Giving, giving, Gone!!

Happy Holidays everyone!
In this season of giving, when we brides have spent so much time focused on receiving lines and registering for gifts... I thought I would toss out some ideas on how to give back... while receiving. It was my first guest post as a Wishpot "Wedding Expert". :-) Go forth and read!

I'll be hit or miss for the remainder of the year since I am busily packing for our morning flight to Utah for some beautiful skiing!!


Egats! Engagment Pics!

Warning! Post laden with fun photos!!

So a few weeks ago it was a beautiful, crisp day and Adam, Guru and I headed down to Seville Square for some photo shootin fun! We were initially doing this because my mother hates all existing photos of us and didn't want to put them in the paper. We "needed" to have engagement photos for the newspaper! Oy. Well, I stalled and stalled, but then realized that yes, we would end up with a photo or two she would approve of, but really, I just wanted to capture us, as we are now as printable memories for all time.
(oof - I realize that sounded very sappy - just remember, its all Adam's fault!)
We spent about an hour wandering around and being cute as Guru snapped about 300 photos. Guru would want me to point out that the camera he has is years past it's prime so photoshop is his friend. Because of this, we went through the pictures, chose a handful, and he photoshoped them so the colors are beautiful and you can see our faces. Oh, and the turn around time for all of this was a few hours. All in all, guru rocks. And all these fun flickers are courtesy of him.

This one is actually going in Adam's hometown newspaper.
And no, there was no fan, it was actually windy.

I love both of these (above and below) because we are laughing. And really, that's how we spend A LOT of our time. He makes me laugh with jokes and faces and crazy antics, and my laugh makes him laugh. These are the moments that I really wanted captured in time.

Adam thinks he looks funny in this one, I think its fun! He looks like he's very much contemplating something far off, and I look like I'm about to pounce on him... I probably was. =)

Had to have at least one shot of us with our sunglasses on.
(We are both rarely without our shades.)

As posed as this might seem, I was actually just trying to pull of his sunglasses so we could keep taking photos. This is Adam's favorite.

Gotta have a least one kissing pic!

This one is going in my hometown paper! I like it as the best portrait-y shot of us.

I'm sure he was tickling me and proud of making me giggle like a 2 year old.

We had fun with that fountain. I very nearly ended up IN it.

The teaser shot.
And one of my favorite since he looks like he's planning something devious...
and my hair just looks cool.

So there you have it- our engagement pics!
Whatcha think?


Photo Tease...

Guess what we did...

Image Courtesy of Guru.

Our Engagement Photo session!!
More to come...


Timeless Look

Just because it's a hilarious reality check...

Many brides to be are so worried about their look being timeless or classic, so that they don't look back and laugh at what they wore or chose. Frankly, I think that is unavoidable. If you go incredibly simple, you might look back and think of it as plain. Go ornate, and you might think flashy gaudy. Strapless, poofy sleeves, it doesn't matter, later in life - someone will think its funny. My mother tried to be "timeless and classic" back in the day. Her look was fresh hippy meets sheek princess.... and this was her veil....

Excuse my, I just woke up face, and go back and look at the bizarre bunny ear things in additional to the lacy pinwheel things up there!

All I have to say is that you might as well pick something that makes you feel absolutely beautiful, and let fashion be what it will be... entertainment for the future. =)


I Can't Get No, Satisfaction

This is actually one of my favorite pictures from a reception. Obviously, not that its an amazing photo or anything (I took it with my little point and shoot). Its just a couple of people I know, dancing and having a good time... and wait... whats that red thing on his head?

Oh yeah! Its his tie!! The band was rocking and playing satisfaction and they were having a good time and really getting in to it. I really hope to end up with a shot of a bunch of guys with ties on their heads at our wedding. Mental note - add Satisfaction to play list.

This was the wedding of the son of a woman my mother and I know from church. My Dad was off sailing in the Caribbean, and Adam was flying, so Momma Duck and I went together.

Aren't we cute? :)
We had a good time, but there were a lot of things from this wedding we will be trying not to repeat. A quick rundown of lessons learned:
  • Uber short ceremony
  • Bar Blockade
  • No assigned tables
  • Tables outside in the 30 degree weather
  • Food outside in the 30 degree weather
  • No utencils
  • Tables scattered inside and out and we never saw the bride and groom or toasts or cake cutting or anything
Many people talk about making the ceremony short and sweet and moving on to the celebration part! I was so getting on board with this way of thinking. Until this wedding. Everyone knew it was a small church and seating might be a problem, so we got there 20 minutes early and got some of the last seats. We talked with others in the pews and then the wedding began...i blinked... and then it was over. Wait - what? Did I fall asleep? I checked my Mom's watch and found out that 15 minutes was it! I felt like I had missed a step... or 5. So while the notion of short and sweet is nice, in practice it left all the guests thinking "I got here 20 minutes early, the ceremony was only 15 minutes long... I was waiting longer than I was watching the wedding!"

Then we moved on to the reception, which was a beautiful old hotel. I don't know if more people RSVP'd "yes" than they expected, or if this was teh way they planned it, but there were two large dining rooms of tables, tables in the bar, and tables outside ... and it was 30 degrees outside. I quickly noticed that not only were there no seat assignments, the tables weren't labeled, so there would be no escort cards either.

We quickly pounced on a table in the bar with a few friends from church, as others were wandering around trying to decide where they were supposed to go. The bar also had terrible traffic patterns so while most of the bar was empty, you had to wait 20 minutes to get in the door unless you knew you could go around the outside. Maybe it was just ebcause we were in the bar, but we never saw or heard toasts or cake cutting, or the bride and groom. We were, however, near a TV so we watched some football, drank, and danced to the music of the band. It was any other evening at a bar with some friends. Oh, and the food was set up outside in the 30 degree weather, and they ran out of utincels... so I ate with my fingers. But other than all that, the band was great, and we had fun dancing. It was just a large lesson learned in things I'd like to do differently.

Anyone else care to share lessons learned?


Mom V Bride: The Hair Trial

*****WARNING! Photo laden post!******
**ADAM Alert!!!! These are photos of me with wedding hair and veil. To venture beyond is risky to your health and it considered to be AMA (Against Medical/Michelle's Advice) because I kill you!!**

Sorry - we have a large screen that Adam's computer is hooked to, so i dont want this to accidentally pop up before he reads the warning
Just a little further
Here we go!
More small town fun to be had here. One of my brothers is just 2 years my senior and good friends with the daughter of the most talented hair guru in Panama City. Small town, small schools, much to my brother's dismay, we were all friends. Fotula (the hair guru) does not work on Saturdays... unless one of "her girls" really needs her.. say for prom or weddings. For every prom and high school formal, I and a small group of "her girls" would go to her for getting our hair done. All the other girls were real particular about their up-do's. She was always excited when it was my turn cause I'd say "whatever you want to do works for me - funky is fun", and she'd create some great hair that while pretty, looked nothing like anyone else's hair at the dances.

Well, obviously, I'm a bit grown up now and wasn't sure what she'd say about doing my hair. She was thrilled and asked my mother when we could do a trial because she was so excited! So just a few saturdays ago my mother and I went to Fotula and had a wonderful hair trial. I showed her a couple of picutres (below) and talked about the feel of the wedding and said - have at!

My inspiration photos:
(First two from Jasmine Star photography, second two from Bumatay Studio)

Can you tell I like the flower idea? Simple beautiful, beachy fresh and beautiful.... with the veil set at the back of the crown of the head. Other brides look beautiful with a bountiful amount of tulle atop their head.... I look like a ridiculous 5 year old playing dress up... not how I want to be described on my wedding day. My mother, was terrified that I would just pull my hair into a half pony and call it a day. (Unfounded fear, I never had ANY intention of doing my own hair. A successful ponytail is a good hair day for me!)

On to the photos of me!
All by me... or Mom anyway.=)

Note: I had no where to go after this, and I would be seeing Adam in the next few hours so we decided not to do anything full out just so it would fall out soon. I highly recommend doing your hair trial when you have somewhere to go after! Unfortunately, schedules did not permit this good idea to pan out for me.
Its hard to see, but I've got a sparkly hair comb in here (and above). My mother is desperately worried that I wont have enough sparkles.... ummm.. did you see my dress mom!?

Mom also thought I should take advantage of being a bride and wear a tiara of some kind because, when else would I wear it? (Don't ask me why that means I want to wear one at all, but somehow my mother thinks life might be incomplete without it.) This sparkly band was as close to a tiara as I was willing to go, so I brought it for the trial.

Ok, my favorite photo - look in the background at Fotula's expression (in the brown). Very telling of what we all thought. It looked nice but "meh" and certainly not me.

This was a flower comb thingy I made the night before so I'd have something to try. (Hooray for Hobby Lobby and Weddingbee! 1 fake flower, a plastic hair comb, some beads I already had, and some thread and voila! Good enough to get an idea.
Ok, so we are unanimous that the flower is the hair adornment of choice, and while my hair looked very nice, we all felt it wasn't quite right.
Back to the curling iron!

Getting better! And more me, which made above smile grow.

It'll have more body on top, but in general - this is it! Pulled back by the flower on one side, and let loose on the other!
Random note: It'll actually be the mirror image of this. My right ear normally has 2 earrings in it... sometimes 3. But my left always has 6. (You can see a couple shining through in the top photo.) They are simple studs, but I love them, and the few times I've been without them, people comment that I don't look like me. AND my hair can part on either side, so as of tomorrow, I'm switching sides to have my earrings show a little. Its silly and small but I don't care.

At this point, I am totally happy.
I need to buy/make a better flower thing (cheap plastic comb would not stay put), but other than that - Done.

My mother disagreed. She thinks I didn't have enough sparkle. So back to The Glass Slipper we went to check out sparkly comb things for the veil.

Its hard to tell, but its sparkly star beachy.

My mother absolutley loved it, I didn't hate it - so we bought it. We'll see if it actually gets worn on the day of, but at least its an option.
At this point, I am sooo over pictures! As you can see on my face.

Whatcha think?
Anyone else give their hair guru free reign, or succomb to mom's wants?


Know what that is?



Oh yeah - That was the inside view of our toasting glasses!
A fellow Coastie pilot got these off our registry for us. They have a fun starburst pattern and while not matching, they don't clash with our glassware we've registered for.

Originally, we were not going to register for toasting glasses, or have anything special at all. We were going to use whatever the Marriott was providing for the guests. Because, really - does it make a difference!? Well, my mother told me that several people had asked her about toasting glasses and whether or not anyone had claimed them yet. So the night after she told me this, visions of heart shaped flutes and wedding bells stems crashed through my head. Kill me. So we registered for a set and VOILA!
Like 'em?

Anyone else register for something you didn't need just to avoid getting things they REALLY didn't want?


Dressing the Tables

A few weekends ago, (wow this has taken me WAY too long to get around to typing) we went back to our venue for a tasting and linen fun. The tasting, I have no pictures of (I suck, I know).

So I'll tell you quickly that it all tasted pretty good with 2 exceptions. One sauce was WAAAAYYYY too salty. I am pretty sensitive to salt. I think things are too salty that other people say "there is salt in this?". So when I tasted it first, I very much tamed my response and simply said it was rather salty to me, what did others think? O.M.G. Their faces were priceless! I wish I had taken pictures because it was like a lemon face with a nauseous twist. Well, glad to know it wasn't just me. No problem, the chef said he'd tame it down. (I think he knocked over the Morton tub without noticing.) Then came the Kalua Pork, our favorite hawaiian dish. It was good pork, but it wasn't kalua. It was his first time making it and he followed a recipe but it jsut wasn't quite it. He asked us what it was missing...umm... becuase I am such a pro at making this? I don't know dude - YOU are the chef!!! Oh well, he said he'd try some other recipies. Fingers crossed it turns out well, if not - at least it'll be good pulled pork!

Then, it was on to the linens. Rachelle, our wedding planner, had ordered samples from her linen peoples. Before we get any further in to this let me say this - I suggested we do the basic (cheapest) white linens, and the color would come from napkins and flowers. Simple and cheap(er). That idea got shot down like a duck in season. So now we are up to the color linens. My mother hated the linens that were the typical cheap fabric but in color. Up it a notch to the fancy color linens and now we start choosing. And by "we" I mean, my mother, Adam, me, and Rachelle. Apparently, we had to be unanimous. 3 HOURS later we had finally chosen them.

Please excuse that some photos captured colors and textures better than others.
(All photos courtesy of moi.)
I am not a fan of all the tables being exactly the same, so we will be mixing centerpieces and tablecloths.
First up, pretty aqua pin tuck!
(We might be using the napkins with the silver edge you see above.)

The real color is actually somewhere between those two photos. The top one looked a little too green, and this shot looks too blue.

For the high top bar tables we decided to snazz it up a little and add a fun overlay. Those white stripes actually shimmer quite a bit. But a little while later, we found a more fun sparkly one. So it'll be similar to this pic except it'll be sparkles instead of stripes.

Same thing for the cake and escort card tables, simple white under and a fun sparkly overlay.

So we'll have 1/2 the tables be the aqua pintuck and then the other half in this fun krinkly dark blue below. All pintuck is a little too formal/preppy for our tastes, but I love mixing it with an unexpected fabric texture.
And, as usual I managed to sneak my tootsies into the photo. :-)

As I pointed out above, this all took about 3 hours to decide. The most entertaining thing about it has actually been people's reactions to my saying we spent 3 hours on linens. Its either
"3 hours?! Thats it!? I took 2 weeks to choose!"
"3 hours!? Seems like an awful waste of time on linens. Huh... come to think of it, I have no idea what was on the tables at our wedding."

I tend to agree more with the latter comment, but I am assured by everyone else that it will have a huge impact on the space and potentially save us some money on flowers.

Ok, first up - whatcha think of the linens?
Secondly, how much time did you spend on yours?


If This, Then That...

I was looking through my google reader stalkings of many a wedding photo and admiring other brides dresses. Some MUCH more ornate/fancy than mine, some much more simple. And it started me thinking... if we weren't doing a destination wedding at home with toes in the sand, but an elegant feel... what might I wear? Don't get me wrong, its not that I want to change any of our plans, or that I dislike any of our plans... these are just a "If we did it this way instead... I'd wear this."

Adam, my dress is not here, but if you don't want to see what I am NOT wearing, then go read this crazy story about a stolen church in Russia instead.

For instance, if we were doing a big fancy cathedral wedding;
I might want to wear Inara's dress from the Shindig episode of Firefly.
(For anyone with no clue what I am talking about, this was a GREAT show that got canceled all too soon.)
Preeeettyyy! (Sorry about the bad photo quality, its the only one I could find and now I also have no idea where I found it to reference!)

hmm.. going full on ballgown route... I did always love Belle's dress...

But of course, the risk of going from cartoon to reality is that it goes from regal and pretty...

To out of control POOF and sparkles and looking all together ridiculous!
A la "Enchanted"
I'd have a look of horror on my face too in that was my dress!!

Ahh... but then there is the wonderful Kirstie Kelly who designs "Disney dresses" that definitly exude their princess roots without being insane. A la "Belle" below:

oooohhh... pretty.....
Of course, those dresses start at $1200 (too rich for my blood) and, we aren't having a big cathedral wedding and I think I'd feel a little silly.

Or if we were going the other direction and being totally casual, maybe something like this from Brides.com
Anyone else have their "If I changed this, I'd wear that" dress ideas?