Happy Halloween!!!

This was Adam and I dressed as gangsters for Halloween in 2006.
(note: gangstERS not gangstAS... obviously)
Trying to track down pictures from last year when we went as Sam Adam's and the St. Pauli Girl.

While this is nothing new or ground breaking, I thought I'd share a couple of Halloween Wedding things I like!

Loving these "celestial pumpkins" from Little White Book Blog.

First up, this creative board I found on Boston Bride Blog.
Somewhat "traditional" or as traditional as a Halloween wedding can be, with a touch of whimsy.

This board I found on Green Orchid Events Blog.
Personally, I like this twist on Halloween a little better. A little less pumpkin, a little more dark and spooky... just a little.

And finally, there was last year's Halloween Post on The Offbeat Bride Blog...


Tina’s haunted house halloween wedding

October 31st, 2007 · Posted by Ariel

Haunted CemetaryThe offbeat bride: Tina, Makeup artist for 7 Floors of Hell (haunted houses)

Her offbeat groom: Rob, Haunted house architect

Location & date of wedding: October 24th 2007 at The Cemetery of 7 Floors of Hell in Berea, Ohio

What made our wedding offbeat: It was love made in heaven, but a marriage made in Hell. What didn’t make this happy day offbeat? The theme of the wedding was “Love Never Dies” It was full moon, which we did not plan. The location was one of the big things — we were married in front of the Cemetery of a haunted house. We chose that location not only because we both work there, but because we fell in love there and it has become a huge part of our lives.

surpriseThe groom “Rob” arrived in a coffin, delivered by a hearse and carried by 6 pallbearers. The bridesmaids wore red hooded capes and placed a red rose on the casket. When all the bridal party was present, Rob emerged and took his place next the the Grim Reaper, who officiated the ceremony. I walked down the isle to “Ice Dance” from the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, and was escorted by my dad dressed as Dracula. The guests came in costumes.

The reception hall started as a empty white building they use for the fair, and ended in black linens and red votive candelabras on each table. We decorated the place with props from the houses, including zombies, gravestones and a chandelier. Our cake topper was sweet. It was a skeleton couple dancing with a tombstone that said “love never dies.” We even cut the cake with a butchers knife to the theme song from the movie Halloween.

Our biggest challenge: Planning a wedding for a Wednesday night. Family and friends were upset, but the haunted house is open thurs-sun. So it would be next to impossible to hold a wedding with customers walking around, not to mention the entire crew from the houses attended or we in the bridal party. So to make sure everyone could make it, the ceremony started at 7pm after most get off work. We had a reception that lasted till midnight and most people we able to stay for at least most of it.

The other big problem we had was the weather — it was really cold! 52 degrees and windy. Not ideal for an outdoor ceremony. It didn’t rain and the ceremony was short and sweet but it packed a dramatic punch!

My favorite moment: Well everyone loves Rob’s entrance. Why does it have to be all about the bride? Its our day not my day. So we shared in the The wedding cakelimelight. I love everything about my wedding, I can’t choose a favorite moment.

My offbeat advice: On a budget ask for help. We wrote a letter to local vendors telling them about the wedding. And I got a bunch of freebies and discounts out of it, including our photographer. I did a little advertising for them and everyone is happy. March to the beat of your own drum. This is your wedding, not someone else’s. I’m glad I didn’t listen to everything my family and friends said.


If I had had a Halloween wedding, it would have fallen under the Blue/Orange style board above.... but I sure would have liked to be at this last one as a guest!!


Nearest and Dearest: AKA Nutty Next of Kin

You think this would have been obvious.... but it has rather just occurred to me that my family is going to be ....well... my family... and at the wedding in all their insane glory. Considering how we rag on each other, and tend to embarrass each other in public, (For example: my Dad and I got scolded sitting in the front pew at church - from the priest in the pulpit!! My mother, sitting in the choir loft, turned SOOOO red!! It was hilarious!!) I am very glad we won't be doing the garter craziness... but then there are always the unexpected oppritunties that seem to be found.

At my brother's wedding a few years ago, some how my parents found out that the "chicken dance" was on their no play list. *A didn't want it played. Not that my family is particularly in to the chicken dance... my Dad still saw it as an oppritunity not to be missed. So AT THEIR RECEPTION my Dad grabs a mic and asks bride *A to come out to the dance floor...

*A is a little huffed that the "no chicken dance" seems to have been fully blamed on her. (i KNOW my bro didn't want it played either, but he fed her to the wolves...err..my family.)

He's got the mic to the chicken for a reason:
It plays music...you guess it "the chicken dance"

He's explaining that this is the perfect chicken for her because...

When you choke it, the chicken's cheeks light up and it sputters chocking/coughing/squawking sounds.

She might hate it, but this is actually one of my favorite pictures of SIL/Bridesmaid *A. When you suprise her with something she thinks is really funny, this is the face you get, accompanied by an infectious laugh. Its great.

Anyone else have a delayed reaction of "OMG, my family will be there!!"?

Photo Competition and My Favorites

The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) is a professional organization composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets our members apart in the industry is their candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography.
Well, the WPJA and BRIDES Magazine just released the winners of this years photo competition! (See all winners here.)

But here are a few of my favorites!
(Click on each photo for larger image and photographer information)
Ok, as much as I love this little boy being completely oblivious, I want to know what her dress looks like!! Correct me if I'm wrong but those look like suit tails with red lining! I've got to say, never seen that!

Not only is it a fun shot and she's got beautiful shoes... wait.. look closer.. her feet aren't touching the ground at all! And the groom BARELY has one toe touching! Talk about your heart having wings!

This one I just think is a beautiful photo. Actually, its given me an idea! Our bedroom is decorated (more or less) in what I have dubbed Beach Asian. How cool would a B/W photo like this from our own wedding be to hang in our room as art!?

I love it. I love the lighthearted feel and the HUGE couldn't-be-happier/laughing-til-I-cry face on the Bride.

Definitely one of my favorites! Genya Garrett rocks and I think she caught this "OMG the ring is stuck!" moment pricelessly. It makes me laugh.

I want to be her. Too bad there are not rivers or rope swings around our wedding site!

Go, look for yourselves. Who are your favorites?


Fall in love...

With Fall Flowers!
Just because it's fall, I wanted to share a beautiful bouquet of a beautiful bride friend. This was my friend Leni's bouquet from her Sept wedding last year. B-E-A-UTIFUL! Inside and out and how much the couple was loved showed in every aspect.

Le Sigh. :)


Three Men and a Uniform: Dressing the Boys

So, we all know what I am wearing, we've settled on what my girl's are wearing, and even my mother has finally picked a dress!! (I kid you not, she's been through about 12 dresses to make this final decision. I am trying to get her to agree to let me post pictures...currently I'm threatened with death upon posting.)

But what about the boys?

Adam, the Best Man (*J) and my youngest/eldest brother also fellow CG pilot to Adam (*...crap. I was going to make him *M in following with the pattern of my non-naming naming system, but that my ID too! Damn non creative parents who could only couldn't create new initial sets! Oh yeah, in my immediate fam, you are either a MRD or a JWD - thats it! ok, we'll call him *G... for goober). ANYWAY - Adam, *J, and *G will be wearing Coast Guard Whites uniform. Something like this...
Yup, thats Top Gun. Yes, its Navy not Coast Guard, but its almost the same uniform. And, frankly, I just love that movie and will use any excuse to reference it. Inaccuracies in the film? Loads of them. Cheese factor? Mega-check! Tom Cruise crazy politics? I don't care. I just like it! So, feel free to roll your eyes and just bite me, cause right along side all the Disney references will be some Top Gun and probably some Hunt for Red October. Oh, and I'll have to get a picture of it, but we made a Mii for my Dad and it looks EXACTLY like Tom Skerrit!! hehehe.

So this is actually a photo of Adam and I from *G's wedding a few years ago. Ignore my pudgy face and Adam's sleepy look please!
Image courtesy of Pasty Brown (*G's photog).

Here's the snafu, we've got 3 civilian groomsmen... what are they supposed to wear!?

The knee-jerk reaction is a white tuxedo a la..
A couple things wrong with this. For starters, the white uniform they'll be sporting (from here on out dubbed "Whites") is actually equivalent to a suit, not a tux. The tux equivalent looks like this... and isn't really favored...
More often then not, they are mistaken for waitstaff.
The other issue is that the white tuxes, or even white suits available in Panama City are..umm... limited. The ones I saw struck me as looking like a waiter, or looking like P-Diddy (or is it Puff Daddy again?)

So we dropped the stark white idea and decided that the civilian guys aren't going to look like they are in uniform, so might as well just be different and not try to blend in. So then began the search for a suit that would fill some requirements:
  • Look appropriate on the beach
  • Not clash with Whites
  • Affordable
  • Rent-able or re-wearable
2 of the 3 civi-groomsmen are still in the "broke-ass" phase of life where a nice suit isn't exactly affordable or needed, and the third works in Manhattan where he wears lots of suits... lots of DARK suits. I never realized how much of a southern thing light colored suits are. After A LOT of searching, waaayy too much "maybe. I'll think about it." We finally picked one! It was at Men's Wearhouse, so all the civi-groomsmen had one nearby they could go to, and it was on SALE!
It's a little darker than ideal, but oh well! (Am I the only bride that really just doesn't care THAT much?) So for about $40 more than renting a similar suit, they will own the (above) Sean John 3 button suit, a white shirt under it, and, we've already got the ties! Done and Done!

(I'll tell you a little more about the actual fun of getting these and the impressive way Men's Wearhouse handled things in my vendor review that will be coming in the near future.)

Oh, and I don't know what Adam's dad will be wearing yet, but just for fun - here's my dad at another wedding wearing his "wedding suit"... check out the wedding tie. :-) Oh yeah, that's my dad. And his socks totally matched his tie.

Anyone else find it harder to dress the boys than the girls??

Bad Habit

No. I am not talking about that kind of "bad habit"... though since it is almost Halloween and we haven't picked costumes yet..hmmm... :-)

Actually, what I'm talking about has been my life for the past week. I've been sick, and I totally gave in to it. Normally, I am a "I am not tschickt" type of person who just tuff's it out. (Definition of tschickt: Sick, being said by a person who cannot actually breathe through their nose.) Not this time. This time I've fell like I've been hit by a bus, and it showed. As soon as I left my full day of work I would go home and lay down and not get up until I had to come back to work. I was active enough to skim the blogs I stalk.. but not write any. Sorry!
But, I feel better (not great, but better). Things are a little more manageable at work again, and we ahve a productive wedding weekend. So.... this time I'm not kidding when I say... I'm baaaackk!!! Proof: a real post will follow this one... soon!!


Long Time - No Post

I am a bad blogger, I know. I returned from Cali last Wednesday, and apparently no one at work had actually paid much attention to the days I was going to be gone. When I returned we were well behind schedule with things they were counting on me to complete. Fan-freakin-tastic. Ugh. I only worked 3 days but nearly 40 hours... and now I have a head cold, AND a shoulder injury. BLAH!

But - I have made some wedding progress and I had a good time in Los Angeles. Just for smiles, I leave you with what happens when you go to see Wicked, and then go to Disneyland the following day....

Photo of Me and Bridesmaid *K at Disneyland, courtesy of my camera via some kind stranger.


Goin back to Cali

Ok. Really, it's my first time to Los Angeles (outside of LAX anyway)... but am I the only one who still gets LLCoolJ in my head?

:-) Sorry, couldn't resist.

I will be in LA for the remainder of this week, and the beginning of the next. I'll be visiting with bridesmaid *K (aka Minnie Mouse),
(Bridesmaid *K, Stitch, and Me at DW a few years ago)

house hunting, hoping to talk my way into UCLA grad program, and of course - going to Disney Land!Who would have thought LLCoolJ and Disneyland would be in the same post?

Anyway, this obviously means that blogging will PROBABLY be limited. (I saw probably because I am taking my computer and who knows?) But just for fun... look what will be coming up soon!!
My Foot, with *A's too small for my foot barefoot sandal!

I made bridesmaid *A 's barefoot sandals last weekend! And this time I took pictures so I can post a how-to DIY!!! AND....

3 of the 5 bridesmaids dresses arrived yesterday!! I go to see them in T minus 1 hour!!!! I'll take pictures and post a review of the dresses and the shop I've been dealing with.

Stay tuned!

But in the mean time.... stalk THIS blog.. I just love it!

Any LA advice or must-see's as an intro to the city? (I will be moving there this winter, so it's not imperative that I see and do it all now... but advice and suggestions always welcomed!!)


Kitties Supporting Titties!


If you go to Purina cat chow's web site & take a test on your knowledge of breast cancer they will donate $1. to the Susan G. Komen foundation. The questions are not difficult & you keep going until you guess right. Only 5 questions.


At Purina® Cat Chow®, we believe in the unique and wonderful connection between cats and people. One story in particular, about Jasmina Ristic, a Chicago woman struggling with cancer whose cat, Spodee, intuitively knew she needed extra love and support, touched us and inspired us to join the search for the cure.

In celebration of the loving support our
cats provide, we're donating $175,000
to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

And you can help. For every person who completes our breast cancer awareness questions, we'll donate an additional $1.00 (up to $50,000 above the $175,000 minimum donation).


I gotta tell ya... I didn't expect Purina to be doing Breast Cancer awareness and funding. Anyone else know of unexpected places to donate and help?


Handbag Planet Launch Giveaway!!

SWEET! Handbag Planet is celebrating their October 15th launch by giving away a great bag every hour for 24 hours!!! Check out the cool bags! And you register for free, and pick which bag you want to win. Here's a BIG surprise - I want the blue one!! :)


Blog Bliss: Bridal Mii!... kinda

Yet again, "It's a Jamie thing.." has inspired me. But this time, instead of a creative or DIY thing, its just FUN! She posted about the Knot's "create your Inner Bride" feature. It's like making a Mii, except wedding style!!
So I spent a grand total of 2 minutes and voila!!! And then I've spent the next few hours smiling and laughing and being in a general good mood because its just fun. :) Thanks Jaime!
It's not the most technical thing, and doesn't have every option I can think of... but nonetheless I tried to make it someone representative of me!
So for obvious reasons... Not more reading Adam!!!
*Adam free yet?
*I am going to assume so.

Whatcha think? Click here to make your own!

Enlightening Favor / Escort Card Idea!

I just came upon this and think its a fantastic idea!! You could set these candles out to "light the way" to their table, and be their favors. AND benefit others in your purchase!!!

Shine a light on the fact that early detection means a better hope for survival. Enjoy the soft pink color, flickering light and lavender fragrance, while reminding yourself and others to make a difference by clicking every day.

Choose a Single candle for $3.95, or a Set of 5 for $15.95.

Want to fund more causes? How about these?

Cute, right? For $18 you get:

Six colorful scented candles create a rainbow of good feelings! Enjoy their cheery colors, flickering light and fruity fragrances, while reminding yourself and others to make a difference by clicking every day.

Each sweetly scented candle represents one of the Greater Good web sites, and are a perfect gift for friends and family.

Set of 6 candles includes:

  • The Hunger Site: light yellow candle with "sunflower" scent
  • The Breast Cancer Site: pink candle with lavender scent
  • The Child Health Site: sky blue candle with sweetpea scent
  • The Literacy Site: red candle with apple scent
  • The Rainforest Site: light green candle with cucumber-melon scent
  • The Animal Rescue Site: light purple candle with lavender scent

Six hexagonal jar candles are 1.5 ounces each. Jar candle measures 2" T x 1.75" dia. (5 cm T x 4.4 cm dia.). Jars have resealable lids and come individually wrapped in cellophane.

Heinz coreless wicks are 100% lead- and zinc-free. Made from a blend of soy and paraffin waxes; each candle burns approximately 12 hours. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Depending on which Site you go through to get them, you can:
  • Fund a mammogram
  • Feed starving people
  • Feed starving animals
  • Fund health services for kids
  • Buy books for children's libraries
  • Preserve land in the rainforest
Anyone thinking that this site sounds familiar, its because I've blogged about some of the great finds on there before!


Pink For October

You might have noticed (assuming you aren't google readering this) that my blog has taken on a new hue undertone. Well, there is a very good cause for it. I am going Pink for October!

Web sites will Go Pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research. But to be clear, raising money isn’t the primary purpose of this web event. The hope is that you turn your site pink (in whatever way works for your site), educate yourself about the multiple issues related to Breast Cancer, then take that knowledge and tell someone else what you’ve learned.


Web sites will Go Pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research.

But to be clear, raising money isn’t the primary purpose of this web event.

The hope is that you turn your site pink (in whatever way works for your site), go out to that World Wide Web thing and educate yourself about the multiple issues related to Breast Cancer, then take that newfound knowledge and tell someone else what you’ve learned.

We hope that you will:

1. Turn your web site/blog pink (however you like, it’s up to you).
2. Educate yourself about the multiple issues related to breast cancer.
3. Take that newfound knowledge and teach someone else what you know.

Consider redesigning your site for the month of October — Go Pink!

2006 (our first year) was a great start with the roughly 1500 sites that Went Pink. 2007 saw roughly 3000 sites Go Pink. We are looking to make an even bigger splash in 2008, but we’ll need your help to do it.

Blog about it, invite others to join, become involved, help increase awareness, learn something new, and teach others what you know.

Many thanks!

~Matthew Oliphant


Now here's my snafu. There is a "downloads" page where you can use buttons and banners for your blogs or websites. I am a fan of adding one of the two shown below... but I have et to figure out how. I know almost squat about HTML code and as far as I can tell, I can't actually download them... anyone who figures it out - let me know!!

Pink and breast cancer awareness will be the center of attention in some upcoming posts. Anything from great favor ideas that fund mammograms, to bachlorette party ideas! Stay tuned!

Showered with Love: Part 4 - Opening the Gifts

Now we are settling into the living room next to the big 'ol pile of presents.
You know how when some people talk, you WILL give them your undivided attention for fear of the consequences? The woman on the left is one of them. She's another Coastie Pilot mom and dude, when she went to talk to the Marine pilot (in the hat, behind the candle) it was "You. You are a Marine pilot, right? Come talk to me." I have never seen him toss out so many ma'ams or sit up so straight!! =) Ahh the fun of mixing new and old friends!

See me on the right? That's how I spent alot of the present opening time... clapping like a two year old. Most of these people have known me since I was 3, but still, I wish I hadn't given them visual reminders!

Josh was the only brave "kid" to stray into the unknown "adult" territory during the gift openening.... brave soul!

At this point, it ahd become a bit awkward and I think everyone was wishing they had had 1 more beer or margarita before gift opening. So, to break the tension, I decieded it was a good idea to put the mixing bowl on my head. Don't ask me why this occurred to me as a good idea! But nonetheless, everyone laughed alot and things were a little more comfortable.

Adam is not the best at recieving gifts. Even when he loves it, people wonder becuase he's not jumping for joy. So we decided this was the best route; he unwrapped the gifts while I read the cards. Attention off him and his initial reaction until I can do something silly... like put a bowl on my head. (Then he just turns red.) I highly recommend this! (The card reading vs unwrapping... not just anyone can pull off the mixing bowl on the head thing!)

From Eldest Bro and Sister-in-law who live in NYC and never cook. Their take out menu organizer is their cookbook! =) Well since LA will actually have more than 1 place that delivers food, this is going to rock. Thanks!

Oh, no, wait. I take back the thanks and replace it with... I'm going to kill you!!! Inside the takeout menu organizer is something to "heat up the kitchen". I turned as red as my dress!

Believe it or not, yes we registered for a doormat from a local art gallery. Paul Brent is a local artist who's gone global, and is a friend of the family... who's lurking in some of these photos too. We actually have two wall paintings to match this, so we are loving it.

Oy vey... more clapping...

While MOH Erka took notes on who gave what, Kat and Steph were the bow nazi's ...errr architechs. =)

All the girls lookin cute! Pat (Marine pilot above) and Steph (2nd from right) drove over from Pcola that day, and returned after the party. We were sad they weren't staying at the condo, but so glad they came!!

Remember my dilemma about hostess gifts? Well, the spice kits were a huge hit. They knew they were from us and not just my parents, it fit the theme, and I think they all genuinely appriciated them.

Lessons learned:
  • The Wii is just d*mn fun for a low-key party.
  • Always print directions for people and reiterate to CALL YOU if they get lost.
  • The person who is bad at showing excitement for gifts, should be the unwrapper.
  • Before you begin opening presents, make sure your margarita or wine glass is full!
  • Even though you've spent a long-arse time crafting your registries... be prepared to get things you don't want or need, and smile anyway!
  • Whoever is making the crazy-ass bow-quet thing - Just give them the damn bows asap!!
  • If your Dad is notorious for taking bad pictures, hand the camera to someone else!
  • When in awkward situation - put nearest bowl shaped object on head. :-) (I wonder if someday someone will list that as "best piece of wedding advice you've received".... maybe not! As my family and friends hope, I am one-of-a-kind.)
What did you learn from your shower/party?