Sunday, August 23, 2009

Recaps, Part 1

A couple things have been contributing to my procrastination regarding posting recaps of the wedding. The first is that I don't know where to start; the second is that I feel like I have no time these days to post. The second still holds true, but I can still jot down my memories here and there when I have time -- after all, my other fear is that I'm going to forget all of these little details! As for the first, well, I'll just start with something random and go from there.

The week of the wedding, my friend and bridesmaid Marjorie flew into town on Wednesday around noon. I had spent the earlier part of the week making sure the apartment was clean and doing other wedding-related projects, I'm sure -- that's probably when I was designing and printing the programs. I picked her up from the airport and we headed straight over to Meghan Hicks's house to drop off my dress for steaming. Meghan did an amazing job with my dress bustle and alterations, and had mentioned that if I had trouble getting my dress steamed, she could do it. Well, after weeks of procrastination followed by making a few last-minute phone calls and realizing that stores charge an arm and a leg for dress steaming, I called up Meghan and asked her if she could still do it. After all, I'd rather support her than some nameless shop. So we dropped off my dress and then went out to lunch.

Actually, my memory is now failing me and I don't remember the details of what we ate and when, and what day we ran which little errand. So there goes my chronological recap. Instead, these are the things Marjorie and I did between Wednesday and Friday, in no particular order:

-Ate at Stevens and Stevens. Yum, yum, yum.

-Picked up a new large plastic bag to put my newly steamed wedding dress in when we picked it up. We stopped at a dry cleaner's and I asked to purchase a single long bag. The owner looked at me funny. Confirmed I only wanted one. And gave it to me -- for free! I tried to offer her payment, but she just shook her head and wished me a good day. Yay for small happy things.

-Pressed all of our table runners (purchased from another bride, and for resale now):

-Finished printing out programs, Flickr cards, our table number signs, and other assorted signs; details and pictures to follow. I bought a brand new color cartridge for our inkjet printer specifically for wedding projects, and am really happy I did. The other thing that got a lot of use was my two paper cutters. It was quite a crafty week!

-Got beautified at Clique for waxing -- I had only recently heard of this place, and I'm mad I didn't find it sooner, because I highly recommend it and would go back, if only I hadn't moved immediately after! And we also got pedicures, because I figured it would be hard to get that done during the wedding weekend itself.

-Made our wedding arch and spray-painted it black. The arch was purchased from Save On Crafts for $15.99, which is about $70 less than every other arch I had found, most of which are meant for permanent placement in gardens. It was flimsy, but it did the job:

We got spray paint, small terra cotta pots, and sand from Wal-Mart. We intended for the feet of the arch to be inserted into the pots of sand (to make it heavy enough to not be blown away), but the person who pitched in in the end to help with last-minute set up used pipe cleaners to attach the arch to the fence behind it, and propped the legs next to the pots, instead of placing them in them. Oh well. It didn't blow away, which is all that mattered.

-And the biggest thing of all, we prepped all the flowers! I ordered wholesale flowers from,, and Bridesmaid Jamie used her Costco membership to help me out with the Costco ordering, and I had no troubles with the others. The flowers were all delivered on Friday, and as soon as they got there, we got to work prepping them and putting them in water. It was a LOT of work -- more than I had anticipated, and I should have recruited more people to help us out. I'll do a full flowers recap later, with lots of details and pictures.

If Marjorie hadn't come to help me out, I don't know what I would have done. She was so helpful, and only complained a little bit in the face of my DIY craziness, and put up with all of my last-minute stress. A lot of my other friends and family couldn't come early because of things going on with their lives -- my sister graduated from college two days before the wedding, and everyone else has jobs they couldn't take extra time off from, my fiance included, and if it weren't for the fact that Marjorie and I had were in the time between medical school graduation and beginning residency, I would have been totally up a creek.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hello Again!

I know I've been gone forEVER, but not without good reason.

First, there was the week of insanity leading up to the wedding weekend.
Then, there was the wedding weekend.
Then, there was the honeymoon.
Then we got back from the honeymoon and had to move immediately, so we packed up the apartment and loaded the moving truck -- ourselves -- in a day and a half.
Then we drove to Philadelphia, closed on our first house (!!!), and unloaded the truck.
That was two weeks ago, and it's been filled with unpacking boxes and trying to get settled.

And oh yeah, I started my intern year!

So I have lots and lots and lots of updating. But in the meantime, here is a treat for you:

Wedding Highlights - Campbell from Paul Routon Jr on Vimeo.

So that should keep you occupied for a couple days, at least :)
I promise I'll be back with lots of updates about how everything went, my crazy DIY projects -- including DIY flowers! -- and lots and lots of photos. As soon as I get a chance to catch my breath!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Only 9 days to go, and things have been crazy the last two weeks!

Last week was my graduation week, filled with awesome Senior Week activities and culminating with my speech to probably more than 1,000 people (biggest audience yet!) and getting my hood and diploma. Woohoo! Eric came for the weekend and in between the festivities we had our final meeting with our caterer to finalize all the little details AND got our marriage license!

This week has been full-fledged wedding-related. Among the larger things to do is the very nebulous "clean the apartment." The guest bathroom is sparkling, and the rest of the rooms are presentable, at least; a good scouring and vacuuming will come this weekend.

Our second bedroom, which we used to use as an office, but which was subletted out to my old roommate until the first of the month, is now an office again. And it's filled to the brim with everything for the wedding. All the alcohol is here now (my friends and I took a trip to Nashville the other day to buy 10 cases of Yuengling!), and our 100 vases, plus all the other assorted decorations. It's semi-organized, but still threatening to take over at least half of the room. Another quarter of the room is filled with empty boxes I've accumulated over the last few months that we'll need for transporting wedding items and for packing.

The to-do list is still pretty long, but the big things are done: reception numbers are in, rehearsal dinner numbers are in, and the music is done. I had my hair trial during graduation week, and it held up great. I'll talk to the photographer and videographer this week to make final plans. The big things will get taken care of, and the little things are just little things.

I don't know if I'll feel the urge to blog in the next week, since things will be so crazy, and I kind of thrive under those kinds of conditions, so here are just a few final thoughts:

-My aunt and uncle were planning to come, but it turns out my uncle's brain cancer is back, and he's having surgery around the time of the wedding instead. I'm sad I won't be able to see them, but I hope everything goes well with his treatment.
-The wife of one of Eric's cousins wasn't going to be able to come, we had been told, because she's due to give birth in July, and while I questioned that (I can get into obstetrics rants at another time, but it's usually not a medically necessary restriction), I accepted it. We got their RSVP in the mail yesterday, though, and it looks like she's coming! I'm quite excited about that.
-I didn't believe it would happen, but we got two RSVP cards with no names on them! Even though there's a line that specifically says "Name(s):" I'm so glad I secretly numbered them on the back so I could match them up to the guest list. The best part? They came from a son and his mother! When I figured it out, I laughed.

Sorry they're rotated; I can't be bothered with figuring out how to fix that right now.

Finally, I've been watching the weather. If you live oh, anywhere in the eastern half of the country, you've had some crazy rains the last few weeks. But the 10-day forecast was showing rain yesterday through this weekend for Louisville, and then becoming sunny and warm next week. As of this morning, there's a forecast for our wedding day, and it's great! Partly cloudy, high 78, 10% chance of precipitation, and sunset at 8:55 pm (so we can go back to the Glassworks roof for sunset pictures!). Wonderful!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is what one month of mail looks like

When it's the month before your wedding month:

I had all my mail held at the post office while I was in New Jersey this past month. I got home late last night and found most of those boxes inside my apartment, put there by my building manager for the UPS guy. I woke up early this morning to go pick up all the rest of the mail, which consisted of the large Kohl's box, a smaller box you can't see, and that large red bin full of mail.

Including all of our RSVPs!

Now I just have to unpack my car, put everything away in the apartment, and get re-settled. My roommate moved out this weekend before I got home, so the apartment is all mine again, and I can spread out all the wedding crap in the other bedroom!

Let the countdown begin!

Oh yeah, even though I really really really want to open all of those boxes, I'm waiting until this weekend, when Eric comes for my graduation. He should get to enjoy opening them, too, right?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Four Weeks to Go!

With four weeks to go, the checklist is getting smaller, but still remains substantial. Here are some random thoughts:

-Last Friday was nice and we sat outside for lunch with our real estate agent in Philly. We were only partially shaded by the overhang from the restaurant, and my right arm got a little sun. In the back of my mind, a little bell went off. Ding ding ding! You don't want any tan lines in a strapless dress! Yesterday, it was really gorgeous out, and after putting in our offer for our first house (!!!), we put the top down on my car to head to a friend's cookout. My arms got a little more sun, and I got a teeny tiny farmer's tan. Not good. I use an SPF 15 face lotion every morning, but I think it's time to start applying sunscreen to my shoulders, arms, and neckline regularly as well.

-It's supposed to be 90 degrees today. I'm living 15 minutes from the beach. I didn't bring a bathing suit out here and I'm not supposed to get tan. Bummer.

-On the fitness front, things aren't going so well. I was doing pretty well with weight loss last month before I came out here to NJ. But Eric doesn't have a kitchen in his efficiency, so we survive on microwaveable food or eat out. Not so good for the waist line. And then we were supposed to be training for a 5K that was to have taken place yesterday, but the last two weeks have been so cold and rainy I wasn't able to train much. At the last minute, we scheduled our house offer meeting with our agent for yesterday morning instead, so I didn't have to run. Whew.

-Eric ordered a wedding band and we found pocket squares for the guys (instead of boutonnieres). At every jewelry store we went to, they asked how long until the wedding, and when he replied, "A month from today," they all responded with variations on the theme of "Wow, you need to get your ring!" Yes, thank you, that's why we're here. He got a white gold band with a brushed satin finish in the center, should be in within 2 weeks. He still needs to settle on groomsmen presents, though.

-Eric's bachelor party was last weekend, and ... no more drunkenness for either of us from here on out.

-My bachelorette party is this coming weekend. I expect it to be tamer than his party was anyway, but still, no drunkenness on my part.

-We need to finish making our music playlist. We don't have a first dance song yet...

-We have no idea what our ceremony is going to be like. No readings picked out, no outline. To be honest, it bothers me more because I need to make programs, not because I want to know what the ceremony is going to be like...

-We've started using a teeth whitening system. It makes my teeth sensitive, so we do it every other day instead of every day. We forgot to take "before" pictures, but I'm not sure I see any results yet (we've done it three times so far, out of seven).

-We've stopped chewing on our fingernails and cuticles. With semi-success. I might need to get regular manicures from here on out to prevent me from biting. When I do my own manicure, the mental block to stop me from fiddling with them doesn't exist, but when I pay money for it... Seriously, you'd think I could have better self control than this.

-I'm going to place my flower orders tomorrow. Yay!

-The number of smaller things we still have left to do is pretty large, but I'm also ignoring a lot of them. Either they happen, or they don't. In the meantime, I can't wait until tomorrow to find out if our house offer got accepted!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So what am I going to make with all of these flowers? Here's the list:

One bouquet for me
7 bouquets for the bridesmaids
1 flower girl container of some sort (basket, flower ball, flower wand, etc)
3 corsages of some sort
15 centerpieces
Decorations for our altar/arbor
A cake topper
An arrangement for the entryway/escort card table.

Whew, right?

Nothing will be too fussy; the general idea is that by saving money we can have lots of flowers, and the beauty of the flowers will be in the fact that there are so many of them (1,885, to be exact!). I think it will work out beautifully. I might still farm out the corsages to a florist, but I have time to make that decision. Eric doesn't want boutonnieres, so I don't have to make or buy any, and the guys will wear pocket squares instead. The aisle decorations will be paper lanterns, so no flowers needed there. Anything I'm forgetting?

Now, for the logistics. First, I have to place the order, and I'm going to do that soon, assuming I don't decide to change the color scheme :) They'll be delivered on Thursday and Friday of the wedding week (Sunday wedding, remember), and I'll tend to them and get them into water and let them open until Saturday morning. Saturday will be flower day, and when they're all done we'll bring them over to the reception site to be stored overnight.

To keep the apartment chilly enough to not have the flowers burst open upon arriving, I'll be turning the air conditioning down a few degrees for a few days (ozone layer, please forgive me!). I have to acquire some 5 gallon buckets to hold the flowers in, as well as some floralife to keep the flowers happy, and some oasis foam forms for the arbor arrangement and cake topper. To make it a group project, I got a few pairs of floral shears (I got them in the Target $1 aisle sometime last year, when they were selling lots of gardenening stuff). I've already acquired about 100 assorted small vases from various thrift stores to use on the reception tables, so we'll be putting multiple small vase arrangements on each table to add to the feeling of overabundance. The plan is that any crafty bridesmaids, friends, or relatives who want to help out on Saturday, can, and everyone else can hang out on their own in Louisville or head down to Churchill Downs, where a group will be headed.

I acknowledge that it sounds like a lot, but I'm fully prepared to tackle this project, and to not freak out if for some reason it all goes horribly wrong. You read it here: I hereby promise not to freak out if for some reason the flowers go horribly wrong!

I don't have too much of a plan for the actual designs themselves. For the bridesmaid bouquets, if the bridesmaids want to pick out their own flowers or make their own bouquets, that will be great. For the centerpieces, all the vases will just have a mix of flowers, and same for the arch and escort card table arrangement. The only big question mark left is my own bouquet. Once upon a time, I really loved the idea of a cascading bouquet in all white. Right now, multi-colored hand-tied bouquets are really popular. I like the idea of both. What should I do?

All white, cascading bouquet (source). Granted, it looks a little dated with the ivy, but you get the idea:

Colored, hand-tied (source):

Another colored, probably hand-tied bouquet (source):

All white, cascade (source):

Maybe the fact that all of the cascade bouquet pictures I can find all line look so dated should tell me that I'm leaning toward a really 80s look?

But wait! Here are some viable options:

Colored cascade, smaller scale, with ruscus instead of ivy (source):

Another colored bouquet (it's even purple and green!), sort of a cross between hand-tied and cascade, with amaranthus to give it the cascading look (source):

According to The Knot, I should pick a smaller round bouquet because I'm petite, a smaller round bouquet because my dress profile is slimmer, a smaller cascade because the wedding is in a loft-type space, or a smaller hand-tied bouquet because the ceremony is outdoors. Hmm, that doesn't help me much, other than telling me I should keep my bouquet small (boo; I like big ones!).

Round or cascade, white or colored? Decisions, decisions. Something tells me I'll decide on Saturday, May 23, as I'm about to put it together...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Engagement Photos Have Been Blogged!

Two weekends ago, Eric and I met up with Carmen of Carmen Fong Photography, to cash in on the free engagement session we won last year. We met down in College Park, on the UMD campus, to show some alumni school spirit. It was a miserable, rainy, cold day, but Carmen was awesome and trekked around campus with us. Eventually it stopped raining, but I don't think the sun ever came out until we were driving back up to NJ/PA later that evening. It's OK, though; I've heard a few times, and Carmen agreed, that cloudy days are good for pictures because you're not worrying about glare or shadows or squinty eyes. That's the silver lining!

Carmen was awesome to work with, and I'm really sorry we're getting married in Louisville and that we already have a photographer booked, because I would love to have her as our wedding photographer! Unlike the other engagement session we had a long time ago, in which the unexperienced photographer we modeled for made me stressed out beyond belief by not giving us any instruction whatsoever, Carmen was very cognizant of the fact that Eric and I have no clue about anything photographically related, and gave us very clear instructions to help make us not look like idiots. Professional models we are not, no matter how much America's Next Top Model I watch.

After a great photo session, complete with an outfit change for me, and tons of help from my sister Laurel, I blog stalked Carmen ritually, even during last weekend, when she told me she would be in Las Vegas.

And yesterday, my stalking was rewarded! We've been blogged!

Here are my favorites, stolen off of Carmen's blog. All credits to Carmen Fong Photography, of course!

Once I realized the forecast for the weekend included rain, I packed my new rain boots and bright yellow jacket and figured I'd make the best of it. I got this jacket at Gap a few years ago on clearance, and I always receive compliments on it. I love it. Laurel brought the awesome umbrella, which immediately got earmarked as a prop.

I like this one because it showcases what I call the "M Circle," which visitors coming through the main campus entrance see and which gets replanted in Maryland colors periodically. I was initially a teensy tiny bit disappointed to see that it was yellow and not red (my favorite), but it matches my jacket perfectly! I love the composition of this shot.

We asked Carmen to take a photo of us that conforms to the New York Times wedding announcement guidelines:

Couples posing for pictures should arrange themselves with their eyebrows on exactly the same level and with their heads fairly close together. Couple pictures should be printed in a horizontal format.
Talk about specific! I submitted our wedding announcement the week before our photo shoot, and now all I need to do is submit the photo. Whether we get in or not remains to be seen, but it's exciting to think about!

Here's one of the photos from our NYT pose:

To be honest, I hope some of the others in that series turn out a little better, but not because of Carmen's photography. My face looks a little fat (I'm going to have to remember that's not the best angle for me!), my hair looks a little wet (smallest of the problems), and Eric's eyes look a little tired (he WAS tired, though). Or maybe I'm just being hypercritical. We'll see how the others turn out.

Eric really likes this one, as evidenced by the fact that it's now his Facebook profile pic:

We're so excited about our photos that we've even been discussing whether to scrap our original plan for a guest book -- a coffee table book of Louisville -- and make a photo book of our engagement photos instead, to share with everyone at the wedding.

Go check out the rest yourself! We had a great time working with Carmen, and I can't wait to see the rest of our photos! If you're looking for a photographer in the DC area (or anywhere -- she'll travel!), I highly recommend getting in touch with her. Thank you, Carmen!!!