Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Last One Before the Real One

That's how Jus keeps describing the event we are celebrating today.
Can you guess what it is?

Today is our 3 year dating anniversary.

Three years ago we spent the night deciding to try and date. We had spent the previous year flirting and becoming friends. Three months into our friendship I took him home from the bar one night, we had flirted and I was in the "I just want to hook up" stage. That night Jus & I laid in bed listening to Bob Dylan until the wee hours of the morning when we fell asleep spooning. We continued to spend one night a weekend this way, leading to a greater flirtation and a relationship that made many people question our status.
Jus asked me out twice (even though he'll say it was only once) the first time was November 2006, the second was March 2007. I turned him down both times, the second time it stung. Jus was sad and confused, we had spent months flirting and I had obviously led him on.
What did I care? He was a guy I enjoyed throwing darts with and could laugh all night with, he was the guy that was my big spoon once a week, but he certainly wasn't the guy I wanted to date, let alone get married to.
Finally Jus got tired of my hot/cold feelings and started to ignore me. Three years ago today my BFF/BM Beth convinced me to go to a bonfire Jus was having, I agreed only under the circumstance that we could leave after a half hour, but a half hour into the bonfire I was sitting next to Jus, just wanting to be near him, after a week of the silent treatment I missed my friend.
That night I asked if he would be coming to spend the night at our house and luckily he said yes. As we lay in bed I told him that I missed him and wanted to be with him, I knew he didn't believe me but I wanted to give being a couple a chance.
Three years later we're planning the wedding of our dreams, where we can share our love and life with all of our guests. As I look back over the past three years I am so grateful for Jus's patience, love, and understanding. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with this man who was willing to wait for me to come around.

Did it take you a while to love your fiance?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life Planning

There are times in wedding planning when you realize that you're not just planning for a day you're planning for a lifetime. A life together in which you will be supportive, loving team.
The fact that you should act as a team is never more obvious than when one of you is unhappy.
For the past three years Jus has been working for some family friends. The situations started out as a dream, Jus worked for three guys that were close in age and fun, for the past six months the situation has turned into a disrespectful, childish situation. The brothers do not treat Jus well, making petty accusations and taking advantage of his good work ethic.
This week Jus hit the wall, after yet another accusation Jus decided to put in his notice. I am so incredibly proud and support his decision 100%.
Unfortunately this isn't the best economy in which to quit a stable job, but when push comes to shove a happy fiance with worth cutting back. And this is where the tough, relationship stuff comes into play.
In two weeks we will be living off of one stable income and one in flux income. The idea of loosing an income is a little scary, but luckily Jus has some odd jobs that will keep him busy throughout the summer and hopefully by the fall we'll having something more stable where the two of us can work together.
In the mean time we've been trying to think of ways to cut back. We're planning on selling a car, which makes sense anyways, considering we don't really need two cars to begin with. My car is newer and there is a higher likelihood that we can make money off of it, unfortunately this is the car I've wanted since I was 16 and it makes me sad to be giving it up after a year and a half. It actually makes me really sad.
But before you think I'm selfish and materialistic, I know we need to sell it. The loss of a car payment will allow us to have money to do some of the things we enjoy doing. We will be working close to each other and will learn to live with one car.
Fortunately my parents are fitting the majority of the wedding bill so our wedding planning won't be too terribly affected, but after all, this relationship and wedding isn't just about being happy for one day, it's about being happy for a lifetime together.

Have you had any radical changes in your life during your wedding planning?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Name Game

The name change.
I think most brides would agree that this is a sticky subject.

My grandparents didn't give my mom a middle name and when she got married she slid her maiden name over and added my dad's last name. For a long time I assumed this was what all women did, but as I grew up I realized that this was only one option. I know women who have kept their maiden names, taken their husband's, hyphenated, and combined their last name with their hubby's last name.

Jus and I have talked about our (well, my) options:

1. Jus takes my name.
I can't tell you how many times I've tried to convince Jus to take my easy, not too popular four letter last name. Our town is fairly conventional and Jus comes from a very traditional family and I have a feeling if I were to convince him my FFIL might keel over from a heart attack.

2. Hyphenate our last names.
I've never cared for hyphenating last names, I can't imagine if our hyphenated child married a hyphenated children which would result in our grandchildren being a quadruple hyphen.

3. Combine our last names to make our very own name.
The funniest option would be to combine our last names. I'll throw anonymity to the wind and let you know that if we combined last names our options would be Leyd (pronounced laid), Boyman, or Bleman (bame-man). Clearly, this option is our first choice in terms of touring our children.

4. I drop my middle name, slide my last name over, and add his last name.
Honestly, my favorite option is doing what my mom did. I'm not particularly attached to my middle name and would be happy to become Cole MyLastName Jus'sLastName. I love the idea of having a "team name" and even though I will be loosing the name I have always had it's pretty excited to think of sharing a name with my husband.

5. Jus's option.
One thing I love is when the man takes the woman's last name as a second middle name. I think it is incredibly sweet for the man to acknowledge that he is joining the bride's family just as much as she is joining his. Jus is pretty responsive to this option which makes my heart happy.

While I was calligraphing place cards this weekend I spotted a card that read Cole Jus'sLastName and asked Jus who that was. Seeing my new name is strange and I'm sure I'll be uncomfortable with it for a while, but I've been practicing my new signature (how middle school of me!) and hopefully as the days go on I'll feel more comfortable with my future name change.

How are you handling the name game?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Self Promotion

I'm hosting a giveaway on my daily blog Adventures in Love & Happiness. Hop on over and sign up to win one of these gorgeous prints from The Love Shop!

Wouldn't these make dreamy reception decorations?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flip Flop You Don't Stop

I think one element that all brides (and women in general) can agree is a good addition to your wedding is a flip flop basket.

A basket stuffed with different size flip flops so women can change out of their uncomfy fancy shoes and dance the night away.
If you're looking for some flip flops to stuff your basket with head to Old Navy this weekend where you can buy a pair for $1!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brighten Up

Earlier this week I was at Target when I spotted something that would be perfect for that colorful, summer wedding I keep planning in my head. (Yes, I am fully aware that we aren't having a summer wedding, I just have trouble NOT planning it. I think I could plan about 7 weddings right now, but that's a whole different post.)
I bought two packs of these mini paper fans brought them home and set to work creating a garland for our living room.
Each fan has a string attached to the back which I hot glued to the top of the fan next to it. I glued crochet yarn on the end without the attached string.

This project took about twenty minutes but I know if I were to make multiple my time would be cut down.
I would love to see these garlands surrounding an outdoor ceremony or reception space. So would someone that is having an outdoor wedding please make these so I can live vicariously through you?

Have you used any of your home decor as inspiration for your wedding decor?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's a Piece of Steak!

Part of my desire for our other wedding (you know, the one we chose not to have but I keep planning in my head anyways?) was the option for having a fantastic meal.
Before I get into what the meal would entail let me explain the situation. My parents have owned a restaurant for the past 24 years. What started out as a local diner with homemade food has transformed into a Food Network featured restaurant that serves delicious, fresh seafood every weekend.
Our family is very lucky to have access to fresh seafood like we do, every weekend in the summer my dad grills out clams, mussels, soft shell crabs, shrimp & fish. We gorge ourselves on fresh seafood that is prepared simply and tastes wonderful.
When I dreamt about my outdoor beach wedding I knew that we would have a clam bake/grill feast hybrid.

Even when we decided to have the wedding in our hometown I still couldn't get the idea of grilling the food out of my head.
With access to tons of fresh food we've decided to grill out shrimp, chicken and steak along with a brightly colored vegetable medley. Initially I wanted to serve the meat on long skewers a la a Brazilian steakhouse.

After months of sitting on this idea we decided that the Brazilian steakhouse idea would require too many servers and could get dangerous with servers trying to stick skewers in between our guests (and skewered MOB doesn't sound too good).
Now our guests will be served a plate with a three short skewers, one shrimp, one chicken and one steak; the plate will also have a cold asparagus vinaigrette and a grilled veggie medley (like that in the first picture). The nice thing about three shorter skewers is that if our guests don't like one type of meat they can pass it to their neighbor.
Like my mad power point skills?

Later this month we're having our first tasting (and by tasting I mean my dad will grill this yummy meal), I'm so excited to be able to serve our guests delicious food that is cooked well, tastes good and isn't all "junked up" with too much sauce and garnish.

The only problem?
We don't have a caterer yet. Yep, we tend to do things ass backwards around these parts. (Don't worry, we're looking!)

Did you pick out your menu before you found your caterer?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Craziest DIY Project Yet

I've been working on lots of DIY projects that I haven't shared with you yet but the one that we've been working on lately is pretty crazy.
A couple of months ago I spotted this coffee filter garland and fell in love. I immediately set to work creating a cupcake liner & fabric garland to hang on our headboard.

A little while after I made this I got the idea to make garlands to hang at our reception. If you remember our reception venue has high ceilings and I think it will be romantic to see twinkle lights floating in between fluffy coffee filter garlands.
Fortunately, my parents own a restaurant so they were able to order me a box of 1000 twelve cup coffee filters. I tea dyed about 750 and dyed the rest in red Kool-Aid. I spread them around our kitchen to dry (which took FOR-EV-ER!).
One side of our kitchen (Plus Jack the cat)

And the other half (Don't mind the dirty dishes)

Once the coffee filters were dry Jus & I strung the coffee filters onto crochet string. We try to use 2-4 beige coffee filters for every 1 pink coffee filter, we're also adding a dab of hot glue to every filter so they won't slide around once the garlands are hung.
Half finished coffee filter garland

So far we have made about 6 garlands out of approximately 3500 coffee filters. We're planning to hang them ten feet apart which means we will need about 14 garlands. I can't tell you how excited I am to see our coffee filter garlands hanging in our space all of the hard work is gong to be worth it, I just know it!

Do you have any huge/crazy DIY projects?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cause the Groom Can't be Naked

I've known what I wanted Jus to wear for the wedding since Oscar night. While watching the pre-show I caught a glimpse of Tom Ford and fell in love with the simple, classic look of his tux

I love the large bow tie, the nice shirt without a vest, and the slim fitting black suit. I knew immediately that this would be what my groom would be wearing. All we needed to do was find a store that carried nice quality tuxes.
Unfortunately dressing Jus wasn't this easy, he had his hopes set on wearing tails. At first I was a little surprised, I thought tails were maybe a little too fancy and a little too outdated.
But I kept thinking and realized that if my dress was so fancy why couldn't Jus be all fancy too?
Plus his face lights up when he talked about wearing tails, and if he cares about his outfit this much why shouldn't he wear tails.
We have an appointment for him to try on tails tomorrow so I'll be sure to show you some pictures later this week.

Does your groom have a strong opinion about what he's wearing? Did it surprise you at all?

The 5 Month Mark.

Yesterday was exactly 5 months until the wedding. The day came and went without much celebration other than Jus & I working on some reception decorations (a project I'll share later in the week).
The five month mark felt like crunch time this week. The list of things we need to do is not much shorter than it was a month ago and that fact scares me. This past week I was overwhelmed and had Bridal Brain to the extreme. (True story: I literally forgot to shower on Thursday)
But this week is different. I'm jumping into wedding planning with both feet. We have an appointment to try cake and another to see tuxes. We also got started on some DIY projects and have supplies for others. I feel positive about where we're headed and am excited to marry my love in 5 months.

How do you handle the stress of wedding planning?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bridal Brain

Please forgive me for being a bad blogger this week, but I have a doctor's note.*
I'm suffering from Bridal Brain.
The symptoms include a nervous ball in the pit of your stomach, the inability to multitask, and a one track mind that can't get anything but worrying done.

I hope this sounds familiar, I hope I'm not the only one slowly going in sane. It's just that I have so much to do and can't help but freak out a little bit. Luckily, we checked off some big things and got some supplies for other things yesterday so next week I'll get my head together and share some of our projects & plans.

Have you ever suffered from Bridal Brain?

*Of course I don't have a doctor's note, my doctor would think I was crazy too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Have a Confession to Make

Sometimes I'm a total jerk to my mom.

My mom and I have a wonderful relationship. We spend at least seven hours a day together during the week and often choose to see each other on the weekends too. Not only do we look alike but our temperaments are almost identical. My mom is truly my best friend.

But wedding planning sometimes brings out my bad side.

My mom is a planner, as soon as she knows the date of an event she is ready to have all of the details flushed out. I am a dreamer and procrastinator, I like to come up with huge ideas and spend time thinking them through.
Throughout our planning there have been many times when I rush to my mother with a crazy idea and every time she has supported me. Unfortunately I can't say the same for myself.
There have been many times when I've told my mom "Oh, that's a cool idea" and she's started asking the questions to make these ideas realities. As soon as she starts asking questions I begin to get defensive. After getting defensive I start to get snappy.
The other day my mom asked about table numbers and after I showed her an idea I had she started flipping through a catalog showing me idea and asking questions. I immediately jumped all over her insisting that I just didn't know what I want.
Obviously this is not something I am proud of. My mom has been nothing but helpful and I've been a big ol' brat. I know part of our disagreements are because of our natures, she wants to get things done while I need to think about them first.
After the first couple of these spats my mom decided to step back and try to give less opinions and more support and I promised to do the same, but I've failed.
So this is my pledge to you, to my mom, and to myself. I promise to be more conscious of what comes out of my mouth. Our wedding is a day to celebrate love, not just the love between Jus & me but all of the love in our lives, and not just one day's love but love that started before and lasts after the wedding.
I am embarrassed that I am at this point, I promise I'm not always mean, I promise I hug my mother far more than I snap at her, I promise she doesn't want to give me up for adoption (trust me, I've asked). But I also promise to work on this, because I love my mom and I want her to enjoy the planning process as much as I do. Our relationship is far more important than wedding planning.

Have you had to check your attitude during the planning process?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Need a Favor

Almost immediately after we decided to have an October wedding we started talking about our potential favor.
In all of my wedding blog scouring I came to the conclusion that edible favors were the way to go. And of all fall related foods there was one that I knew we had to have.

I loooooooove me some caramel apples. I always try to snag one at our county fair and love to have my little cousin over to make them in the fall.
We're planning to wrap the apples in cellophane, tie them with bakers twine and add a sweet note thanking our guests.
I want to use local apples and dip them the week before the wedding, but my mom is pretty sure that this will stress me out too much and thinks that we should source the apples out. I'm not sure which way we'll go but I'll be sure to keep you posted on our sticky situation.

Do you have ambitious plans for your favors?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oh Shoe-t

(Yeah, I know, corny post title)

In the excitement of ordering my dress my dress consultant asked me what size heel I would be wearing. Since they would be ordering my dress hollow to hem the shop had to send the Sophia Tolli company the exact length the dress needed to be.
The truth is that I'm a really horrible estimator. Sitting in the bridal shop I guessed I probably wore 3" heels normally and that 2 1/2" would be a good idea. I reasoned 2 1/2" heels would be short enough that I could dance all night and tall enough to make me look like an adult.
The reality is that I usually wear at least 3 1/2" heels, I can wear 4" for a couple of hours before I'm ready to ditch them. The other reality is that 2 1/2" heels are really hard to come by, and when you find some they look nothing like what my dream shoes do.
Don't believe me? Here are some options for 2 1/2" heels, and while they are all pretty none of them have the wow factor I want.

The height of my heels has (almost) caused me to loose sleep. Am I going to be able to find gorgeous 2.5" heels or will I have to design my own and loose some drama?

Did you have trouble finding the perfect shoes?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shake it, Shake, Shake it, Shake it

Being a Midwestern bride I wasn't very familiar with the idea of a second line until Weddingbee's Miss Star filled me in. I didn't know the tradition of having a band lead the way, the bride & groom carrying parasols or the guests waving hankies, but once we started exploring the tradition of second lines I got more and more excited to incorporate these elements.
My mom got right on the idea of the guests waving white hankies. She started scouring the Internet looking for white handkerchiefs until I stopped her dead in her tracks.
A couple of months before I had seen the wedding of Grace Bonney, creator of the much loved Design*Sponge. Grace & her fiance, Aaron sent screen printed handkerchiefs as invitations and I loved the mismatched look of vintage hankies.
Once my mom got on board we started scouring antique malls & eBay looking for vintage hankies and I'm proud to report that we have (almost) all of them.
We want to make sure our guests have them on hand for our second line so the current plan is to wrap them around our ceremony programs as belly bands and attach them with a sticker that instructs our guests to wave them with all of their might as we make our way to the reception.

Are you incorporating any traditions in a non-traditional way?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Epic E(Pic)s

This past weekend Jus and I spent 6 hours shooting our engagement pictures with our talented photographer, Janie (and her hubby, John) from Imagination Photography. Since we knew Janie would be using these photos in her (hopefully awesome) entrance into the WPPI we had a relaxed day with a focus on finding great shots, and in the process had a great time.
Sunday morning Janie put a sneak peek up on her blog and I actually screamed when I saw them. I cannot tell you how much I absolutely LOVE our pictures!
So now, for your viewing pleasure, the sneak peek of our engagement shoot!

When we were done at the train museum Janie & John took us to a field full of dandelion fluffys.

And then we went to my parent's restaurant where we had free range.

After the restaurant we headed to my parents to get some with their vintage panel truck.

Then we swapped our vintage duds for the outfit you helped me pick out!

We tried to pogo but were pretty unsuccessful.

Then we headed home to capture some family photos in front of our house.

Are you in love with your engagement pictures?