Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another check off the list

I went this morning to get a much-needed haircut at the Aveda salon in my neighborhood, Biz on Fletcher and had an all around fabulous experience. This visit was also a little reconnaissance mission to see if I'd want to have my hair styled here for the wedding day. By half way through my cut I was sold!

I love that this salon is located in the currently-revitalizing historic neighborhood where we live and that the owners are active in the neighborhood association. When I told her I was new to the area my stylist, Miranda, and I had great conversation about the restaurants, nightlight, and other community activities Fletcher Place and Fountain Square have to offer. I am also a total sucker for Aveda products (which could be worse, Aveda is pretty natural and environmentally sound compared to a lot of beauty products) and love the little perks an Aveda salon offers (like a complimentary stress-relieving back/neck/scalp massage before your haircut).

Also, my final concern about scheduling was assuaged when I learned they open at 8 am on Saturdays! Many places don't open until 9, which was stressing me out because we're planning to start photos at 10. Before leaving today I booked my appointment for 8 am, June 13, 2009 (along with another haircut in March, at which point I'll bring a few photos of what I want and set up a hair-trial appointment.) Woo hoo! For some reason this particular issue had been causeing me anxiety so it feels great to have reached a decision.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Power couple, UNITE!

How fun is this picture?
I totally want a "power ring" photo. I should really start making a list of these things!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Welcome and Happy Holidays!

I'm guessing our Christmas cards (with save-the-dates inside) must have started arriving today because I noticed a big spike in the page hit counter and some new dots on the map from cities where we know people! If this is your first visit, welcome! Take some time to look around. Bookmark the page for future reference as we plan to us this page to distribute useful information. Leave us a comment or two. (Comments really make my day!)

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and and Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to my first Christmas at "home" in 8 years and the chance to introduce FH to the remainder of my family (there're a lot of them!) It is also bittersweet to be away from so many of the people we hold dear this holiday season, but we look forward all the more to seeing you next summer!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Or, the Early Bird Gets the Worm ...

Or, the forethinking, decisive bride saves $150 on photography, which is exactly what we did by booking our photographer in August! I was looking over his site again today (because I now enjoy stalking all the other weddings he shoots and at least once every week or two peruse the proof gallery ...) and saw that his new 2009 rates are posted. Score one for us!

Just goes to show that while my desire to plan ahead may sometimes seem a little neurotic I may just be on to something ... now if I could get FH to stop rolling his eyes at me when I pull out the invitation envelopes to start hand-writing all the return addresses (because, seriously, I do not want to do all 90 of them in one day in March.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's Do the Time Warp Again

Wow. Today we made what we thought would be a quick trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to add items to the registry we set up online ... 3 hours later we emerged, dazed, hungry, and exhausted. Holding that scanner in my hand made me drunk with power! (Though I was a little disappointed that it didn't look like a gun ... I thought it would be a gun.) Completely overwhelming. The whole "this ____ is for the rest of your life!!!" is a lot of pressure to put on a towel/pillowcase/coffee mug/trashcan!

At least our sales associate left us relatively alone ... as we were finishing up we returned to the registry desk and I overheard another clerk lecturing a registering couple. She was talking up the KitchenAid mixer and said "Now, I know you can't imagine using a big mixer for anything now but before you know it you're going to be baking a double batch of cookies for a 3rd grade class and you'll want it!" Um, excuse me? First of all, I can think of plenty of things to use a mixer for now (like baking bread, which I very much enjoy), and second of all, when did our bedroom life become your business? Because that's what someone is really asking when they ask whether or not you're going to have kids ... I'm just sayin.

In any case, we put a lot of thought into our choices and managed to communicate our reasoning to one another fairly well. I'm pretty sure successfully registering together qualifies as some sort of pre-marital counseling so I can check that off the list too! :P

Saturday, December 13, 2008

T-minus 6 months

So, FH and I woke up this morning and realized it's our negative-6-month anniversary! Wow, can it really be only 6 more months until we are married? We can't wait to see our family and friends and, with your love and support to guide us, complete this rite of passage that will enrich our life together.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Hello to any family and friends who might be visiting the blog for the first time after receiving our Save-the-Date notecards or emails! You will find links to the hotel blocks in the left sidebar, along with other important information that will help you navigate the site. For example, the tags section will allow you to read all the posts about any one topic (like DIY projects or the wedding party, etc). Check back for more exiciting planning posts and useful information. Thanks for stopping by!

Edited to add: The Hilton Garden Inn can also be booked online using the same group code as the Embassy Suites, OHW. (This is a change from the Save-the-Date information. You can, of course, still call the hotel directly for reservations in our hotel block.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vacation Dreamin!

With all this excitement and planning the only thing I'm looking forward to as much as the wedding is the honeymoon (not more than the wedding, but close to equal!) Barring any dramatic events we have decided on Door County, Wisconsin as our destination.

In considering where we might like to go for our trip we came up with some excellent criteria:

-warm during the day but cool at night
(so, the Caribbean was out)
(ie. NOT a major urban center)
-accessibility to light outdoor activities, such as hiking and
kayaking on a lake
-good food
-good wine
-somewhere to get a massage
-less than an 8 hour drive from Indy

Door County seems to fit the bill wonderfully!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hair part 2

I've done some more thinking about hairstyles and have to agree with FSSIL's comment that styling my hair up will probably ensure it keeps looking good all day. So, I bring you the revised hair inspiration board.

This time I've made a point to include a few views of what the front might look like too. I really love that shot of Julianne Moore (center right), sleek but not severe. I'm not planning to wear a veil so I'm thinking of some little accents, maybe like the ones here. As much and I love the look of the bottom two they're probably not realistic for my straight, fine hair ... but I girl can dream, right?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fragrant Florals

What what? A two post weekend? Well, I had so much fun with yesterday's attendants' dress post that I put together a little floral inspiration board to go with it!

Since I'm doing the floral arrangements myself our actual flowers will depend somewhat on what is in season here and readily available. I'm planning to do a combo of flowers from a farmer's market vendor and Trader Joes/Costco (because really, who can refuse 2 dozen roses for $15??)

Also, I have the crazy thought that I will try to grow some of the flowers I will use ... yeah, it's a crapshoot, but I figure if they grow, great, we'll have pretty flowers; if they grow at the right time, even better! I already planted some tulip bulbs, which will likely bloom way too early (but if it's a very cold spring I'm all set) and hope to start some rannunculus in the spring (that would be those purple flowers on the far left, middle row of the board.) And maybe, just maybe, I'll attempt to grow some calla lillies. I mean, one bulb is like $6-$8 but it grows a plant of 30 stems (which would run over $100 to buy). I like them odds!

On the bottom row of the board you can see some pomanders. I think they'd make an excellent decoration and provide a way to define the ceremony space on the rather vast IRT stage. While I'm planning fresh flowers for all the other arrangements the pomanders will definitely be silk ... see, I do have boundaries and occasionally know when to say no.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lovely Ladies

I was tinkering around online this morning and decided to make a little bridesmaids' inspiration board. Now, my three attendants are all very different from one another in body type, skin tone, and personality. I love them all dearly and have no wish to see them suffer so, after talking with each of them about their likes and dislikes, we selected a color for each of them and each one will choose their own dress in that color.

Since there's no need to match one another exactly they have a lot of options for choosing a dress. And, since we're going with knee length-tea length there's not even a real need to shop for a traditional "bridesmaid" dress. For example, most of the photos on the board above came from Nordstroms or J. Crew. I know it is so cliche to say but I really do hope they will each choose something they will enjoy wearing again. (And if they choose something they won't wear again it won't be my fault! tee hee)

Ah, Saturday morning vicarious shopping ... good times.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

Just a little birthday shout-out to (soon-to-be) nephew Sawyer, the cutest 2 year old Florida has ever seen!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A new name?

No, this won't be a blog post debating the merits of changing my name when FH and I are married. Rather, it's about our wedding blog name.

I've been reading many, many, many other wedding blogs these days and have developed an inferiority complex. Our blog name is just totally lame! I am determined to come up with something cooler (because we are just such cool people, you know ... ha ha ha.)

What will to be? Some sort of word play on our names? Something that ties in to the DIY heavy content? If you've got a suggestion leave a comment!

Edited to add: Ooh, ooh ... how about "Bill and Jen's Excellent Wedding Adventure"! Anyone? anyone?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cover me in jewels!

Since my computer was broken last weekend I had to do something to fill my time so I started working on my latest DIY: jewelry!

Now, I won't show you everything (because some of it might just be gifts) but I will show you the necklace and earrings I made for myself.

Now, once again, my amateur close-up photography skills leave much to be desired but I'm pretty darn happy with the jewelry. It looks a little pink here but they are actually a combination of ivory freshwater pearls and light gold swarovski crystals on sterling silver findings (the metal parts of jewelry). I had planned to look for a vintage brooch for my wedding dress sash (I know, I'm mean and haven't shown you the dress here) but now I think I'll make something to match the earrings and necklace.

For those other DIYers out there, JoAnn happens to have their sterling silver and gold plate findings for 50% off and their swarovski crystals for 40% off right now. Top that off with my 10% off your total purchase coupon and I got quite a deal!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I could just SPIT!

Apparently my hard drive has crashed. After a couple of hours on the phone with some very nice young Indian men from Dell (like, in India, not Native Amerians) they are sending me a new hard drive. My laptop is still under warranty so there's no charge.


It is highly likely that everything saved on my hard drive is gone (or at least permanently inaccessible). My guest list with addresses- GONE. My wedding budget spreadsheet- GONE. The invitations I painstakingly spent hours designing- GONE. All our Microsoft Money records and household budget info- GONE. Years worth of photos of family and friends- GONE GONE GONE!

Might it have been a good idea to back up even one small bit of this data somewhere? Since you asked, yes. Why didn't I ever do this? Because I AM AN IDIOT!!!! ARRRRGH!

Okay, I'm better now. Cheery wedding posts will resume post-haste.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I fought the hair and the hair won ...

I've started doing a little research about hair and make-up for the wedding. It's a long way off but hey, I know that a Saturday in June is probably going to be a busy day for weddings and I want to be prepared.

I think getting my hair done was one of the things I was really sort of excited about when we started planning a wedding. Then I started realizing how much getting one's hair done costs and I freaked out a little. I considered trying to do my hair myself and attempted a little trial run yesterday ... yeah, not so much. FH came home to me standing in the middle of the bathroom with my curling iron swearing I was going to shave my head. Also, I have very fine hair and worry that even a simple style will not last if I try to do it myself.

Anyway, I have come to terms with the idea of paying a professional to make me look fabulous (probably a good idea since we're paying another professional to take hundreds of photos of us all day.) I will likely go with someone who will come to the hotel where we get ready that day since we plan to start photos at 10 am and none of the salons downtown even open until 9.

A few styles I like (all photos courtesy of Project Wedding):

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Status: Complete

I am pleased to announce that the Great Vase Race of 2008 has reached its end!

We are now the proud owners of many cylinder vases, enough for centerpieces in the main lobby dining area (depending on RSVP numbers I expect 16-19 tables), the 8 cocktail tables on the mezzanine where the cocktail hour will be held, and a few others for the guest book table, bar, etc. I got at least 40% off each vase, dutifully visiting Michael's with my coupons, and my efforts were capped off with an unexpected windfall: last weekend we visited Buffalo for a friend's wedding and it turns out that FSMIL (that's future step-mother-in-law) had 8 or so cylinder vases left from FSSIL's wedding a few years ago. (future step-sister-in-law ... omg, I <3 acronyms, hahaha.)

Two of the vases were the same size as the rest we'd bought, six are about 2 inches taller but the same diameter. I figure 2/3 one size and 1/3 the other is an aesthetically pleasing proportion so I declare vases checked off the list. Yea!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting back to the Who

And now, the return of our spotlight interview posts!! For a look back at the previous spotlight posts click on the "Who" tag in the right column.

Name: Bob

Role/Relationship: Best Man/ Brother

Location: Nashville,TN

Profession: Musician; Residential Lighting and Fine Hardware Sales

What Bob has to say:I'm constantly amazed at the visual and auditory wonderments of this world. I absolutely love the IC's, eg. music, mathematics, physics, electrics...U C? Moved to Nashville in Oct. 1999 and now consider it home. I've had the opportunity to perform and work with a long list of incredible, sometimes legendary artists from around the globe for which I will be forever thankful. I very much look forward to meeting all of you who will share this occasion with Bill and Jen.

What Bill has to say: One of my favorite memories of my kid brother has to be traveling to see his band, Ceili Rain, play the World Peace Festival in Amenia, New York and then following them to the Hunter Mountain International Celtic Festival. I'm really proud of Bob's musical accomplishments and am happy to hear he's keeping at it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Warm Bed and a Roof Over Your Heads

2 of 3 hotel blocks are now reserved. After talking with various family and wedding party members we decided to go ahead with all 3 hotels mentioned earlier. The theatre's company manager is working on the 3rd block since I think it has to go through her to get the theatre's rate. In any case, we are all set for both the Embassy Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn.

Rate-wise, the Embassy Suites rate of $149/$159 is about the same as you could get on your own, however, it is right next to the theatre and I feel better knowing we have the block set aside as there are so many events that come to town and hotels can fill up well in advance. It's a nice hotel with complimentary full breakfast and a daily manager's reception from 5:30-7 and the convenience just can't be beat for our event.

The Hilton Garden Inn rate of $129/night is about $50/night less than the standard room rate, which is great! The hotel has wonderful historic architecture and is right on Monument Circle, one of Indy's best downtown landmarks. (I'm actually hoping to do a few photos on the circle the morning of the wedding ...)

More on room blocks soon!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Believe it or not, I think for the moment I may actually be ... wait for it ... wedding-ed out! I have finally ODed on wedding planning and DIY projects. It's a feeling similar eating too many cookies at once ... big sugar rush at first, tummyache next, then you swear off cookies for a while but a week later you can't wait to have another cookie.

So the lesson here is, moderation in cookies and weddings. Maybe tonight I'll ... bake some cookies?? Or just enjoy a quiet evening with FH.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One more photo

Couldn't resist just one more shot. The submerged flowers seem to have held up just fine overnight. I am curious to see how long they will last that way.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Flower Fun

Today, through a random series of events, I ended up with 7 free sweetheart roses from JP Parker Flowers. I have already decided to do my own wedding flowers but if I weren't I would hire JP Parker in a heartbeat. They do all the event floral arrangements for theatre sponsored events (ie. Opening Night, Donor Dinners, etc) and they were also kind enough to trade us for tickets when it was decided we needed a fresh sweetheart rose for every performance of the first show of the season. They're the best!

My latest floral love and inspiration is submerged flower arrangements. Since I had some free flowers I thought I'd give it a shot!

Here on the left is my first attempt. 5 submerged roses, stepping up in height around the side of the glass (I paid attention the day in design class where we learned odd numbers = balanced!) It was okay but seemed a little crowded.

I removed a couple of the flowers and was much happier.

I wish I could get a good shot without the flash to show you how nice and glow-y it looks with the candle ... Alas, I think I am a better amateur florist than amateur photographer.

Lessons learned today: flowers float! It was a little tricky getting them to stay put. Also, don't splash water on the candle wick, it makes the candle very hard to light. oops.

Since I had a few more flowers I also did another trial run of corsages and boutonnieres, including the little beaded accents I made a few weeks back.

Just another fun-filled Friday!

Friends and family, if you haven't had a chance to look over my previous hotel option post give it a read ... I would love a little feedback about the price-ranges, locations, etc before setting up room blocks.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Seeing as all our guests (other than, say, 10 or so people who we might meet over the course of the next year) will be traveling from out of town I decided it was about time I started looking in to lodging. Here's what I've come up with ... I'd love a little feedback from the family and friends who might be reading this.

1) The Embassy Suites - This hotel is literally right next door to the theatre. (Nice because if for some reason it rains on the wedding day I could get to the theatre without ever going outside ... and if I get a run in my pantyhose it's also attached to the mall!) They have offered a group rate of $149 per night for single suites and $159 per night for double suites. All of their rooms are suites so a single holds up to 4 people and a double up to 6. Parking in the attached garage is $20/night (steep, I know ... it is downtown though). Convenient location, very condusive to sharing rooms. We'll likely block 10 rooms here to start (the most we could block without a financial guarantee). This is likely where I will stay the night before the wedding and where we'll stay the night after. (Edited to add: this hotel does include breakfast.)

2) The Hilton Garden Inn - Just a few block away from the theatre on Monument Circle. Definitely walkable. They've offered a group rate of $129 for singles and doubles (so, up to 4 guests per room). Parking here is $14 for self-parking, $22 for valet per night. Still a nice hotel, still downtown, a little less expensive. There's no financial obligation on our part to block rooms here, still undecided whether we need this option.

3) The Candlewood Suites- This hotels is about 2 1/2 miles from the theatre. It's where our out-of-town actors and designers stay for the theatre so we should be able to get the super-awesome rate of $79 per night. Parking here is free. Also, the theatre's company manager tells Candlewood has negotiated a flat rate for taxi's from the hotel to downtown of $5. The return trip will run you $12 (but it's still less than overnight parking.) Rooms here are also all suites and include kitchenettes, which could be great for any family who might come in a few days early. I actually stayed here when I came to Indianapolis last spring for my interview, it's clean and comfortable, though there's not really anything else nearby. I think it's pretty certain we'll offer this option, though arrangements may be a little more complicated because I'll probably need to book each room through the company manager who happens to be having a baby in April.

We are, of course, total urban-ites and would love it if everyone chose to stay downtown ... however, we realize that offering a more economical option will make it a lot easier for folks to share in our celebration. Any thoughts? Please comment with your responses.

(Also, if people are interested in room sharing we're happy to help facilitate. Get in touch with us once the email Save-the-Dates go out ... hopefully soon!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hard Choices and Important Issues

There are a few wedding sites I've read regularly, including a site called WeddingBee. This site is a group blog by selected engaged and recently married women, detailing their planning process, DIY projects, and grand tales of their actual wedding days. I've frequented their message boards, exchanged several messages with other brides there, and was counting down the days until I was eligible to apply to be a Bee ...

until yesterday ...

It turns out that the creator of WeddingBee (known to readers as Mrs. Bee) has sold the site to E-Harmony. She will continue to operate the site and claims the content and format will not change.

I don't begrudge Mrs. Bee for selling the site ... I mean, it has turned into an all-consuming task and the competition for wedding websites like this one has grown incredibly in past years (or so she describes, and I find it quite believable.) And, dear readers, before I continue, let me make it clear that if you met your partner through E-Harmony I in no way begrudge you your own happiness.

However, I have some problems with E-Harmony's policies against same-sex marriage that I just can't look past. They currently do not offer same-sex matches and, while they may claim it is simply a business decision, they have a history of supporting Focus on the Family, an incredibly right wing organization that actually preaches that homosexuality is a mental illness. Wedding Bee, on the other hand, has a history of supporting same-sex marriage/commitment ceremonies, including one of the recent Bees, Mrs. Gingerbread, who recently married her wife in Canada. (Since the announcement Mrs. GB has withdrawn from Wedding Bee.)

While the content of the site may not change in any way whatsoever, every time someone visits this site or links to a vendor advertised there the proceeds will be going towards a causes I oppose. While some Bees have said they feel that continuing to blog on the site and support LGBT rights will help promote change from the inside, the truth is the money generated by interest in their blog posts is still going into the coffers of a discriminatory organization.

I know this may seem like a small thing but I've been looking forward to my Bee application ever since I found the site just weeks after we became engaged. And making the decision to stop visiting the site has stirred up some strong feelings. I know not everyone will agree with me but I feel a responsibility to use this public forum to share my thoughts about this particular subject.

Some of the most positive and influential relationships I have witnessed in my life have been same-sex couples. In college, my scene design professor/mentor and his partner had been together for over twenty years, since the age of 19. They owned a home together, worked hard at their relationship, weathered good times and bad, and were wonderful, supportive partners to one another. My former boss in Houston and his partner actually have a civil union in the state of Vermont (and may be married in Canada, though I'm not sure), have made a public and sacred commitment to one another, but still are not allowed the same legal protections as a married couple in most states. These two examples of stable, healthy, loving relationships have taught me a great deal about what it is to be a good partner to another person and I want so much for these people to have the same recognition by the United States Government that I will have when I marry my husband.

One could split hairs all day about calling such a union a "civil union" vs a "marriage". I don't want or need to change how a church defines marriage. I'm talking about the U.S. Government. And if they call what I will have marriage then I want them to call same-sex legal unions marriage too. If they want to call what I will have a civil union then call them all civil unions. That's really not the point to me. The point is equal recognition. Because haven't we all learned from the civil rights movement that "separate but equal" is a load of b.s.?

That's my soapbox for the day. It is a little disheartening to realize that, ultimately, no one will notice if I don't read WeddingBee anymore. E-Harmony will still get plenty of money, site traffic will probably even increase. And, I'm sure I unknowingly support companies whose practices I disagree with on a daily basis. But we decided that in planning this wedding we wanted to try to make "better" choices, choices that reflect our world view and values ... and I am making the choice to leave WeddingBee.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs, and Thou ...

I've been thinking a lot lately about cake. Mmmm ... I love cake. Or, more accurately, I love icing, for which cake is an excellent vehicle. However, traditional wedding cakes start at around $2.50 a person for a basic cake (meaning at least $350 for a cake) and I just think that's a lot! I know many people these days have just a tiny "wedding" cake and supplement with a sheet cake, but I really don't want to do that either ... enter ideas!!

One thought we had from early on is to do wedding cupcakes! Last weekend we visited a local bakery that specialized in cupcakes, The Flying Cupcake. They have amazing cupcakes in a wide variety of flavors. We bought four to sample: the Here Comes the Bride (almond flavoring in the cake and almond buttercream icing), the Chocolate Ganache (omg, fudgy and rich), a Key Lime (apparently an experiment, new to the menu, with mereinge icing), and the Razzmatazz (raspberry filled chocolate cupcake with raspberry buttercream icing.) All of these were AWESOME and we love that we could have multiple flavors to offer, however this option is not really all that much cheaper than a regular wedding cake. Cupcakes are $2 each when ordered in dozen increments, plus an additional $.50 per filled cupcake and lots of other tacked on fees if one wants them decorated in any particular way other than standard. And while we were there we mentioned the wedding idea and the clerk told us that they do lots of weddings, in fact they had done 5 that weekend ... I started to wonder if cupcakes were too trendy these days ...

The other idea we have is that instead of getting a "wedding" cake in all its tiered glory we will simply get several, lovely, tasty, round cakes and set them up on stands of varying heights. We could still offer several flavors of cake (maybe even a red cake, I know a certain mom who loves it ...) and there's somewhere to put a topper. Based on my calculations we will need one 12" cake, two 10" cakes, two 8" cakes and, one 6" cake ... a lot of cake, about half the cost of a wedding cake! I really think this is an elegant idea.

Which cake style will claim victory over our hearts? You'll just have to wait a few months to find out. As for the debate between fondant and buttercream, there is simply no contest in my book. Buttercream wins the day!!

Have you been to any weddings where the cake was non-traditional? (And are you craving cake as much as I am now?)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


One of our goals in planning our wedding is to make better choices when it comes to the environment and our community. This is not always easy because it sometimes means choosing to spend more money. For example, we plan to use recycled and/or tree-free paper for all the wedding paper-goods.

Now, we have been planning to DIY all this stuff but even so it still costs more to use recycled and tree-free products than to use standard products. And sometimes it is hard to resist a "bargain" ... just a few days ago we were at Michaels (buying more vases with our 50% off coupons! take that W.I.C.!) and I saw these really great invitation kits on clearance for, like, $17 for 30 invites. I am almost ashamed to admit that I loved any kit that is endorsed and produced by "Brides" magazine (oh, I am such a DIY snob) but they were super cute! Luckily I had FH along to persuade me that perhaps 9 months out was a little early to make an instant decision and hadn't we decided to use earth-friendly papers anyway?

Fast forward to this morning when I start thinking about what we've budgeted for paper-products vs the actual cost of recycled paper and ink cartridges and you'll find a brief moment of panic in which I start to think our pre-planned numbers may be unrealistic. (It's just amazing what little details can seem overwhelming, really.) Not incredibly unrealistic, just a little bit.

In the end, FH and I decided that postcard Save-The-Date cards are something we could do without and that e-STDs (sounds like a new computer virus, right?) will do just fine. And for the less e-friendly, shouldn't we just call or include a nice note in their Christmas card anyway? This decision will free up the additional $50 or so we want to put towards earth-friendly materials (plus the e-cards mean that many less pieces of paper and gallons of gas to deliver printed Save the Date cards.)

A little invite preview ... yes, I have already started ... geez, I thought we were going to do STD postcards, alright?? :P

Anyway, a few weeks ago I went around our venue (also my workplace) and took some close-up photos of art-deco decorative details (think tiles, capitols, corner details, etc.) I put the photos into photoshop and experimented with various filters. Hopefully I'll be able to use the images to create some interesting and unique invitations, programs, and place cards that really tie in to our venue!

Have you ever felt torn about making environmentally friendly choices? What did you choose?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Latest DIY

Another Friday night at home has come and gone and, as we all know I can't seem to sit still without making something, I have new DIY's to show you all!

Last weekend I was browsing JoAnn, shopping for stuff for work, and decided to use one of my 40% off coupons to pick up some wire. I had a big box of beads at home from, like, 7 years ago when I was really into making hemp necklaces for a summer.

Here's what I came up with!!

Beaded accents to go in the corsages. I took the idea from a book I checked out at the library, Beaded Weddings by Jean Campbell. I have to admit, I found most of the projects in the book to be very cheezy, but the techniques were great and gave me some good ideas.

Here are the boutonniere accents:

Very quick and easy, I am pretty happy with the results. I think the twists on the wires would be more even if I'd bothered to dig out the right tool for the job (needle-nose pliers!) but most of that gets covered by the stem wrapping on the corsages/bouts anyway.

Now I just have to make some similar little accents to go in the bouquets!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Food, glorious food!

So, we got our catering quote a week or two ago and much to our relief it was pretty much exactly in line with what we'd budgeted. Call it luck or call it good planning but we were happy indeed. Except ... there was one small hurdle that just HAD to be cleared: Bill desperately wants, no, requires, for there to be kummelweck rolls to go with the beef carving station. Yes, the infamous beef-on-weck.

So, our rockstar caterers (whom we haven't even officially hired at this point) did a trial run of rolls for us! Anne from MBP catering dropped them off to me at work at the end of the day Friday, I quickly called Bill who picked up some beef and horseradish on his way home from work, and we had beef on weck for dinner.

Luckily they passed the test (though Bill did say the salt granules should be bigger ... I'm guessing they'll be more receptive to that note once we give them the deposit ...) Yea!! There will be food at our reception! And for those members of my family who read this and went "Ew! Horseradish? And caraway seeds? On a roast beef sandwich?" don't be alarmed, there will be regular rolls too. And turkey. And lots of other yummy good things that I'll tell you all about another time, like after we actually sign and return the contract.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekend Update

Hi all! Things are starting to calm down a little with the planning (okay, perhaps a more accurate statement would be I am starting to calm down a little bit with the planning.) We've got most of the major things checked off our list for the moment: venue, date and time, officiant (more on that another day), flowers (definitely DIY), photographer, and veeeery close to having the caterer signed (by the end of the week I'd say). Oh, I've also got a prelim design for the Save-the-Date cards and have started compiling the all-important wedding guest database! (well, actually it's just a spreadsheet, but database sounds more impressive, no?)

My amusing wedding planning neurosis story of the week: so, as I told you about last weekend Bill and I came up with a centerpiece design that we really like. I had a coupon for 50% off one item at Michaels from the paper so we bought a vase to test the idea. It was a success, yea for checking another thing off the list! Now, we're going to need at least 20 of these vases, and I loooove a bargain so I've hatched a plan to obtain them all by buying ONE every time I have a coupon. I've even enlisted the aid of my boss at work whereby I will trade him diaper coupons (his wife just had a baby) for Michaels coupons! It seems like a new coupon comes out just about every week so we should be set. The hard part, of course is resisting the urge to buy lots of other unnecessary things each time I go in. But, my will is strong and my desire to one-up "the establishment" will prevail!

Luckily I very frequently need to shop either AT Michaels or at stores near Michaels for my job so I'm not making lots of extra trips just to get these vases one at a time. I think they have the same vases at JoAnn too, I could be doubling my coupon power by hitting up both stores! Sigh, I think I'm going to need a whole extra room for all the supplies I'll accumulate over the next year. :P

Monday, September 1, 2008

Book recommendation: The DIY Bride

Today FH and I were out doing a little window shopping. We stopped at Michael's Craft store since I had a 50% off one item coupon and was thinking I'd like to pick up a vase to practice the centerpiece design I'd been considering. While I stood pondering the differences between two vases for like 20 minutes Bill wandered off and happened upon this book that I think is FABULOUS.

The DIY Bride, by Khris Cochran. 40 projects, complete with step by step instructions AND directions on how to delegate tasks if you have helpers. Now, I am usually quite critical of DIY books. I have a very creative job and it takes a lot for me to find a project in a book to be unique or inspired. I can sucessfully say we plan to steal AT LEAST 2 or 3 ideas from this book (including my, i mean OUR, new centerpiece design, which is much more low-maintainance than a floral arrangement.) And I love that it helps people who don't normally tackle creative projects break things down into mangeable bites for multiple people.

My fave: the wedding time capsule! Next to the guest book you have some little slips of paper, 4 choices in different colors to signify different lengths of time. Guests choose whether they'd like to write something that will be read in 1, 5, 15, or 25 years and then write a prediction/happy wish/message for the couple to read at the appropriate time. Just reading the idea made me tear up! Omg, I spend a lot of time tearing up lately. sigh.

In any case, we liked the book enough to actually buy it (albeit with a 50% off coupon), instead of trying to find it at the library, which for us is a ringing endorsement! I highly recommend it for any bride-to-be.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blown Away

We've booked our photographer! Hooray!

We met last night with Scott of Scott C Photography in his home/studio about 45 minutes outside Indianapolis. He has a wonderful meeting room there with lots of great sample prints on the walls and several albums of his work to look through. We love his photojournalistic, artistic style and really felt like we clicked. (He totally got what we were saying when I told him what we want in a wedding photographer is someone who will "make us look cool!") And while it might just be that he's a good businessman, we left feeling like he will be just as excited as we are to be at our wedding because it seems like it will be a fun event. I think "elation" best describes how we both felt on the drive home ... it was just so clear that this is the right choice for us.

Anyway, I encourage all of you to go check out his site at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DIY Flowers Trial #1

So, I stopped by the local farmers market today and picked up these:

A whole buncha flowers. 80 stems, to be precise. Armed with a sharp knife, floral tape, floral wire, and a bit of ribbon, I was ready for the first trial run of DIY flowers.

I started with a boutonniere, which was quite simple. FH was kind enough to model it for us in a jacket. (FH is blog speak for future husband ... omg, I just said husband! eek!)

Next I whipped up a corsage. Both of these were quite simple. I now have 100% confidence in my ability to turn out the bouts and corsages for the wedding (all 13 of them! eek again!)

Below is a nice shot of the two together (pinned to a pillow.)

Then I moved on to a bouquet, by far the most difficult of all. Which was not what I expected. In any case, here are the results:

And then, just for fun, I put some of the leftovers into a little arrangement. Yes, that is a 2-buck Chuck bottle. I "heart" Trader Joes!

I definitely learned a few things from this little experiment, like get more leafy and broad fillers and greens, less spiky greens (at least for bouquets and such.) These pieces are actually a little more "wild" looking than we are going for (though we still want a very natural look.) Maybe a little more brightness, some different flower choices. Obviously what I bought today is not what will be in season next June, but this first attempt was really about putting colors together and trying out techniques. All in all I am satisfied. (Though I don't plan to quit my day job.) Hooray!

Have feedback? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I got a dress!

So, after much searching, I chose my dress last night. Woo hoo! I'm not going to post a photo here and ruin the surprise or anything but I am very happy with my choice. It is definitely not what I expected to choose, I really only tried it on on a lark thinking it would sort of cleanse my dress-viewing palette. Before I knew it I'd been wearing it for 30 minutes and was prancing around the dress shop looking for accessories to try on with it. I highly recommend the "prance test" when choosing a wedding dress (highly superior to the "mom crying" test) ... though I suppose this only works for one who doesn't often prance to begin with ...

We went home for a visit with my mom this past weekend and did some shopping there. My sister, Michelle, (our lovely and talented Maid of Honor) was also along and tried on many bridesmaid dresses. She was quite the good sport as I piled more and more dresses over her arm to check out "just for fun!!" Then last night Michelle and mom came over to Indy for another round of shopping, culminating in the purchase of my dress! In any case, it was a fun and productive weeekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To DIY or Not to DIY

So, in this whole wedding planning process there are many, many (expensive!!) decisions to be made in a variety of areas: venues, attire, food and beverage, favors ... and flowers. Now, being a theatrical props artisan I have a wide variety of hands-on skills, including the occasional floral (albeit fake) arrangement. This leads me to consider the idea of doing my own flowers for the wedding.

Now before everyone freaks out and says "oh, NO! you couldn't possibly do THAT!" understand that I have considered this carefully. I have access to the theatre's prop shop where A) I can store the buckets of flowers in preparation for the arranging; B) there is a large expanse of work space for the actual arranging; C) the finished arrangements can be stored (the A/C is turbo so it's quite cool, plus there is a fridge that I can remove everything else from and set the temp to a decent flower storage temp). Since we're getting married at the theatre there will be no troublesome transportation of the flowers the day of the wedding, they'll simply be loaded on a rolling cart and wheeled down to the lobby.

In talking about style for the wedding Bill and I agree that we like a more "wild" look to the arrangements. I'm thinking simple, hand-tied bouquets made from seasonal, locally-grown flowers purchased from a vendor at the farmer's market (we would make arrangements in advance for quantity we need, of course). I feel very confident that I have the skills to actually create what we're looking for. We'd have the cost of finding our own vases, sure, but part of my job is finding things for cheap! (And I have access to an entire prop storage room ...)

The only real question here is whether doing the flowers myself is too stressful. The nature of flowers requires that the work be done the day before the wedding. Do I really want to have that much to do so close to the actual event? Would having a creative activity actually end up being a theraputic escape?

In the end, I realize that there's no way I could do ALL the flowers by myself. Accomplishing this task will certainly require the help of a few other volunteers (I'm willing to bribe people with chocolate and beer!) Also, it might be wise to consider doing only PART of the flowers myself, say I do the bouquets and corsages and buy the centerpieces or vice versa. I plan to pick up some flowers at the farmer's market soon to do a little test-run, just to make sure I'm not crazy. I'll be sure to post photos of the results!!

In any case, I'm pretty serious about this idea. I mean, really, what good is being a props person if you don't get to use your skills for personal gain??

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spotlight Interview: Dorothy

Now for our third Spotlight Interview. This will complete the bridal attendants so wake up guys, you're on deck!

Name: Dorothy

Role/Relationship: Bridesmaid;
Jen's friend and Partner-in-Crime

Location: Houston, TX

Profession: Eight Grade English Teacher

What Dorothy has to say: I was born in New York, but grew up in Texas. I love to draw and garden -- getting my hands dirty is a good thing. I have three cats and a dog, and my latest favorite accomplishment is training my dog to sit and stay for 20 seconds. He's rambunctious, so this is a HUGE accomplishment.

What Jen has to say: Dorothy and I met when we both signed up for a beer-league soccer team. Somehow we always ended up on opposite sides during team practice ... we'd go for the ball at the same time and (seeing as I outweigh her by about 40 pound) Dorothy spent a LOT of time getting knocked to the ground. Our team was awful (we lost every game and only scored one goal all season) but we got free beer, had great fun, and started a wonderful friendship!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spotlight Interview: Janelle

And now, for the second installment of our Spotlight Interview Series!

Name: Janelle

Role/Relationship: Bridesmaid;
Jen's Childhood Friend Extraordinaire

Location: Buffalo, NY

Profession: Social Services

What Janelle has to say: I grew up in Central Illinois with Jen, and like Jen, I moved away. I've lived in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and now Buffalo. I like moving to new cities and starting all over fresh in a new place. I like the experiences I've had in each city. In Philadelphia, I fell in love with the big city life, going to the New Jersey shore and my husband. In Pittsburgh, I married my husband and I really moved my career forward. In Buffalo, I bought my first house and learned to snow ski. I'm really proud that even though I'm an introvert, I've pushed myself to try new things...moving to a big city by myself, going to grad school, traveling/hiking on my own, and spending three weeks in Vietnam. As a result, I've learned that I love hiking/camping and traveling in the country and overseas. As a couple, my husband and I also try to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to help other people. Right now, we are sharing our home with a woman and her son who needed to move out of their home in an emergency situation. I was nervous, but it's been a lot of fun.

What Jen has to say: Janelle and I shared so many things growing up: junior high basketball and track, the freshmen cross country team, high school marching band (go Marching Ironmen!) ... we even had matching cars! (To be fair, my was a Ford Crown Victoria and hers was a Mercury Grand Marquis, but they were virtually identical!). One of our favorite past times, second to watching X-files of course, was getting together a group of friends to play Toys-R-Us tag. True to its' name, Toys-R-Us tag involved playing tag inside a Toys-R-Us. Experience taught us that one can play Toy-R-Us tag for about 45 minutes before getting kicked out of the store. I am so glad Janelle will be part of our wedding and can't wait to see what the next 17 years of our friendship will bring!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Spolight Interview: Michelle

As promised, here is the first in our spotlight interview series. Michelle has graciously agreed to go first (so pay attention, cause I'll be emailing the rest of you soon to ask these same questions!)

Name: Michelle

Role/Relationship: Maid of Honor; Jen's (amazingly cool AND younger) sister

Location: Los Angeles, California

Profession: Operations coordinator for a stock photography agency, freelance photographer, and manager/server at a hip little Vietnamese restaurant

What Michelle has to say:
I thrive on being busy and active, I get bored way too easily! I am constantly listening to music and I like to imagine what songs would be playing in the background if my life were a movie. I love to sing but refuse to do so in front of anyone. I talk to myself - a lot. Photography is a passion of mine and I am always looking for the perfect shot. I very recently started a blog in which my goal is to post a new picture taken by me every single day. I enjoy making things and consider myself "crafty". I read way too many magazines. I like to run and ran my first marathon last year in
San Francisco. Oh and I make killer guacamole!

What Jen has to say: My favorite childhood memory of my sister and I is of listening to my parents' Herb Alpert record. We had this sort of "dance" we would do to Zorba the Greek ... the song has this section that starts really slow and gets faster so we would start by walking in a circle really slow, then we would walk faster, and faster, and then run in a circle as fast as we could ... every time this drum accent hit we would jump up in the air and pretend we were jumping over snakes!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sneak Peek at the Venue

The Indiana Repertory Theatre. I couldn't imagine a more perfect location. The ceremony will be held on-stage, the reception in the amazing Art Deco lobby.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grab your datebooks

So, the big moment has finally arrived ... well, the first big moment anyway. We have chosen a date and venue for the wedding! Wow, this blog has a lot of exclamation points! OMG!! (It's good that I can still make fun of myself ... give me a few months are we'll see how much of a sense of humor I have left ...)

The wedding will be June 13, 2009 at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. (Yes, this is the theatre where I work.) The ceremony will be held on-stage and the reception in the theatre's absolutely amazing restored Art Deco lobby.

What a relief to have the date and location set. I feel like now the rest of it will start to fall into place much more easily. Official "Save the Date" cards will come out October-November-ish. More info as things develop.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Warning! Wedding planning may be hazardous to your health!

So, I know this will shock you all but it turns out that moving across the country, starting a new job, and planning a wedding at the exact same time might be just a WEE bit stressful. :)

It's nice to have positive stressors for once (instead of negative ones like my company going bankrupt and unemployment ...) but these are still major life events. Time to take a breath, have a little patience with myself, and consider taking things one a time ... I mean, really, the world will not end if I don't pick my dress and bridesmaid dresses, find ceremony and reception venues, choose the entire menu and finalize the guest list this week! (In fact, it would be a really bad idea if I tried to do all those things this week.)

I hope the note of humor I've attempted to inject here is reading through. :)

Progress is being made: we have started examining our budget and talking about venues. A few email inquires have been made, we visited one place (informally, we just went for drinks and appetizers on our own to determine whether we should investigate further) and our goal is to have a venue and date by the end of August.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "where"

So, we haven't gotten to a lot of planning yet but there is one detail we have decided on: the wedding will be in Indianapolis.

We considered different possibilities in choosing a city for our little party: we thought about having it in Buffalo (it's where we met, where we started building a life together), we thought about Bloomington (it's where I grew up and much of my extended family is still in the area), but ultimately we decided on Indianapolis.

A few different factors helped us make this decision. First, so many of the people who will be invited are already scattered across the country. Indy is fairly centralized and a reasonable drive from Bloomington and Buffalo, plus it's large enough to have plenty of flight options for those further away. Indianapolis is our new home and we're looking forward to sharing it with the people who are most special to us. Also, as I'm realizing, a wedding is a pretty expensive affair so why not choose to make that investment in the businesses and people who make up the community around us?

No matter where we chose a large number of people would have to travel to attend, and we realize that there will probably be people who won't be able to make the trip. Our greatest hope is that those who cannot attend will at least be here in spirit.

We made it!

Well, we're in Indy now, try to get settled in to our new place. We've pretty much found room for everything (hard to believe if you've seen all the stuff we have) and are trying to take care of all the little details like getting internet hooked up at the house and figuring out where the grocery store is. I LOVE having a washer and dryer ... and an air conditioner, since it's like 91 today.

Anyway, now we can start thinking about planning! More updates soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

See you on the flip side

Well, we're hitting the road for Indy in about an hour. The truck is packed, the apartment's been cleaned, (our deposit returned, god bless our landlord), the cats have been traumatized and we're all set! Let's hope for safe and uneventful travel.

Talk to you all soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spotlight Interview Project

I've outlined this for many of you already in an email but one of the projects I hope to accomplish with this blog is a series of "Spotlight" posts about each of our immediate family members and the members of the wedding party. I think this will be a nice way for everyone to learn a few things about each other, especially since we're scattered all over the country and many of you have not met (and probably won't meet until next summer).

I'd like to post a photo with each profile if everyone is okay with that, just to help put names with faces. If you have concerns about posting your photo online (or a photo of your children) please let me know.

Also, the blog is currently a public blog, meaning anyone can access it. (Not that I think there's going to be much traffic from total strangers.) If people are uncomfortable with this I do have the ability to make it a "members only" blog. However, this will complicate things when we get to the invite stage and want to post things like directions, etc.

I'll probably begin the spotlight posts once we get moved. I'll contact you by email to get a little info before your turn and will be sure to let you proofread your post before going live with it.

Feel free to leave comments with your feedback.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ooooh, I'm in!

Jen will probably post much more than I will, but I feel better being a small part of the blog...

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to the Owen-Harmon wedding blog! I hope this will a place for family and friends to find information about planning, ask questions, post ideas and generally help us celebrate our upcoming marriage!