A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Friday, May 30, 2008

Part six: The coconut

So about a week before the wedding M called up Fi and asked him to drive the getaway car. In Hindu ceremonies, they couple exits together to start their life. Fi said sure. The day of, S's dad hands Fi the keys and shows him the car and then says "you must crack the coconut". S's dad is a very kind man, but also very stoic and a man a few words. So when he told Fi he had to crack the coconut, that was it -no explanation. Luckily, we had another relative explain to Fi that he had to drive OVER a coconut placed at the front of the tire.

Let me stress, this is no easy task. Anyone who took high school physics can understand the issue. The car is heavy, but so is the coconut. Built with natural defenses, the coconut is literally one tough nut. So I had visions that Fi would start to drive and the coconut would just fly out. And guess what? It did. Apparently what S's dad really meant, was that Fi should have cracked the coconut prior to starting. There are a few problems with this: 1. we never saw the coconut until it was under the car and 2. we didn't bring an ax. But fortunately, the second try proved auspicious and Fi cracked the nut. All those 4 wheel drive adventures came in handy!

First the couple was escorted out by all of S's family and a few of M's entourage. (All of M's friends were off at the hotel bar or up in there rooms as first there were family potraits. M's family = 6 people, S's= 80. So unfortunatly none of M's pals were really around to witness it.) The priest and S's parents said prayers around the tire. There was incense and coconuts.

The getaway car!The bride with her father and mother on either side.
Blessings of the tire?
You can spy the coconut under the front tire.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Part 5: Ceremony IV

The priest then did a fire ceremony. Reminder: We are in a hotel ballroom. With SPRINKLERS. Needless to say, most of the time I looked up at the ceiling, ready to run for it when the sprinkler went off. They didn't.

Once the fire was lit, they couple had they scarves pinned together and walked around the fire 3 times with S leading clockwise and 1 time with M leading counter clockwise. This was nerve wracking. S & M still aren't touching each other. S's sister has pinned them together, the pries keeps saying to walk slowly, the fire is burning, they are both wearing long flowy garments that get awfully close to the fire every time the pass it. So no pictures, cause I was on the edge of my seat!

Then S's sister lined up 7 balls on the floor and together they kicked them away. Each ball represented an obstacle that they may face together as a couple, but together they ward it off.

M then presented S with a Kutra necklace.

All of S's married relatives, along with M's mom (the only married relative he had) came up and offered a blessing upon the couple.

M's lovely mom on the right.

Part 4: Ceremony, III

Part two, part three

So once M's view was obstructed, the bride's procession started. She had like 20 flower girls. Like any relative under 13 got to be a flower girl. I have no pictures, sorry, but they were really sweet!

S's sister entered. I loved her blue sari.

The finally S came in. Her gown was amazing. It must have weighed 100 lbs, maybe 50, but it looked really heavy. No bouquet, no escort, she just came down and climbed right up on the stage (after having her shoes removed).
Right before the big reveal.
M & S exchanged wreaths.

Got caught up in a love knot. This was a golden rope that was lassoed around them both. At this point they still haven't touched each other.

Next up: Coconuts!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Part three: Ceremony II

Note, this is the third in a series (I put 1,2,3 up all in a row) so don't forget to start at the beginning!

Ceremony, Part one

From the bahrat we went into the ballroom to see this.

Look at these details!
The room was transformed into a Hindu palace.
The priest referenced that the ceremony is traditionally supposed to take place in the bride's parents home, but 200 guests prevent that! So after we were all gathered, the ceremony began. We were honored that M had indicated that Fi & I sit in the front row with his family (aww) so I had great viewpoint for pictures!

The ceremony began with just the priest, M and S's parents on the stage. Everyone on the stage (sorry, I'm not sure if it was an "altar" or what, so for my ignorant explanations, we'll call it the stage, mkay?!) had no shoes on and the three times FI had to go up on stage, the shoes came off. This was unexpected, so I am sooo happy he wore good socks with out holes!

So the priest was awesome, he explained every part of the ceremony and translated most of the prayers from Sanskrit to English for us. We learned after the fact from my new pal Morahli that this is not standard practice for priests and he said he learned a lot during the ceremony too. The beginning of the 2 hour service was a series of tests for M given by the priest on behalf of the bride's family. M had to recognize all his "outfacing body parts" buy touching them with water when the priest announced them. Basically a Hindu version of "head shoulders knees and toes knees and toes". There was a lot of incense, rice and spices used. Many prayers were offered and when M proved that he was capable (after about 30 minutes) the bride was ushered in. But before her processional started Fi and Willy jumped on stage, sans shoes, to hold up the "wedding cloth" (we still have it, it cost $2.99 form Fabric World) in front of M while she entered.

Part two: The Ceremony, I

All of M's family and friends met inside the hotel, at the furthest point from the lobby at 1:45. We were gathered to make a processional over to greet S's family. We were supposed to meet outside, but Florida afternoon thunderstorms prevented that, but inside = AC so I was cool (literally) with being inside. M came down in this lovely get up. He looked great, although we couldn't get over these shoes! The material was like a raw silk and he said it was very comfortable.

Its gotta be the shoes!

We hung out and finally one of S's cousins came over and taught us how to "bongrah" so we could start the "bahrat" over to the bride's side. Basically the dance was lift your right hand an screw in a light bulb while bouncing a basketball with the left, now switch. While walking. It was really fun. We must have been a sight to see! There was loud, pounding Indian music playing and M was leading us doing his own dance (up and down and side to side with his arms open). We were all laughing and crying and it was a really joyous celebration.

From the back of the barhat, doing the bongrah!

Then we met up with S's parents, sister, a Hindu priest and all of S's family. There was this little step set up for M to get on.

From there it was very quiet while the priest offered prayers and S's mom waved incense around his head and then placed a red spice like substance on his forehead (a small dot) with some rice grains. M then had to crack the symbolic coconut (the little red thing, above picture)on the ground before we continued to the ballroom.
(S's mom in center with maroon sari and orange scarf. The priest is in Maroon, leaning over)

Next post: the ceremony itself.

Part One: Rehersal Dinner

We were invited to the "rehearsal dinner". It was very casual; at an Indian restaurant in Orlando. The drive from the hotel to the location included a drive through hooker alley. Awesome. We drove two of S's friends from college over, a lovely gay couple Kevin & George who are of course my new best friends! When we arrived the dinner was very informal. Walked in got greeted, buffet line, sit and eat. M gave a few announcements, but that was it. We were at the second seating of the dinner, so maybe the first was more formal of an event.

S was already covered in awesome henna tattoos. Check out her hands!

Her name and M's name were written in henna in her hands. So cool. She had the mendhi ceremony on Thursday when she, her mom, sister and a few other relatives danced and were painted. Her feet were covered too and she had a beautiful light purple Sari on.

After wards, half the crowd went to Pleasure Island, the other half of us stayed in the hotel bar. The hotel bar had Smithwicks on tap. I drank a lot of Smithwicks that weekend.
The evening was fun and we met M's Uncle Dennis, who rocked my socks off. Funny, funny man. He gave me marriage advice. "Marriage is give and take. You give a lot of shit and he'll learn to take it". I replied that if that was the definition of marriage, Fi and I have been married for a long time. That resulted in poor Uncle Dennis spitting out his peanuts!

Here is the only shot we took of ourselves that night.
next up: ceremony!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Whew, I'm back.

The trip was awesome, the wedding beautiful and I was nice and I had fun.

I took 187 pictures at the wedding and reception. I'll begin posting this week.

I saw Gale Sayers, a manatee, a live armadillo, a turkey (all animals in the wild), a hooker and Mickey Mouse...none with the wedding festivities- just extra bonuses of our trip!

I'm glad to be home. I'm going to ingore the 57 emails in my inbox (and I haven't even opened my google reader) and spend the rest of the Memorial Day holiday snuggled up next to my man.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


You all thought that was my last post till next week. I just went to fax something, yelled out to our receptionist "Whats the date?!" And she yelled back (cause that's how we roll) "May 21st". No shit. 5 years.

It has been 5 years since my first date with Fi. 5 years ago, another Wednesday, Fi showed up to my door wearing khakis and a blue stripped polo shirt. I wore a beige skirt from Ann Taylor with blue and brown stitchery. I wore a brown backless shirt and brown sandals. I looked hot, I was skinny then. He looked hot, he was a bit skinner then too.

We jumped in his car and he said "just so you know I'm deaf in my right ear so its hard to talk in the car". I was relieved, no need to come up with more conversation. We went to dinner at Cafe Poca Cosa and it was my first time there. We had a lovely dinner, good conversation and great food. After dinner he suggested we go to Plush for a drink and to see the band playing. I was happy, I didn't want the night to end. I sneaked a smoke in the bathroom and we watched a blue grass band play as we sat close together at the bar. After a drink we walked around 4th for a bit, then he took me home. He walked me to the door. We kissed. We said good night and I was smitten.

5 years later, he still walks me to the door and I'm still smitten but due to new non-smoking laws in AZ, I sneak a cigarette outside instead of in the bathroom.

I am kind of sad that this is the last real acknowledgement of this date. After 10/11, we'll go back to zero, then one year married. Five years, that has some umphf you know. I'm sure we'll always be happy for an excuse to go back to Cafe Poco Cosa!


Some of you may be aware that we (nay I) am not excited about this wedding this weekend. For many reasons. 1. When I first met S, the woman marrying Fi's best friend M, she fell asleep while I was talking to her. She. fell. asleep. 2. When we got engaged (a mere few days before them, but we ain't counting) she said we weren't really engaged cause Fi didn't give me a ring. Yup, she said that at the time when I had a DATE, LOCATION and HOTEL ROOMS booked. They, they had nothing, no date, NOTHING. Tell me how was our engagement less of an engagement then theirs? Just hurtful.

So this whole wedding is bittersweet for me. I heart M, sweet as can be. I met him a week after Fi and I started dating and we hit it off. But S, well I don't use this term lightly, she's a jerk. I have bent over backwards to be cordial with her and she has never reciprocated. And more that not being cordial she's been mean. Fi and I never set out to "upstage" their engagement. And really with an engagement story like ours...nothing gets upstaged, it was low key. They had a freakin' Kay Jewelers commercial engagement.

Okay, back to the wedding. Its over a holiday weekend which I think sucks. I lose a holiday. And its not like we are saved from taking time off, we ended up taking off more time for this wedding cause its in Orlando. Over Memorial Day weekend. Me and every 6 year old will be there that weekend. I've already discussed that the reception is dry (hotel bar hotel bar hotel bar) and I can't wear black. Fi has been getting phone calls and emails from M daily asking him to do one more thing for them. And I get it must be really hard to plan an inter-cultural wedding from 2000 miles away (they are in LA, the wedding is in Orlando), but come on people- plan ahead!

Please understand that I am open and actually excited to be part of another culture's wedding traditions. But its the way it is presented to us. A list of no's. In fact, S made it clear to Fi that M couldn't reciprocate the Best Man title cause they don't do that. Fi could care less, he is happy to have M by his side in October, but to present it as such, well again, she's a jerk.

Well this morning I get an email from Fi, which he has forwarded from S. It is a reception itinerary. say that with me: A RECEPTION ITINERARY. Fi has been asked to give a toast (aww), now he's been given like a second to make the speech. And everything else is planned to a T. I hate think how S will react when the schedule de-rails. Cause it will and I don't say that meanly, but that's just how planning goes, right?

Fi's email said to me"do we have to do this?" and I replied do you mean an itinerary for our wedding, No. for this weekend, YES. And he replied "I'm happy I'm marrying you".

Anyways, I'll be out for the weekend, but plan on taking many, many pictures, so I'll have some fun posts next week. From now til then I'll be chanting "have fun be nice have fun be nice" in my head. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Planning Hiatus

I haven't posted lately about wedding planning, that's cause nothing is really happening. I have been doing a lot lately, but tedious stuff.

Like invitation design.

I met last Tuesday with an invitation lady (i'm sure she has a better title, but...) we looked at 6 books of invitations and narrowed it down to 5 invitation designs. Today she sent me all 5 quotes. But last Wednesday I started to get itchy about having an original invitation, something DIY-ish. So I contacted a designer I learned about through weddingbee and have had some great email discussions about her doing my invitations. We've planned a conversation this week about her designing and DIFM (do it for me) invitations. I need to get a grasp on invitations in the next 3 weeks for they need to hit the mail by late August.

I've also been thinking about details. Some say weddings are all about the details. I agree with that to an extent. But I also believe that unless you read wedding blogs as ravenously as I do (and that's not as ravenous as some people) that you don't know that I'm missing cocktail napkins that are embossed with our monogram or that I didn't put a bathroom basket in the bathroom (really ladies, bring a tampon so I don't have to supply you one on my wedding day mkay?! mkay). My aunts and uncles aren't gong to comment on the lack of signature drinks or pashminas for every guest. Don't get me wrong, I think all that stuff is hot, but its not US.

So we leave Wednesday night to attend someone else's wedding and I am going to try to continue mulling our ideas in my head (and with my trusty journal I got from Monica) and I am going to enjoy the wedding as a guest. I will not critique details (as I am prone to do), I will just sit back and enjoy as much as I can at a dry wedding (yeah, did I mention it is dry, I'm not even there yet and I'm critiquing!).

And in contrast...

In contrast to my last post in which I was reminded about why I love Fi, today I was reminded about his silliness (my nice way of saying stupidity). We leave for Florida on Wednesday. My favorite food is seafood...all of it: every single kind. I never met a fish, crustacean, creature of the sea I didn't like.

So about 1:30 my phone rings its Fi.
Fi: hey some guys are going to a crab and seafood buffet on Sunday. Do you want to go?
Me: What?!?
Fi: Umm, do. you. want. to . go.
Me: You are stupid. Have we met?
Fi: Well just checking.

I do have serious concerns about this place though. They serve lobster, lobster don't swim in Florida waters. They advertise crab legs, typically big crab legs large enough to be a meal on their own are from Alaska. They also serve prime rib...hmm. I think we'll actually skip it and drive back to the beach for good fresh seafood.

At the very least I had a good laugh.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A nice reminder.

I am sick and tired. Literally. My allergies have kicked into overdrive. The PaloVerde and Desert Willow mock me. The sky is hazy and the breeze just stirs up the pollen even more. To top it off, we had a "field trip" at work yesterday and spent the majority of the day...outside in the wind and the pollen.

Last night we had Fi's birthday celebration. Tickets to CATS and dinner out. By the time I got home from the field trip I was one big congestive ball of goo. I called to see what time we should meet for dinner and Fi said "you are sick, I can tell. you want stay home?" Well I did want to stay home, but I bought the tickets forever ago and Fi was really looking forward to this night (yeah, yeah he was looking forward to seeing CATS, hardy har). But just the fact that he recognized my misery made me want to get my act together and go. It was a nice reminder of his awesomeness.

We had a nice dinner, a quick walk around downtown and then CATS, We had a good time and while I balled my eyes out (DAMN YOU ANDREW LLOYD WEBER!!!) he held my hand. It was a nice break from wedding, work and school and just a nice night out together.

A nice reminder at the right time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What I have learned about myself (and the world) through wedding planning

1. I actually care a lot about invitations.

2. I still need my mom.

3. You can hate the person you love the most.

4. Standing in a room half naked having ladies dress me isn't as bad as I thought.

5. I do like veils.

6. Food is the most important aspect in my life and therefor accounts than more than 50% of my wedding budget.

7. You can plan a wedding at work...if you have 18 months and a door to close.

8. I feel uncomfortable having bridesmaids.

9. I am a bad planner.

10. I am not a decisive as I thought I was.

11. I am a little bit OCD.

12. I am fearful of my relationship changing with my dad. I always want to be my daddy's little girl.

13. I am excited as my relationship evolves with my mom.

14. I am happy it took us 5 years to get to this point. I'm not sure our relationship could have handled this before now.

15. I am floored by the love and support we feel everyday.

16. I am still bad at math.

17. Being called "Bridezilla" hurts more than being called "bitch".

18. I am afraid I will have to do my own make up on my wedding day and I'll look like a freak.

19. Shoe shopping has never been so painful.

20. Corset backs are amazing.

21. Guest lists are as hard as everyone says.

22. I loathe Martha Stewart and her effing handkerchiefs and fondant cakes.

23. People can be cruel and demeaning regarding your opinions and decisions.

24. I don't like talking about myself.

25. I am selfish.

26. I want to talk about other things other than my wedding.

27. I do not want those other things to be my family planning plan.

28. Fi really is my best friend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reason 752 why I love Miss Manners

Dear Miss Manners,
What is the appropriate way to say "thank you" for a gift, even if you may not fully appreciate it? In other words, how can one acknowledge the sentiment without being too effusive?

Gentle Reader,
You want a second class thank you to go with what you consider a second class present? Charming.
Miss Manners hopes that it is only that you don't want to gush about the item itself, fearful that this would encourage the giver to give you similar presents for the rest of your life. In that case, you should state your thanks but direct your gushing to how kind it was of the person to think of you.

Charming, indeed. We have received a few gifts already that we just don't care for. Registry people, the registry is in place for a reason! No really, we appreciate the sentiment and the thoughtfulness, but some received gifts don't fit our style, our personalities or our beliefs. One gift was from a family member (Fi's side, not mine!) and was an expression of beliefs of which Fi and I walk the line. Um just think like someone gave us a Burger King sign. We were both raised on fast food, but different kinds of fast food. I still eat McDonald's once in a while and try other kinds of fast food too. But Fi, he doesn't eat fast food ever. Unless I ask him to, once a year, on Fast Food Eve. Aesthetically the Burger King sign is lovely, but because of what it represents it'll never hang in our house. (Luckily it could be used as a garden ornament too...so some day, it'll go there).

Luckily my momma taught me how to right a thank you note, so I haven't had trouble writing these notes out (although I still have a few from my shower (sigh) to finish up). The thank you notes I have had the most trouble with are for the people I love. I inevitably cry as I write them out and never feel like they really contain the gratitude that I feel.

Planning a wedding becomes a very selfish act in some ways and in other ways an expression of appreciation for your loved ones. It is also an emotional roller coaster. We have been planning this for over a year now, and I don't think there has been a week that I haven't broken down in tears due to something wedding related. However, the emotion that I feel more and more often is gratitude. I am so thankful to be marrying this man. I am so thankful that out of towners have said that they will travel to be with us. I am so grateful to my parents for their contribution and to my friends for being sounding boards and punching bags. Never have Fi and I felt so loved by everyone around us and I look forward to feeling that love on our wedding day too.

So I guess, to bring this rant back to Miss Manners, is to receive a gift that isn't "you" is still a gift because a gift is really an expression of love, joy, gratefulness and support.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

School's out for summer!

Whew! Fi is finally done with school for the semester! Which means he won't be as cranky as he has been of late. We met last night and got him his suit for the wedding we'll be attending in Florida. We got a smokin' deal at Dillard's on a grey suit with pretty pretty pin stripes. All told, with alterations and tax, he got it for $160. And its Calvin Klein...and he is smokin' hot in it!

Now that school is out for the semester, we are on a rampage of doing errands we've put off "till school was out". Suit was a biggy, so I'm happy that's out of the way, next up a new piece of luggage. I wish it could wait till October and we could slap it on a registry, but it can't. We have two vacations in 3 weeks and we need a new suitcase.

When we are back from our vacations, we'll get a jump on his wedding obligations. Rehearsal dinner, what he'll wear to the wedding, attendant gifts, and guest book. Yup. I put him in charge of the guest book. We'll end up with a spiral school notebook and a sharpie, but maybe people with think its a hip new wedding trend.!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shopping for someone else's wedding

We have a wedding to go to in 12 days. In Florida! This wedding kind of yanked us out of our wedding planning focus and made us realize other people get married too. Since we'll be in Florida for a few days and have 3 wedding activities ( 2 of them formal) to go to and we were directed not to wear black (damn it) so I had to go shopping.

First off we will have 2 days on the beach (maybe more) so I needed a new suit that wouldn't give me awful tan lines. I found this cute suit yesterday at Target. I wasn't even looking for a new suit. The tie is removable and the suit stays up even while jumping (yup I jumped around the house last night like an idiot. Fi sat on the couch and laughed and hoped to catch a glimpse of "the girls"). Alas, this suit stays up!!!
Second...Shoes. So I can't wear black (religious and cultural guidelines) so I have substituted Brown for Black. I have two dresses for 2 of the events that are brown, so I was hoping for one shoe. Luckily DSW came to my rescue. I found this lovely shoe for $35. It also comes in blue, so I'll see how I do wearing it all night for two nights in a row, if it holds up, I may have found my wedding shoe! :)
Finally, I broke down and bought this dress from Dillard's. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend ($148), but the dress I am wearing to the rehearsal dinner was only $22 (sorry no pics on line, I'll post some later) so $168 for 2 dresses, not too shabby. I'll actually do my hair and I won't wear that awful heart necklace, and I think it'll be perfect. Its very flattering and comfy and since the festivities begin at noon and run all day and evening long, comfort was key.
Tonight, we go buy Fi an new suit for this wedding. 1 suit, 3 ties, I think he'll look great!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Holy Schnickies and Son of a Bush!

Holy Schnickies: We have 5 months. We have 5 months. We have a very busy 5 months.

Son of a Bush! I finally FINALLY (almost) Finally decided on a song for the father/daughter dance. My parents recently saw Joe Cocker in concert and my dad and I reminisced about how we would dance to "you are so beautiful". Then yesterday Jenna and George danced to it. Ruined, spoiled, soured. Can't do it. Back to the drawing board.

In summary: we have five months till the wedding and just under 6 months till the election and George W Bush is still finding ways to piss me off.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finally, a vision

I never wanted a "theme wedding" but I did hope there would be some continuity to the day. I have really struggled for over a year now to what my day will be like. I couldn't see it, really.

When I run a race, my coach taught us to run the race in our heads first. How are you going to start? What is it going to feel like at mile 10? Most of all visualize yourself finishing. I have really been working on this before I run a race. And it works! I swear the 6 minutes I cut off my 10k PR time were related to this (disclaimer 1- yup, I just backdoor bragged about my race time woot! disclaimer 2- if you don't train for a run...visualizing it alone ain't going get you to the finish line!)

So I have been visualizing my wedding. And it is finally working! A few things have contributed to this:
1. colors...I finally ponied up and picked colors.
2. DIY, I now know what a few of my DIY projects are going to look like.
3. research. I have spent every waking moment and many more work moments scouring the web, looking at inspiration boards, reading every blog ever written about weddings.
4. More decisions and ideas are coming together.

I can see my day starting (well as early as noon, with hair appointments), leading up to the ceremony with bridal portraits and party shots too (yup, Fi and I will see each other before the ceremony). Now that I have a ceremony location, I see myself walking down the aisle with my dad. I can see the readers (whom we still have yet to ask, so they may be different!) and my Uncle performing the ceremony. I can hear the music. I can see the bar area, the buffet lines, the table linens and decorations, the late night surprises, the dj, the dancing, the musicians. I still have a few blank spots - like figuring out how a few ideas will be executed, but for the most part...I can see my whole day!!!

And as for the "theme" or the continuity of the day...it will be Tucson. Just Tucson. We are incorporating a few of our favorite Tucson staples into the wedding. I feel like it'll be a mini tour of our favorite things about Tucson to our guests. I recognize that not every guest will "get" the theme, but it speaks to us and speaks about us. Which, isn't that the point of "Designing" your wedding? Providing a reflection of you as a couple to the world?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Final Chapter or The New Beginning

I just realized I hadn't finished the "hook up" saga!

So we left off at the Hot Tub and my realization that maybe Melisa liked the boy with the cute butt and I had just harmed a friendship with my bestest Tucson buddy.

I got home that afternoon and if memory serves, I called Melisa and told her that the boy had asked me out and I just wanted to make sure that was okay. She laughed at me. Laughed at me! And then she reveiled her master plan: she designed this. SHE invited the boy out so WE would meet. She had known the boy for years and they were friends and that was it...but she knew we would hit it off.

Here is where it gets good. Melisa knew that if I knew or if the boy suspected that we were being matched up, we would resist...so she didn't tell us! And this is why she is a bridesmaid and the one person in Tucson that knows me almost better than I know myself.

It was one of those moments where the puzzle pieces come together and I stepped back and remembered how genius Melisa is!

So on the 21st of this month, Fi and I will celebrate our 5 years together and like usual, we will toast our matchmaker, Melisa.

you didn't know this billion part series was going to turn out to be an ode to friendship, did you! ;)

Packages Packages

I popped home for a quick lunch at home yesterday and I got a knock at the door. It was the UPS man! He had not only one package for me, but two! Yay!

I received my beautiful earrings from Perfect Details and my sweater from White + Warren.

I took quick pictures, so forgive me if the quality isn't that great, but I was soooo excited, I couldn't wait! (I'm rhyming now!)

Sparkly CZ with Majorca Pearls!
Great length, no? I love that they aren't too long, right at my hair line.
Sorry Mom, I think I'm keeping these!
I apologize for the weird leprechaun esque stance I am taking- I made a make shift tripod off of Fi 's dresser and Fellowship of the Rings, special edition DVD, so I wasn't too sure of the height I needed to stand at. I love the sweater. It is soooo warm and fuzzy and soft and light and I think it will be perfect!

And finally a lovely note from my new friends at Perfect Details! How touching! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

White House Wedding?

My father (yup, my dad) and I got into a great debate last night about why Jenna has decided not to get married in the White House. He thinks she is nuts, I completely respect her decision.

My dad: Why not have a White House wedding, it happens so infrequently.
Me: Her dad's public rating has never been lower, we are at war, the economy sucks and we want to watch her get married in the White House?! Barbara maybe (her twin) but NOT Jenna!
Dad: Oh forget it! America loves weddings, we would rally around!
Me: Maybe that's the point, maybe she wants it private!
Dad: How can it be private with 200 people in attendance.
Me: Easy, we are having 300 and it'll be "private".
Dad: (after the shock of how many guests we are having...) But its the WHITE HOUSE.
Me: but its not her HOME!!!
Dad: 1. Crawford is a made up ranch they acquired 10 years ago, thats not her home either and 2. if someone said you could get married at Edinburgh Castle wouldn't you?
Me: uh, maybe.

So lets just say my dad and I tied. We agreed to disagree and I still respect her decision. I finished my argument to him saying "it is HER day, not OUR day, and she's the bride, she gets to do what she wants!". My dad reminded me that isn't always about the bride, that family plays a part too, even if they aren't readily involved in the planning.

Bottom line I do respect Jenna's decision, although it would have been nice to have a White House wedding in my lifetime! The last one was in 1971 when Tricia Nixon had her wedding (pictured below).

I'm not sure if I had the opportunity to get married at the White House if I would. I'm not sure now if I could have my wedding anywhere in the world if I would change what I am doing and what we are planning. Although the White House would be hard to resist!

NYT: knottie article

The New York Times had an article this weekend about the Internet bonds formed on wedding websites. This is a phenomenon I am both amazed at and sucked into. I have made friends through wedding planning and I do rely more on Weddingbee and other bridal blogs for advice and ideas than I do my own bridesmaids (no offense bridesmaids!). I believe I value these "bonds" so much because I have so many woman around me (online) going through the same things. Their sympathetic ear is more tuned to my plights than those of my not-getting-married-right-now friends. NOT that my flesh and blood friends aren't sympathetic, but if they haven't dealt with it, sometimes it is hard to give opinions. Also, my online community is able to give more objective advice, which in many situations can be helpful.

I amazed too about the cliques mentioned in the article and man I play right into it! My local knot board stinks. I eventually dropped out of knot.com all together, cause I found the customer service to be horrendous. On the other hand I am a die hard Weddingbee and blog bride. I like the policies that Weddingbee uses regarding no vendor slamming and "no snarkiness". This just shows me that in cyberlife, just as in "real" life, one must find where they belong and where they feel comfortable.

I know FI must think I am crazy when we chat about wedding stuff and I spout off names like Miss Gingerbread and Miss Penguin and then I talk about Linda and Tara's ideas. But I am lucky that I have such great resources at my finger tips! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses

I always knew that I would let my BMs pick their own dresses (within reason). That's why I heart J Crew. The colors are awesome, dresses are pretty, decently affordable and they have lots of choices! So after months of agonizing over the colors, I finally decided on Kelly green and black as our colors. Here are a *few* of the dresses J Crew offers in Kelly Green!


Sophia Dress $165 ..I like the chiffon, but I am more of a silk fan myself.
Silk Taffeta Ballerina dress $195. I love the crispness and playfulness of this dress!

Sydney Print dress $165 The print is fun! I love the gathered, pleated thing happening.
Lia Dress $88 Shoot man, this dress is EIGHTY EIGHT DOLLARS. And flattering too!
Strapless Florence Dress $250 Yum! Most expensive, but I heart this dress!

Any of these dresses (or like the 6 other options) will look great with black accessories and on my beautiful BMs!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Update on Weight loss

hmmpfh. I officially lost 3 lbs in the month of April. (really I lost like a 100 lbs and put back on 97 of them to come out 3 lbs lighter) But I recognized that the scale isn't the only way to measure weight loss, so that's what I'll be focusing on today!

I have lost some inches and my body has shifted back to the athletic shape it was in a few months ago. My clothes fit more loosely around the waist and a bit snugger around my thighs. In the last 3 weeks I have run at least 3 days a week, my goal being 4 days a week. I have started spinning one day a week, and this weekend I will add a second day. I have lifted weights at least one day and hope to bump that up to two.

My food consumption has been erratic at best. Some days are flawless: fruits, veggies, good lean protein, no alcohol and lots of water. Some days are filled with beer and junk. I had one flawless week and need to continue to have more perfect days than yucky days.

My focus for the month of May is to really wrangle in my eating on the weekends...good eating habits don't stop on Friday night! I will move everyday. I will work on waking up earlier to get my exercise done and out of the way before work and before the temperature rises to boiling point. I will limit my alcohol consumption to one day a week. I hope to be 5 pounds lighter by the end of the month!

Monday, May 5, 2008


This week proved to be busy with accessory acquisitions! On Thursday I won these earrings from a Weddingbee contest. I have been a weddingbee reader for over a year, so to actually win a contest was thrilling!

The earrings are from Perfect Details. As part of the contest I was able to pick the pair I wanted from a choice of four. I loved the simplicity of these earrings. They'll be here soon, so I can't wait to try them on! If they don't work for me, I think I'll give them to my mom (they are so her style) to wear at the wedding!

Secondly, the procrastinator in me was rewarded nicely today. I was reminded by Linda's blog about cover-ups that I wanted to get a cover-up (thanks Linda!!). I had cut out a page from In Style Weddings magazine that was dated "winter 2007" so I must of bought this issue like the minute I got engaged! Anyways there was a spread on "Chic Cover-ups: Short and sweet options for keeping your shoulders under wraps". Since I purchased my strapless dress I've been thinking about a wrap or sweater or something for the possibly chilling October Tucson evening. And luckily I had cut out this page from In Style Weddings! There was one wrap, a cashmere tie front cardigan with shawl collar that kept grabbing my eye. It is so clean and fresh looking, but for $200 from White + Warren I wasn't quick to get it. I finally when to their site today, dismayed that it wasn't in the bridal collection, off chance I tried "Sale" and low and behold! There is was...for $75! $75 for cashmere is a nice deal, and if it doesn't work with my dress, I'll wear it with jeans!

Finally, I ordered my veil! Initially I wasn't going to wear a veil, and then I tried one on and I had a total "I feel like a bride" moment. Then my mom was going to make me one, because the ones I tried on and liked were $180-$300 for plain, boring, ole veils. Finally my mom and I both stumbled on the Occansey Design website on which you can custom design your veil from $28. They can get pricey based on the embellishments you get and the length, but no surprise, I ordered a basic little embellishment veil for $40!

Whew! Now I need to give my credit card a rest!

Evolution of a wedding date, part 2

Part one

Fi kept referencing a wedding we went to years ago at the Z Mansion. I liked the wedding and the reception. But the Z doesn't really offer any views of the mountains. Which in Tucson is hard to do. For those of you unfamiliar with Tucson there are basically 4 Mountain ranges that surround the city. So to find a location that offers no view of the mountains in Tucson, well it ain't easy, but I found it!

But the Z has a vibe. I blogged before about how awesome the Hill family is, they really welcome us into the family and the house. Every time I walk in the door, Tom greets me with a hug and a smile! But beyond that the house has a vibe. It is old and has great history and it reminds me of the houses I loved living back east.

According to their website the Z Mansion was built at the turn of the last century by Judge Charles Wright. At that time, Queen Victoria ruled England and Tucson millionaires celebrated their Victorian-era wealth by building extravagant homes along Church Avenue. No expense was spared. When Judge Wright died in 1901, the house was sold to the Zellweger family, millionaire cattle barons, who lived in it for 73 years. In 1974, the mansion was purchased by multi-millionaire Margaret Carmichael, co-owner of Secretariat, the Triple Crown winning racehorse. Her estate sold the Z in 1994 to the heir of the Pinkerton tobacco fortune, Jay Pinkerton Murray. In 2002, it was purchased by the Hill family.

The legend, as I heard it from Tom, was one day in 2002 a potential bride knocked on the door and asked if she could host her wedding there. The family said no, it was a private home. The bride plead her case saying she grew up in Tucson, always wanted to get married there. Again they said no. So she sat down on the floor in the foyer till they changed their minds. So, six years later...I can get married there! The family had so much fun the agreed to offer their home to brides and non-profit organizations for events.

How cool is that? The history is cooler told by Tom on one of the tours. He can point out bullet holes that ended up in the carriage house during a raid!

So I called and gave them a list of dates I was interested in: March 08 booked, October 07 booked or not doing weddings. October 08? Sure they had every Saturday open. I thanked Em, got off the phone and onto the Internet, a quick search assured me that U of A football was away (important for friends and for hotel availability), called my mom asked her what she thought, called Fi and finally called back Em with a credit card in hand. Em slowed me down and asked if I wanted to come by again and look at the Z? No, book it! (I did go the next day).

So with in a week we had gone to 3 resorts, 4 hotels, 2 ranches, and 1 wedding place. We had an idea of when we wanted to be married, but really the availability of the Z and religious holidays determined our date! It was out of our control! I like that the date is a sequence of numbers 10/11 but that date has no real significance to us, yet.

Eighteen months may be too long for some people for an engagement and there are times that I think a resort package would have been easier (albeit a bit more pricier) but every time I see the Z I am so thrilled we are celebrating there. (You would have thought I would have come to the decision to have the ceremony there sooner, but I didn't!)