture the bride in this gown to have an art deco bridal ring set, to carry calla lilies, and to wear very expensive high-heeled shoes. I picture this bride’s husband-to-be wearing a tuxedo with tails and a bow tie.
Instead, my vision for the gown I’ve chosen is something entirely different. While the bridal gown above almost demands fur and feathers, the gown I’m choosing instead demands a rustic flower fascinator to be placed in the bride’s curly nest of hair. The gown I’m choosing will have the tiniest veil, if any at all, so as not to distract from the beauty and unexpectedness of the gown. The gown I’m choosing warrants a bride who wears simple but beautiful jewelry, each piece representing a great story or tradition. The gown I’m choosing demands a bouquet as inspired and unexpected as the gown itself. The gown I’m choosing is the perfect marriage of something old and something new, which I’ve taken on as the motto for our wedding theme.
The gown I’m choosing is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, yet it feels like something I’ve known my whole life.
As you can probably guess, I’m not planning to share the details of the wedding gown I’ve chosen. It’s Alfred Angelo, and it’s ivory, and that’s all I will tell you. My bridesmaids, my parents, and my future parents-in-law have seen photos of the gown, but outside of them, I’d love to keep my choice under wraps until the moment the chapel doors open on our wedding day. Maybe I’ll offer tiny peeks at parts of the gown throughout the rest of our wedding planning, or maybe I won’t. But I promise this: the wait will be worthwhile, because this gown is what I’ve been searching for since I was a little girl who married Barbie and Ken for fun.
Tags: Alfred Angelo, Happily Ever After
Posted in Beauty & Polish, Fashion, Our Wedding | 2 Comments »
Check out this Style Circle board – I am loving the idea of coral and slate grey…goodbye yellow?!
Tags: Style Circle
Posted in Decor, Fashion, Flowers, Our Wedding, Vintage Beauties | Comments Off
Good Monday morning to you all!
First of all, I can’t even believe that this template is FREE for download, but click over here at Ruffled for a free printable notecard & envelope template; this is too gorgeous not to use! (Can anyone say invitations for a rehearsal dinner or a gift-opening brunch?!) Plus, the template is designed in our wedding colors!
J and I have been seriously fighting against the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) lately, and that has caused some pretty hefty friction in our relationship as well. I know that it’s “normal” for couples to bump heads while planning a wedding, but I think that I have really been sucked into the WIC lately.
While J and I stated at the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be cost-effective (i.e. we didn’t want to go into debt for one day in our lives), I realized that I’ve been operating under the assumption that “everything would work itself out” in terms of finances, and if a snapshot of our last week is any evidence of that (to summarize: life changes quickly), I realize that I am seriously wrong.
That being said, J and I haven’t spent one dime…yet. (Well, that’s not entirely true; I purchased 12 brooches (mostly gold) from an antique store in Lincoln, NE, this summer for a measly $30.o0 (a steal, really!)). So, in spirit of what J and I originally envisioned for our wedding day, today marks the day that I’m rethinking a lot of things.
First off, the guest list. While from the beginning I said that I wanted a small wedding, the guest list has sort of ballooned into a 150+ party, and J and I have serious issues about footing the bill to accommodate that many guests. While we love all of our family and friends, we desperately want to pare down the guest list and only invite those family members and friends who have watched us grow in love and who we couldn’t imagine being without on such an important day.
So, our new target number: no more than 80 guests. I’m expecting the process of cutting down the list to be rather painful, but liberating at the same time.
Second, the venue: I emailed my contact at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls this morning to gauge the availability (and pricing structure) of a smaller space within the museum. The Pavilion is full of beautiful, historical spaces, and I very much would like to take advantage of all they have to offer (staffed bar, indoor venue, free parking, etc). J and I also plan to get a quote for renting a tent that can accommodate 80 people, for price comparisons. Since my Dad’s company would be able to provide us with chairs and tables at minimal or no cost, we would certainly save funds there by not having to rent them from a third-party.
Third, the dress: After many, many conversations about the importance of the dress to me, I hope that J is finally beginning to understand that for me, the wedding gown embodies all that I’ve been waiting my life for. I’ve never worn a garter (not even to Prom) intentionally because I wanted to save that for my wedding day. I’ve had two Prom dresses that were both found on clearance, and while these dresses were beautiful, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to have a gown that makes me feel like a princess. I am beginning to understand that spending ridiculous amounts of money on a gown I’ll wear once is very, very silly and rather selfish in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time, I’m recognizing that my desire to feel like a bride on my wedding day is valid and deserved. So, the quest for an affordable but beautiful vintage-inspired gown continues next weekend, as I head to Sioux City’s Happily Ever After salon with my Mom and…my Dad! I’m very excited that he’s coming along.
Last, pre-marital counseling: Especially after this past week’s struggles, J and I are realizing the importance and utter necessity of pre-marital counseling. While we try very hard to communicate with each other in an open and clear manner, we are both very stubborn and passionate individuals, which makes coming to terms with a decision very difficult. We’re very anxious to begin this process, and plan to begin investigating what opportunities are available to us.
I hope that my renewed vision and focus on creating the wedding of our dreams on an affordable budget will prove fruitful in our discussions with our families and in my discussions with J.
Tags: Happily Ever After, Ruffled, Washington Pavilion, Wedding Industrial Complex
Posted in Budget Weddings, Downloads, Inspiration & Insight, Our Wedding | Comments Off
Check out this inspiration board I made today! It’s obvious here: rustic and aviary motifs is exactly how I want to interpret “vintage-inspired.”
Posted in Inspiration & Insight, Our Wedding | Comments Off
Happy Wednesday, all! I’m feeling great today, because tonight I’m headed back to David’s Bridal with my Mom and Kristen, my maid of honor, to try on more gowns! Expect a full report in the coming days, but for now, a few things are a-brewing in terms of my bridal party!
Check out the updates I’ve made to the “Our Wedding Party” page; I am so honored that three of my closest friends (and some of my most favorite people) have agreed to stand up for me as J and I recite our vows! Some of J’s best guys have also signed on – it’s wonderful to have such supportive friends!
This week I spent time with my bridesmaid Serena and her Mom Teresa, who was really like my second Mom in high school – I spent SO MUCH TIME playing board games, eating fruit snacks and homemade popcorn, and cuddling up under Teresa’s homemade quilts at Serena’s house in high school. Anyway, the purpose of my time at the Schweitzer home was two-fold: 1) I missed my friend! It had been a month or so since I’d seen Serena, and I really wanted to catch up; and 2) Serena casually mentioned over text message last week that Teresa, who is a wonderful seamstress, has made three bridal gowns and at least one set of bridesmaid dresses before!
You all may not know how much I’ve been struggling with selecting a bridesmaid dress, but let me tell you: it’s been difficult. Selecting the vintage-inspired theme wedding is probably the best and the worst idea I’ve ever had, and one of the reasons it’s the worst is the utter lack of vintage-inspired bridesmaid dresses. Also, my bridesmaids are all beautiful in their diverse shapes and sizes, and I would never, ever want them to feel uncomfortable in their own skin by choosing an unflattering dress. Last, I have a HUGE problem asking my girls to purchase a dress for $150-$250, and then ask them to buy shoes, pay to get their hair done, etc. As I former bridesmaid myself, I literally would have died if I had to shell out that kind of funds.
So, I spent a few hours talking with Serena and Teresa to gauge Teresa’s interest in making my bridesmaid dresses. After a little chit-chat in the kitchen, we moved to their office and logged on to the web site for McCalls dress patterns. Little did I know that this web site would (hopefully) hold the answer to my bridesmaid dress woes!
Here’s the first pattern that we liked:
I loved the lace details on the neckline and skirt of the v-neck dress, on the skirt of the boatneck gown and the waist of the scoop-neck gown. I especially loved the rosette on the scoop-neck dress (Teresa’s made rosettes before, and they’re beautiful!). Teresa also mentioned that my girls could each wear one of the four dresses, or they could all wear the same one, depending on which dress I liked best.
The second set of patterns, however, is my absolute favorite, simply because of the picture on the far right:
How AMAZING does the woman on the right side look with her little wrap, secured with a brooch!? I got SO excited when I saw this, I had to hustle home and show my Mom (who loved it, too). These pictures remind me of a dress I had in high school that I called my “Pearl Harbor” dress…it was a black dress with cap sleeves and pink tulle peeking out from underneath the skirt. I loved that dress. While I wouldn’t necessarily put my girls in a print (even though the dress on the right side is FREAKING GORGEOUS), that’s exactly how I want my girls to look at the wedding.
I plan to check in with Teresa and Serena next week to gauge Teresa’s feelings again about making dresses for my girls (I wanted to give her time to think about whether she’s interested or not), but in the meantime, I couldn’t help but share!
[Photos from McCalls.com]
Tags: David's Bridal, McCalls
Posted in DIY, Fashion, Our Wedding | Comments Off
I believe that I am reaching the stage in my wedding planning when I don’t want to be overwhelmed by wedding inspiration. I know this because I’m actually getting sick of clicking every day on the (count ‘em) THIRTEEN wedding blogs I frequent. I’m actually proud of myself for reaching this point, because to me, my frustration over centerpieces only involving flowers means that I know I don’t want to throw money at using large amounts of flowers that will simply die one week later. In other words, the frustrations I feel when I look at wedding blogs is simply me pushing back against the “do-it-yourself” wedding arena. It’s me saying, “Yes, I will do-it-myself, but I’ll do it my own way, thank you very much.” It feels good!
Now, to update you all on the issue of my wedding dress: I’m in the process of coming to terms with my love for all-satin gown. Just because I didn’t expect to fall in love with it doesn’t make it wrong that I did; it simply makes the very act surprising, which, to tell you the truth, is a lot like how I fell in love with J. I didn’t expect to fall in love with him, and I could never have imagined how he makes me feel every day, but here we are, getting ready to celebrate and formalize our love through marriage. Strange, isn’t it!
So, my plan: there’s a possibility that the Pronovias gown that I love will be on sale in the month of January (trunk sales are a wonderful thing!). However, it needs to be significantly on sale for me to open my heart (and my wallet) fully to the gown, so in the meantime, I’m going back to ever-faithful David’s Bridal to try on their selection of all-satin gowns (a selection I avoided in favor of lace my first time there). I fully expect this experience to feel painful and to feel like I’m chasing after a gown that I can’t afford, but at the same time, I hope to find a simple, suitable (and beautiful) gown to serve as a back-up for the Pronovias gown.
Secondly, the issue of the venue has been weighing heavily on my heart. J and I really loved Vintage, and we’re very sad that we couldn’t use it for our wedding reception. However, I’ve gone back over the initial research I did on venues in Sioux Falls, and I toured two possible venues last week. The first was the banquet room in the basement of Cherry Creek Grill, a restaurant on the east side of Sioux Falls. While the size is right (150 people) and the room rental is exactly the right price ($150 total!), the overall look of the room (and, ahem, the smell: smoky) left a lot to be desired. However, they are available on our date, and, if my gut feeling is correct, will probably remain available for some time, as it’s a relatively unknown space.
The second venue, however, surprised me much like the Pronovias gown. I have placed a 30-day hold on the 3rd floor lobby space at the Washington Pavilion Museum of Arts & Science in Sioux Falls. The lobby is a grand space with columns, a huge maple stationary bar, and plenty of space to accomodate both our wedding guests and a dance floor. On top of that, rental of the space is $700, a steal as compared to what we’d have to spend for a similar location. We’re currently awaiting word from Leonardo’s Cafe, who would cater the event, on price quotes for food, and as long as the quotes are in line with our budget, I fully expect us to host our wedding reception here.
Tags: Cherry Creek, David's Bridal, Pronovias, Washington Pavilion
Posted in Budget Weddings, Fashion, Our Wedding, Venues | 1 Comment »
I like to think that some of you readers miss my regular posts, which is why I usually begin a blog post with “I’m sorry I suck at posting regularly,” but this time, I really do sincerely apologize for my lack of posting. My life has been rather busy these past two weeks, first with the GRE test (which went well, yay!) and then planning and executing a baby shower for my future sister-in-law (pictures forthcoming!).
To update you on the last post I published, I have been struggling with how exactly I want to interpret the “vintage-inspired” theme at our wedding next July. When I first imagined our wedding, I saw me in an all-lace gown and J in a charcoal grey tux with moss, birdhouses and family abound.
However, I went wedding gown shopping last weekend with my Mom and one of my bridesmaids, Jordan’s very pregnant sister Larissa, and I literally fell in love with a Pronovias gown that (to put it simply) didn’t have one stitch of lace on it. Since then, this gown has sent me on a tailspin, both because of the price tag (too expensive for my budget, I’ve decided) and because it’s something that I didn’t expect to love so dearly or want so badly.
On top of that, J and I went to meet with Chad at Vintage, the site we were looking at for our wedding reception, and he notified us that he’s no longer planning to add a pavilion to his current event space. The current space can only hold 120 people indoors with the remainder of guests seated on the patios flanking the property, and since we will most likely have more than 120 guests attending and will have to have guests seated outdoors, I felt especially uncomfortable banking on good weather. So, J and I sadly decided to cancel our hold on the space for next July; it was sad for us because we really love the space and wish that we could have utilized it!
So, to sum: The dress I love has sent me on a tailspin, and we’re back at square one with the reception venue (a task that seriously is the most frustrating part of wedding planning for me).
Don’t be concerned: stay tuned later tonight for my optimistic (and hopefully not too idealistic) response to these two frustrations!
Tags: GRE, Pronovias, Vintage
Posted in Adornments & Embellishments, Beauty & Polish, Budget Weddings, Fashion, Our Wedding, Venues | Comments Off
Hello, my long lost readers!
Many, MANY changes a-brewing in regards to our wedding…take a look at this inspiration board that I made via the wonderful Style Circle; this board marks a significant (and exciting!) shift in my overall conception of our vintage theme. I promise, I’ll share more details/ideas/explanations soon!
Tags: Style Circle
Posted in Inspiration & Insight, Our Wedding | 1 Comment »
A quick hello (and an even quicker good-bye) to all of you; I’m sorry for the lack of posting (again), but I’m literally stuck in GRE studying hell until I take the test on Saturday, so for now, I’ll be concentrating on analogies and antonyms rather than weddings and wine (although I did give myself the night off last night to share a bottle of Hob Nob Pinot Noir with J, and it was delicious!).
I just HAD to share this post with you all today; lovely, lovely Holly posted this on her blog, and it literally made me tear up and dab at my eyes (not even a tinge inconspicuously…it was pretty damn obvious I was crying) at my work desk this morning.
All I have to say is this, readers: if all I remember from my wedding day are moments like these, I’ll count the day a success.
[Photo by Erin Hearts Court, found via Holly's blog, Nothing But Bonfires]
Tags: Erin Hearts Court, GRE, Hob Nob, Nothing But Bonfires, Pinot Noir
Posted in Inspiration & Insight | Comments Off