Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Picture Perfect

This is not me obsessing :) Let me just say that first! 

In order to to organize my thoughts on different photographers and hopefully make a decision, I thought I'd do a photographer comparison. 

Arden Photography - Birmingham, AL

Zoeiac Images - New Orleans, LA

Mark Elkins Photography - Atlanta, GA

509 Photography  - Birmingham, AL

Kim Box Photography - Prattville, AL you can see, there are 3 images that I picked from each photographer. I'd LOVE your opinions!! Who you like best; Which image you like best; The pros and cons of your favorites; ...just whatever!! 

...also, there are 2 more that i might possibly consider but that depends on their pricing and availability since i haven't checked those yet. If both of those factors work out then I'll post some images from them as well. For now though, just pretend like these are the only ones...cause they just might be! Thanks everyone!!!! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Obsessive

yep, that's right...I'm Obsessive. I like to think that maybe I'm not, but who am I kidding?!? I totally am. Once i get something into my head I can't get it out. And i have to look at every single option, every single angle, every single situation before I make a decision. Yep, sounds like obsession. I have no clue what it's like to find something I like and go with it - the very first thing. Seriously, it probably takes me at least an hour to pick out a greeting card because I have to go down the line and pick up every single one that i like and then narrow it down one by one from there. For big decisions I make "pros" and "cons" lists. No kidding! So where am I going with this? 

The other night I had a dream. My obsessions are leaking into my subconscious! In the dream I was at a beach or a pool or something with my girls (the bridesmaids) and we were just hanging out having a good time, then all of a sudden this woman, a wedding coordinator, comes to get me and tells me that it's time to get ready. I'm like "for what?" and she says my wedding. At first I'm like oh, okay...but then I realize that I haven't done anything for the wedding! I'm talking like I haven't even sent out invitations, I don't have a dress, the bridesmaids don't have dresses (and I hadn't even officially asked my bridesmaids either!), my parents weren't there...heck, I don't even know if Mark was there! And then i woke up....very unsettled to say the least!!! Uh...think this is trying to tell me something?!? I need to stop obsessing about everything and just make some decisions or nothing is ever going to get done! So...I took my mind off wedding planning for a few days (the weekend) and now I'm going to come back to it and start making some decisions! If i like something...I need to go with it. Yeah, there might be something better out there, but who cares? I liked the first one and if I didn't ever know that the 2nd one even existed then what's the difference?!? (Am I making sense?) goal? To try to control my obsessive nature and just make some decisions and be happy. Doesn't sound too difficult, right? We'll see how it goes.... :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vintage Glass

I love vintage colored glass (btw...I promise I don't throw the word "love" around as much in real life. Honestly! I just like to write about things that i really really like [aka Love] Disclaimer: this does include talking to my cat or my fiance!). Over the past couple years I've started collecting colored glass - mostly found from flea markets and a couple items from rummage sales and such. I've tried the whole thrift store thing but that never really works for me. I just get annoyed by all the mess, clutter and worthless stuff! If it's a well organized thrift store then I can deal...but how often do you find those?!?
So somewhere along my time spent searching various websites and design blogs I came across this beautiful colored glass

It's called cathedral glass bottles. And guess what? Apparently it's a collectible item - OF COURSE! I did some searches on ebay for these and the ones in good condition were going for about $200! Can you believe that?!? Apparently it's from the Civil War period - wow! These bottles were used for pickles and peppers. I wish our consumer packaging was still this beautiful. 

I could really see groupings of these on various tables holding single bud flowers such as poppies like this

and maybe pretty, soft peonies and ranoculus. These could be surrounded by votive candles. Lots and lots of candles - you guessed it...I love candles :)

And now the interactive part of the blog - anyone know where to find pretty colored glass bud vases? They don't have to be vintage! They do need to be a shade of pale aqua, green or blue though! I found some small (really quite small) aqua colored bottles at World Market the other day. I'm not sure if they are large enough to hold a single bud even - I'd have to test it out, so I didn't buy them. Any other suggestions for stores/websites?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photographer WANTED

Now taking applications for a Wedding Photographer!!

Seriously though, photography is an extremely high priority for me as far as wedding vendors go. It's like #2 on the list of importance - right behind the wedding venue (which only took Mark and I 4 months to decide on and then book...). I've been looking around on different websites for photographers and I actually found one that I really really love - problem is, I fell in love before I looked at the price tag. Don't you hate it when that happens?!?! I mean I'm willing to dedicate a good 15% of my budget to a kick ass photographer, but to my surprise they wanted much more than that! More like at least 30% of the budget and my first born child! Okay, maybe not the child...but a whole heck of a lot of money! The photographer's work that i fell in love with? It's A Bryan Photo , only the MOST EXPENSIVE photographer in Birmingham. Of course!! That's my luck. But their work really is amazing....too bad their prices START at $6K. Dang it. So...I'm trying to move on and find someone else's work that love (ho-hum)....

I'm considering: Kim Box Photography, Arden Photography, and I did really like Our Labor Of Love Photography (from ATL) but I think they are going to be bit of my range as well. Also, I already checked into Tim Will Photography (from ATL) and he is already booked for our wedding date. I want our wedding photography to be more of a fine art photojournalistic style. I mean I do want SOME of the traditional posed shots - such as with family and all. But I want our photography to tell the story of the day and most importantly capture the emotion and joy. Those - to me - make the best pictures. I want someone who is seasoned, but not burned out on it - you know? Cause someone who knows what they're doing and loves what they're doing is going to do the best work, I think. 

So...this is where you guys come in (I hope!).... does anyone know of a GREAT wedding photographer? As long as they are within about 3 hours of Birmingham then that would probably ATL, Nashville, Montgomery...are all options. OR  even outside of that vicinity as long as they don't charge *too* much for traveling fees. 


Monday, August 18, 2008

BM Dresses

So I've had a hard time finding the right shade of aqua for the bridesmaid dresses. I guess you could probably consider me extremely picky about shades/tones of the colors, but I think everyone has probably experienced the shock/horror when that perfect color of paint you picked out doesn't turn out the  perfect color when you put it on the walls....oh, if you had JUST picked that shade above or below it on the paint chip card it would have been PERFECT! okay, so maybe i'm being a little dramatic, but shades of colors really make a big difference! seriously!! :)

I did find one shade of aqua that i think would be nice. It's a color that they carry with the Simple Silhouettes line. Those dresses are great...very modern for bridesmaid dresses, and I honestly think that some of them can be worn again, which is really most important to me for my maids. I know everyone always says that "oh, don't you think these could be worn again?" and they never really can. I mean come on...chiffon just SCREAMS bridesmaid. So i've been trying to look in nontraditional places for bridesmaid dresses - Nordstrom, Macy's, Dillards, JCrew, Anthropologie, etc. I've found some pretty good contenders...but none in that perfect shade of aqua. Although, i have found several options in a nice dark purple - kind of a royal or an aubergine purple. Apparently it's going to be  hot color this fall. But i'm having a spring wedding...hmmm....oh well i guess!  What do you guys think? Purple/Pale Aqua Blue/and B/W Damask...does that work for spring?!? I mean it is an evening wedding....

Also - i LOVE this Nicole Miller dress....but it's a bit on the pricey side 
(okay, maybe a little more than a bit). But I would without a doubt wear this dress again!

Here's the Aqua colored Simple Silhouettes dress I was talking about...
i'd probably pick a different style, but i do love the color. And I'd like this one with a black "belt" instead of the aqua that is on this one. 

Here's another purple option:

I think i'd actually like to see different styles/shapes in the bridesmaid dresses. I think it's a softer look with all the maids are wearing the same color/length but different styles. I sometimes feel like everyone wearing the same dress looks a bit like a bridal army. know what i mean?!? Plus, with different styles, everyone is able to get the style that looks best on them. I mean, I love strapless dresses but I KNOW that not everyone does. 

So...what do you guys think?!?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another point goes to Purple!

I love this bouquet. I was really picturing myself with a white bouquet...but i do really love this one. We'll see what happens. I could always use this bouquet as inspiration for the centerpieces. hmmmm....

Isn't it pretty?!?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

uhhh.....I'm wavering!!

So what do you think of adding purple into the palette? Like a deep purple - absolutely no lilac! I think it looks really good with the greens...which we'll have a lot of in our garden setting. And it also goes nicely with the aqua.

I'm thinking now that my palette could possibly use a little punch. See, I warned you all that i'm indecisive! I just can't help it - it's in my nature!! Advice Please!!!! :)

A Great Resource

I had no idea about diamonds before i got one. Seriously....price, cut, clue. And i CERTAINLY didn't know about tables and girdles and depth and all that jazz...still don't really. I mean I was aware of the 4 C's...but anything beyond general knowledge that grades existed....I was clueless. BUT...I've run across a website called PriceScope that is a wealth of knowledge. These people know their stuff! And what's better? They're extremely helpful! It's free to register and I highly recommend it if you're ever considering purchasing any diamonds (or gemstone even) in the future... um, hello wedding band?!? :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another great Aqua Palette

I need to give credit where credit is due...

This inspiration board that i found on either Snippet & Ink OR Elizabeth Anne Designs ( I can't remember which one - but they are both excellent wedding blogs...check them out!) is where I found the inspiration for my wedding palette. Also, if you know me and have ever been in my living room/dining room then these patterns and colors might also look a slightly familiar!). This board is also very beautiful....I love the warm tones. It's making me consider adding more creams and champagnes or this beautiful dove gray to mine!

Maybe I'm a little ahead of myself, but I really LOVE this cake

So there are probably a million other things that I need to be picking out right now, but I came across this cake somewhere (I really can't remember where! BUT...I'm going to try to keep better track of where I find my images - promise!) and I absolutely LOVE it! It's perfect...the only things i would alter....
- the robin's egg blue ribbon would be AQUA
- the brown would be BLACK
- and I'd like some kind of cake topper...most likely some pretty ivory flowers

I was originally thinking that i wanted a different shape, like possibly an octagon - but I really love the way this traditional round's symmetry is perfect!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Damask Table Runners

There's a great post on the wedding bee website from miss sundae about making damask table runners. I think I'm going to go this route. I love the pattern of the fabric - the large damask print. I think it's a perfect balance of black and white. I'm thinking that I'll put these runners over black table linens. Then I'll bring in the aqua with chair ties (on the white gladiator chairs) candle votives, and either aqua tent lighting OR draping the tent in aqua fabric.

Anyway....check out this link from wedding bee about the damask table runners:

And you can order the damask fabric from here:

Wedding Palette

So I've had a difficult time deciding the wedding palette (surprise, surprise huh??). Initially I was thinking aqua and red with black and white accents. It's a great color palette. My first inspiration for this came from the June/July 08 issue of Domino Magazine (LOVE that magazine, btw). There's a great room in there that's done in the aqua/red/black combo. My fiance really liked the color combo too. After we picked our venue though we came to the realization that the color combo might not work best in our space. We're getting married at an old historic home in Birmingham, AL called the Donnelly House. The ceremony will be in the garden and the reception will be in the house and in a tent behind the house.  The color palette in the house is very neutral - kind of varying shades of creams. I was afraid the red would overpower the decor in the house so then I started looking for inspiration for other palettes. I think what I'm leaning towards now is a pale aqua/black and ivory damask.  What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Engagement Story

I've read enough of these wedding blogs to know how they always begin - with the story of the couple! Well, Mark (the fiance) and I first met in May/June (I'm not for sure which month - is that horrible?!) of 2005. We had both just graduated from college. I went to Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!!!!) and he went to Birmingham Southern College (small liberal arts college in Birmingham, AL). We met at Roosters in Auburn, AL - it's a small music venue/chicken finger restaurant. Sounds classy...I know. :) But i used to work there while i was in college, booking bands for the "music venue" part of it. We were one of the only bars in Auburn that would book original music - most of the other places only booked cover bands...mostly 80's cover bands in fact.  I had developed a love for music during my time in college and decided i wanted to make a career out of it, so my best options at the time were working for the University booking their entertainment (a'la concerts, comedians, etc.) and then this little gig booking local and regional musicians at Roosters (and trying to convince them that it was in fact a cool bar to play at...not just a chicken joint). So a band that i used to book called The Rewinds (from Birmingham, AL) were playing and I - as usual- was there setting up and running the sound board. The band didn't know that i was to be their "sound guy" so they were shocked and i think horrified when they found out that this "chick" was suppose to run their sound. They decided that it would be best if their friend that was with them that night run sound instead. I obliged and brought the "dude" up to the sound board. He didn't know anything!! He was asking which knobs were their vocals and drums mics, etc...needless to say i was a bit offended that they would rather have this guy than me. So i brushed him aside and set up the sound myself. He was kinda cute though how he was nervous about running the sound...and i believe he was also a little intoxicated by that point. He ended up pulling a chair next to my sound board and talking to me all night. At the end of the night he asked for my number and i gave it to him. He lived in Birmingham and was just down with the band to hang out. Out of shear coincidence I was planning to move to Birmingham after the end of that summer to look for a job. If nothing else, I figured that I had at least made a new friend for my new town. 

Fast forward to later on that summer....we went out on our first date when i was in town visiting Birmingham. We had a great time...flat tire on my car and all. Shortly after, I moved to Birmingham and we would spend sporadic nights hanging out...we'd go to listen to music at different bars mostly. We were casually dating. We took it very slow - he was unsure as to whether he'd be staying in town or not because he wanted to pursue his dreams of playing music and i was unsure as to whether i would stay in Birmingham as well because i was having difficulty finding my dream job. He eventually made the move to Nashville and we left it totally open - we'd see how things worked out. Turns out...that's really what brought us together. We decided that we really did have something special and that we should start taking it a little more seriously. His time in Nashville was limited - 6 months. During that time I had found a job at a Music company in BIRMINGHAM. Yes, Birmingham. I didn't know that it even existed. But through some luck, some contacts, and my limited music business experience i found it. Mark moved back to Birmingham and shortly after we moved in together. Things were going GREAT. 

Fast forward another year and a half.... we had been together for 2 1/2 years now and living together for 1 1/2. It's Valentines Day 2008 and we've been planning a cruise for March 2008, with that in consideration we decided to have a low key Valentines Day. He would cook dinner and we'd have a nice relaxing time at home. Well, when i came home from work I walked into a candlelit room filled with roses and filet mignon and lobster on the dinner table. Music was playing and Mark actually had on a nice shirt! Imagine my surprise. I still had no clue what was coming though. We ate dinner then he came around to my side of the table and was talking to all began with "i have something to tell you". What?!?! "I lied to you. When i said i was at my mom's the other day helping her clean the basement i wasn't actually doing that....I was shopping." Okay....for what? And out comes the ring box from under the table where the leaf sets into it.....i lost it. He gets down on his knee, says tons of wonderful sweet things and asks me to marry him. I somehow managed a yes in between sobs. It was amazing. The 2nd most amazing thing about it....I had absolutely no clue. We had casually talked about marriage...but it was more so that we both just assumed we'd always be together...and marriage would eventually happen. We had never looked at rings. I had never told him or even dropped hints about it. This was totally on his own and from his heart. AMAZING. Oh, and if you're wondering what the #1 most amazing thing's that I'm marrying my best friend and the man that love with all of my heart. 

My first real blog

Okay, so i've tried this whole blogging thing once before...but it was through myspace. So does that really count? The topic was basically non-existent and i didn't really expect anyone to read it. Which...who knows, might be the case with this blog as well...but hopefully not! My goal with this is to document my wedding planning process and hopefully gather inspiration, opinions, advice and guidance from fellow wedding planning bloggers. In the recent weeks I've developed this mild obsession (okay, okay...maybe slightly more than mild) with reading wedding and style blogs. I LOVE them! They are extremely addictive....but incredibly fun and inspirational. I'm the type of person that spends hours (or days...possibly weeks) searching through every review and picture and piece of information that is out there in order to make a big decision - such as a trip i'd like to take (hello honeymoon!!), buying a new camera, or even deciding on a color scheme (i'm trying really REALLY hard). So what better option is there for an indecisive gal such as myself than to seek the help of the blogging community?!? And this is where is all begins..welcome to my blog. Comments welcome. :)