Monday, February 27, 2006

Little Turn on the Catwalk

It's time for a (sort of) fashion show! I haven't posted pictures of Sam's actual ring, the bridesmaid dresses, or my actual shoes, so here they are!

Ring in the box.

Ring on Sam's finger. (If you squint, you can see a reflection on the ring of me taking the picture!)

Here are the $50 dresses I bought for my bridesmaids:

Violet dress for Nimalee (maid of honor).

Blue strapless dress for Ciara (bridesmaid).

And here are the infamous Almost-$10-Shoes! I've been walking around my apartment with them on. =D They still feel a little too low for me, but I can't get over how cute they are!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Finished Invitations!

Lots of progress this weekend! Invitations are pretty much done. About 1/4th of them need to be punched and assembled, and then the envelopes need to be addressed, and then send them out! Here are pictures of the finished product, with some names/numbers/addresses smudged out to protect the innocent:

Here's the front. The first page is just a translucent vellum overlay.

The actual invitation. Sorry for the funny picture angles! (It's hard to take pictures one-handed)

Reception page with entree options.

RSVP page.

Music request page.

Directions to the church.

I made vellum bellybands to put around each invitation with the guests' names on them. This takes the place of the traditional inner envelope.

Finally, the whole thing disassembled.

Designing it was easy, but it's very labor intensive to print, cut, and holepunch. But I cut most of them while watching a Simpsons DVD, so it wasn't too bad. I think I'd do it all over again, if I had the option. But I wish we had a laserjet printer and an industrial holepuncher (if there is such a thing). The laserjet would have made printing faster and less worrying, since we wouldn't have had to stress out about smudging. And we already broke a holepuncher (Not yours, Nimalee! Don't worry!) while punching through all those pages of thick paper and cardstock. So we bought another one today, which isn't as easy on the hands as the other one. I am very pleased with the finished product, though. I think it looks very elegant.

Another picture post to come in just a bit!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Almost Ten Dollars!!

This weekend was a fairly productive weekend, but not nearly as much as I wanted it to be. Still, I'm nearly finished with the invitations (I feel like I'm always saying so, but it really is true!), I bought the bridesmaid dresses, and I bought what's almost certainly going to be my wedding shoes. No cake arrangements or ring yet, though. (Laundry and apartment clean-up didn't happen either. I blame it on Lost. A friend recommended it, and we bought the first season, and damn it if it isn't addictive! Then iTunes has the second season, so it all went downhill from there...)

Anyway, I spent most of Sunday and part of yesterday printing out the invitations. It wouldn't have taken so long, except that I had to lay them all out to dry for an hour before I could gather them up. (I didn't end up taking them to Kinko's) But I've printed 60 invitations that just need to be cut and assembled. Hooray! I still have overlays and bellybands to print on vellum, but I'm going to do that later this afternoon on my work laserjet printer. I need to get addresses for my relatives too. But they're not as urgent, since they'll be coming from in-state. So long as we get almost all the out-of-state invitations mailed within the next few days, we should be in good shape. Though, my goal is to have almost all of the invitations mailed by Saturday.

After I finished printing, I picked up Sam from work at about 1pm, ate lunch with him at Subway, and dropped him off at home before going to David's Bridal and Joann's Fabrics and Crafts. David's Bridal was really busy again, but that was good for me because I didn't want to be noticed. (I didn't make an appointment) I had decided the best course of action was to find the dresses Nimalee and Ciara liked that were on clearance, since they were something both of them looked good in and we wouldn't have to wait 2 months for them to come in. So I went straight to the bridesmaid section and hoarded all of the dresses in that style and pattern. I found a blue and a purple dress in Nimalee's size, but I couldn't find the one that Ciara had tried on last time. So I went hunting around the dressing rooms, pretending I was looking at the purses and shoes they had on display, and found the one that would fit Ciara (a smallish size for her, but still fit her really well). In the end, I bought a strapless tea-length blue dress for Ciara and a spaghetti strap tea-length violet dress for Nimalee, both with the same floral print. They look really cute! I think I like that they have slightly different dresses, cuz it has more personality. I'll take pictures of them and post them soon.

Finally, my bittersweet shoe story. Once upon a time, I found really cute shoes online: light blue Two Lips Tessa shoes (see picture below). They were about $50 - 60, but I figured they were worth it because they looked beautiful and somewhat comfortable. But as I was poking around online, I found out that the outlet mall here in town had a Two Lips Shoes store. Perhaps I could find my beloved shoes there? So I made my way to the outlet mall, and I found my shoes! In my size! The sign behind them said $19.99. And the peasants rejoiced.

But beside the Tessa shoes were similar shoes, in a slightly bolder shade of blue. They were called Talent shoes. These had an open heel, but the same embroidery. I couldn't decide which I liked more. After much deliberation (and several odd looks from the store employees), I decided on the Tessa shoes, since I liked the color better and the Talent shoes looked a little like house slippers. I went to the register and - to my surprise - the lady said my total was $10.71. Could it be? I thought. Could they really be only $10? And if they are only $10, I could just as easily buy the other pair of shoes too! So I asked the lady, "Are those other shoes $10 too?" And she went to go look. But she saw the sign! The wretched sign that said $19.99. And she came back and said, "Sorry, I lied. They're both $19.99. Sorry about that!"

Noooooo! My mind cried out. It cannot be! But my mouth, in its ingrained politeness, said "It's okay." I paid the $21 (including tax) for my one pair of shoes and left, cursing myself for opening my big mouth.

Maybe I could have tried to make the lady feel bad for having me pay $21 when she said they were $10. Maybe I could have asked for the extra discount anyway. But it wasn't in my nature to do those things. Yes, it's good to look on the bright side. I got my wedding shoes for only $21. But they were almost $10! So, the moral of the story? Don't get too greedy. When someone offers you $60 shoes for $10, pay for them and run.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Such Great Heights

Sam and I have decided on our first dance song: "Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service, cover by Iron & Wine.

I am thinking it's a sign
that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images
and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned.
And I have to speculate that God himself
did make us into corresponding shapes
like puzzle pieces from the clay.

And true, it may seem like a stretch,
but it's thoughts like this that catch my troubled head
when you're away when I am missing you to death.
When you are out there on the road
for several weeks of shows and when you scan the radio,
I hope this song will guide you home.

They will see us waving from such great heights.
"Come down now," they'll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away.
"Come down now," but we'll stay...

I tried my best to leave this all on your machine
but the persistent beat it sounded thin upon listening.
And that frankly will not fly.
You will hear the shrillest highs and lowest lows
with the windows down when this is guiding you home.

They will see us waving from such great heights.
"Come down now," they'll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away.
"Come down now," but we'll stay...

Kinks in the Plan

I've hit a small slow point in wedding plans, partly because of Valentine's Day and Sam's birthday both taking place this week. I hope to finish the invitations this week, so I can start sending them out next week. I still have to print out another test page to figure out if they smudge too much to print on our inkjet printer. I really hope I don't have to take it to Kinko's. I heard that they don't allow you to bring your own paper...

I also went bridesmaid dress shopping with Ciara and Nimalee on Sunday, which didn't actually turn out so well, cuz they couldn't agree on a style that they both liked. I was really hoping that I could just say "Pick something you like" and they'd happily agree on something relatively similar. But they have such contrasting tastes! Nimalee likes short, simple, and fairly casual dresses. Ciara likes long, glamorous, elaborate dresses. So I might just have to make an executive decision and pick something for them. Cuz I'm worried that if they don't buy it soon, it won't be available by the wedding. There were dresses (same style, different color) that they both liked well enough, and they were on sale. So maybe I'll go there tomorrow to see if they're still available, and if they are, I'll just buy them outright. Ciara's was a little tight, but it shouldn't cost too much to have it adjusted by a seamstress. Phooey. I was really hoping this wouldn't be complicated. Ah well.

Finally, I told my mom about the wedding on Sunday. She says she's not coming. It wasn't unexpected, so I'm not feeling too worked up about it. I felt a little depressed at first, but I think I'm okay now. I'm sending her an invitation anyway. Here's hoping she changes her mind before May.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Communication, Customization, Certification

There's been so many things happening on the wedding front this week!

On Monday, Sam and I went to see our pre-marital counselor. Her name seemed very familiar, and I had some suspicions as to who she was. Turns out, I was right - our counselor was my high school math teacher for two years! I was in her class for Algebra II/Trig and PreCalculus. It was initially a very weird experience. She was very nice, and much more pleasant as a counselor than a teacher, in my opinion. (More pleasant as in less strict, more approachable, and not teaching math... LOL.) We talked a lot about my somewhat precarious situation with my mother, who actually still doesn't know the wedding date because she refuses to have anything to do with Sam. Anyway, our counselor gave us some homework (homework again??) - I have to tell my mom (which I was going to do this weekend anyway), and we as a couple have to practice some "feeling-based" communication methods. I thought it was a pretty good session. We have to do 2 more in order to be "prepared" for marriage, so we've got another appointment with her in two weeks.

Yesterday, I finally ordered my gown. Yay! It's the Ebay Courtney dress from the link down below. I'm having it custom ordered to my measurements with some design customizations as well. I'm pretty nervous about the custom designing... I hope it turns out well. I ordered the dress in white with pale pastel blue embroidery and matching corset lacing. I'm hoping the blue turns out to be very light and springy. I think I'll be happy with the color so long as it isn't too bold or bright. Really, the thing that I'm worried about is whether the colored details will look good. I don't want it to look loud... It's nice, though, cuz I can use their online system to see their progress on the dress. Like I know that they started processing my order today, so I can expect to receive the dress by early March. Then I get it bustled, dry cleaned, and pressed, and it's ready for the wedding day!

And today, I finally called the LA Cathedral (Our Lady of the Angels, I think) to get my new baptismal certificate mailed to me. Hopefully, since they're the cathedral, they'll already have all the communion and confirmation information on the back like Deacon John said it should... They must do this kind of stuff all the time, right? The lady on the phone sounded really nice and no-nonsense, so I think it should be okay.

So, other things that need to happen this week in no particular order: tell Mom about wedding, set up another appointment at David's Bridal (this time for bridesmaids), go bridesmaid dress shopping, finish designing and laying out the invitations, do some test prints of invitations. Next week: print and send invitations. That's a lot of invitation stuff. (I should have done most of it this past weekend...) I've got to start tonight!

Monday, February 06, 2006

More About Rings

We bought Sam's wedding ring this weekend! Yay! It looks like this:

14k two-tone gold with diamonds and sapphires! I really like it, and what's more - Sam loves it. In fact, I keep having to tell him that he can't wear it until the wedding. So he pouted, stuck it in the box, and set it on the closet shelf. (I'll be sure to take a picture of the real thing soon.)

We got it from the Zales Outlet Store here in Camarillo. It was only $430, including tax! Even on sale, the regular price on is $599. So I feel like we got a great deal. And it's beautiful. Simple, unique, and colorful. I'm very happy with it.

We went to a few jewelers to look for a wedding ring for me too. And even though I liked a few of them, I didn't really LOVE them, you know? I feel like if I'm going to wear this for the rest of my life, it's gotta be something that I get a little giddy and girly and silly about. Problem is, I'm not one of those people who usually gets giddy about jewelry. So I'm having trouble finding a ring that I really love.

I found out about vintage/antique/estate jewelry online, and here are some rings that I think look truly beautiful. I've noticed I tend to like intricate details in the things I wear. I love embroidery on clothes, and apparently I love filigree on jewelry. Here's the Art Nouveau ring I found this weekend that I really love:

Love the sapphires, love the tiny diamonds, love the scrolling leaf pattern. But I can't get it. For one, it'd probably take about 2 months to resize the ring to my teensy tiny size 3 1/2. For two, it's friggin $1300. For white gold, not even platinum. Why?? And why does it have to be so pretty? I need to convince myself this ring is unnecessary. As pretty as it is, I have my doubts about it actually being worth that much.

So I've been trying to find something similar, or some other vintage ring that I like. I found this floral Edwardian Wedding Band that I like, but it's all in diamonds:

Very pretty! I've sent an email to ask if this can be set with half in diamonds, half in sapphires. If so, this would totally be the one for me. Here's hoping! It's only $535, and it can be ordered in any size! What's best about the floral patterns is that the prongs that jut out on my engagement ring (it has 6 prongs, so it doesn't sit well with other rings) won't matter, because it's not a straight wedding band and has all those grooves and notches. (If that makes any sense) I'm betting this ring could sit up close to my e-ring with not problem.

If this one doesn't work out, there's a lot of other antique rings I really really like too. Like these other ones from

Very pretty, and not at all a bad price for platinum rings with diamonds of that quality. (I can't believe I know about this stuff now!) I like the first one better, but it's almost $900... Well, I guess we'll see what happens.

Oh, and this isn't about rings, but I found shoes that I'm in love with. I'm not sure I'll be using them for the wedding, cuz I was hoping for open-toed shoes, but I'm considering buying them anyway just for the sake of buying them. Here's Two Lips style Tessa:

Gorgeous embroidery, love the color (obviously), and they look comfy. If I wore them for the wedding, I could dance around all night, I bet. And I'd enjoy wearing them afterwards too. I could walk around normal places thinking, "I'm wearing my wedding shoes!" and I'd feel giddy and silly. Is this too much blue? Blue makes me very happy.