Thursday, November 5, 2009

Close to the Heart - Part II

Another very, VERY important aspect of our wedding for Mark and I was our ceremony. We both knew that we wanted our ceremony to be very personal....we didn't want the standard ceremony where the officiant just fills your names in the blanks. We found a minister that we connected with and then went from there. We did do the whole pre-marital counseling thing with him, which we both really enjoyed. It wasn't necessarily discovering new things about each other, because we had been together a while and already had all of those conversations. But sometimes it's just good to hear your fiance tell someone else, in front of you, why they love you....what they admire about you...what they see for you future, etc. We also really liked that it gave our minister a chance to get to know us and our relationship.

Together with our minister we crafted our ceremony....I took his basic standard methodist ceremony and then found a few resources online (which i WISH i still had the links to) then i went to work writing our ceremony. Mark and I then sat down, edited things out, changed the wording in some areas and once we were happy with it we took it to our minister. Our minister then reviewed it, edited some things out (it ended up being longer than we wanted it to be in it's original form), changed some wording (to make it easier for him to say), shortened some of the wordiness, and then we gave him free reign in some areas...like prayers and a reading section we devoted to him where he used some bible verses.


photo credit: McLellan Style

I want to share our full written ceremony with you guys because I know that when I was trying to write our ceremony, it really helped me to see examples of other people's ceremonies. Here's the final copy of what we came up with:

Greeting: Dear family and friends, we are gathered here, in the beauty of nature, and in the presence of God, to unite Mark and Liz in marriage. Marriage can be one of the most wonderful of human experiences. Love in its many manifestations is what life is all about. To share their lives, to encourage creativity, inspire each other to reach beyond the limits of the ordinary . . . not at the expense of each partner's individuality, but rather, by the strength of the common bond, this is the hope in which Mark and Liz come to be married.

The Giving In Marriage:
Who Supports this Woman in Her Marriage to this Man?
Answer: Her family and I do.

Opening Prayer and Reading:
Prayer: Rev. John D. Richardson

From Union by Robert Fulghum:
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

Homily/Marriage Address: Given by Rev. John D. Richardson

Acknowledgement of Family and Friends:
Today represents not only the joining of Mark and Liz, but also the joining of their families and friends. Mark and Liz would like to recognize their parents on this occasion – Joe and Martina, Chris and Susan, Steve and Jan. They offer their profound gratitude to you for all the love and care you have showed in raising them. Parents, the unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible.

They are blessed to share their wedding day with you, their family and friends, and they thank each of you for making the journey here.

Remembrances:
Mark and Liz have also asked that we take a moment to honor those loved ones who are not with us today, especially their grandparents. (a moment of silence)

Declaration of Support:
I invite you all to stand in support of Mark and Liz. As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds Mark and Liz. Each of you, by your presence here today, confirms your commitment to uphold and care for these two people in their marriage. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen to them when they ask for advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today. Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and bless this family created by their union?
Please answer by saying: “We Do”
Thank you, you may be seated.

Declaration of Intent:
Mark and Liz, before God and your family and friends, I ask you to affirm your willingness to enter this covenant of marriage and to share all the joys and sorrows of this new relationship, whatever the future may hold.
Liz, will you have Mark to be your husband, and will you love him faithfully as long as you both shall live?
“I Will”
Mark, will you have Liz to be your wife, and will you love her faithfully as long as you both shall live?
“I Will”
Then please turn to each other and share the vows you have written.


Exchange of Marriage Vows:
Mark and Liz write their own vows….

Blessing and Exchange of Rings:
These rings are the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, signifying to all the uniting of Mark and Liz in a holy union. By your blessing, O God, may these rings be symbols of unending love and faithfulness to Mark and Liz, reminding them of the covenant they make this day.
Liz, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you; in the name of God.

Mark, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you; in the name of God.

Blessing of Hands:
Mark and Liz, please gaze now into each others hands, so you may see the gift that they are to you.
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May Mark and Liz see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name Lord, Amen.

Benediction:
May the love that has brought you together continue to grow and enrich your lives. May you meet with courage the problems that arise to challenge you and may your relationship always be one of love and trust. May the happiness you share today be with you always and may every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.

Closing Prayer: Let us pray for Mark and Liz in their life together.
All: Faithful God, source of love, pour down your grace upon them, that they may fulfill the vows they have made this day, and reflect your steadfast love in their life-long faithfulness to each other. As members with them of the body of Christ, use us to support their life together; and from your great store of strength give them power and patience, affection and understanding, courage and love toward you, toward each other, and toward the world, that they may continue together in mutual growth according to your will in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Declaration of Marriage/ The Kiss:
Mark and Liz, in the presence of God and of your family and friends who have joined you to share this moment of joy in your lives, you have declared your deep love and affection for each other. You have stated your wish to always be open to a deeper, richer friendship and partnership. You have formed your union, based on respect and honor. May God confirm your covenant and fill you both with grace.
Now that Mark and Liz have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands, and the giving and receiving of rings, I announce to you that they are married; in the name of God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Amen.
You may seal your marriage with a kiss.

Presentation of Couple:
Friends and Family, it is my pleasure to present to you, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Elizabeth Boger!


This whole ceremony lasted about 20 minutes. Also, as you can see from the text, Mark and I decided to write our own vows as well. I'll share those at a later date :) I hope this helps those of you that have made the decision to write your own ceremony! Good Luck and Happy Planning!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Close to the Heart

Hi guys. I haven't blogged in forever, I know. I'm sorry! Of course I have excuses (the house we've been renting for the past 2 years being sold and us having to move, buying a new car before the Cash for Clunkers program ended, and oh yeah....buying our first house!!! I guess you could say we've taken advantage of some of the economic incentives that our President has been enacting!) but I also felt like I needed a bit of a break. I lost some inspiration for a while. BUT, I'm back now....and I'm excited to share with you more details from our wedding as well as what's going on in our lives now (um, hello....decorating a new house! oh, and us trying to learn how to actually do maintenance and updating around our house ourselves!)

So, looking back on my last post I shared with you guys music that we're using in our wedding video....but I haven't yet shared with you the music we used in our ceremony. Music is VERY important to us. I actually work in the business and Mark is a musician (slash structural engineer). We also met through music....I was booking bands at a bar and his friend/old bandmate's band was playing. Music has played a pretty big role in our entire relationship and I feel that songs are one of the biggest ways to trigger memories and bring about those emotions you have connected to that song. So obviously, we chose our ceremony music wisely....and it definitely was NOT the traditional wedding music! ;) The music we chose was ALL listed in our program...even the Prelude and Postlude songs. And here they are:

Prelude:
Green Arrow by Yo La Tengo
I Found A Reason by The Velvet Underground
Major Label Debut - Broken Social Scene
New Slang - The Shins
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Love and Some Verses - Iron & Wine
Our Way to Fall - Yo La Tengo

....we wanted these songs to set the mood. Calm, Warm, Loving, Slow & Steady...but with an Upbeat tone and tempo. We didn't want anything that would be too overpowering here or draw TOO much attention because we knew it'd just mostly be background music for everyone entering and finding their seats. We did, although, want to foreshadow that this would not be your typical wedding and your typical wedding music. 

photo credit: McLellan Style

The next set of songs were even more carefully chosen because they would each play a part in the wedding ceremony:

Seating of Family: Pitter Patter Goes My Heart by Broken Social Scene
Processional (for the girls and the guys who walked separately): Sea of Love by Cat Power
Bridal March: Lover's Spit (beginning instrumental part looped) by Broken Social Scene
Recessional: All You Need is Love by The Beatles

Postlude:
I'm A Believer by The Monkees
God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
She's A Rainbow by The Rolling Stones

And there ya have it! I'm so, SO happy that we chose music that really fit and really represented us and our relationship. I knew some people would think that it was odd, but it was seriously one of my favorite parts of our wedding. We actually had a lot of people (both young and old) complement us on our choice for music...so it turned out quite well. And one of the best parts....whenever we hear one of these songs now, it takes us back to that day and that moment in time :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Love and Some Verses - Wedding Video Music

Sorry this is coming so late, but i had a request to share the music that I mentioned in my previous post that we provided for Superium Productions, our videographers. Like I said before, we gave Nick about 20 songs to pick from for our video....we couldn't really narrow it down much from that! A few of these were in our "prelude" for our ceremony and lot of the others were discarded in place of other songs that we choose to use in our ceremony or other significant musical moments. In no particular order, here they are:

Song - Artist
1. Wonderful Love - Creeper Lagoon
3. Do You Realize - The Flaming Lips
4. Kingdom Come - Coldplay
5. Wildflowers - Tom Petty

6. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
7. Fix You - Coldplay
9. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
10. In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
11. I Will - The Beatles
12. Here Comes Your Man - The Pixies
13.
14. She's a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones
15. La Vie en Rose - Louis Armstrong
16. Just Another - Pete Yorn
18. Strangers - The Kinks
19. Real Love - The Beatles
20.

....and there ya have it! The top 20 songs we chose for our wedding 
video! ...And don't worry, there will be PLENTY more posts about
music we used in our wedding coming up shortly! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wonderful Love

....speaking of Wedding Videos, Nick Weeks from Superium Productions sent me this the other day:


(sorry, but I can't embed the video....this is just a screen shot, so you'll have to click the link above)

...it's our Wedding Trailer!! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I  LOVE it and how excited I am to see the rest of our Wedding Video!! :) I think this little clip does an excellent job of capturing the mood of the day...the anxiousness and excitement we felt while getting ready, the calm we felt when we saw each other for the first time, the jokes and giggles that we shared while taking our pictures, the emotions that ran through us during our ceremony and exhilaration and joy we felt after being announced Husband and Wife!  Music is *very* important to Mark and I so we burned a CD of about 20 songs and gave them to Nick to use in our video. The music in this trailer is "Wonderful Love" by Creeper Lagoon. 

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Moment in Time

Some moments are just so good that you never want them to pass, holding them in the palm of your hand so tightly that your knuckles turn white and your fingers go numb. Our wedding day was like this to me. Were there moments of stress? Yes. Anxiety? Yes. Nervousness? Yes. But there was also Warmth, Love, Friendship, Hopefulness, and Overwhelming Support.  There were several times when I had to stop and remind myself that this was all for me & Mark. That this was actually OUR wedding.

We made a decision pretty late in the game to hire a videographer...and I'm so, SO glad that we did. We had amazing photographers that I was sure would be able to capture the mood and overall feel of our day, but there's just something about a really well done video that tugs at your heartstrings. It goes beyond the pictures and really tells the story of the couple and the people that surround them.  It unveils the emotions that are involved with the deep commitment that the ceremony symbolizes. And trust me, there are an array of emotions! We haven't gotten even a sneak peek back from Superium, our videographers, yet but I cannot wait till we do! 

Until then, I'd like to share a couple videos that I think capture a wedding beautifully. These kinds of videos are the reason that we decided to hire a videographer for our wedding. These two videos are done by Still Motion, a wedding cinematography company based out of Canada. (If they weren't over my budget and hundreds [maybe thousands] of miles away from us, then I definitely would have been all over them to shoot our wedding!)


Amazing right? Those two get me teary eyed every time!! When I met with our videographer -- Nick Weeks from Superium Productions -- I had a little trouble expressing what I wanted our video to be like. I used words like "atypical wedding video", "unique", "artistic"....I told him that i didn't want it to just be video of the wedding...I wanted it more like a movie, something that's actually fun to watch. I told him to chop it up and edit it like crazy...I didn't want it to be just one long recording of the events. I knew I wanted our voices overlayed in spots too....things like the vows, and we decided to do a little mini "love story" within the wedding. They interviewed both Mark and I separately and asked questions about our relationship and each other. I can't wait to see what they come up with! Here's a sample of a highlight video they did for another couple:


So what about you guys? Do you think a wedding video is worth it? Did you hire a videographer
for your wedding day...or would you?


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Name Game - Making it Official


Okay, so I know that many women think about their name change ahead of time...like as in before the actual wedding. Well, I wasn't one of those. The first time I actually really put much thought into it was at a wedding shower that my friends from my hometown threw for me. Just out of the blue while visiting with all my ladies, one friend asked "So what are you gonna officially change your name to?" And I answered...."Um....I don't know...?? I guess I should have thought about this, huh?" DUH!!

No, I don't want to hyphen our last names...that's just too complicated

For most women it's easy....You take your First Name - Current Middle Name + Maiden Name + New Last Name and there ya go...it = Your Married Name. Well, unfortunately mine is a little more tricky. Currently, I'm working with First Name Middle Name Last Name, BUT I go by a version of my Middle Name. So I can't exactly just drop my middle name...And I don't exactly want to drop my first name. My first and middle names actually kinda form one of those classic southern double names....and although I've never gone by said double name, I like it. And I want to keep it. So, you're probably thinking...well, why don't you just drop your Maiden Name? Well, it's not exactly like I got married extremely young before I established a career (THANK GOD, btw...) so I'm now known in my industry by my current name (which is a version of middle name and maiden name). Following me here?!? So that brings me to First Name + Middle Name + Maiden Name + New Last Name = Married Name. Damn...that's a lot. PLUS my official signature would be my First Name (which I've NEVER gone by) and my New Last Name....which actually would be the same name as my husband's grandmother. Oh, and did I mention that I'm not too fond of *just* my first name on it's on? You know, without the middle name in addition which then forms the double name. 

Oh. My. God. This is confusing. And probably quite boring to read too! So, after that lengthy, confusing explanation...what do you think I should do?? I guess I'm trying to decide between:

FirstName MiddleName MaidenName NewLastName --> official signature would be a name I'm not too fond of

FirstName MiddleName NewLastName --> I'd have to drop my maiden name, which I'm pretty attached to, as well as my colleagues in my industry 

MiddleName MaidenName NewLastName --> I'd have to drop my first name, which I'm very fond of my first name/middle name combo...plus, my first name is a family name

And yes, I'm 100% sure that I'm putting WAY too much thought into this and it would be considered by many as obsessing. We've already determined that this is how I function :)

So...what do you guys think?? Option 1, 2 or 3? OR....do you have another suggestion for me?? (and yes, I've decided that I FOR SURE want to change my last name to my husband's last name. It might be old fashioned but I like that it kind of solidifies us as a family unit AND it's very important to me to have the same last name as our future children....however less appealing that new last name is than my current last name) :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Conceptualization

It's no secret that I most certainly put some time and thought into planning our wedding. It was very important to me that our wedding *really* represent Mark & I - our individual personalities, our personality as a couple, and our likes and dislikes...all the way down to the food, the drinks, the flowers and the music.

One of the very first things I did when I began planning the wedding was to put together an inspiration board. It was basically a collage of pictures that inspired items or designs that I wanted to incorporate into our wedding. This collage gave the overall style and vibe of our wedding. I took this inspiration board to every vendor I met with, in hopes to give everything about our wedding a sense of unity. I kinda had an underlying theme where I wanted things to coordinate, but not match exactly. Now...you can take that idea as deep or as shallow as you'd like...but I'd like to think there's a little subconscious meaning behind it ;)

Just for fun, I thought it'd be cool to see how the ideas I started with turned into our wedding so I put together an inspiration board from pictures of our wedding. I'm going to start with one of the very first boards I made then progress to one I was using when I was meeting with vendors and then lastly, the board that is made up of pictures from our wedding.

In the beginning our colors were Pale Aqua and Black & White Damask:


 I wanted very pale aqua bridesmaids dresses and white/cream flowers. 

Next, I decided to add purple to our color palette:

I still wanted to incorporate the Pale Aqua and Black & White Damask, but I also wanted to add a very deep purple to the mix that would debut in the bridesmaids dresses and florals. 

This board was just further developing the style of the wedding:


Garden-like florals, toss cones, lots of candlelight, vintage glassware and touches of damask.

This was my Final Inspiration Board that I took around to all my vendors:


There are several items on here that were the exact items actually present in our wedding: the aqua and damask-like parasols, the purple ruffle clutch, the deep purple bridesmaid dress AND my dress. 

And lastly we have OUR WEDDING:


If you'd like to see these inspiration boards closer up then you can view them on my flickr photostream here.

So....what do ya think?? I love how it came together. There are definitely a *few* things that didn't come together completely as I had pictured in my mind, and maybe even a few disappointments, but all in all I think it came out pretty close to what I had planned.  I'll go into depth more in future posts on individual items and each vendor, but I think this last collage gives you a good idea of how the design of our wedding turned out. Also, please keep in mind that the pictures in the collage of our wedding are NON-PRO pics. ....I can't wait to get those pro pics! ;)

xo,
The Indecisive (Bride) Wife <-----HA! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Hello, Hello!!

So, yeah, I haven't blogged in oh say....2 1/2 months! I'm so sorry for my absence!

Yes, my wedding has now passed....and I have to say that it was absolutely perfect in it's own unique way and I wouldn't change a thing about it! I'll give you all more full recaps later, including reviews on each of our vendors, but as for now I have two things i want to address. 1 - My absence from writing this blog and 2 - My amazing friends. 

As the time for my wedding drew closer and closer my To-Do list got longer and longer (Imagine that!).  Not only that, but I felt that this blog was best for me to share ideas, bounce ideas off my readers, and eventually get around to making decisions. As those of you know that have planned a wedding before and those of you that are currently planning a wedding will soon find out, once you get about a month out from the wedding, everything goes into overdrive. I no longer had any time to bounce ideas off people....I then only barely had enough time to make and implement decisions! When people would ask me why I hadn't been writing in my blog I would tell them, "I no longer have time to write about doing things....I actually have to do them!".  As much as you plan prior to your wedding, you can never take care of everything in advance and there are ALWAYS last minute things. Trust me, I'm a planner by nature and I definitely learned this. 

Speaking of taking care of last minute things....leading up to the wedding, I had a To-Do list that i carried around with me EVERYWHERE. I seriously could not leave home without this....and I could not forget to put something on it that needed to be done because my head was so jumbled with STUFF that if I didn't write it down right away, it was gone. You see, I planned a wedding in the town that Mark & I live in...not in my hometown. Which means...it was basically just me planning the wedding by myself (with input from Mark) without much help at all from my family. Not a big deal at all to me...I'm a pretty independent person and I don't rely on others very often. BUT planning a wedding while working a pretty demanding full time job is another thing! My To-Do list was still a good 2 pages long 2 days before the wedding. THANK GOD my friend and bridesmaid Fawn came into town a little early for the wedding (because she was coming in from L.A.)....she got over to my house on Thursday ready and willing to work! We stayed up talking and wrapping presents (for the parents, child attendants and groom) that night. The next day, Friday, was the day of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We had planned for a lot of the girls to stay at my house that night because I was kicking Mark out to go stay elsewhere the night before the wedding. :) Well, my friends certainly came to my rescue here. After a LONG, rushed day of a stressful rehearsal (family issues - divorced parents) and family coming into town and getting lost and then our rehearsal dinner (which was nice, but i was still a ball of stressed worried about my family and their interactions the next day), it was SO NICE to have all my ladies over for what i intended to be a little girl time....but ended up being me quickly packing my suitcase for our honeymoon and the girls putting together the toss cones, tying ribbon on the seat markers and wrapping gifts for the groom. If they had not been there that night i think A) I probably would have lost it and given up...crying on the phone with my fiance OR  B) been up ALL night finishing projects. Not only did they save my sanity that night, but they also did it with a smile. I love you girls and I cannot even begin to tell you how much your support meant to me. 

I just wanted to end this post with a couple pictures of my superheroes from our wedding weekend....
L to R: Stevie, Me, Fawn, Becky, RuthAnn @ the cocktail hour honoring our bridal party
 (after the rehearsal)

My Lovely, Amazing, Wonderful Welcome Attendants (aka polaroid photographers, program hand-r-outers, guestbook attendants, petal toss cone explainers): Melanie & Becky

RuthAnn (my superhero friend, my hair stylist, my toss bouquet go-getter, my veil put-r-oner, my kick everybody out of the bridal suite when i needed peace & quite -r, my getting ready picture taker, yeah...you get the idea)

RuthAnn and I at the reception

RuthAnn, Fawn and Deana - my lovely bridesmaids/superheros/ water go-getters/ make sure the bride TRIES to eat-ers

....and I wish I had a pictures of all of my lovely bridesmaids together, BUT I don't :( Thanks SO SO, VERY MUCH to all of you ladies though. I love you!!!

xoxo,
The Indecisive Bride



Monday, April 27, 2009

Joining the Family


Back in March (I know, I know...late post, right??) Mark's Mom and sister organized a bridal tea for me that was basically just Mark's side of the family. It was a great opportunity to get to know the family members that I didn't know as well and it really turned out to be such a beautiful shower! It was held at Terry Pines Country Club in Cullman, AL (where Mark's dad and some of his family are members and nearby where a lot of his family is from). Mark's Mom, sister and Aunt collected pretty little vintage tea sets for the shower and used these on each of the tables.

Here's a shot of what it looked like before things got started:



Beautiful Right?? 

Here I am with the lovely hostesses:

Me with Mark's Mom 

Allison (Mark's sister) and Me

I'm so lucky to be gaining such an amazing family. Since Mark and I live in Birmingham and his parents live in Trussville (a suburb of Bham) we get to see them a lot. And I have to say...I'm definitely winning the lottery in the in-law department! :)

Thanks again to Allison and Jan and Mark's entire family for the beautiful bridal tea. It made me feel so welcome to be joining their family and it was just an amazing day all in all. These two showers (both this one and the one my friends threw for me in Prattville) have really made the whole wedding experience seem real...and SOON! :) Just 5 more weeks to go!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Showered With Love

I love my friends. Really, I do. I'm very very lucky to have such amazing people in my life. There are many of them that I don't see nearly enough and there are many of them that i don't even talk to nearly enough, but...I love them! :)

Life is busy - and it just gets in the way sometimes. We all have our own commitments - jobs, kids, relationships, hobbies, volunteer work, exercising...you name it. And a lot of the time it just gets in the way... it takes up all of our time and we just don't have much left over to spend with friends. I know I'm certainly guilty of it....I basically have a routine even though I didn't plan it or create it...it just happened. Get up (late-ish), if i don't wake up TOO late...try to squeeze in yoga or a jog around the block, go to work, go to lunch (home most of the time!), leave work, go home, if i didn't exercise in the morning i try to do something during this time - usually either The Shred or a jog in the neighborhood, cook/find dinner, stay up way too late looking at wedding stuff and trying to mark things off my to do list, then go to bed. And get up the next day and start over. I'm sure this sort of routine sounds familiar to many of you. It's typical in the "real world".  Man, being an adult sure does suck sometimes, huh?? ;)

Well, back to my original topic here before I got off on a tangent....April 11th (Easter Weekend) my friends threw me a bridal shower!! It was SOOO much fun! It meant so much to me for my friends to do something so thoughtful and so sweet and so generous just for me. :) It definitely made me feel special and showered with love! It was so great to see so many of my friends from back home that I never get to see nearly often enough. 

I have to say though, it's pretty funny that my senior quote in our yearbook was "Good friends are like stars...you don't always see them, but you know they're always there." This quote has definitely held true! Want proof?? Here's a picture from the shower of me and a group of my good girl friends from high school:


...that's right! PHS c/o 2001!! :)

And here's a picture with the hostesses:
Stevie, Melanie, Me, Heather (my sister) and Becky

Becky worked SO hard on decor coming up with ideas and creating them months in advance! Here she is with some of the birds that she made by cutting them out of cardboard and painting them. Isn't she creative??

and adorable?? ;)

It was so good to see family there too. My grandmother and my Aunt came all the way up from Mobile, AL just to come to the shower! I also got to see my Aunt and cousin on my Mom's side that I haven't seen in YEARS!

I just want to say thank you from the very, very bottom of my heart for all of my friends that spent so much time (and money!) putting this together. It means so very much. I also want to say thank you to all of the friends that came - It was so good to see you and your love and support means a lot. And last but certainly not least, I want to thank my family for the constant love I've received from them and the love and open arms you've shown Mark. 

Lots of Love,
The Indecisive Bride



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moving Right Past Baby Steps....

...that's right. Goodbye baby steps. We're now within a 7 week countdown until the wedding. Know what that means??

....Invitations went out!!! Yay!!! 

I've mentioned invitations before on my blog, like here and here and here. Well, to catch you all up to speed....a while back I listed a request on Etsy's Alchemy. The request was for my wedding invitations. Lots of bids came in for my invitations (probably around 30)...but one really stuck out. The designer was very enthusiastic and really seemed to share the same design style with me...plus, she loved our colors. The designer's name is Lindsey of Lindsey Ryan Design (and I highly, HIGHLY recommend her!). She sent me her portfolio, then a few mockups of what i had in mind and then she continued working with me on mockups. Honestly, we probably made at least 10 before I ever decided that this was the designer that I wanted to work with (what?? I told you i'm indecisive!!). She was sweet and patient and very receptive to my little tweaks and changes. We've been working on these invitations since mid-January! And finally, FINALLY, I get to show these to you!! I didn't want to ruin the surprise for our guests and show them before they went out....so now that I've gotten word that guests are receiving them, I can show them to you all!!

Here's a pic of them all addressed, stamped (both with the postage AND a silver stamp that I hand stamped on each envelope) and ready to go:

Ruby shimmer envelopes
*note - I blurred out parts of names and addresses for privacy*
Mark's Mom (my future mother-in-law) addressed ALL of the invitations for me with her lovely handwriting!! She is so sweet! :) BIG thanks to her b/c if I would have had to address these then they wouldn't be nearly as pretty!


Black Linen folio with aquamarine shimmer belly band


The main invitation!! (again, stuff blurred out for privacy)
It's printed on shimmer paper


The inserts! Travel info and RSVP set
printed on shimmer paper and the RSVP envelope is the aquamarine shimmer


The Whole Set!! 

So...what do you guys think?? I LOVE how they turned out!! I really wanted to build on the kind of "individualistic" theme we kinda have going.... You see, I love for things to coordinate but not match EXACTLY. For example...the bridesmaids dresses that are all the same color and length but all different styles; the vintage glass bottles that are all the same color but different heights and designs; the invitations which are all a form of a damask design...but none of the designs are the same throughout the invitation; the silver stamps on the outside of the invitations that are all the same stamp but placed in different locations on each envelope. I realize that people might not notice these tiny little details...but I do, and I love it! :)   Thanks again to Lindsey!! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kind of a Big Deal...

We FINALLY picked out Mark's wedding ring!!!

Like most decisions that we've had to make, this one took us forever! We first looked at wedding bands for Mark back last February when we got engaged. Admittedly, at the time we weren't looking seriously for bands yet....but, we were still looking. We began looking pretty seriously around last October and we've probably been on 3 or 4 excursions total to look for rings for Mark. He finally narrowed it down to the fact that he wanted something with milgrain (which is great b/c my e ring and band has milgrain too!) - other than that one specific, our search was kind of all over the place. Most of the rings we looked at were white gold (or as Mark likes to call it "silver"...ha!), although some also had rose gold or yellow gold on them as well. I think it was our expedition before this last one where he found a hammered finish ring with milgrain that he liked...BUT, he didn't like it enough to buy it. I guess it just wasn't the "one"! :)

After traveling around to a few jewelry stores yesterday we went back to our favorite Bham jewelry store...Diamonds Direct (it's where we purchased the setting for my ring). This store has the largest selection and we also have a sales associate there that we love - Angela. She's used to all of our indecisiveness! :) Plus, they don't work on commission there so you never feel pressured at all. After Mark tried on whatever caught our eye we were left with only 1 ring that we REALLY liked. None of them stuck out like this ring did....it was just something about it (um, other than the fact that it was the most expensive one out of the ones that he liked!). It looked really really good on him and I could tell that he really liked it. He was worried about the price tag, but I definitely didn't want that to affect his decision b/c this was something that he was going to be wearing every single day for the rest of his life. That's a big deal!! Although, after we decided to go with this band Angela told us that she could knock off a little over $200....um, okay! Sold! On top of that, Diamonds Direct offers a financing option to qualified customers with no interest for 9 months. With all of our expenses for the wedding coming up this was a BIG help. That way, after the wedding is over and all of my expendable income is no longer going toward pitching in for the wedding I can easily pay the ring off and not have to stress out about it being another "wedding expense" (cause I can certainly use one less of those in the next 2 months!).

Here's the ring he chose. It's a two tone white gold and yellow gold hammered finish ring with milgrain.





I love it! What do you guys think??

I'm so happy he chose one that is classic yet also unique. That's the way I feel about my ring. And if you're wondering about my band, remember, my wedding band came in a set with my engagement ring (after we had the setting swapped that is...you can read about that here if you're interested). Here's a pic of my rings:

I can't wait until we slip that wedding band under my engagement ring! Then it's real....then we're married. ....Just two months away!!!!!! :)

Now we just have to decide what we want to get engraved on our bands..... Hmm....

We're so happy to have this checked off of the list though and I'm SO HAPPY that he found one that he loves! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

You've Gotta Be Kidding Me...

...damask printed toliet paper?? Seriously???


It's true. It's REAL. Can you believe it?? I randomly came across this looking up "damask" on google images.  Apparently these ladies used it as a surprise during a girls night out weekend or something. 

How crazy is that though? Damask toliet paper?? That's, that's....AMAZING. I'm almost neurotic enough to order some. For now at least it's "almost"....once it gets closer to the wedding who knows what will happen!?! ;)

Oh, and if you're a damask bride wondering "where can you possibly get this??"...well, you can get it here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Seamstress Wanted!

I wish the world were like Etsy's Alchemy. If you haven't checked out the Alchemy feature on Etsy then you are definitely missing out. It's no secret how awesome Etsy is....but, it took me MONTHS (honestly, years) to discover the Alchemy feature. I've commented on the awesomeness of it before, but it's just so good that I'm gonna have to do it again! I found my AMAZING invitation designer, Lindsey Ryan, through Etsy Alchemy. I simply posted what i was looking for with detailed information like quantity, quality, amount i was willing to pay, and delivery date. You can also post inspiration pictures of what you're looking for. I got around 30 "bids" from doing this and after sorting through them all I picked Lindsey to create our invitations. She worked hand in hand with me to create EXACTLY what we were looking for. I'll post more on that later...I can't WAIT to share those with you!! :)

Anyway...back to my original topic.....I need a seamstress. I really really need a seamstress. And I wish I could just post a wanted ad on Etsy's Alchemy and have amazing seamstresses contact ME and offer me bids to do the job I wanted....BUT, unfortunately that's not exactly how ALL things work! ;) So...now, I'm turning to you guys. Does anyone know a great seamstress in Birmingham, AL? They need to be VERY experienced with wedding dresses. I think my bustle is going to end up being a little complicated! :) And I'm gonna need it to be taken in pretty much all over (bust, waist, hips). I think I maybe could have used the size down...plus I think Jillian is helping me firm things up (yes!!!). 

Oh, and if you're wondering why I don't just get it taken in at the bridal boutique that I bought it from it's because that boutique is about and hour and a half away and they only take alteration appointments on Thursdays. Um, hello....I work....and I live in Birmingham!! Yeah, not happening!

So, Help? Please? :)

Beautify Me!

So I've kinda been debating on what to do with my makeup on the day of the wedding. I see different brides on weddingbee and such talking about hiring professional makeup artists for their big day and I'd love to do this BUT....I live Birmingham, AL. It's not exactly NYC or LA and we don't have a plethora of amazingly talented makeup artists that do the makeup of celebrities and such on a daily basis. So...I wasn't sure where to start or what to do. Throughout my planning process, I've hit this same road block multiple times.....living in Birmingham, things aren't as easy access as other places. I mean just look on the boards for the Knot or Weddingbee and you'll notice that there aren't nearly as many brides from AL commenting on those sites and there aren't nearly as many reviews of vendors in our area. That's just how it goes. B'ham (and AL in general) hasn't exactly picked up on this trend it seems. So, if i can't necessarily turn to the internet (where I find practically EVERYTHING for the wedding) then where could I turn??

Well, I tried asking different vendors that I'm using in Birmingham. That lead me to one makeup artist who seemed very good...but she was booked for my date. She then suggested a few others and I of course tried googling them. I found websites for two of them and from one of the girl's website I found a "cosmetic spa boutique" in Birmingham. Coincidentally, it was right around the time of my FMIL's birthday and my fiance was having trouble coming up with a present to get her. I suggested that we get her a gift certificate to NVogue (the cosmetic spa boutique) because they offered a service called "Makeup Lesson". This service included both the makeup lesson AND the cost of the lesson was redeemable in products. Sounds like a good deal, right? And who wouldn't love a makeup lesson from a professional?? (especially when they had a big event coming up like their son's wedding!!) :) So, Mark and I talked it over and we decided to get this for her as her birthday present. When I called to purchase the gift certificate I decided to inquire about bridal makeup. And guess what?? They most definitely do bridal makeup!! The fee to have this done was less than what i had been quoted previously (from the M/U artist that was booked) and it included a trial run, day-of, free lipstick AND a free makeup session for the Mother of the Bride on the day of the wedding! Um...sold!!! So, I made appointments for my FMIL and I to have our makeup done at the same time at the spa.

I told the makeup artist at Nvogue (Tammy) that I would like a fresh/natural kind of look that played up my eyes a bit. I told her I wanted something very soft and romantic, but something that would show up well and look good in pictures - not to mention last ALL day in the May heat of central Alabama!

Here's what she came up with:









So what do you guys think?? Do we have a winner??

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick Decisions

okay, more on our invitations later (I promise!)...but for now I have a bit of an emergency decision to make.  [and yes, I might be blowing this WAY out of proportion...I realize that]

I've been working with the absolutely fabulous Lindsey from Lindsey Ryan Designs  on custom invitations. We've been working on these for a while now and she's been SO patient with me and my indecisiveness. Well, everything has been working out perfectly until just now....we hit a snag. The pocketfolds that we planned to use for the invitations are now out of stock and will not be back in stock for another 2 1/2 weeks. Um, yeah. My original deadline for invitations is next Monday (which we totally would have made had it not been for this little hiccup). So...now I'm faced with making a quick decision so that we can keep everything on track.... 

The pocketfold we planned on using was going to be a matte black. The invitation and inserts are going to be a pearl white (shimmer) and the aqua bellyband and aqua rsvp envelope will be a shimmer as well. Well, now the only in stock pocketfolds are either a shimmer black or a linen black. I'm afraid that the shimmer will just be TOO much shimmer (i liked the matte black pocketfold that was to balance everything out) and I'm afraid that the linen black will be too textured and too much of a contrast and a different tone against the shimmer. 

I NEED HELP!!!  I have to give a decision to her by tomorrow morning so that we can order the materials and get this show on the road! So which would you pick??

THE LINEN:

HERE'S A CLOSER UP PIC OF THE LINEN (ALTHOUGH NOT THE SAME POCKETFOLD):

OR THE SHIMMER:

Opinions Please!!!! Professing the fact that I'm crazy and making WAY too big of a deal out of this counts too!!! ;) (it's just that i've spent so much time tweaking every little detail of this invite and now when it comes time to put it all together one of the biggest pieces has been altered...ugh.)

Also, there is, actually, an option 3..... We could wait until April 9th when the matte black comes back in stock and then have them ready to send out April 13th (this would be MAILING them about 6 weeks out from the wedding).... technically, people are suppose to be receiving them 6 weeks out from the wedding. What do you guys think?? Chance it and go this route or settle for one of the alternatives???

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Honeymoon: {drumroll}.....check!!!

So it's about time, right???

We finally picked our honeymoon destination!!! 

After reading about a million TripAdvisor reviews from hotels and resorts quite literally all over the world, we've finally decided to go to.....




The Four Seasons Maui at Wailea!!!! 

And yes, that is a REAL picture taken from a guest at the FS Maui (I swiped it from Flikr, as I did with all of the pictures that will be in this post).

I'm so excited!!!! For 2 reasons really.... 1 - to go to this AMAZING resort in Hawaii with my even more amazing (official by that time) husband!! 2 - to actually have this decision made, booked and checked off our list!!

As I said, we did a TON of research for this honeymoon. TripAdvisor was a godsend. I loved that we could read literally hundreds of reviews on each destination we were considering. Not only that, but they are also ranked by location AND the reviewers (who are the actual people that traveled to these places - not travel agents or anything) can upload their personal pictures from the trip so you can get a good idea of what it REALLY looks like from a guest's perspective. Oh, and you can actually email the reviewers through the site and ask them additional questions about the destination. And speaking of reviews this place has 673 total reviews and 524 of these reviews are 5 star...and let me tell you, these tripadvisor people are not easy to please!! ;) Also solidifying our decision was the fact that this resort is one of only 3 AAA Five Diamond award winners in all of Hawaii...and it's been a Five Diamond award winner for 17 years in a row now! So yeah, sounds amazing right? I can't wait!! This will be just what we need after this whole year and a half (nearly!) of wedding planning! 

And now it's picture time...







Now we've just gotta get one of these (an underwater camera case for our Canon SD 600):

So that we can take pics like these: 



:)

(All photos from Flickr)

Aloha!!!!!! ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Slackerville

Yeah, so i haven't posted much lately. Have you noticed?? ;)

But I totally have not been slacking off on wedding planning....I promise!!! I've been busy! My to-do list multiplies exponentially daily. oh my. There is literally only 10 more weekends until the wedding. I can't believe it! I can't believe how quickly it's flown by. On one hand I'm so excited for the day to be here. I can't wait to marry Mark and start the rest of our lives together (officially) as a family :) But on the other hand I have so much anxiety because I feel like I still have SO much to do! 

Well, even though I haven't been blogging as much I HAVE been trying to mark things off my to-do list. A few of the things I've accomplished in the past couple weeks? Well let me tell you!

1 - Booked the Rehearsal Dinner
I'm so excited about this. I feel like the rehearsal dinner is going to be a really special time. The night before Mark and I make our lifetime commitment our families and closest friends will come together for an intimate gathering. It's a time for our families to bond, for our friends to have fun and a time for everyone to come together to celebrate mine and Mark's relationship. :) I just imagine a warm, loving environment filled with excitement and anticipation! I can't wait!! As for location, it's gonna be at the Cantina restaurant in Birmingham. The space is amazing. A large open room with VERY high ceilings and exposed brick walls. HUGE windows encircle the room. There's ambient, soft lighting with twinkle lights in all of the windows. And the food is amazing! It's an upscale mexican restaurant, described as a "unique taqueria". This is the real deal, authentic mexican food. Fresh quality ingredients served in an upscale, yet rustic, mexican environment. It's gonna be awesome! Thanks to Steve and Jan (my soon-to-be inlaws!) for setting this up! BTW....have I mentioned that Mark and I LOVE mexican food? Cause we do. A lot. A WHOLE lot! :)

2 - Ordered the Flower Girl Dresses
My good friend Stevie's daughter Leah and my future sister-in-law Allison's daughter Kaylee Beth are going to be our "honorary" flower girls. By the time the wedding gets here they will be 1 1/2 and 1 years old, respectively. Sooo...I said honorary flower girls b/c they will be just a *little* too young to be official flower girls. These little darlings involvement will be in wedding pictures only....oh, and looking adorable of course! No temper tantrums or tears at our alter! (well, maybe some tears....but hopefully not from these little girls!) :) They'll sit with their daddies or their grandparents for the ceremony. I found these cute little flower girl dresses on amazon and ordered them for the girls as their presents:

 They'll both be wearing the dress in ivory to match my wedding dress! I'm also planning to make them little aqua organza flowers for hair bows. They're gonna be too cute!

3 - Decided on Reception Music
This is a big one!! We've agonized over this decision forever (or at least it seems like it!). So we've finally decided to personalize the music just about as much as we possibly can! It's important to us to have a very personal wedding - b/c that's what it's about. It's about Mark and I joining our lives together in front of God, our family and our friends, and we wanted to make our wedding as much about US as possible. We want to share our lives with our friends and family and just enjoy and love every single part of our day. So...back to music...and what my whole spiel had to do with the music! We've decided to go with both a DJ and a Band. Now, this isn't just any DJ and any band. The DJ is a friend of my sister and brother-in-laws...he was actually a groomsman in their wedding. He's a music lover and just does the DJ gig in his spare time....you know, to pay for that expensive music collecting hobby! His music tastes match up with ours, but he also understands that it's very important to us to please everyone with our music selections. So, I think he'll be a nice fit! We also have one of Mark's very good friends playing with his band at our reception. They're an awesome local Birmingham band called The Grenadines that really fits in with the kind of music Mark and I really enjoy - you know, that kinda low-fi, indie rock vibe. 

We're so, SO excited that they've agreed to play! Thanks Michael and Lauren! We figure that with a 3 hour reception we'll have the DJ play to begin with, play for about an hour, then we'll have the band play...probably about a 45 minute set, and then we'll have the DJ come back on to carry the dance floor on into the night...well, until 10:30 at least because that's when we have to be done with the music at the reception - which means, it's time for me & Mark to ride off into the ...errr... moonlight! 

Now this brings us to number 4..... Honeymoon. 
....I have no announcements as of now, but stay tuned because I should have some big news on this in the coming days!! :)


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bridesmaids Shoes: Check

I finally made a decision!! ...regarding the bridesmaids' shoes at least. I think I'm averaging about 2 1/2 to 3 months on decisions nowadays. That's not too good. Especially considering the fact that we are now officially UNDER 3 MONTHS AWAY FROM THE WEDDING. Oh. My. God. I freak out just a little bit when I say that....literally, my heart starts beating faster and it feels like my throat starts to tighten. Totally NOT because I'm nervous about getting married or specifically NOT because I'm nervous about Mark or anything....it's just because I still feel like I have SO much to do!! ....and I do!! AHHH! :)

So back to the topic at hand....I picked out bridesmaid shoes. If you remember from my previous post  I was trying to decide between aqua or gunmetal shoes for my lovely ladies. Well, after MUCH back and forth, I decided to go with the gunmetal shoes. I was seriously considering the aqua shoes, specifically because of this new line: Lela Rose Unforgettable Moments. Lela Rose (a well respected up and coming wedding fashion designer) has come out with a line of dyeable shoes that are sold exclusively at Payless. Yep, Payless. Can you believe it? I checked them out in person and they're really quite cute. Although, in my opinion, I wouldn't recommend the t-strap style or the one with the little rhinestones....those two look a little cheap to me. Anyway... these shoes look great if you want to go that route. 

Our bridal party on the other hand is going to go with the option of 4 different styles of gunmetal/pewter/silver shoes. I spent forever scouring MULTIPLE websites looking for these shoes. I had several specifications in mind....
1 - must be gunmetal/pewter/silver (shades of silver varying from light to dark about mid-range in the spectrum)
2 - must be different heel heights (I wanted my ladies to be able to choose which heel height they preferred. The varying heights are 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, and 3 1/2 with a 1/2 inch platform)
3 - must be under $50 (I actually wanted to have different price points on these so that there would be an affordable option for everyone. The price points are $49.99, $29.97, $24.99 and $22.99)
4 - must have an array of sizes available!

And without further ado, here are the shoes!









Some of these shoes are actually on sale so I've advised my ladies to buy them ASAP to make sure that they're able to get their size!

Also, if you're wondering where the "gunmetal" color came from in our color scheme....it was when the Moms were asking me what color they should wear...and also what color the grandmothers should wear. Well, obviously (if you've been reading my blog at least!) our colors are deep purple, pale aqua blue and black/white damask. Now...the bridesmaids are wearing a deep purple color (Fig in the Melissa Sweet dresses) and there will be aqua accents at both the ceremony (think ribbon wrapped around the bridesmaids bouquets and ribbon hanging from the shepherd's hooks lining the aisle) and the reception (linens, antique glassware). I didn't want there to be overkill with accent color or just sticking to two colors for attire (because I didn't like the thought of people wearing black/white printed dresses!) so I thought the gunmetal color went nicely with the purple and the aqua. We decided the MOB and the MOG should wear gunmetal, while the grandmothers would wear aqua. We also decided to pick up some nice silk gunmetal ties for the Dads as well. So...it seems quite logical now that the bridesmaids shoes would be gunmetal.  ....Wow, it's amazing how everything comes together, huh??

So...that's that! One more thing checked off the list. Now if I could just keep up the momentum.... :) And lastly, before I head to bed, I wanted to apologize for not writing a single post last week! I was in Nashville for work at our annual conference. I feel like I lost a whole week of my life b/c now I'm coming back to a list of "to-do's" for both work AND the wedding. ....whew! :) Goodnight All!