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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our House (is a very very very fine house)

This is "our house"! The owners of the Z Mansion in downtown Tucson, open their home for weddings and special events. On their website they claim that when you plan your event at the Z, the house is yours, it'll always be yours. My initial reaction was: sweet, but yeah right. I mean these people LIVE there, with their kids and they have a bunch of kids.

Then I emailed and asked if I could use their china and servingwear. Answer: Yup, its all yours.

Then I chatted with Tom about my idea to have a walking processional from the ceremony site to the Z, but I was concerened about how to get our older guests around. Answer: Use our van (with insurance of course).

Then I emailed and asked if my mom and I could come by when she was in town. Answer: Yup, the house is yours.

Seriously, when Tom and Em say the house is "ours"- they mean it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The photog

I heart our photographer. Chris Richards.

This was the second big decision I made in wedding planning (I'm not counting the decision to GET married, that wasn't THAT big of a decision), after we had the reception site booked (see post coming soon) we set off to look for our photographer. We had been to a wedding in February, 2004 and I remembered the photog there, and not for the usual reasons. He wasn't annoying or in yo' face, he just was. But I remembered that after the wedding the couple who had gotten hitched that day, L & A, presented us with some great shots that their photographer had taken of us. (wait isn't it usually guests who pass on pictures to the bride & groom?) I dug out those shots and visited Chris's website. I fell in love!

I did keep looking and I took a look at blogs and sites of photographers I knew I wasn't going to hire (too $$$, but beautiful work). I learned about the style and quality of photographer I wanted for the day. Then came the hard part,convincing the FI. After a few weeks I convinced him that we would just MEET with Chris. By the end of the meeting FI was convinced. Chris is charming and funny and most of all he made fun of me! Chris asked us if we knew what time the sun would set on our wedding day, I replied (a bit too quickly) 6:17pm. He took a sharp intake of breathe, turned to FI and said, "oh, she's one of THOSE brides". I knew at that moment we had our guy.

I've re-evaluated most every decision I've made in planning this wedding. Luckily for me, Chris has been a slam-dunk decision and one I haven't had to rethink!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shoe Update!

Well piperlime has great customer service, so I am not dismayed, but these were not the shoes for me. The picture showed more of a cream , ivory color, and the shoes that showed up were gold. And I mean gold lamme Gloria Gayner shoes. They were of great quality, and they were actually too big (and too small for my wide toes) but not the shoes for me. Luckily for me, piperlime has a great postage free return/exchange policy, so I'll send them on their way back on Monday (although I have 2 months from purchase date to do so, Awesome!!!). I will need to spend some time searching on their site. This time I'll try a colorful shoe!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A thought about song

Music is important to us, to all beings. It is a way of worship, reflection, and celebration. There is nothing better (really) than when I hear an opening note of a moving song. I love all genres (really) of music and find something from each song I hear. Music will be part of the ceremony and the reception in various ways.

We have decided to go with a dj for the reception, only because we will be hiring 3 groups of live musicians throughout the day. We didn't need/couldn't afford a 4th group. I also found that the bands limited us in spectrum and scope of the music we could have. The band I most gravitated to was a Motown cover band, and although my family would have been just fine with that, I'm not sure my in-laws would have appreciated it as much.

One area I am struggling with is the father/daughter dance. My dad and I have always danced, always. My dad and I have cut more rug at weddings and parties than Fred Astair. I regret the embarrassment I felt as a teenager when my dad would pull me on to the dance floor. But I am sooo looking forward to dancing with my dad on my wedding day. I think every girl has fantasized about their wedding day in one way or another, and I have always looked forward to dancing with my dad! But to what song? We have several songs that make me think of my dad...a few "goodies" form the 80's: Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie. We've seen Elton John in concert, we've sung our hearts out in church to Handel's Messiah and we've shared cds and music collections. My dad took me to see "Annie" the movie 3 (THREE) times in the theater and then bought me the record and let me play it on repeat for months on end. My dad shared a smile with my mom when I "discovered" Nina Simon and let me burn copies of his cds. He listened to Pearl Jam cds before I headed out to the concert and has laughed at me the day after every concert I've ever been to since when I declare "That was the BEST concert ever!". We took a drive to listen to the "Rent" cd in the car and hit repeat on "Light my Candel" and cried over the simplicity, soul and sorrow inthe singer's voice. We shared stories about the songs the KSU band would play at football games and how they made us energized (I get knocked down- but i get up again). I can't hear some music with out feeling my dad. He helped me and FI with some extra cash so we could make our dream of going to see U2 in Dublin happen. We argued over which version of Nessun Dorma was better, Aretha Franklin or Luciano Pavarati (I still say Aretha, he holds tight onto Luciano). My dad introduced me to opera, listening to the Met on NPR every Sunday. He took me to musicals on Broadway just to squeeze my hand when the going gets good and the music, dance and fever of the play is just - right.

So all this begs the question....what song? All I know is whatever it will be (or perhaps a melody?) you will see sparks flying from our heels and tears streaming from our eyes.
Photo Credit: me, check out the nose and the chin...any question he's my dad!?! Nope.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A bit about the bling

We have officially been engaged since March (whew -time DOES fly), but didn't receive my ring until December. For a variety of reasons the ring was delayed, but we never considered ourselves "less engaged" or less official due to the lack of bling. Except for a few rare comments about how one couldn't possibly be engaged without a ring, or why did I say yes before receiving a ring, we got little response about me NOT having a ring.

That is until, I got my ring. Then there was a flurry of questions and reactions"does it feel more real", "It's official now!", "now you can begin planning!"*. Um, okay. I try daily to express to my lovely FI that I don't NEED a ring, and I would feel as loved without it as I do with it. But, I do have to admit, I heart my ring! I love seeing it on my hand and find comfort at looking at it through out the day. But to the curious, no, it doesn't FEEL more real. This felt real many months, years, moons ago.

*if I had waited to get a ring until planning, we'd be looking at 2010 for a date based on reception location availability! Yikes!

Photo credit: not sure who took it, but that was the Bling's debut out at the BDC '07 (and yes that is FI's hand not mine)!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Skin care

Weddings bring all things to the surface, things you wish you didn't have to worry about and things that frankly I don't worry about. One of those issues is my skin. I've never had great skin (okay when I was like 6 it was great, freckly and smooth, ahh) I got acne when I was in college and it has been an uphill struggle since. Acne has been persistent, all through my 20's, especially with my periods. Birth Control controlled that, lessening the breakouts. Little did I know that the same birth control that was "helping" my skin, was in fact damaging it...bad.

About a year ago, I noticed my "tan" didn't fade, especially around my eyes and my forehead. Then this fall the FI and I traveled to my Alma Mater for a football game (yea e yea!) with my folks. I see my dad and we hug, and as he is coming in for a hug and a kiss, he stops and says "whats the dirt on your forehead?". Okay, I heard it loud and clear...go to the dermatologist!

Today I was diagnosed with Melasma aka "mask of pregnancy". What? It is a pigment issue that is effected by hormones (pregnancy, hormone replacement and BINGO! Birth control pills!). So the dermatologist walked me through my options and treatment: higher sunscreen, tinting my windows, giving up running in daylight, using bleaching creams, chemical peals, and changing contraceptive options.

So I bought a face wash that in combination with vitamin C serum will lessen the appearance. I go back next week for a face scan to see how bad the damage is and I was given a prescription for a bleaching cream. The cream is $127 for a tube and isn't covered by insurance because it is "cosmetic". huh? That stopped me in my tracks. Am I THAT vain, that I will spend $127 to BLEACH my face? Michael Jackson, I'm not...but I would LOVE to have better skin. So a couple phone calls to Nogales are in order.

The other recommendations are weighing on me too. 1.Changing birth control. I'm due for an appointment soon, so I'll speak to my obgyn about this, but am I willing to alter my routine and try new options because of a few dark spots? I really will need to go through the pros and cons (I'll spare my readers this list!).

2. Stop running in daylight. Okay, so lets say everything works for me and my skin clears and no more brown spots...I risk them coming back every time I am in the sun. I tried some new sunscreens today to wear that the dermatologist recommended, good sport ones that won't sweat off. But she said don't run in the sun. Um, I have been running, really running for a year now and I can't imagine stopping that. This "hobby" has brought me new friends, better health, balance and a strength I never knew I had. In the summer we get up to meet at 5:15am on a SATURDAY. I'll just ask the gals to meet me at 3:30am. Awesome.

I went in this afternoon hoping I would get some cream and I'd be on my way. But I walked out with more questions than before and am considering making significant changes to my lifestyle. If this were a medical issue, there would be NO issue, I would just do everything. But because this has turned out to be "cosmetic" my decisions have become harder and make me reflect more than I expected.
Photo Credit: self portrait in Acapulco, Mexico. My earlier sun worshiping probably hasn't helped either.

I put my stamp on it

I could have used the "wedding hearts" stamp from the Post office for my stamps on the stds, but I used plain old "liberty bell". This was purposeful and not just laziness. I was born in Pennsylvania (nope, not Kansas, as is often assumed) and although I am thrilled to be getting hitched in Arizona, I wanted to give a little shout out to my PA routes. So if you can't make the connection, Liberty Bell is Philadelphia, Philadelphia is in PA, me? I was born in PA. Although I do wish the Post Office had a Western PA themed stamp! :)
NOTE: AJ, I think you got a Christmas stamp. I was one stamp shy and I think I gave you the Christmas stamp cause I was hoping you wouldn't care THAT much. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spreading my STD

Wedding Jargon humor- Save The Date is commonly abbreviated on wedding posts as STD, which can lead to some funny mishaps.

Back to the matter at hand...Our STDs hit the mail this weekend and we've had some great responses. I will totally claim this as my idea, one of the few original wedding ideas I've had! I saw this postcard years ago and I knew we wanted (ahem, I wanted) to do something kitchy and creative at least for the std. So I spoke to my art friend who got in touch with the Tucson Postcard Club (no shit, there is such a thing! http://iwhome.com/tpcec/index.html). And those lovely folks scanned my postcard, I passed it on to my graphic designer friend and viola we had our std. We (ahem, my graphic designer friend) was able to put all of the wedding info on the backside of the post card as well as keep the original info. My favorite touch, that those on the receiving end don't get to enjoy, is the "Place Stamp Here" box that is so conveniently laid out for me!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Runaway Bride...I hope so!

I read this post on weddingbee.com today and I gotta say, I am so jonesin' for this!

Running is certainly a great way to relax and I always feel balanced afterwards.

FI and I hope to host a "brides run" and a "grooms hike" the morning of the big day. The logistics may not be practical, but I sure hope my regular Saturday morning running gals will be up for a nice jog!

The First One

I bought wedding shoes today. I never realized how much goes into choosing wedding shoes and although I am pleased with my choice, something tells me, these will be the first pair of wedding shoes I purchase.
I considered height of heal. FI(fiance) is 6 or 7 inches taller than me, so I need a bit of height but not too much that I'll be aching to remove the shoes before I even get down the aisle. These are 3 inches, which is just about right for me.
Open toe: I'm getting married in Tucson, 'nuff said.
Color: I actually don't care too much and frankly, I was looking for something funky, a purple, blue or yellow. As I prefaced, I'm sure these won't be the last shoes I purchase under the guise of "wedding shoes". This color *should* match the dress well enough.
hmm, just writing all this out has me second guessing. :)