Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Most Important Thing

Pardon me as I get all mushy here. So, I've been wrapped up in this conundrum between wedding planning craziness and law school craziness, when I was suddenly reminded today what this is all really about. The marriage, the wedding, everything - it's about family. As trite as that sounds, it's true.

My beautiful sister-in-law and brother had their first child today, a little girl, and it really put things into perspective for me. They've had this spectacular marriage, a wedding built on only a month's notice, a great puppy, and now a gorgeous little girl. And a wedding is fun and all to plan, but it's these moments that it's really about. It's that joy of becoming first a family, and then parents. I know that Laura-Lee was nervous going into the hospital today, but her unbending strength, coupled with my brother's support, capability, and endless good cheer made everything fantastic. They are going to be the most loving, best parents. I wish more than anything that I could've been there today to meet that new niece of mine. I am so happy for them, it's simply hard to contain.

I'm in awe of this couple, for so many reasons. And I really take their relationship as one to follow in my own. They both are such a happy mix of cheerful and sensitivity, and they tackle all that life brings them together, as a couple. They managed to fall in love and start an amazing marriage in under a year. Their wedding, planned only in a month, was so touching and thoughtful because they were so happy. I've never met two people who wanted to share their love for one another more than these two. I was so touched how much it meant to them that we were all there, celebrating their new life together. And now we can be there for them in this new challenge, supporting them in this new adventure. I will most certainly be there to explain to my little niece why her Dad is so crazy.

Here's a picture of Laura-Lee as she went into the hospital today looking tough as ever!

And here's one of the new parents and BABY!

So, here's to the two new parents and the new little one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Toughest Decision to Date...

Bridesmaid Dresses.

Oh Bridesmaid dresses. Where do I begin? I have never once cared what a bride made me wear. In fact, I've loved both of the bridesmaid dresses I've been forced into (in fact, I still wear Christine's!). So why do I break out into a cold sweat every time I think about dressing my maids???? I mean, all of my bridesmaids are beautiful women, with fabulous body frames. However, fabulous bodies do not always possess the same body type. Tall, short, breasts, no breasts, likes strapless, hates strapless, the list goes on. This demonstrates to me the difficulty of this task. When I look at dresses, obviously I generally look for what I think would look best on me. And I am of the short, small breasted, lover of strapless variety. fears. Basically, it's choosing the dress that appears to my bridesmaids to look like the following:

The solution: I give up. My maids get to pick their own dresses. Yep. I've seen this done via and it can turn out beautifully. See the following:

Just lovely! In fact, it's even in my color! Oh how I love pink...but I digress. I'll pick the color and fabric, and the ladies get to go nuts on the style. Sounds so simple, right? Color, fabric, good price, and lots of choices! Well...

So I embarked on some research. First stop, websites. Since this is a new trend, there have to be bridesmaid dress designer websites that allow you to shop by color and fabric for this very idea. Wrong. Only, apparently, if you want to dress your bridesmaids in ugly separates (think prom dress nightmare circa 2001), can you shop by color and fabric to mix and match. Fine, I thought, I'll go to an actual bridesmaid dress store. They have to facilitate this, right? Wrong again! I walk into a huge wedding shop and while they have a million dresses, they do not possess significant dresses from a single line. And, apparently, not all fuchsias are created equal. Not only do different designers use vastly different color palates, but designers don't even use the same colors for different fabrics!(!!!)

So, after all of this, am I back to the pants-dress? No. I still value the comfort of those special ladies too much, and am still too uncomfortable to pick one style. So I'm working out a solution, involving a website that actually sells bridesmaid dresses at a discount and actually has whole "lines" of many designers. Now that I've found myself beyond the confusion of how to make what I want to do work, it's actually a lot of fun. Finding that perfect fabric/color/price combination is a challenge I am going to win.

Enter comparison shopping and research, something about which I am actually pretty passionate. I mean, I won't buy so much as a toaster oven without searching for the absolutely best reviewed/price combination. While this may take a little longer than I initially envisioned, I think everyone will come out a winner. :)

I feel better already!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making our own Traditions :)

My wedding guide for this week (44 weeks left!) says that this week we're supposed to think about "important traditions" for designing our wedding. Well, we seem to have gotten as far as "we want it to be legal." So, as much tradition as that requires seems like a good place to start. And I don't think that "lots of fun" and "lots of dancing" and "lots of pretty" are quite traditions. So, where to look for important traditions for our big day?

We began by looking at family traditions. Ok, so far our families all seem to have started and stopped at "making it legal." After that no traditions seemed to have been spawned. Maybe we'll try and start some family traditions - possibly we could take a couple of hints from my big brother's beautiful wedding in September 0f 2008. Well, where to start? I don't think it will be with stealing my sis-in-law's gorgeous wedding dress. Probably we won't have the photographer change to a fish-eye lens immediately after the ceremony. I loved the Q&A session the happy couple had with the guests. It allowed everyone to laugh and really get to know Laura-Lee and Cullen better. I don't know that I'm as witty as my stellar big bro, but it could be something fun to do to bring everyone together at the event.

My favorite wedding tradition is from a wedding I attended in Stockholm, Sweden. One of our favorite foreign exchange students got married. Even though I didn't speak a word of Swedish (well, I can say "good day," but then I'm out), it was the most fantastic wedding I've ever seen. The couple had two "toast-masters" in charge of emceeing the reception. They organized a fun game where the bride and groom stood back to back, each holding a shoe of the other. Then the toast-masters asked them various questions about who was responsible for what in their relationship. For example, "who pursued whom?" They would each raise the shoe of the person responsible. It was hilarious. Especially when they disagreed, and they had no idea.

So, good start here I think. We already have two wonderful friends, Chris and Celine, in the role of our "toast-masters," and I know they'll be great!

So, we're back to creating traditions that are "fun and funny." I think it works. Now we just need more ideas!!! Feel free to chime in with any suggestions!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the eBay Bride...

So I checked this book out from the library - How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay...and Save a Fortune! And it's actually super interesting - for weddings and more. Did you know that you can get everything from the ceremony location to the napkins to the tent to the dress on eBay for a fraction of the cost? And do it successfully? Apparently you can. Now, I have no desire to rent my tent, or especially buy my wedding dress, from eBay, but there are wedding specialists who sell all sorts of designer materials cheaply on eBay. The way they can cut costs is the bidding process and elimination of multiple middle men. It's a whole industry apparently. Many sellers who sell at market prices in real stores make added revenue selling at discounts on eBay.

This is starting to sound sort of ideal for purchases that are marked up like crazy for no real purpose. Example 1: veils. Now, I know I sort of should wear a veil. The eight year old inside me demands it. So, ok. But do I want to spend $100+ (on the cheap side) for something made of gauze and a comb? Not really. I don't know how comfortable I feel about borrowing one. These things can be touchy for people, and any foresight in circumventing the all-too-common phenomenon of Emily sticking her foot in her mouth is always valued. So, maybe eBay is my solution? Why shouldn't I be able to go try on a bunch of cute veils and then purchase one at a fraction of a cost on eBay. After some preliminary research, there are zillions of veil sellers on eBay offering everything from fancy custom veils to your simple version. Many sellers have feedback from hundreds of happy customers, although some do have poor ratings too. Also, they offer crazy good return policies. Why not look into it?

These are the musings of the moment. Saving money while buying quality products? That sounds like a savvy bride. :)