Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sayin' Cheese

A couple weeks ago the fella and I had our engagement pictures taken by my intern who happens to be an incredibly talented photographer. We're trying to be as budget conscious as possible (which seems to be fairly impossible while planning a wedding), so we were thrilled and honored that this sweet girl gifted us with this session. We'll be incorporating some of our favorites into a Save The Date being designed by another talented friend. Here's a peek at some of the shots.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making a List. Of Presents. For Ourselves.

The registry.

It is muy fun to pick out presents for other people to buy you. It is also muy overwhelming to create a home for yourself and your fiance armed with a laser gun.

We actually had a blast picking out pieces that will adorn the next many, many years of our lives together. I didn't expect to be so excited about china or crystal, but, lo and behold, after being briefed on the importance of said dishes by a terrifying East German registry Nazi at Belk, I fell in love with our choices (Lenox Vintage Jewel for the finery and Vietri Lastra white and gray for the every day and Waterford Colleen Essence for our gorgeous crystal, which although extremely fancy and breakable, I will probably insist on using every day... particularly for 'ritas).

We rounded out the registry with stops at Sur La Table for some Le Creuset ware, Pottery Barn for every day flatware and glasses and decor and blankets and goodies, Crate and Barrel for bedding (which we have now discovered is discontinued... boooo... back to the drawing board) and other miscellany. We still have a few things to add to our wishlist... towels, sheets, silver, some pretty dresses (teehee).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Maine Idea

There was nothing about our jaunt to Maine that I didn't love. From sleeping in on heated mattress pads, to stuffing myself with lobster, to gallivanting around the coastline with my fiance, to living in silly hats, our vacation was ideal. Here are a few shots from the trip...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gettin' Snippy

I have a love-hate relationship with my bangs. Basically a tolerance-despise relationship. Love the idea, hate the execution. On their best days I'm happy I have them... any other time I want to cut them off to little nubbins. On Wednesday the fella and I went to visit his grandmother - my first time meeting her. The cold, dry air up here is doing a number on my locks, so I opted for a messy updo with a headband and my bangs down... shaggy and equally a mess. After chatting on the couch for several minutes and calmly trying not to have a panic attack because of my bangs, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. My plan was simply to pat them with a hint of water to tame them into place, but something shiny and glinting caught my eye... several pairs of small, decorative scissors. I hesitated wondering if I was going to actually do what I was thinking about doing, but proceeded. I grabbed a pair and without even looking in a mirror grabbed my little clump of forehead hair, made a few awkward snips and voila! I quickly cleaned up the aftermath as best as I could and hurried back to my spot on the visiting sofa. The fella gave me a quizzical look after I was seated, but I kept my lips sealed and my bangs coiffed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This week the fella and I are traversing through New England - a trip I bestowed upon on him on his birthday... the night he proposed. We spent Sunday night and Monday in Boston where we got to enjoy the charm and shops along Newbury Street, pumpkin beers with one of the fella's oldest friends, and a delightful and equally delicious dinner with Queen Bee Swain in Harvard Square. We also stole a couple of smooches in the Public Garden.

We're now comfortably settled in Alfred, ME enjoying the beautiful views and chilly temperatures with the fella's sister. We took a tour of the fella's hometown of Portland yesterday, and I have no doubt that the next few days will be equally relaxing, cozy and wonderful. During our trip the fella and I celebrated our nine monthiversary. Had you asked me a year ago what I thought the ideal length of a relationship prior to an engagement should be, I probably would have scoffed at anything less than a year. The Lord, however, works in magical ways, and in less than six months I'll tying the knot with this gift and blessing. In the meantime, I'll be relishing every last drop of homemade "LOBSTAH" stew I can devour.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Les Maids

Honestly the least amount of fun thus far in the wedding planning process has been the selection of my merriest of maids. I asked my sweet little sister within about six minutes of the actual proposal to be my maid of honor, but the process of choosing who will stand beside me on April 14 has caused a bit of anxiety, dread and frustration. While I feel like all of the wonderful, lovely ladies I chose were locks for their respective party positions, there was still some reluctance about the whole process. While some of my bridesmaids are fairly recent friends who have quickly won a steadfast place in my heart, others have weathered many a storm with many over the years but I have grown apart from.

The fella and I knew rather quickly that we wanted a fairly small bridal party. We opted for 5 total - a maid of honor and best man and 4 other attendants each, and we spent quite a lot of time discussing what was special to us about each fellow and lady we chose. I didn't want to send a text or make a cursory call to my girls, so I purchased simple 2-photo picture frames for each one with a picture of the two of us in one slot and a pretty note requesting their presence in my party in the other. Hopefully in the spring they'll remove the note in favor of a shot from our wedding. No matter what the future holds for my friendships with each of these chickadees, it's an honor to know that they'll be celebrating with the fella and I as we celebrate our marriage this Spring!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The 'Zines

True Story: I've purchased exactly two wedding magazines. A sweet friend gifted me with a year's worth of magazines that she accumulated. I've looked through one. I honestly believe that by reading three, I've essentially read every one in publication. Am I missing something here? Is there something magical in a 'zine that I'm missing?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Defining "Us"

One of my favorite parts about planning the wedding so far has been perusing wedding blogs and Pinterest with an actual purpose. Instead of browsing from afar, I feel connected and relevant to the gorgeous imagery.

The fella and I haven't had so easy of a time nailing down how to describe the type of day that we're looking to create. The church we've found is gorgeous, traditional, perfect. The reception venue is industrial, rustic, airy and a blank canvas. So. What does that mean? The best we can do is describe it as Classic With Touches of Whimsy... Whimsically Classic, if you will. Or perhaps, Classically Whimsical. Who knows.

We know what we like; we know that we want to feel like ourselves; we know that we want our day to be anything but stuffy. We don't want a seated dinner; we want our guests to have the freedom to float and mingle, munch and sip. We don't want the awkward middle school dance feeling that tends to appear until the group feels comfortable enough to brave the dance floor, so we'll offer alternatives (read: homemade cornhole sets for some indoor revelry). We want tasteful, classy, laid back, fresh, young, elegant, warm, airy and "us." We don't want to be cheesy, cliche or overly trendy, but we want personal touches to fill the day. It's hard to define ourselves, but we have had a good time discovering each other together. The only things we're different pages about at the moment are a reception photo booth (the fella would love one, I am not convinced yet) and a first dance song (we're not in disagreement about this, necessarily, we just don't have "A Song"). We'll keep searching, and I know that in 189 days, I'll walk down the aisle and into the ceremony and be blown away, but for 188 more days, the searching is keeping me occupied and happy.

He Put A Ring On It

My sweet fiance fella proposed using his momma's ring. A center diamond flanked by sapphires and surrounded by two diamond bands, it was vintage, unique, beautiful, and about four sizes too small. I spent a couple of days with alternating between wearing it on my knuckle or sporting an altogether attractive bulging lower finger muffin top (there are several body parts that can be sucked in, and several that can't... ankles, back o' the arms, and fingers, as it would seem) . Finally, after it seemed that an appropriate number of people had seen it, we took it to be sized. It finally came back yesterday, and I couldn't be happier to see it resting prettily on my left ring finger.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ye Olde Wedding Planning... Part 1

Wedding planning began full force no less than 36 hours post-proposal. We've now been engaged for 10 days, and I'd say that we've made excellent progress.

We both knew that we didn't want to be engaged longer than a year, so that narrowed our date choice to somewhere before next September. I've been adamant that I didn't want a summer wedding, so that further limited our date to sometime before June. For various and sundry other small details, we decided quickly on April... so, a seven month engagement. Certainly not the shortest of engagements, but it meant we needed to act quickly to secure venues.

Since le fiance and I are both members (I'm on staff, and he's a volunteer) at a multi-site church (only two of our six locations are permanent campuses, and neither is conducive to a wedding... seriously. Trust me on that.), we knew that in addition to a reception venue, we'd need to find a church.

Perusing this GORGEOUS wedding on our friends' The Schultzes' blog gave us beaucoups of inspiration, and led us to the exquisite church where the lovely couple wed. With God favoring us greatly, the church was available for our first choice date of April 14, 2012. We're awaiting word from the church's staff approval of our wedding being held there, but from every indication, it's ours.

The next order of business was the reception. We knew early on (heck, it's only been 10 days... it's still early on), that we didn't want a reception venue with carpet - so no hotel, country club, etc. We wanted a cool, rustic but industrial feel. After a few starts and stops on research, back and forth on availability, today the fella and I visited our first choice of venue and fell in love. All that's needed is a signed contract and deposit, and BOOM, it's ours.

The small time frame also meant that I didn't have time to dilly dally about a dress, since most require a 4-6 month lead time. With my day off on Friday, Little and I arranged a gown expedition, and to say that it was a special day is an understatement of extreme proportions. We began our trip at J. Major's, just a few blocks from my condo. I pre-selected about twelve gowns and was blown away by how surreal it felt to put them on for the first time. It took almost two hours to cull down the selections, but with the absolutely incredible support, love and encouragement from my amazing mom, it wasn't hard to choose the perfect dress. I'm being vague since my sweet fella peeks around in here from time-to-time, but when I tell you that I love this gown, please trust me. I can't wait to post pictures in a few months. In all of my dreams about my wedding dress, I never pictured anything so gorgeous.

So in 9 days, we've knocked out four majors...
Reception Venue
Colors - Gray with pops of pink and peacock blue

Remaining big points on the list...
Photographer - we're meeting two this week!
Florist - a meeting scheduled with one this week!
Bridesmaids Dresses - I'm sending gifts to my 'maids-to-be (fingers crossed) this week, and my wonderful sis (the best maid of honor in the kingdom) is coming to town on Friday to search for the ideal one
Invitations/Save The Dates - no clue where to start!
Cake - YUM!
Caterer - DOUBLE YUM!
Decor - SOOO many fun ideas... I can't wait to get my hands on this part

6 months and 11 days until I become Mrs. The Fella!