Saturday, June 19, 2010

This has nothing at all to do with weddings, but it made me laugh SO hard, I had to share it...copied directly from my friend Ali's blog (with her permission, of course). She's spending a year in Korea teaching English.

*Actual conversation during a game of hangman
the board looked like this:


Students: Teacher, Hint please!
Me: Ok, here is the hint : "This fruit tastes sweet"
Me: Please don't tell me you eat detergent.
Ria: yes, one time teacher.
Me: Ok .... OK guys, pick another letter.
Ria: "D"
Me: No it isn't detergent!!!!
Random student:' WATERMELON"
Me: Yes, good job
Ria: OHHHHHHH, much better than detergent. Good word teacher.
Me: Thank you Ria.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Details, details

So, as I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of the site A Practical Wedding. I credit that site with getting me AWAY from mainstream wedding media and making me realize that we can do things our way, we can do things simply, and we don't have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding.

But sometimes...I almost think I've gone too far with the practicality. I read about cool, homegrown, DIY weddings that are simple and beautiful without lots and lots of trappings, but our wedding? We really aren't having ANY trappings. This is mostly because I have a very, very hard time justifying anything that isn't necessary. It almost killed me to buy the beautiful expensive lace for my dress, and I wasn't even the one paying for it. I can't stand spending my own money, and I can't stand spending other people's. Even things that DON'T cost money, I can't see spending time on. Napkins cut from old fabric? That would cost us literally NOTHING considering all the fabric lying around my basement, but I just don't see the purpose in it. Pictures of the two of us strung up on clothesline between the trees? I love the idea, but how on Earth will I ever have time to do that the morning of the wedding, and who on earth is going to really notice it?

I'm not out to impress anyone (really, I'm not), but I would like to do SOMETHING to make our guests feel like we put some effort into throwing this shindig. I want them to be comfortable (let's see how comfortable they are in lawn chairs...), I want them to be fed (uh...Chik-Fil-A chicken nugget trays, anyone?), but...well, whenever I go to weddings, I don't marvel at the pretty decorations or the little details. All I can do is think about how many better ways that money could have been spent. And one of the best weddings I've ever been to was when my friends, Hope and Andy, got married at a state park. The groom wore shorts, the bride wore a purple dress, their son ran around barefoot, and ducks waddled in the background during the ceremony. The reception was held under a picnic shelter with "Brown-Eyed Girl" blaring from a boombox. It was a stark contrast to the huge white wedding I had attended only ONE day earlier; a friend of mine got married in a huge church, with a 5-piece string group playing the Gone With the Wind theme as she walked down the aisle. There was a ton of food, all the napkins were monogrammed, there were patterned lights on the dance floor, and if memory serves me, I'm pretty sure there was an ice sculpture. And while it was beautiful, I guess, and while the girl is a sweet woman, I felt SO much more welcome at the lakeside wedding. It was relaxed and carefree, and I really felt like I was witnessing something unique and special. I remember the details of that day...whereas I don't really remember much about the huge wedding from the day before. I'm not even sure I got to speak to the bride.

Anyway, the point is...I'm practical. I like practical, simple weddings. But I really would like to put some sort of effort into the day...I mean, right now the hardest thing is gonna be setting out food and lawn chairs. So, because I am so uber-uber-uber practical about things...I'd like to ask my handful of loyal readers a question. What sort of details do YOU actually appreciate seeing at a wedding? And, if you know Scott and I personally, what sort of details could you see us having that really fit our personalities? Is there anything in particular that makes you feel really welcome at weddings? I'm missing something, I just know I am, and I need some help figuring out what it is!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No _____? No Problem!

Apparently I am a horrible, horrible blogger who hasn't updated in two months. I'm not sure how that happened.

Well, okay, I know how that happened - I started rehearsing for King Lear and all my free time went out the window.

Last night Scott and I were at the amphitheatre, getting ready to start rehearsal, and we were standing down on the grass on the lower level of the stage...and he put his arm around me and said, "We're gonna get married here in three months." And while it's more like four still makes me all giddy and excited to think about.

Of course, we're no closer on the details than we were before. I still don't have any bridesmaids dresses picked out, although I have a lead on where to find them. I still haven't bought my dress fabric, although my mother and I are supposed to go hunt for that tomorrow. We haven't booked anything...mainly because there's nothing to book. Scott occasionally stresses out on me, thinking we have to do this this and this, but really...I think we're okay. We aren't renting chairs; we're telling people to bring their own lawn chairs, and we're using the twenty or so nice lawn outdoor chairs at the theatre for our close family. We're mostly borrowing the tables for the food, and there won't be tables to sit at because we're doing kind of a finger-food reception. We're running the music through the theatre's sound system and my iPod.

Of course, if it rains, we are absolutely screwed because we haven't got a backup plan. So we're telling people on the invitations to bring umbrellas as well as lawn chairs.

Am I really crazy in thinking we can do all this so simply and it will work out? Sometimes I read the beautiful wedding graduate posts over at A Practical Wedding and I feel like we don't have enough cool things planned. Or...any cool things, for that matter. I mean, our cool thing is that we're getting married at a theatre, and we're actors. That's special to us. But...I don't know, sometimes I wish I had the ambition to find some friends to play music for us, or to make cool DIY decorations. Right now we have no plans to decorate. Our decoration is going to be whatever the Twelfth Night set looks like.

But what can I say? Neither one of us are very detail-oriented. Neither one of us are control freaks. We're both kind of going "Eh, yeah, that'll work! And we'll be married, yay!". Scott freaks out more than I do, but I'm convinced that's because he still thinks there are things We Have To Do that we really don't. He worked sort of alongside the wedding industry for a long time, they sorta brainwashed him.

Anyway. Here's to everything working out and not stressing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Of Corsets and Secrets and True, True Love

First of all, I totally stole that title from a "Road to Avonlea" paperback book I loved as a kid.

Second of all...I am a horrible, horrible procrastinator who isn't really much closer to having anything decided about her wedding than she was six months ago.

I have my dress pattern, but I STILL haven't picked out the fabric. I've had the pattern for six months. I've even splurged and bought a corset to wear under the dress (from here). The main reason for the corset is that no matter how sturdy those undergarments you see in stores are, they never seem to stay up on me or offer any actual support. My friend Laura got married last August and wore one of those white bustier things you get at bridal shops, and she swears it held up well, but I just don't trust them. Plus I practically have to special order anything like that. So...I got a corset because they actually hold me up, and because I like corsets. Here's what it looks like:

Of course I took the green ribbon off the minute I unwrapped the package, because a) I don't much care for green and b) it would probably show under the dress.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I still haven't done any work on my actual dress. And because I've put it off for so long, I'm beginning to doubt my choice. Which is silly; I LOVE my dress pattern, it's exactly the kind of dress I've always, always wanted to wear. I've dreamed of this dress since I was a little girl. But recently I keep I going to look too old fashioned, even for me? Is the big skirt going to make my already ridiculously short frame look even shorter? Or worse, is it going to make me look fat? All silly questions, really - I should wear what makes me happy, appearances be darned. But I won't lie; I WANT to look pretty on my wedding day. I want to look pretty in a dress that suits me.

...and you know what? I just stopped mid-post to go put on my dress mock-up (a rough version made of cheap muslin and by-the-pound curtain lace) and see how it looks again. And I still love it, and could probably just wear this dress that I made in a couple of hours out of scraps sitting around my basement for my actual wedding dress. I won't, of course, because I really really want something a little more satiny for the bottom layer and something a little more flowy for the lace, but still.

(The sleeves aren't actually going to be like this - I just didn't finish them since it's a mock-up and not the real dress).

You know what else? It DOES make me look short. Then again, I am short; the dress just doesn't do much to camouflage that. And it DOES make me look kinda fat. But then again, I'm a pretty buxom girl. And it IS incredibly old-fashioned. But then again, I wear made-by-me 1950's style sundresses every single day of the summer.

In the end, it isn't about the satin or the lace. It isn't about how perfect the dress may or may not be. It isn't about the fact that we bought Scott's awesome suit jacket for $5.50 at the local community theatre's rummage sale last Saturday. No matter how much or how little we end up spending, what matters is the marriage.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Invite musings

First of all, Go read this! Meg over at A Practical Wedding asked for reader input on self-catering weddings, and I wrote up my experiences helping Scott's aunt in the kitchen for her wedding. Never dreamed any of my advice would be useful enough to make it onto the blog, but there you have it. I'm feeling this neat little kind of's kind of akin to seeing my name in the newspaper. It's more exciting than a newspaper because it's actually words I've written (which I've only seen in print before when I wrote a letter to the editor about how horribly arts are represented in schools), but less exciting because it isn't a tangible thing that everyone I know will read (which is the case with my local paper) so all in all, it evens out to about the same level of excitement as seeing the old "with Mandy ____ playing so-and-so in such-and-such play".

So. On to the main topic of my post, which is invitations. Because tonight, I had an interesting thought. Now, let me preface this by saying I in no way intend to do this. I never rebel against the norm merely for the sake of being different; I just do things the way I like, and if that happens to be out of the ordinary, then fine. If it happens to be exactly what everyone else does, that's fine, too. However, I do understand that some things have a social importance attached to them that is legitimate and not just made up by the WIC. Now, with all that out of the way, this was the thought I had:

Why send invitations at all?

This is just my own personal life, but honestly...I really do believe that if we just sent out a big Facebook announcement and made the effort to call a few relatives who are not tech-savvy, we could skip invites all together. My way of thinking is this: if people really care about coming to our wedding, they will want to know when and where it is, and they will find out. People have already asked us the date and location a hundred times. We're getting married in a place where a really huge chunk of my friends spend most of their time anyway, at least during the summer show season. We have a few out-of-town friends coming in, but honestly...not that many, that I know of. Scott's family is sort of out-of-town, but they're only an hour away, so as long as we sent them directions, they could find it.

I know this wouldn't really work for us for a number of reasons. For one thing, we're going to HAVE to have RSVP cards to find out how many people are actually coming. For another thing, too many people in both our families would be royally offended if they didn't receive an actual invitation. But man, wouldn't it be NICE? Because honestly, I'm not even picky about who comes to the wedding. There are certain people I definitely want there, but for the most part, I'm already telling people, "Yeah, the amphitheatre seats at least 400, we'll probably just see who all shows up and then if we run out of cake, we run out of cake."

I really don't like the idea of invitations. I know some people love them, and love making them all cool and artsy and personal, but...I've never been big on them. When I graduated college, I bought my announcements for a total of $0.52. That was the total price for fifty announcements, no joke, because I found them on a forgotten top shelf at Staples and they were THAT far clearanced. The clerk who rang them up was totally shocked when the price rang up. Were they pretty? No. Were they exactly what I would have picked if price weren't a factor? No. Did they serve the purpose I wanted them to serve? YES.

Really, though, I know I'm going to print up some kind of wedding invitation, but...I'm beginning to wonder, is it viable to actually invite some of my more tech-savvy, less traditional friends via Facebook? Some of them might actually appreciate the fact that I didnt' waste any paper on them. After all, everything in my wonderful town is trying to go green and be eco-friendly.

I'm really tempted to do this now. Why waste stamps on people who check their Facebook more often than their snail-mail? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

And now, for a special treat (to myself, mostly) since I've got the amphitheatre on my mind and since I've had a pretty awesome day, here are some pictures of me onstage at the place we're getting married. This is also pretty relevant to this blog because I'm hoping the guy that shot all these photos will also shoot our wedding...if he ever gets back to me. I know where he lives, I'm gonna have to go beat on his door one day. I stole these off Facebook, but William Lawrence gets all the credit for shooting them.

I guess this photo is technically the FIRST time I got married on the amphitheatre stage: that's me as Hermia, another Scott (not my fiance) as Lysander, and Hamilton as Egeus, my father, giving me away!

One of my lovely bridesmaids as Helena and me as Hermia in the middle of our epic catfight onstage. My face looks so funny. I love it.

A much calmer shot of the two of us, and one of my favorite images of all the promotional ones that were taken.

And now, last but not least, possibly one of my favorite pictures ever, ever taken of me.....

As SOON as we all first saw this picture, the other Scott cried out, "THIS IS SPARTA!!!" and now no one can see it without yelling that. Including me. This picture is so not a pretty picture of me, but it makes me so darn happy every time I see it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Six months

So you know how I was all kerfuddled about my own indecisiveness to pick a real, official wedding date?

Well. While reading my friend's blog entry (hi Ali!) about how she's going to be in Korea for another six months, it suddenly hit me that six months from today, my boy and I will be married. And somehow, that realization made everything okay.

I think it helped that today seemed like a very eventful day, in a lot of good ways, and getting married six months from such a good day has to be a good thing.

Things that happened today:

- My mom got to come home from the hospital (she'd been in there since last Friday with a blood clot).

- Because the other preschool teacher had car trouble and never made it in today, I learned that I can successfully take care of 11 children singlehandedly. This includes 6 toddlers in diapers, and only 2 children total that I could trust enough to say "You there - watch the door, come tell me if anyone tries to go out in the hall while I'm getting paper towels."

- My nephew turned 6. He still hasn't fully committed to being our ring-bearer, but I don't think he quite understands what he's agreeing to yet. But today I gave him some awesome soft comfy grey dress pants to wear if he does decide, and I told him that I will make him a penguin pillow to carry down the aisle if he wants one (he's way into penguins right now and every present he opened had at least one penguin-related thing in it). If he's over penguins by then, I'll make him whatever kind of pillow he wants, because I have no interest in my wonderfully spunky nephew carrying some silly satin pillow down the aisle. Why would a 6 year old boy want a satin pillow? He's gettin' something COOL.

- My nephew's birthday is also kind of significant because, although it isn't the EXACT day by any means, I know for a fact that right around this time six years ago was when I first fell head-over-heels for Scott. I remember because I was crocheting a baby blanket for Jake right before he was born, and I was working on it during rehearsals for The Beggar's Opera, and it was during those rehearsals that I first realized I was completely in love with this blue-eyed man.

- My cousin's fiance's brother's daughter (hehe, this is how my family works) is selling her car, and I test drove it today. It's in awesome shape, it's perfect for me, and it's exactly what I wanted to pay for a car. Considering I've been badly in need of a new car for some time, this is great news.

- Something that didn't actually happen today, is Richard O'Brien's birthday, AND it was 5 year ago today that I saw my very first shadowcast production of RHPS. Which led to a very big, interesting, and fun chapter of my life, as well as a relationship that was ultimately wrong, but I'm still happy I experienced and have kept a good friend from.

- I had Thai curry cashews, and they were awesome. Okay, that might be stretching my "good things that happened today" list, was a good thing. I love food.

So. Long story short (too late!), all of these things tying together somehow made me feel like we made the right decision. And it's exciting to think that exactly six months from today, we will have a new little family all our own, and I'll be moving in with my new husband.

...and, I kid you not, I just got so excited about all of this that I clapped my hands. Briefly, but loudly. In a house where everyone else has been sleeping for at least an hour. Oops.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Indecisiveness and certainty

People keep asking me when the date is. I keep telling them September 25th, but for some reason, no matter what I do...I end up adding, "At least, that's what we're planning on." Even though we decided on the 25th, even though I was the first one to suggest it...for some reason I have such a hard time giving people a real, definite answer. And I can't quite figure out why. And that bothers me.

Are we picking the wrong date? It took us forever to pick this one, and now that it's picked, I can't make myself settle on it. Am I just putting too much stock in "the day that will become our anniversary forever and always"? Am I actually feeling this hesitation because God is trying to send me some kind of signal that we should have gone with the 18th, instead? Heck, am I just leaning towards the 18th because it's the birthday of someone who used to be a good friend of mine, and therefore I already have that date stuck in my brain as a special occasion? Or, in the end, does this all tie back to the fact that I dislike planning things so far in advance, so having a definitive date seems weird to me?

I don't know the answer. I wish I did. Maybe it's a combination of several of these things, or other things entirely. One thing I know for do certain is that my hesitation in picking a date has nothing to do with my desire to get married. Because honestly, if it weren't for the fact that we actually do want a wedding...I would traipse on over to the courthouse tomorrow to get that piece of paper signed.

I remember I had an English teacher once, a really sweet, smiling, plump little woman, and for some reason in class one day (I forget the context), she said to us, "Well, so-and-so isn't the best man in the world. I married the best man in the world...sorry, girls!" and we all laughed and 'aww'ed and thought it was absolutely adorable that she loved her husband so much and was so damn cute about it. I thought, "Man, I want to love someone like that." And now I do. Because no matter what anyone else may say or think about other men, I know absolutely for certain that I'm marrying the best man in the whole world. Of course, everyone else is entitled to their own opinions, but nothing is ever gonna convince me otherwise.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


For some reason, I keep thinking that we can just put on a wedding for free. And I KNOW this isn't really possible for the wedding that we want to have, but...ugh, why do things have to cost money? Why can't everything be on a barter system? I make really good jam, and apple pies, and I can sew pretty dresses like nobody's business. Surely someone will donate all the food for our wedding if I promise to make them a sundress. Right?

Oh well. There isn't really much to update today, since no more decisions have been made. Scott keeps telling me that we need to pick a rain location, and I keep saying, "...but WHY? Can't we just tell everyone to bring umbrellas?". He's more worried about the food getting rained on. I almost want to just make paper-bag lunches for everyone, and if it rains, they can go eat in their cars.

I really need to contact the managing director of MPP and make sure we can have, the date we've picked. And we need to tell Scott's parents where we want to go on our honeymoon, since they're determined to send us. And we need to decide whether or not we're going to audition for Twelfth Night, which is the show going on at the ampthitheatre the night after we get married. Everyone has told me I'm insane for even considering such a thing, but...well, I don't always follow advice. It's not that I'm stubborn, really. It's just that I already KNOW I'm crazy, so when someone tells me I'd be crazy to do kind of just makes me want to do it more.

Besides, we could do the show Saturday and Sunday nights, then leave for our honeymoon Monday morning and be back by Friday afternoon for closing weekend. I mean, we can't exactly go on a honeymoon for any longer than that, anyway. We're starving actors. There's no WAY the both of us could take more than a week off work.

They may be right. I may be crazy. But...I haven't actually acted in a show since June. JUNE. Well, I mean, I was in The Songs, which was kind of a musical revue/cabaret type thing, but other than that, I've been busy directing and costuming shows. I should actually STICK to directing and costuming, since those things pay, but...but...ARG, I need to act. And auditions at Parkway last weekend were a trainwreck, so that option is out, and...I'm gonna shut up, because this is supposed to be a wedding blog, and this is mostly unweddinglike rambling.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


So far, my unofficial poll on Facebook is showing anywhere from 3-9 inches of snow on the ground across WNC. And it's still snowing at my house. work this morning. This afternoon remains to be seen; we might still have Aristocats rehearsal for the kiddies.

I don't normally tout specific products on this blog, because honestly, I think the wedding industry in general does enough to make people feel like "OMG YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS THIS AND THIS!!!!" in a wedding. For the record, I am so, so happy I found cool wedding blogs and websites that said, "Hey, you don't have to have Save-The-Dates and favors. Those are actually really new "traditions" that most people have never heard of. So chill." And when you stop and think about it, those things AREN'T really traditional. I guarantee only three groups of people have even heard of Save-The-Dates: 1) Engaged people 2) Recently married people or 3) People in the wedding business. Favors aren't traditional, either: they're a new phenomenon. Twenty years ago, no one would have considered giving their guests an extra little present just for coming - you're already feeding them and inviting them to share your commitment together. part of the reason why we aren't doing Save-The-Dates or favors. Granted, if people LIKE those things, they should have them. We just decided they were more trouble than they were worth.

Now that I've said all that...I did end up looking at Favor Days after following a link on a website. And I have to say, if you're a person who really wants favors at your wedding...they've got some pretty cute stuff. My favorites?

Kissing Fish - Normally, I really hate the idea of salt & pepper shaker favors. I mean, people already have salt & pepper shakers that match their own decor - why would you bother giving them something they have no use for? But these caught my eye because...well, they're little kissing fish. Our nicknames for each other are Sparklefish and Pistolfish.

Cupcake towels - Okay, I'll admit. I've had a fascination with those tiny, rolled-up towel things ever since I was a child and my brother's girlfriend brought me one back from her vacation. I was absolutely amazed that a tiny, hard little square could be placed in water and become a towel. Now, these favors aren't exactly that - from what I can see, the washcloths are just rolled up very very small and put in a paper wrapper, so there's no cool magical water unfurling that happens. But still. They're pretty darn cute, and everyone can use a washcloth.

Bamboo Coasters - Once again, something almost everyone could use. That's a big selling point for me: lots of favors can be cute, but how many of them are actually useful things to send home with your guests? These little coasters seem useful, AND they're eco-friendly. And, continuing with the eco-friendly theme...

Plantable Card Favors - I love these. They're useful, they're affordable, and they bring a little bit more beauty into the world. Plus, these are favors I would be happy to take home with me if there were leftovers - you can never have too many wildflowers. There are lots of different options, I just linked to the cheapest ones.

And one more, along the same lines as the plantable cards: Plantable Confetti. This is something I'm seriously considering ordering, actually. For a while now, I've loved the idea as throwing wildflower seeds instead of blowing bubbles or throwing birdseed...but this is so much cooler! It's all the pretty show of confeteti, but with the same "let's plant flowers" benefit of throwing seeds! Unfortunately, I'll have to find out if there's a good place we can do this. We're getting married at Montford, and while it is an outdoor theatre complete with flowers and weeds, I'm not sure how people would feel about semi-intentionally planting wildflowers. Plus, they'd probably just get mowed down. But still. Way cool idea.

Like I said, we don't really plan on favors. But if it does end up being in the budget...there are some I'd like to have, necessary or not. I really don't plan on buying enough for everyone. I've seen how many favors go to waste at weddings. People don't want them or forget them. I'm considering ordering around a dozen each of two or three different types of favors, then just scattering them among the tables and see what people want to take home.

So, what does everyone else think? Favors or no favors? Order enough for each and every guest, or just order as many as you think will be taken home? Practical or just plain cute?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What We Have So Far

So, since I have the morning (possibly the whole day) off due to snow, I decided to write out what all we actually have semi-planned for the wedding, as well as ideas of what might be planned. I'm doing it on this blog because if I just make a list to myself, I'll forget about it. Feedback and helpful suggestions are welcome, as long as it doesn't involve the phrase, "You can't do that because it isn't done at weddings".

Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre. Rain or shine, at this point. We're just going to warn people to bring umbrellas.

Date: September 25th. This is still unofficial, which Scott keeps harping on me for because he needs to tell his mother something definitive...for some reason I just can't bring myself to say, "YES, THAT is the day we will get married." I think the problem is I just don't like to plan things this far in advance - not because I have doubts, but because I'm just impulsive enough to want to wait until, say, July to nail down a real date.

Time: I'm torn on this. I kind of want to have an 11 a.m. wedding so we have plenty of time to have fun before we have to clean up and make room for that night's show. At the same time, I'd rather get married at 1:00 so it's after lunch and we have the morning to set up. Will two hours make that much difference? Can we start at 1, have a fifteen minute ceremony, take fifteen minutes to setup the reception, and party from 1:30-5:00 before we have to pack up and leave? I would think three hours would be enough time for a reception, based on the weddings I've attended, but you never know.

Attire: I'm making my dress, as stated before. At this point, I'm leaning more and more towards having my bridesmaids' dresses made, too. I have three bridesmaids, and three seamstresses I know have volunteered to make the dresses as a wedding present as I choose. And one of those seamstresses is the mother of one of my bridesmaids, so...yeah. The men will just be asked to wear suits. It seems ridiculous to rent a tux for a wedding, especially a low-key wedding in an outdoor theatre. We're still shopping for a new suit for Scott, though - his old one has been through the wringer and he deserves a new one for our wedding day. And by "new", we are also looking at used suits in good shape.

Food: At this point, we're kind of on the fence. I originally was really set on making the food ourselves. I mean, not just me and Scott alone; we'd enlist the help of various friends and relatives who have all said they'd happily volunteer. This might still happen. However, we seem to be saving a ton of money on all our other choices. The more money we save, the better - I don't feel like we HAVE to splurge on anything if we don't want to. Still, we're considering catering as our splurge.

Alcohol: We're not serving alcohol at the wedding because neither of our families drink. However, we ARE considering opening it up for people to BYOB. This is one of the few things I'm actually concerned about people's reaction to - is it totally rude to tell people they have to bring their own alcohol to a wedding if they want to drink? Or would they prefer bringing their own to not having any alcohol at all? We might still end up nixing that - after all, my parents are chipping in, and they may be uncomfortable with having alcohol openly drunk at the reception. However, I'm saying here and now that anyone is welcome to bring a hip flask to drink in the corner. ;-)

Reception: This will probably get a post of its own later, but for now, here's what we're thinking. The tables will already be set up backstage. After the ceremony, they'll be brought out. There won't really be tables for people to sit at - they can get their food and bring it back to their audience seats, or they can eat as they stand (we're doing finger foods) and mingle around. The stage will be the "dance floor". Of course, we have a few relatives who just can't make it up and down the amphitheatre tiers, and that concerns me. I don't know whether to just leave them out in the audience and bring their food to them, or arrange a couple special tables for them onstage. Speaking of tables, that's one thing I know we'll probably have to rent - the tables and chairs. Unless I can talk Montford, the Arts Center, and probably one other place of business into loaning me a bunch of folding tables.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are there always this many weddings?

So...for anyone else out there reading this who is engaged...have you noticed that now that you're getting married, it seems that EVERYONE else is, too? Not that I mind - it's kind of exciting to check out Facebook and see that a whole bunch of people I know are engaged. This mostly happens when I randomly stop by the profile of someone I haven't talked to in 2-10 years.

The only thing that gets me down about this fact is that far too many of these newly-engaged people don't seem to have discovered the wonderful, offbeat wedding websites and blogs out there. I routinely see girls who are fighting with relatives, tearing their hair out over the insane amount of rules some venues have, or staring in shock at the price of what their wedding is "supposed" to look like. Now granted, some of these girls might be totally happy underneath, but I really just feel like they just haven't made it past mainstream wedding media yet. They haven't seen all the awesome, totally authentic (and when I say that, I mean authentic to the bride and groom) "wedding graduate" posts over at A Practical Wedding. I know, I know, this is the second post in a row that I've lauded Meg's creation. But I kind of want to get all my engaged acquaintences together in a big group say, "Listen. This place doesn't have ALL the answers, but it sure can help keep you sane and remind you to stand your ground on stuff that matters."

Speaking of standing ground...I'm gearing up to defend our venue choice to my future mother-in-law. Who, for the record, is an amazingly wonderful woman, and I'm really excited to be her new daughter. What's kind of funny is...she's kind of stepped into the stereotypical "mother-of-the-bride" role when it comes to opinions about the wedding, whereas my mom has pretty much said "It's your wedding, do what you want!" while still chipping in her two cents when it comes to questions of "how will this particular thing work?". Anyhoo. Not sure how keen my new mama is gonna be on us getting married in an amphitheatre, but I'm pretty sure she'll understand. In fact, I know she'll's just that I'm also expecting a few months of, "But you know, you could get married in our church!" I love God. I just feel closer to God when I'm outside, and I've always felt compelled to get married outside. As for rain location...well, we're talking about reserving the place I work just in case. I'm a little worried about fire code there, and I'm tempted to say "Screw it, we'll get married in the rain!" but maybe we WOULD be safer with a backup plan. And considering it's where I boss might let me reserve the space for a small fee, and I'd pay her extra if we ended up actually using it? I dunno.

In unrelated is my future father-in-law's birthday. I called him while Scott and I were watching Garden State to wish him a happy birthday, called him "daddy" because I love him and I feel weird calling him Steve, and talked about the weather for about two minutes. I got off the phone and Scott told me I'd probably just made his dad's day, because a) no one ever talks to him on the phone that long because he's such a quiet man and b) he always wanted a daughter. So, I'm happy that I probably made him happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New title!

I don't know why I didn't have this title to begin with. After I published that last blog post, I suddenly realized that A Theatrical Wedding was the perfect title for this blog. I mean, think about it. We're both actors. We met on a stage. We got engaged on a stage. We're getting married on a stage. Plus, it's kind of a little tribute to my favorite wedding blog, A Practical Wedding...get it? Practical Wedding, Theatrical Wedding...the only thing that could make this better is if I titled it A Dramatical Wedding instead. You wanna know why? Good, I'll tell you. Because then it would fit all the above descriptions, AND it would be sort of honoring my favorite musical. Because my favorite musical is Cats. Yes, you heard me right. Cats. And this is part of the opening song:

Practical cats, dramatical cats
Pragmatical cats, fanatical cats
Oratorical cats, delphioracle cats
Skeptical cats, dyspeptical cats
Romantical cats, pedantical cats
Critical cats, parasitical cats
Allegorical cats, metaphorical cats
Statistical cats and mystical cats
Political cats, hypocritical cats
Clerical cats, hysterical cats
Cynical cats, rabbinical cats

However, I just don't think A Dramatical Wedding has quite the same ring to it. Possibly because "dramatical" isn't a real word. Too bad T.S. Eliot didn't write the first line of that chorus as "Practical cats, theatrical cats." He totally could have.

So, there you have it. New blog title. Same old me.

Shakespeare in the park, with a side of wedding

So for the past week, we've been discussing (or RE-discussing, I guess) the idea of getting married at the amphitheatre where Scott proposed and where I practically live all summer long doing Shakespeare shows. And then somehow last night while standing in line at the Chocolate Lounge with my friend Esha, we actually officially decided in that random, laid-back, spur-of-the-moment style that I'm pretty sure only we could pull off. It went a little something like this.

Esha: When is the wedding?
Me: Eh, we dunno. Septemberish. We've gotta work around Montford's show schedule a little, 'cause we're talking about getting married at the amphitheatre.
Me: I know! I think we're probably gonna do it.
Scott: Let's decide! We're getting married at Montford.

And that was pretty much it! This is great for a lot of reasons. For's nice to know we finally picked a venue. It's not absolutely everything we wanted, of course. I wanted something a little more out in nature, and Scott wanted something with an indoor option if it rains. I'm sure that over the next few months, I'm going to have a couple of doubts about whether or not it was a good decision. So, with that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and blog about all the reasons it IS a good decision.

1. It's cheap. I actually don't know exactly what John would charge us, but I know it'll be cheaper than a regular wedding venue. And of course, I suppose we officially have to clear things with the board of directors...but I'm ON the board, so hopefully that will help a little bit. I don't see why anyone would have a problem, but then again, you know how committees are - there's always going to be a naysayer who will list all sorts of reasons why it's a Bad Idea. But all that venue.
2. There is PLENTY of space to seat people. Which is great, because there are tons and tons of people I would love to invite to this wedding. Granted, we'll probably have to rent chairs, since the amphitheatre seating is just grass and wood and dirt, but then again, we might have people bring their own lawn chairs to sit in.
3. There is plenty of parking, which was a major concern for a lot of the other low-budget venues we've looked at.
4. There's no need to set up a dance floor; people can just come down to the stage during the reception.
5. The food tables can all be set up ahead of time and kept backstage until after the ceremony.
6. It's a theatre. Which is perfect for us.
7. It's outdoors, which is what I've always wanted.
8. It's easy to get to, yet it's still kind of remote - you can't even seen the parking lot from the theatre because it's over the hill, and in the summer you can't really see the houses that are nearby because they're covered up by trees.
9. There's a great little grassy field really close by that will be great to take pictures in; we hold rehearsals there sometimes when there are two shows rehearsing at once and not everyone can have the stage. The field is right next to a tiny, tucked away corner of the cemetery that Thomas Wolfe is buried in...and to be honest, I'm just enough of an oddball that I'm considering the possibility of taking wedding photos IN that little graveyard corner. It's really a sweet, peaceful place.
10. It's where Scott proposed, so it would be great to get married there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


So I just realized that I posted our "About Us" story, but never our actual proposal story. I think at the time I didn't really think I had much to write about it, I was just happy it'd happened, but now that a couple months have passed, I wanna revisit the day.

Actually, I have to back up to before the actual proposal. We'd been talking about getting married pretty much since we attended his cousin's wedding in February 2009. It was a very delicate subject in the beginning, since he had just BARELY gotten used to the idea that he even wanted to get married. He had been a confirmed bachelor for the better part of six years (at least, in terms of commitment). But as time wore on we talked more and more, so really, we had decided to marry each other long before the proposal. I think that's the way most relationships go nowadays.

Also, I had seen/tried on/knew about the ring before he popped the question. We'd been looking at rings all over town for a couple months, but we were kind of just browsing to see what we liked and what looked good on my hand. Then the day after Thanksgiving, we were out shopping - sounds like a crazy plan, but it was a tiny mall on the outskirts of a bigger town, so it was actually a pleasant experience. We wandered into the jewelry store, I tried on a solitaire...and it was somehow just perfect. Not only was it perfect, it was WAY marked down. We left without buying the ring...but Scott knew it was what he wanted, knew it was a fantastic ring for the price (it's seriously worth about twice as much as he paid for it - he knew that right away because he used to work in jewelry), so about half an hour later he went back without me and bought it. I just wasn't allowed to see it in his presence until it was officially mine, but I did sneak a few peeks after he gave me a hint for where to look.

The first proposal attempt kind of failed. Scott and I were both determined that he was going to ask my father's permission before he actually gave me the ring, and of course the Sunday that he first tried to ask, my dad ended up being out of town. Cut to the next Sunday, December 6th. He managed to catch my dad alone and talked to him. I knew things had gone well because my dad was in a good mood all through lunch (granted, my dad's in a good mood most times anyway). However...I had no idea at the time that Scott meant to propose to me THAT DAY. I thought we'd go out somewhere later that week. So I was in no hurry when we went out for a drive; we dropped by Wal-Mart to pick up some Christmas gifts, and I was taking my sweet time.

When he FINALLY got me back in the car, he made me close my eyes. And keep them closed for about ten minutes while we drove into Asheville. I know the roads well enough to know exactly where we were going. We parked, he led me up some steps, then told me to sit down. I started to...and the seat was wet from snow. So he told me nevermind, just stand. I did, opened my eyes...and he was on one knee in the center of the balcony at the amphitheatre. He had driven by the week before and pulled up a throne leftover from the summer season for me to sit on, not anticipating the snow.

I don't think I could have asked for a better proposal. My favorite place to be in the whole world is onstage, and I've spent many a day rehearsing right on the very spot he proposed. And now whenever I go back to do another show, I'll remember that. In fact, as of right now, there's still a message on the green room chalk board (I have keys to the theatre) that says "Mandy and Scott got engaged here! 12/6/09". And we're even thinking about maybe getting married in that same spot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rambling frustration

We still can't find a venue. Mainly because everything seems to come in a "package deal" and I still don't WANT the things in most of the packages. It's mid-February, we're trying to plan a September wedding, and so far we can't really plan ANYTHING because we don't have a venue.

I just want a field with parking. Seriously. And I can't FIND ONE. We considered this place on Ollie Weaver's a big open field with an old farmhouse on it. We used to plant tobacco there when I was a kid and tobacco was still a profitable crop. The people who own it know my dad and would let us use it for free, but there's still the issue of parking. It's a big enough field to park all the cars...but if the ground is wet at all, the only people able to get in and out will be those with 4-wheel drive.

It's frustrating. I feel like my whole life is just stalled. Of course, that's not just due to wedding planning. It's also the fact that I haven't been onstage in months (been busy directing, but still, I need my fix) and I didn't make the last show I auditioned for. Scott did, and I'm really excited for him, but I still feel untalented. I know, that's just the way the business works, sometimes even talented actors aren't right for certain roles, but that doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated. Plus it won't stop snowing, plus I'm not making enough money but I don't want to quit my job because I actually like it, plus in the winter I'm just frustrated and unmotivated in general. Even at the best of times, I'm horrible at calling people and making plans to hang out, even though I LOVE my friends and am happier with lots of social interaction...I just have to be talked into going out. And in the winter, when all my MPP people are split up over various venues, I rarely make the effort. I'll probably be mopey and moody until we start up rehearsals for whichever Shakespeare show starts off our season. Damn, I should learn the season order, I'm on the board of directors. Oh well.

I can't wait for summer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is sort of loosely a response to this post over at A Practical Wedding, talking about how wedding sexism isn't limited to brides becoming bridezillas - grooms are very often left out of the entire process, and not by the brides. Society does its very best to ignore grooms whenever it comes to wedding planning.

Now, for anyone who for some reason is reading this and doesn't know me, I actually enjoy most "traditional" gender roles. I certainly don't think women OR men should be forced into gender roles, but I think it's just as ridiculous to expect all women to shun tradition and become career-oriented ladder climbers. Feminism is about freedom of choice, not about breaking all the rules if you happen to like those roles. I like wearing pretty dresses, cooking things from scratch, and having dinner on the table for my boy when he comes home (mind, we don't live together - my other blog has a whole post on that - but I still cook him dinner when I can). I sincerely hope we're financially about to live off one paycheck once we have children so I can stay home to keep house and raise babies instead of paying someone else to do it for me. I wear aprons to cook and big flowered hats to garden, and I'm perfectly content being an old-fashioned housewife in a lot of ways. Of course, I'll be off to the theatre every chance I get, but still.

Even with my preference towards traditional gender roles, it still burns me up that men are so left out of the planning process. Even most other women I'm sure would say, "Oh, he doesn't really care about the details" or worse, "It's YOUR wedding". Many of them held that view with their own weddings, I'm sure. But. Um. It's not my wedding. It's OUR wedding, as in it's the beginning of OUR marriage, which is something we certainly intend to be a joint effort even if I do want to be the one baking pies and dusting furniture.

And yes, I am aware that some grooms really don't care. I'm aware that MY groom doesn't really care that much about the details...but the thing is, some grooms do. And even though Scott doesn't really care what kind of paper we print our invitations on, I still don't make those decisions without him. He deserves the chance to say, "Um, no, I'd rather have something a little less flowery" or "Honey, we should have SOME kind of decoration on these railings". This wedding is a representation of both of us. Both of our styles, both of our opinions. I'm certainly not going to plan anything without his approval.

Maybe that's where some of this came from - maybe this whole "it's all about the bride" mentality is at least partly due to the fact that weddings were something women owned, something women could plan without having to get male approval on everything. Society just took the idea and bastardized it. Let's hope the recent bridezilla trend is the deepest bastardization this particular fashion will see, and then like all fashions through history, it will revert to something else. Something better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not a Wedding Planner

Nothing is really happening with wedding planning at the moment. People keep asking when the date is, and we still don't know because we still don't have a venue. Besides, it's incredibly hard for me to plan something THIS far in advance; I'm a procrastinator, I always have been, it's just how I work. The thought of planning this huge important celebration that isn't going to be for another eight months or so just baffles me. I can't wrap my head around the fact that it isn't a wise idea to wait until August and go, "Oh yeah, a wedding. Okay, um...go buy some shrimp rings and get the tulle out of the basement, we'll throw some of that around and tie it up all pretty." Ugh, the thought of planning something for this long just makes me want to move the whole thing up to May like we'd originally talked about.

I'm also terrible at delegating. It's not that I'm afraid to ask people to do jobs...I just tend to think, "Oh, no big deal, I'll do that myself." and then I end up doing too much. Thankfully I have a wonderful matron of honor who is going to be wonderful at delegating FOR me - even more so because she just got married this past August, so she's done this recently.

The fact of the matter is, I really don't know HOW to have a wedding. And I pretty much refuse to use the "typical" wedding resources, because every time I actually take a chance and glance at them, I end up mildly disgusted. There are plenty of other great resources out there (thank you, A Practical Wedding), but I'm still having a hard time figuring things out. Eloping seems more and more like a great idea...but I'm an incredibly social person, and I really do WANT everyone I've ever met to be there. Not that we'll be able to afford that, but it's what I want.

At least some of the cost isn't a worry - my mother has mentioned that they'll help. I don't know how much, but knowing my parents, they'll end up footing the bill. Still, I don't want to put them in debt over a single day any more than I'd want to put myself in debt. The Boy's parents have generously offered to send us on our honeymoon...but the problem is, we want to take off on a road trip across the country, and we're not sure how to ask them to help finance that when their idea is to send us off to New York for a week.

Sigh. Planning. Does/has anyone else out there just really...NOT felt like planning their wedding, no matter how exciting the prospect of an actual marriage is? Because honestly, I do want the pretty white dress (and it WILL be pretty, if the mock-up made out of old dusty curtain lace and muslin is already pretty) and the cake (even though I don't even care for cake that much), but what I really want is to be married.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We went out to look at a couple of venues yesterday. And by "venues" I really mean public parks that we could feasibly rent out for the wedding. I'm pretty much in love with the Botanical Gardens. The Boy is being a little more practical and thinking about things such as, "Can we fit everyone here? Do we need to decorate?" To which I said, "'s a park, why would we need to decorate?" And if he wants flowers, he can have them. I'm still not sure if he actually WANTS these things he keeps mentioning, or if he has just seen way too many weddings (He used to work as a conference manager at a resort, so he's worked way more weddings than I'd ever even care to attend) and can't quite shake the idea that they have to look a certain way.

Wouldn't it be awesome to get married on the steps of this cabin?

View from the steps looking out.

View from the back of the field.

There are some logistical problems, of course. They actually advertise weddings on their website, which is good because it means it's doable (and they're SO cheap compared to real "wedding venues"), but we haven't yet found out things like if there's enough parking, if we're allowed to have the reception right there at the same spot as the ceremony, if there's any kind of sound ordinance that would prevent us from having music, etc.

Space around back - once the ceremony is over, the reception could span both areas.

Put up a couple of 6' tables against the back walls, instant buffet!

There are two different "wedding spots" (and a third that would be beautiful if it weren't so close to the road), and of course the one I love is the one that you have to hike to. It's not a huge long hike, and it's not very steep, but we would definitely have to put my aunt Marie in a wheelchair to get her there. Then there's the issue of bathrooms - there's one in the visitor's center, which is not close to the site I like best. I'd be willing to pay to rent a nice Porta-Potty for the day, but they'd have to walk it in and out, which would definitely cost us a bundle more (assuming it's even possible to do that).

I'm hoping that when the lady calls us back, she can answer all these questions. I kind of lost my enthusiasm right after looking yesterday because as we were driving back to my house, I quite suddenly seemed to develop the flu. Body aches, headache, and a fever that eventually peaked at 102.1, all out of nowhere. And then last night, the pipes burst in the apartment above the Boy's, which flooded his apartment. Bad news is he's having to move (again) in a very limited space of time. Good news is...he's getting a better apartment at a discount because the flooding wasn't his fault. Of course, moving always causes expense, no matter if it's just across town, so I'm crossing my fingers that this all works out in his favor.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dress mock-up is done!

So I just finished putting together my mock-up wedding dress...and I love it. In fact I love it so much I'm still wearing it. I feel like a little kid playing dress-up!

It's not completely finished; if I want to get the whole effect, I need to hem it, put the flounces on the sleeves, and put the inside lining in. But it's given me a pretty good idea of what my real dress is gonna look like; even though I used cheap muslin for lining and by-the-pound curtain lace for the fabric, it's STILL pretty.

I'll probably add pictures later under a cut, under the condition that if the Boy reads this, he doesn't go peeking...hehehe.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Community Wedding

I ended up having the WHOLE day off today because of snow (a lot of times one of my schools I teach at will be canceled, but not the other). I should be doing something productive, as it's almost noon and I have lots of things I COULD be doing. And instead I'm sitting here in my pajamas wearing my new shoes to try to stretch them out. Speaking of which...does anyone have any fabulous shoe stretching tips I don't know? I dampened them with water before I put them on like my mother said, but I wondered if there was another magic trick.

So I had this whole post typed out about something entirely different, and I just deleted it in favor of talking about the sense of community our wedding is already developing. I've had SO many people tell me that they'll help us. I was frustrated about the lack of decent bridesmaid dresses, and I've already had three seamstress friends offer their talents as a wedding present (well, only one said "as a wedding present", but I sure as heck am not gonna let the other two ladies get us something else if we end up doing the sewing route). And I'm leaning more and more towards accepting their offers...that way the dresses would be the colors I want, the style I want, and they'd be tailored to fit each of my girls. And since I love sundresses so much, how cool would it be to have all my bridesmaids wearing pretty blue sundresses in my wedding?

The cake is also taken care of; Scott's mom volunteered that right off the bat. Like, seriously, the next time I saw her after we were officially engaged, she asked if she could make the cake. Of COURSE I said yes; on the practical side, that means free cake for us. On the community's something that will honestly be even more special to her than it is to us. She wanted so badly to help out when Scott's brother (who recently passed away, for anyone who didn't know) got married, and his wife was very adamant that everything was done by a professional. It really hurt our shared mother-in-law's feelings, I think. And the thing is...she IS a professional. She runs an ice cream store and bakes cakes to sell all the time, so it's not like she doesn't know what she's doing. She and her sisters made the cake for her sister's wedding last month; it was beautiful, and I'm so blessed to be entering into a family of such warm, wonderful women. The aunts have already volunteered to help us make the food!

Of course my mother is helping make my dress, which is very special to me, as one of the few things my mom and I bond together with is sewing. If I bought my dress of the rack, I would probably resell it or even give it away (A Practical Wedding has dress giveaways sometimes from bride-to-bride, and I think it's a wonderful gesture). But since my mom and I will be making it together...I'm definitely going to keep it. Maybe one day one of my daughters will want to wear it. I would have loved to have worn my mother's wedding dress...but in true DIY fashion, it was a white prom dress borrowed from a friend with some alterations made to make it look more wedding-like. So it was given back. Plus it would NEVER in a million years have fit me; my mom is a tiny bird of a woman and her little 19-year-old self weighed 90 pounds on her wedding day. I'll have to post some pictures of their wedding sometime.

So, I'm happy with all the volunteers we're getting for this wedding. I haven't even mentioned them all here. I'm going to keep hoping that even more generous souls pour out of the woodwork, partly because yes, that would save us some serious cash. But honestly, I'm not INCREDIBLY worried about the money; my parents have offered to help, and as long as we keep it reasonable, I don't feel bad about them contributing. Most of the reason I'm so happy for volunteers is because I really, REALLY want this wedding to be a community effort. I want the guests to feel like they had a hand in making the whole thing happen. It's like watching a stage production, in a way; I enjoy them when I'm walking into the theatre without having had ANY hand in the show, but it's a much richer experience when I can go, "Oh, I made that costume! Oh, I did his makeup ten minutes ago backstage! Oh, I helped paint that wall!"

Because no matter what wedding magazines want us to think, the wedding is NOT just about the bride. It's not really even just about the couple. It's about the marriage, and a good marriage should begin with a whole lot of love and support from those around you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Venue Search, aka Why I Don't Like Package Deals

So the Boy has been doing his part wonderfully and calling the venues we've been considering to get their pricing information. I'm still floored at how expensive venues are...even though he says that some of the places are really not that bad, considering all the things they include. He's worked on the venue side of things before, so he knows what he's talking about. And of course, what it boils down to is how much we're willing to spend, REGARDLESS of whether or not it's a good deal.

Here's the thing; a lot of these packages that are reasonably priced and include lots of things? As soon as I read the package description, I feel a little antsy and uncomfortable, and I immediately know that the venue is not right for us. For instance, one place includes all kinds of useful things; setup and cleanup, chairs, tables, valet parking, lodging...good things that I would like to have if possible. And then I read on...they also include glass plates, silverware, white linens, horse drawn carriage. All nice wedding things. All things most any bride would welcome at her wedding. And while I'm trying to be open to the idea of pretty white linens and glass plates...I really just want a barbeque/picnic with blue flowered Dixie plates and mismatched tablecloths. Or no tablecloths. I think most brides would be upset if they didn't have matching glasswear, but I'm afraid I'll be upset if I DO.

Of course, I'm trying to stick to the philosophy that none of that really matters anyway; what matters is we get married*. It'd just be nice to do it the way I want.

In other news, my shoes came today. They are as gorgeous as pictured...but unfortunately, my feet are too wide for them. They go ON, but they aren't gonna be comfortable to dance in. I bought them off an seller and can't really send them I just need to decide whether to resell them, or keep them and see if they'll stretch enough to be comfy. It's a shame, too; I was really excited about these shoes, and I don't often get excited about shoes.

On the upside, my dress pattern came - yay! - and I'm going to start cutting out a mock-up within the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'll be off work again for snow tomorrow and can get started on that.

*Random Reason #13425 Why I Love My Fiance: He feels the same way I do about all this. Plus he lets me bite his nose and doesn't think I'm weird for it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frustration with various media outlets.

Okay. Random, totally uninformative rant coming just because the wedding industry seems to annoy me at every turn.

1. I do not actually intend to buy anything from David's Bridal, but they have a sweepstakes/giveaway thing where you could possibly win 5 bridesmaid dresses. And I would love to get my girls their dresses for free. So I registered on the site, being careful to unselect anything that had to do with them contacting me with offers, etc. Today I got a call from a random phone number; I looked it up online, and got this discussion page from a lot of women saying that the number is David's Bridal, that they get calls CONSTANTLY from them, and that they, too, made sure to unselect anything to do with contact. This is annoying, and wrong, and did I mention annoying?

2. Facebook Ad #1: David's Bridal again...starting out with "Glamour. Opulence. Tradition." Just one more example of how brides are brainwashed to believe that glamour, opulence, and tradition all go together. They DON'T. Traditional weddings were small, family affairs. Unless you were royalty. And let me state that if you can afford to have a glamorous, opulent wedding without going into debt, and that is your style and your desire, go for it. But the fact is, 98% of us cannot. It really makes me angry. Brides are constantly being made to feel like they don't "measure up" somehow to the weddings they see in the media.

3. Facebook Ad #2: Almost every other time I load my page, I get an ad for "Pre Wedding Diet". COME ON. This is TOTALLY sending the wrong message, and it's making too many assumptions. Who are they to assume that a bride automatically wants to lose weight before her wedding? Maybe she doesn't want to. Maybe she doesn't NEED to. And yet we keep being inundated from ALL kinds of wedding resources that we need to go on diets and start working out in order to be in shape for "the big day". It's disgusting. I've even heard from women who were enraged that when they went to try their bridal gowns on, the sales associate said, "Oh, well, you'll have plenty of time to lose that extra weight before the big day." Um. SERIOUSLY? If anyone had the gall to say that to me, I would ask to speak to their manager immediately, and I would certainly NOT buy my gown from them. And yet so many women don't, because for some reason they think it's OKAY for a stranger to talk to them like that. Now, DO I plan on losing weight before my wedding? Yes, I do. But I don't think it's at all appropriate for anyone to EXPECT all brides to "shed unwanted pounds".

...and you know, even I think it's a little funny that I'm getting so passionate about this, because to be totally honest, I'm not a person who gets really passionate about this kind of thing. I'm more of a "live and let live, do your own thing" kind of gal. I'm not an activist. I'm a feminist in the sense that I think women should have their own just so happens that it's my choice to wear pretty 1950's sundresses and bake pies. But maybe that's exactly WHY this gets me so mad; I don't like some big conglomerate industry trying to tell women that THIS and THIS and THIS makes a wedding. A wedding should be a reflection of the couple, and it's supposed to be the first act of hospitality the newlyweds show their guests. I'm really just wanting to get back to basics, here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010



(And for the record...I feel like the groom in this video, not the bride).

Monday, January 4, 2010

$#%&*$ Bridesmaid Dresses

Right now I really just want to stamp my foot at the WIC.

Background: I decided to try and find bridesmaid dresses. After throwing up in my mouth a little at the explosion of Pepto Bismol on the first page of the David's Bridal catalog, I began looking at non-wedding sites for inspiration. I found this lovely dress and got all excited; it's roughly in the right color scheme (which when people ask me what my colors are, I say "blue." They ask me to specify what shade, I shrug and say, "Blue. I like blue."), plus it's a dress that would look good on ALL my bridesmaids (who are very differently sized women). The website said they had it in sizes for all of them! After a quick check with the girls, I told them to order it, and went to order one myself since I was getting one bridesmaid's for her (she has bad internet).

I got to the checkout and it told me the size I had selected was unavailable. Whaaaat? I mean...I selected it. How could I even select it if it was unavailable? But sure enough, it was. I tried this for several sizes, hoping to get one approximate enough to be fitted to all my girls...and no, the only size ACTUALLY available for purchase is an 8 petite.

First, I was mad at JCPenney. Then, as I started to look at "wedding" sites again...I got angry at the WIC. One of my bridesmaids said, "Well, it's okay, just go to blah blah blah, they have cheap bridesmaid dresses." But CHEAP to me is like...$10. That's why I was going for the $30 dress; I can understand spending $30 on a bridesmaid dress. THAT seems reasonable to me. Anything over $50 just seems absolutely ridiculous, and yet it's impossible to find a bridesmaid dress for under $70 (and that's on clearance). I feel bad enough asking my friends to shell out $30 for me; there's no WAY I would ask them to pay over $100!

I just want to ask WHY? WHY is it considered okay to not only throw away your own money on one day, but to demand that your friends throw away their money, as well? WHY is it considered normal, nay, even necessary by some people, to dress grown women in hideous matching dresses that they will only wear once? Granted, I don't think all bridesmaid dresses are ugly, but they still scream BRIDESMAID, and I would really like something that my friends could actually wear again. They all loved the dress I linked to, and I was excited; it's a little darker than I ideally wanted, but who CARES? It's a sensible dress for $30 that would look good on everyone! Sadly, the website lied and we can't get these dresses, after all.

And I know, I KNOW I don't have to dress them all in the same outfit. I know this. But fiance secretly wants to. No, really. I think he's still adjusting to the idea that our wedding doesn't have to look like a wedding, but he honestly DOES like the idea of people matching; he told me so when we were discussing the option of letting the groomsmen wear whatever. I would like to have my girls match, a way that isn't junior prom-ish. But apparently the world is refusing to give me that option, because every remotely pretty dress I see is over $300. Um, my friends can't spend that. No way. I won't let them. One is a newlywed herself, one JUST graduated from college and doesn't have a real job yet, and one doesn't have a real job by choice because she devotes her life to her acting and has a very supportive family that helps her as she tries to achieve her dream. Which all boils down to...they're as poor as I am.

I just...ARG. To steal a term from A Practical Wedding, I'm engraged. So much so that my hands hurt from all this angry fast typing. I think I'm gonna go snuggle up in some soft fluffy pillows now.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

DIY Flower Girl Dress!

I just made a possible flower girl dress out of scraps in my basement. In half an hour!

It's not finished; I haven't done any detailing on it yet, and I'm going to hold off on that until I can actually try it on our flower girl. This SHOULD fit her; it's a pretty generic pillowcase dress, and they're adjustable (to a point), so unless she's WAY larger than most 2.5 year old kids, it's probably good. And considering I care for toddlers for a living, I think I'm a fairly good judge.

Also, keep in mind that a pillowcase dress pretty much ONLY looks good when it's being worn or is on a dress form. I tried to achieve the illusion by putting it on this huge stuffed bunny my aunt gave me one year. It didn't quite work.

And a couple close-ups, one of the ribbon/sash and one of the lace applique thingy (which has not been sewn on, it's just laying there).

All in all, I'm pleased with my half-hour effort. I don't know that this dress will actually work on the Boy's niece or not; the two layers of fabric (one blue, one sheer lace) are making it a little too stiff, and since the blue fabric was just taken from an endroll my mother got for next-to-nothing from her work, it isn't wide enough to flair out at the bottom like I'd like. But at least this way I can try it on the Sweetpea and see what needs to be done!

EDIT: The more I look at this, the more I realize how easy easy easy it would be to turn this from a pillowcase dress into a dress with a bodice and skirt; I think all I'd need to do is cut the dress off at the waist, make a wider skirt from the same fabric, and voila! But once again, going to make sure it fits before I start making it for real.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I made some impulse purchases, which is something I never ever ever do, and I'm so thrilled with myself for it.

Actually, the first purchase was not an impulse by at all - my dress pattern, which is the same pattern I've been looking at for at least a week. The thing is, I KNEW I wanted that pattern the moment I saw it, but I made myself shop around. Then two nights ago I very hastily logged onto Ebay, found the pattern for sale, and bought it with a few clicks without letting myself think anymore. I'm excited. I also ordered some fabric samples. In a few weeks I should have the pattern and can get started on the muslin mock-up. Squee!

The other purchase, which was much more impulse (for me) were these shoes. I love them. So much. They are my size, they are a perfect color for me, they're one of my favorite styles, and they are a shoe that I can guarantee I will wear again and again because I have several blue sundresses that they will look adorable with. And I usually don't wear anything BUT dresses all summer long because I love dresses, I make a ton of sundresses that look fabulous on me, and...well, I love dresses.

Right before I bought the shoes, I showed them to my fiance and talked about how much I loved them, then said, "But I've never paid this much for shoes in my entire LIFE."

Boy: "But these are wedding shoes. That's a good price for wedding shoes."
Me: " No no no, we are not going to start labeling things as "wedding" this and "wedding" that. Because when people do that, they start spending more than they can afford because it's "a good price for a wedding ___". I am going to treat these shoes like any other pair of shoes."
Boy: "Okay."
Me: "....but I want them. They're adorable and they're vintage and...and..."
Boy: "Baby, buy the shoes. You should get them."
Me: "*CLICK* YAY!"

Sometimes it just takes one little push, doesn't it?