Wednesday, April 27, 2011

File This Under Totes Surreal ...

My name on a wedding invitation. On 100 wedding invitations, actually. Oh, and also Fiance's name, whatever. He doesn't seem to find it quite as crazy as I do. When I brought home the invites it went a bit like this:

Me: BABY! HOLY SHIT! LOOK! Our names! On wedding invitations!
Fiance:  Yeh, we saw the proofs though. So, I mean, it's not like we hadn't already seen them.
Me: *stunned silence* But ... But ... WEDDING INVITATIONS.
Fiance: Uh huh. They look good.
Me: OUR names on the freakin' invitations to OUR wedding.
Fiance: ...

I was clearly not getting the reaction of shock and awe that I had been expecting. I mean, I partially blame this on the fact that my name is ridiculous and I have to spell it for people all the time and also the only things I've ever had with my name on them had to be special ordered. I could never like go to Sanrio and buy a new pencil box that was pre-printed with my name. It was super lame. So - to this day, seeing my name on stuff makes me giddy. So seeing my name on MY wedding invitations makes me uber-giddy. It could only really be better if they'd been done in puff-paint and pictures of Keroppi (that was the frog, don't feel bad if you weren't cool enough to know that back in the day ... or now for that matter).

Anyway, I have to head back to work soon but since I've been going on and on about these invites for quite a few blog posts, I figured I'd take some pictures.

View of the Back of the Invite, complete with personalized label. WITH MY NAME ON IT. And Fiance's, whatever. 
When unfolded, this is the main portion of the invite - the portion which each guest will keep. It's got info on the ceremony and reception and all that jazz. It also has the appropriate wording for requesting your presence. Because I am good at google. And wedding etiquette.

RSVP portion - which Fiance thinks is overly complicated, but I promise once it is all filled out,  it really won't be that hard. And if it is, google it. This portion tears off and is sent back to me (it is self addressed and stamped - so it's free. No excuses for not sending back the RSVP).

The return address on the back of the RSVP portion. Please don't stalk me. Do send gifts.

Picture of the back of the invite all unfolded. Also the Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia that I'm using to study for my upcoming Sommelier exam. And my cat, Julius. He's really needy.

Terribly exciting right? I know that if I were a good (or popular) blogger, I would have blurred out any and all personal information ... but I'm not that popular, or good for that matter. And blurring stuff out would totes have messed up my whole point about how exciting it is to see my name on stuff, etc. etc. etc. So don't stalk me. But I will be accepting gifts and letters and postcards and really just about anything that comes in the mail that isn't a bill. Off to work! Later, kids!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

(Wedding) Party People!

Let's talk about my wedding party for a minute. They are awesome. The boys are awesome, the girls are awesome. Everyone is awesome. Now let's talk about "Wedding Guilt" - I'm not sure this is an actual thing, and therefore needs to be capitalized, but I've decided it is a "Thing"so just go with it. I feel guilty about the fact that being in a wedding is freakin' expensive. There's dresses to buy and shoes (not that I'm requiring specific shoes - but what girl can resist a shoe buying opportunity) and you have to travel and you have to find a place to crash at night and you have to take time off work. Sometimes more than once - if you're attending the bachelorette party. Every single one of those things costs money - so take all those things and multiply them by mucho dinero ... and you get ... a lot. (I dunno, math isn't my thing. That's Fiance's job).

Where this leaves me is trying to find the most cost effective options for room/board, travel, makeup, hair etc etc etc and most importantly: The Dress. No, not my dress - we already covered that, remember?? I'm talking about bridesmaids dresses. Y'all, let's get real for a second: That shit is expensive! Like, for serious expensive. There's a reason most bridesmaid dress designers don't list their prices online and that reason is: if you looked at that dress and fell in love with it and then looked down at the price you would seriously poop your pants. Because, guys, we are getting married fairly young - our friends are in grad school or unemployed or underemployed and underpaid - and it seems pretty craptacular to be like "Hey guys, I love you so much and you mean so much to me, and I've decided to join my life to some dude's for the rest of forever and I want you to be by my side as my Bridesmaid ... ohyeahandalsoyouhavetospendazilliondollars ... and yeahaboutthedressyou'llTOTALLYwearitagain(lies)andit'satotalbargainat$250" Not cool.

J Crew - I'm looking at you. With your gorgeous dresses and you're completely absurd prices. Chill. Also, Jim Hjelm. And Watters & Watters. You're dresses are totally gorgeous and yet so TOTALLY out of my financial comfort zone. And add to that the fact that we found the boys' $350 suits from Jos A Banks for $99.

This may seem like a non-sequitur, but I assure you it's not. I like to win. It's pretty hard to beat $99. So that brings me to what I'm pretty sure are going to be the bridesmaid dresses.

I'm going to David's Bridal. I know I know, roll your eyes and scoff like "Psh who goes to David's Bridal that is totally bourgeois and also the dresses are tacky" But the dresses are actually kind of legit. I mean, some of them are for serious tacky, but they have a few that I actually really like - they have a cotton fabric with a similar weight and look to the J Crew dresses - and there are a number of available styles so the girls can pick whatever they want and look awesome in pictures. Here's just a few examples:

Best part, guys: Three of the five options have pockets. POCKETS! You can put things in them. Like your cell phone, or lip gloss, or booze for the bride. Or the rings, if that happens to be your responsibility. Whatever - the point is: nobody doesn't like pockets. And the color for the dresses is a dark chocolate brown. I'm not delusional enough to believe these will be worn again, but the color is versatile - so maaaaaaybe one or two of the girls can work it into their wardrobes. At a full price of $139 - which actually still makes me uncomfortable - but with the knowledge that DB is essentially ALWAYS having a $99 sale, I'm hoping to cut some serious costs and maybe wrangle some discounts from the sales associates.

And, to those ladies who read my blog and are in my wedding: thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm going to keep costs down as much as possible in all aspects of this wedding. And also thanks for being so agreeable about the dresses :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Death and Taxes ... and Weddings.

Y'all, I totally meant to write this post on April 15 (you know, tax day) which would have made the title way more relevant ... but I think the message holds. In a letter to Jean Baptiste Leroy, Benjamin Franklin said "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes" ... and to that I would like to add: weddings. Or, probably more accurately, marriages. I've mentioned before that my Dad is a wedding photographer and through the recent economic disasters he has said "... but people persist in getting married." And they do - I mean, my god, guys - Fiance and I certainly can't "afford" to get married, drowning as we are in that lovely fact of post-collegiate life known as student loans. But we love each other and want to have a life together and make babies and all that good stuff - sure, these things can be done without marriage, but to us the actual marriage part seems super important. Plus it's a totally legit reason to throw a party and have all your faves in one room. I mean, other than weddings - the only time you get free booze and food and all your favorite peeps in one room is at your funeral, when you're dead. And that's way less fun. Because you can't partake in the booze and food and fun.

I could probably add "divorce" to the end of the Ben Franklin quote as well  - but I won't because jeez, that would be terribly depressing, wouldn't it? And we'd like to believe we'll beat that statistic. But, here is something I totally didn't get when we got engaged: the excitement. I mean, I was super psyched to finally make this shit honest - because, let me tell you, hearing "what's taking so long" or even better "wow, I thought you guys would be next" when a friend gets engaged, gets real old, real fast. Even given my "excitement" I really didn't get why friends and family got so worked up over the damn (eventual) wedding. Well, open bars are super fun. I get the excitement over booze you don't have to pay for - that's probably one of the most exciting things in life. That and free food. But people get really excited about engagements. And I really didn't get why until a few weeks ago.

I briefly mentioned that friends of mine from St. Louis got engaged on April Fool's Day - Nurse Bride and Lawyer Groom. When I got the text from Nurse Bride - I have to say I fully understood the excitement of "weddings" for the first time! And, honestly it wasn't just because of the prospect of free booze and food. I was genuinely excited! I was so happy and hopeful for their future lives together - I actually teared up (I know - we're back to me being a cliche).

It's taking me a while to figure out how to deal with those who are more excited about my damn wedding's details than I am - *cough* future mother in law *cough* but I am genuinely trying to understand the obsession with specific types of flowers. And the question of centerpieces and floral arrangements and pew flowers ... Okay, fine, honestly I don't care about any of those things - but people who are important to me DO care. So I have to be able to at least form a coherent opinion. That opinion at this point is strictly: "My wedding colors are not Brown and Pink, FMIL. Please, please, please, PLEASE no baby pink. I don't do baby pink. Barf."

Does your opinion count as coherent if it includes the actual word "barf"? I think so. The point is, that we are certainly not doing anything extraordinary by getting married. Tons of people get married. But the fact that tons of people persist in getting married doesn't make our wedding (and marriage) any less exciting and awesome - although I persist in being more excited about weddings I'm not responsible for planning (No pressure, Nurse Bride).

And in more "My Damn Wedding" wedding-detail specific news: Fiance and all his groomsmen have ordered their suits for the wedding! Yay! Exciting! But that now means that, Fiance's wedding party is winning. So annoying. Now I have to pick a damn dress - or a dress option. It's super frustrating. Look for a post re: bridesmaids dresses being harder to pick than my damn dress - in the next few days. Also - tomorrow we pick up our wedding invitations!!!!!!!! The ACTUAL invitations to our REAL wedding. With our NAMES on them and shit! Mind blowing. Seriously. I'm excited. I will obvi post pictures. Because zOMG I'm getting married! It's on paper! ... but not letter pressed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Voices in My Head Think I'm Tacky; To Which I Say: "Suck It, Voices." :)

So, after much deliberation (which, fine, mostly took place in my head - and for about five seconds with Bridesmaids, Lawyer and Dentist via G-Chat) I decided to go with the "Seal-and-Send" invitations. The deliberation was mostly the WIC getting all up in my head space and telling me that people would find my invitations tacky because they didn't have inner envelopes. And tissue paper. And also they aren't letter-press. If I'm being perfectly honest, I don't know what letter-press actually is. I think it's engraving? Maybe? I dunno, but the wedding blogs say that you have to have letterpress.

My invitations are not letterpress. Also, apparently wording invitations is hard. There are rules. Here's one for you: For a marriage ceremony to take place in a church you say "Request the HONOR of your Presence" where as if your ceremony is NOT in a church you say "Request the PLEASURE of your Presence." Subtle, right? What if I'd gotten that wrong, guys?! You don't know. I googled a lot of stuff about invitations. Like A LOT. Also a bunch of stuff about the response portions. There are rules about that too. I'm breaking a lot of them. Whatevs, man. Sorry, but no, random guests do not get plus-ones. We are like three years out of college (HOLY SHIT! THREE YEARS! God, that just made me feel super old) and I'd say 99% of our guests, if not actually 100%, will know someone else at the wedding.

Here's the thing about reading wedding blogs - and I read a lot of them. Just because I bitch a lot about wedding planning doesn't mean I don't think it's important to know what Martha (that's Martha Stewart to the rest of you. We are on a first name basis) thinks about my choices. Oh, and also I read like a lot of rando blogs about weddings. And I feel like I'm being judged. By the pictures in the blogs ... Okay, yeh that sounds crazy. But I do feel judged. Here is the number one wedding rule I'm breaking: VERY LIMITED PLUS - ONES.

Our RSVPS will say "We have reserved ___ seat(s) in your honor." Also, the invitations will be addressed to BOTH members of a couple, BY NAME even if they don't live together. The only exception is wedding party. You peeps can invite whomever you damn well please and I will happily pay for them to booze it up and feast - because you have to like buy things you'll never wear again and you have to be sure I'm tipsy enough but not too drunk until after the ceremony. It's a lot of responsibility. So, I'm sure lots of people will think "God, that's so tacky, everyone should get a plus one" to which I say: 1) I can't stand the word tacky anymore after researching invitation etiquette and also 2) Weddings are expensive. Random Cousin - you want to take a girl out to dinner? That's cool, but Bitch, PLEASE I am so not paying for that. Ergo, I am not paying for your rando date at my wedding.

I reckon that's enough bitching for now. So, without further ado: check out my invite proofs! I couldn't upload the actual file because it was too big? So this was printed out and then photographed with my digital camera. Then I corrected the picture in iPhoto. So the invites are like ivory/cream colored - not pink. So, adjust your vision accordingly:

Real Quick:

Hey kids - I know I owe y'all a blog post and I've got quite a few bouncing around in my head. But in the time I have at the moment I do want to link to a blog that I love. LOVE.

It's called: - The woman who writes the blog, Dana, is having some serious health problems and drowning in debt. I know the feeling of being sick and also of feeling completely weighed down by my finances. I find her blog totally inspiring and would hate for her to have to take some crappy office job in order to make ends meet and to take care of herself. Further, autoimmune diseases run in my family and sooner or later I'm sure one of them will get me too - I just hope I can take care of myself or have a support system to help me out when the time comes. So, without further ado:

If you blog or know others who do: link to her post or blog. If you don't blog, just check out her site, it's really great and I think it focuses on the important parts of wedding planning: making the wedding represent you as a couple and building a foundation for a happy and healthy marriage.

Brief wedding planning news: I ordered our wedding invitations! AAAAH! I'll post the proofs later. Also: two of my awesome friends in STL got engaged! On April Fool's Day! Hence forth I shall refer to them as Lawyer Groom and Nurse Bride :) Congrats Nurse Bride! - I know you're reading this :)