Monday, August 31, 2009

Aaaaaahhhhh.....the weekend.

Man, after the emotional roller coaster of last week, I really needed some down time this weekend. While I can't say I got a lot of "lay on the couch and watch back to back episodes of Top Chef" time, I was able to totally re-group.

The Candyman had a speaking engagement on Saturday with a volunteer group he's associated with, so he left the house rather early. I proceeded to clean the shit out of the house. Seriously. I was doing baseboards, scrubbing behind the toilets - that kind of cleaning. I finished about an hour before The Candman got home and I was able to relax with a glass of wine in my shiny, clean house. I don't know what it is about a spotless house that makes me happy, but it just does. I actually feel prettier and thinner in a clean house than I do in a cluttered one. How weird is that?

I did do some wedding stuff this weekend. I had my final dress fitting on Friday afternoon. The dress looks stunning. I didn't want to take it off! I just kept wandering round the bridal shop in it. It was cool because a woman and her mother were paying for the exact dress I bought when I was trying the final dress on! Dress twins! I had the seamstress snap a shot of the back. Love it!

The simplicity of this just makes me so happy. I have no idea why. When I was in high school, I remember seeing a picture of a wedding gown that had really long back straps like this. I remember thinking then, "I want my wedding dress to look like that." I totally didn't even remember that thought until I saw this picture and it all came rushing back to me! Serendipity? Fate? Chance? Luck? I'm not sure, but it makes me happy.

Here's the sad/funny part about my dress. We took the sides of the chest in. We added C-cup pads. We took in the front section of the dress. Guess what? The damn thing still gaps in the front just a bit. The seamstress was at a loss and to be honest, I don't think there is anything else she can do. I asked her to go grab another set of demi-cups and voila, problem solved. So, I need to get myself an extra set of pads to slip into the dress to hike up my teeny-tiny boobettes to fill out the front of the dress. What's funny is with the C-cup pads and with the addition of the demi's, my tits look great! Seriously, I look stacked. Liza, eat your heart out! (Little inside joke. She'll get it.)

I also finished up the hair toys for me and my MOH as well as started working on the match boxes. Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to be them, but I didn't feel like working on the favors, so match boxes it was. It was actually kind of fun, so I was happy to do them while watching mindless TV. The Candyman let me watch some really bad chick flicks without uttering one word of complaint. Actually, he did scoff a bit at me watching Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in "The Lake House," but I deserved that one. It really is a dumb movie.

Sunday was more re-grouping, relaxing, cooking and wine drinking. It was exactly what I needed. Sigh......
I hope everyone was as lucky as I was to have a weekend to regroup! Happy Monday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ceremony Programs? Check!

I'm done with the ceremony programs! Yeehaw! The Candyman and I actually finished these up together last weekend. One more thing crossed off the list!

I really can't rave enough about the Brides brand of invitations and matching everything I got at Michael's. While I did have to monkey around with the formatting a bit, it's all worth it. I've done a few things to make it my own and that's what's nice. It's kinds of like that show on The Food Network, Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. I didn't make my own invitations per se, but I took pre-made stuff and have tweaked it just a little to make it all work.

The first ceremony programs I had were tiered with a card stock backing. These were impossible to print. Even using their assigned format and font, it wouldn't work. There was a mini-WPM (Wedding Planning Meltdown) during this process. I took them back to Michael's and bought regular booklet style programs and they were a total snap.

Here's the outside of the booklet.

Here's the inside.

I printed the version of The Lord's Prayer we like. Did you know there are three different versions? We prefer the 1928 version from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

The Candyman folded all the pages for me while I assembled and tied the ribbons into pretty knots. Can I tell you what pain in the ass that was? Who knew tying knots would be so difficult.?

Remember all the little flowers I used on my invitations? Well, I have a bunch left over, so I decided to use them on the outside of the programs, just for fun.

God love The Candyman for glue-dotting tiny little flowers on our programs. Definitely not his thing.

And voila! Our ceremony programs!

While I wish that I had a Gocco printer, time to DIY everything and a little bit more creativity, I am really happy with how all my printed materials came out. I'm happy I haven't spent a fortune on all of it. I bought all my invitations (pocket fold with response cards), table cards, menus, thank you cards, place cards, ceremony programs, glue dots, mini flowers, double sided sticky tape, favor boxes, extra card stock for favor stuff (as well as guest book fun), extra ribbon, heart and round hole punchers, favor bags for inside the box (yes, I'm anal retentive), DIY personalized labels for the invites and all postage for about $350! I took advantage of every sale and coupon from JoAnn's and Michael's as I could! The one thing I did not include in this total is the ink to print all this. I've purchase 3 sets of ink cartridges as $35 a pop. I think I would have only needed 2 if it hadn't been for my OOT bags. The iron-on transfer I'm using for those used a TON of ink per page! Still, I think I'm doing pretty good since all the stuff is personalized by moi! Thus far, I don't think I would have wanted to do this any other way.

I have what I hope is my LAST dress fitting this afternoon. I can't believe that our wedding is only 43 days away! Crazy!

So tell me, those of you going the DIY route - are you enjoying it? Do you think it's worth it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


OK, I'm going to post a survey on the blog as soon as I'm done writing this. I have a sort of etiquette question for the bridal blog-o-sphere. Non-brides can vote too, you are not excluded from all things etiquette-related!

OK, so The Candyman and The Thirty-Something Bride are having a small-ish wedding. The people we have invited are our closest friends and family and most are from out of state. There are a lot of local folks here who I would love to invite, but we simply cannot afford to have a larger wedding. We had to cut a lot of people out who we like to hang out with. That pretty much sucked.

I was thinking that instead of inviting them to the wedding, that we could invite them to what we are calling The Rehearsal Gathering. I've totally invited my photographer Jonathon and his wife Sharon, because they rock. I've also invited Liza, The Unabridged Bride bridal coach and her husband because they too, rock. I'd love to invite some work people. The Gathering is at Aloft Hotel. It's a cash bar. Basically, we just want people to come hang out so we can all mingle and talk before The Big Show. 99.9% of the people I would ask to come know that we are on a serious wedding budget and/or we've met through the wedding planning process and/or who are co-workers. All that being said:

1. Is it just incredibly tacky to do that?
2. I want to make sure that if I invite these people that they know it's not because we are looking for some sort of gift. We are so blessed that we need nothing but each other!
3. If I do invite, I was thinking a verbal and casual "come join us" would suffice. I wouldn't want to send any sort of invitation just in case they thought a gift would be required. Heck, I was just going to send a few emails. The Candyman started a new job in June, so I thought he might want to invite his new boss or something. I haven't even spoken to The Candyman about this yet!
4. In total, it would be around 15 people I'd invite, not counting who I mentioned above - because I've already invited them and they know the deal-io.

So, go up and vote and/or tell me what you think. I know Emily Post is probably turning over in her grave at the mere thought of this, but truth be told, Emily Post is DEAD.

Dreamy Cream and Dove Gray

As you guys already know, one of my inspiration boards was a finalist on Style Me Pretty. I didn't win (the board that did win was incredible) but I just wanted to show my other entry too. I created it for me - just for fun. If I were going to have a "dream" wedding without any monetary restrictions, it might look a little like this. I call this board "Dreamy Cream and Dove Gray." Enjoy!

Dress: Kenneth Poole's Royalty, via SMP Look Book!
Flowers: Martha Stewart Weddings

Brooch: Erika Koesler

Tie: Stefano Ricci Satin Tie, Bergdorf Goodman

Shoes: LAMB Lesley Sandal, Nordstrom

Invitation: Invited ink

Cake: Maples Wedding Cakes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"I Wish" Wednesday

Double whammy yesterday. First, my cat died. About 15 minutes after I found that out, I found out some other bad news. I decided to deal with one at a time.

My aunt was diagnosed with Stage II Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. It cannot be cured, but can be managed. It's going to involve chemo, radiation and potentially a bone marrow transplant. The family has been thrown into a bit of a frenzy, naturally.

I read about Myeloma on-line last night and I shouldn't have. Knowing what my aunt is up against was heart-breaking. However, she is an amazingly resilient woman who has faced a multitude of life's challenges. She remains one of the sweetest, loving and happy women I've ever met. She has the most infectious laugh and I smile in anticipation of hearing it.

I don't see her often enough. I was really looking forward to seeing her at my wedding. This bullshit disease may throw a wrench in all of that since she's about to enter The World of Cancer. I hope that she'll be well enough to make it. I pray that she manages this disease with as much grace from God as He's willing to bestow on her. I am pissed at God for heaping this upon her already burden shoulders, but that's between me and God. He and I will have to work that out later when I'm not so angry at Him.

My wish is for my aunt to pass through this time in her life with as little pain as possible and as quickly as possible. I wish for her not to worry about everyone else and to take care of herself. I hopes she knows how much we all love and cherish her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

R.I.P Sweet Baby Girl

The sweetest kitty in the whole wide world died today. Her name was Rocket. This is her story, and a little bit mine.

In 1995 The Thirty-Something Bride was a Twenty-Nothing living in Los Angeles. I was renting a set-up not unlike that of Melrose Place fame. Five apartments, a pool, a single gal (moi), a single guy, the gay couple with their alcoholic brother, the unmarried couple with an infant and the married couple with two pre-teen girls and Muslim father-in-law. You know, the norm. I was dating unimportant people at the time and one of these unimportant people called me at work one day.

Him: You know that cat that won't shut up?
Me: The one outside that cries constantly?
Him: Yeah, that one. What do you think about it?
Me: What do you mean what do I think about it? I think it's loud. I think it ran away from home during the earthquake (*this was a few months after the Northridge quake that I happened to live 6 miles from its epicenter - FUN! Many pets freaked and got loose and never found their way homes - very sad).
Him: Well, do you like it?
Me: I don't know, I've been avoiding it. You know how I am with cats. One stroke, one pet and I'm done for.
Him: It's in your apartment.
Me: WHAT?!?!
Him: I couldn't stand it anymore. I brought it in. I named it Rocket.
Me: You named it what?
Him: Rocket. The Houston Rocket's just won the National Championships. It came to the door. I named it.

Oh, for Christ's sake.

From then on, I had a cat named Rocket. She had a bad injury at the base of her tail where another animal had bitten her. I took her to the vet. She had been fixed and de-clawed, so she was definitely a Quake Cat. I scoured the papers for a lost calico, but found nothing. She was mine.

And she was loud. She meowed ALL the damn time. It was exhausting. She constantly wanted me to pick her up and pet her and love her. In 1997, my cousin (and MOH) called me from San Luis Obispo and said, "There's a little kitty. She went into heat and all the Tom cats are trying to fuck her. It's upsetting. I'm getting her fixed. Come get her, Bryn (her cat) doesn't like other cats and Rocket needs a friend." Fair enough. I drove up to SLO and was introduced to Less. As in Less Than Zero. Eh? The neighbor's cat, Zero, was this big fat black cat. Less was a little tiny black cat. She was "less" than Zero, and it stuck. I brought Less home and they were fast friends. The best friends ever. See:

I tried to get a picture of them snoozing, but woke them up. They both yawned at the same time. I think it looks like they are singing. Laaaaaa!

I love this picture. Rocket used to sit right in Less's face and flick her tail for Less to play with. She's doing it here. It looks like Less has her paw up Rocket's butt, which I think is hysterical.

Rocket drinking out of my cup. Note the Ikea laden apartment and lava lamp. Sweet.

We had many happy years together. We moved across the country to Chicago. I left the electric mattress pad turned on all day so the kitties would stay warm in the winter. They're from L.A. - they needed the heat! :) They moved with me again 7 years later to Nashville. It was about that time that I had to take the cats in for doctor's appointments so I could get them across state lines without any hassle. I got the news that little Miss Rocket had kidney disease. Sad times. I was moving to a new job that would take me out of the country for longer than I ever had been gone before. Rocket needed daily attention now. I called the mother of all things kitty, my mom. Already with two cats, she somehow managed to get my dad to take in a third so that they could take care of Rocket properly.

For five years my mom gave Rocket homeopathic meds every day. She was healthy and happy and comfy. Less was the alpha cat between them, but Rocket took over that role at my mom's house. Bad-ass old cat is what she was. Rocket promptly took over the heated cat bed. I took this picture of her at Christmas, right after The Candyman and I got engaged! By this time, she was nearly deaf. This I found hysterical because she'd meow really loud if she wanted something. Her eyes were getting hazy and she was really thin and light. My mom and I started talking about the realities of old kitties.

Some time after January, my mom had to start giving Rocket liquids by IV in order to keep her weight up. It worked for a while. Then she wasn't peeing in the cat box, but right outside because she couldn't get her old bones into the box! She stopped meeting my mom at her bedroom door every morning. She slept and didn't eat -not even tuna juice, her favorite thing in the whole wide world.

It was clear that putting her down was what needed to happen. She was slowly dying and that's no way for anyone to go. Thankfully, my mom warned me yesterday. Rocket had a scheduled doctor's appointment today and my mom told me she was planning on having "the talk" with the vet. My mom came home with an empty cat cage today. The voicemail just about killed me. Not because I didn't know it was coming, but because my mom was trying to keep it together and failing miserably. It reminded me of when I gave Rocket to my folks to drive home. Rocket was HOWLING in the cat cage, I was bawling, my mom was bawling because I was bawling and my dad was tripping because ALL the females were upset - human and feline!

I've been prepared for this. I knew it was coming. She'd been sick for a while now. But she was the best kitty in the whole wide world. Ask anyone. She never hissed at anyone or anything, except for a mean kitty outside one time (ok, and maybe at my mom's bitchy cat Millie, a time or two). You could hold her like a baby and she'd purr her head off. She jump up next to you and touch you with her paw, as if to say, "Excuse me. Please pet me." She had these funny, short legs. She wasn't an elegant cat, or a jumper. The lower she was to the ground, the happier she was. In her old age, she'd yell at you to pick her up and put her somewhere. "MeYOW!" She liked french fries and Jack in the Box tacos. I'd wake up in the middle of the night to her howling because she couldn't find me. I'd yell out, "I'm in here, dumb-ass!" and she'd come running into the bedroom and snuggle up and go to sleep. I never said she was smart. She was sweet. The sweetest kitty that ever lived. Period.

My dear, sweet, soft friend. Enjoy an eternity of sunshine laden sleeping spots and cans of tuna juice - all for you. I'll miss you, my little Rocket-Sprocket Pumpkin-Head.

Rocket, in her heyday.

DIY Hair Toys

Hair toys and a tomatillo.

OK, so you all know the drastic fate of my hair toy from DonnaElla. It committed floral suicide on I-65 North. A moment of silence please for the dearly departed. *sniff*

Since I simply couldn't face more time on Etsy in a seemingly desperate search for a new hair toy, I decided to DIY my hair toy. It's actually turning out OK! I started the process by refusing to use hot glue and sewing only. However, the thickness of some of the layers was not allowing me to pull the thread tight enough to keep the little pearls from rolling around.

You can see in these pictures how they look a little sad. I put the center pearl on top of a sequin and that just wasn't helping the situation either. I cut it all off and went and bought some "bling" glue from JoAnn's. It worked like a charm. I still hate hot glue.

I decided to make my MOH a matching hair toy since this wasn't so hard. When I was out buying bling glue, I figured I could get some black flowers to match my MOH's black dress. Black flowers. Yeah, I said it and no, they do not exist - at least not at happy-happy JoAnn's. I really didn't think that through now, did I? What to do? Buy some cheap-ass fabric dye and dye the petals. Yes, that is what I did and it was easy-peasy-japoneasy. I bought fabric dye for synthetic material for like $3.99 (of course I had a coupon - duh) and the job was done in a little over an hour. You have to put the dye in an enamel or stainless steel pot and simmer the fabric for an hour. You also have to be really careful with the dye because that crap will get everywhere if you're not careful. I was super careful and still managed to spill.

Once I dumped all the dye out, I put the petals on top of one of those mesh metal splash guard kitchen thingies to dry over the sink.

I let the petals dry all day and then just played with them a little to get them stacked right.

I've got the same center icon of silver and pearls to sew in the middle of this flower. Once I get that done, I'll share the final results. I'm making a second smaller flowers for myself (because one just isn't enough) and I need to figure out the best way to add the alligator clip to the back. I have a couple of these kinds of flowers already (store bought) and I'm referencing them for the best method. Stay tuned for the final results!

Monday, August 24, 2009

"He can call me Flower, if he wants to."

On Saturday I met my florist Angela Sadler at Metro Wholesale Flowers in Nashville.

But first, I have to comment on a re-occurring trend. I am finding great humor in my vendors. Why? Because all of them give me tiny little jabs at being so "detail oriented." It's such a polite way of calling me high maintenance. It's really OK though, I don't mind. I mean, when I pay for something expensive I want to know what I'm getting. If I don't understand, it needs to be explained to my dumb ass so that I can just sit back and let you do your job. Otherwise, I'll micromanage the hell out of you and trust me (or trust The Candyman), no one wants that. No one.

Anyway, when I met with Angela, it went really well and fairly quickly. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I really needed to see it in order to get the whole picture in my head. Y'all know that my colors are chocolate brown, ivory and accents of sandalwood (or, Bridal Beige). I want the focus to be on ivory flowers that are statement grabbers, but not expensive. I think we will be able to accomplish this really well, based on how Saturday went.

I used to work as a buyer for FTD, so I know a thing or two about flowers. I know how much they cost (generally), how much florists charge for labor and definitely how much containers cost! It's one of the reasons I chose Angela as my florist. Her prices were really fair, she works out of a space in a wholesale mart so has zippo overhead, and I really liked her designs and thought process. It really was a no brainer. She doesn't appear to mind that I know all this stuff either. I think it might make some florists a little uneasy, perhaps.

I was most worried about the bud vases. I wasn't sure how they were going to look, but Angela loved them as did one of the whole sale florist guys! We chose a few different kinds of flowers that are going to be in the bud vases, in my bouquet and a part of the church flowers.

Ivory Hydrangea - tables and chapel!

White Freesia that will be for the wrist corsages for the ladies. We're going to mix this with an Escimo rose or two because I don't believe in spray roses on corsages (hello, prom!).

It's a sea of Stock! It smells so yummy! We'll use this in some of the bud vases and chapel decor.

I LOVE these FOOTBALL MUMS! They look almost like peonies. They are huge and take up lots of space and are super-inexpensive. These suckers were bigger than my fist!

These two are what we'll use for the boutonnieres. Tiny ivory button mums and fern curls. We'll use a fern curl or two in my bouquet too. Aren't they creepy and groovy?

This is a filler flower called Snow on the Mountain. Just a hint of color to keep things from looking too monotone.

On top of these flowers, we'll be adding a few garden roses and white Gerberas with black centers to my bouquet, a few roses to the chapel decor (for balance) and green filler of Italian Ruscus. We decided not to do the coffee bean idea. With the small bud vases, it would have been way too busy. I still think it's a great idea though!

I'm hoping all of this helps the budget a little bit! My plan was to cut back on flowers (not on quantity, but on type) and cake and we've done that to a degree, just not as much as I'd hoped! For those of you just married and about to be married, where did you cut back? Was it planned, or at the last minute because you went over budget elsewhere?


The team I work with is a fairly creative one. We've been struggling the last few years to redefine our designs and become more meaningful as a company. It's all been a lot of hard work, stress - with a few tears thrown in for good measure.

We just found out this morning that we have been nominated this year for the ARTS award!

The ARTS Awards is an annual collaborative effort to recognize the best in the decorative accessories industry. Receiving an ARTS Award is the most prestigious honor for outstanding achievement in retailing, manufacturing, sales representation and product design. Consumers have even begun to recognize the significance of the ARTS Awards, as they represent that a winner is considered the best in his or her category.

Kind of like the Oscars, "it's simply a privilege to be nominated!" And it truly is! The ceremony is a black tie affair that won't be happening until January, so we have to wait a while. But how cool is that?? It's awesome when your hard work gets recognized!

More wedding updates to come later!
  • Flowers
  • Hair toys
  • Programs
  • Ceremony stuff
The Candyman and I had a crazy busy wedding weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flowers Tomorrow!

So tomorrow I am meeting up with my florist at the wholesale flower market in Nashville. I think we will be able to knock out what I want pretty quickly.

Here's the run down....

For the chapel we are keeping it super simple. We're putting two grapevine wreaths with flowers on the two front doors. We'll have one large wreath behind the alter and put two one-sided arrangements on either end of the alter. Easy peasy. She'll use big, ivory flowers to fill space and to keep it low-cost. It will look almost exactly like this:

These are photos of flowers that my florist Angela Sadler did of a wedding in my chapel. It's nice that's she's familiar with the unfamiliar venue! Look how cute and antique-y the chapel is! It's got lace curtains on it's almost floor to ceiling windows! Love it! The best part? It's only $250. Sa-weet!

As you all know, I went to town on bud vases from Crate & Barrel, a few from Target as well as a few from Ikea - thrown in for good measure. Those will be for the tables. That's what we really need to figure out. Other than that, we've just got to decide on the bouquets (easy), boutonnieres, corsages and flower girl headpiece.

While I'm not sure what I want exactly, I do know what I don't want:
Leather Leaf
Bear Grass
Mini Carnations
Angela told me that a "no" list can be just as good as a "want" list!

I was browsing Google Reader this morning and saw an AWESOME idea on Elizabeth Anne Designs.

How freaking cute is this? What if I put coffee beans in the little bud vases with a stem or two of ivory colored flowers that are yet to be determined? Can you see them on the tables with the ivory linens and chocolate brown chargers? Or is it too much? Maybe simple is better. I'm bringing some of the bud vases with me tomorrow. Maybe I should grab a small bag of coffee beans to take with me to see how it looks! Angela is going to think I'm freakin' nuts.

Feedback from The Blog-o-Sphere is appreciated. As always.

A Forgetful Bride and DIY Hair Toys

I forgot my "I Wish Wednesday" post. Dammit. I'm just now realizing it.

I've decided to DIY my hair toy. It's work in progress and I've written about it on Weddzilla. I should have it finished this weekend! Keep your fingers crossed that it turns out the way I want it to!

Teaser. Read more about it here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trials....indeed. Part II

I think everyone knows by now that The Thirty-Something Bride leans a little towards the dramatic side at times. Who? Me? ;) Just keep that in mind.

When Tabitha (my day-of go-to girl) set up my trial run with Julie, the owner of J. Bangs Salon in Green Hills, I was a little hesitant. It's a new salon - only open since April. Their website is bare bones right now. I was already nervous. My stress levels are not that of a normal individual.

I headed out to the appointment with an attempt at a care-free attitude. I threw my hair up into The Bradshaw Bun and not wanting to forget my hair toy for the appointment, clipped that into my hair. Pretty! I felt pretty good. I jumped in the go-mobile and headed out to Green Hills. The day was warm and sunny and I had the window down, riding on the freeway with the music up. I continued to feel pretty good. I exited and when I rounded the exit ramp, I saw a flutter from the corner of my eye. Bye-bye hair toy. Yes, it's true. The coveted and recently awarded hair toy from DonnaElla is now, I'm sure, smooshed under an 18-wheeler on I-65 North. Decidedly NOT feeling so good now.

I arrived at J. Bangs a mess. I was disorganized and was trying to carry all this crap into the salon (wedding notebook with all my hair pictures, veil, purse, keys, jewelry, Starbucks - the usual). Tabitha got there at the same time and we walked in together. She could see I was frazzled and I told her that I was so nervous - it was trial number THREE! I mean, come on! Am I that picky? Am I being totally unreasonable? She poo-poo'd me and shoved me towards a chair.

Behind that chair was a breath of fresh air, Ms. Julie Marler. Instead of eyeing me with a look of confusion and fear (as most people do who see me in freak-out mode), she smiled easily and motioned me to sit. Then she offered me a glass of wine. Hell, yes. I was hot and starting to sweat at that point so I asked for white (I generally prefer red). She came back with the most giant glass of white wine and I gulped like half of it down immediately.

We talked about my photos, what I was looking for, what was making me nervous and why I was there. She agreed that we needed to blow me out (curly is decidedly too risky since you can't trust my hair to behave the same way twice - ever) and work from there.

Lisa, my shampoo lady gave me a great wash with a lavender mint shampoo that really relaxed me. It was awesome. After a blowout and a flat iron, Julie went to work on the do.

Here's Julie making the slightest adjustment to the sides that made a big difference in the overall look.

We decided to do a deep side part and sweep all my hair over to the side. The only problem right now is that my hair is in desperate need of a cut and color, so I have crazy frizzy hair all over the place. That will be remedied prior to The Big Show.

Once Julie was done, we tried it out with the veil. Oh no! Because my hair was now on one side, the veil poofed out on one side. I knew I'd be adding a flower hair toy (of which I'm looking for now again) and I thought that would probably add some volume under the veil. Julie grabbed a plumeria from her front desk and tucked it in my hair. Problem solved. The veil looked fine. I brought my jewelry with me too, so put that on, just for good measure. *Please note the nearly empty wine glass. Of course I was smiling!

We moved onto the make-up area and got to work. I needed a little tiny push from Tabitha to tell her what I thought. It was so hard! She started with a dark grey liner on my eyes and I was not digging it. I got the courage to tell her brown and it immediately made a difference! We agreed that we didn't need to use bronzer since it looks orange on my pale-ass skin. It was hard to tell about the blush because there was a little bronzer on me, but I think it will be OK.

Here's the final make-up. I think it looks really good. I felt comfortable in it. I wore it the rest of the day and I felt great all day. When I got home, The Candyman gushed a little. He said that this was definitely my best look, the most pretty and the most me. I think I need to go buy the lipstick from Julie because it was a gorgeous color. I wold have never picked it out myself. I love when stuff like that happens.

We took a sunshine picture and I think the make-up looks good here too. Not too heavy. The only comment about the hair is that it looks a little odd in this shot. That little lump at the bottom is a bit strange! We had been adjusting and tugging and I think it might just be a result of all that. I do think I want the curls to be just a hair looser. Pun intended. :)

I think it looks prettier on this side!

The overall plan is to go in on Saturday and it get it blown out. My hair will be down and straight for the rehearsal, which is AWESOME! Even more awesome is that I don't have to do it. My hair will be colored and trimmed and won't have all the fly-aways. Since my hair was squeaky clean, the little height she gave me in the back immediately fell. She's totally confident that the next day (since my hair will have a day's dirt in it) it will stay put. My hair definitely works better a little dirty, so I'm comfy with that happening.

Overall, I'm really pleased. I'm not even paying attention to how much it will cost in the end because I'm happy. Julie mentioned the cost for the day of hair and I just sort of let it roll in one ear and out the other. Process it and let it go. At this point, if I'm happy with it, it's happening.

And that ladies, it how a budget gets blown. Am I right, or am I right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trials....indeed. Part I

I am plagued with the crappiest hair in the world. I can make it look good, but it takes some effort. It's long and I generally wear it back or up in a what I lovingly refer to as "The Bradshaw Bun." In a pinch, it's my best look. I can straighten it, but it takes about 40 minutes to get totally dry and then another 40 minutes with a flat iron. Hence, the The Bradshaw Bun. I just don't have that kinda time to look spectacular every day. Who does?

I have done my own hair a gazillion times for fancy soirees. It takes time and a lot of energy and sometimes undue stress when things don't go my way, follicle-ly speaking. I decided I didn't want to chance that on my wedding day. Luckily, the fiancee of a good friend of mine is a hair and make-up artist for the theater. She offered to do my hair and make-up for me. SWEET! Our schedules and her wedding made it hard to coordinate the timing, but I had a trial run in April.

The way the world works is funny. To keep things more anonymous than not, a few things happened in The Thirty-Something Bride camp that kind of pushed the friend's offer to the side. I felt bad about it, but had to decide who to appease and who not to. :( All told, I think the situation was for the best. I wasn't loving the hair and make-up, but I thought I just wasn't use to wearing make-up. I really don't wear a lot at all. I probably should, but I I have freckles and I feel like too much makeup just makes me look weird.

The brand of make-up that my friend used wasn't all that flattering on me. It looked pretty cake-y after an hour or so. My skin is pretty dry and I think it might have been a more drying make-up. My eyes looked REALLY wrinkly! I think the base color might have been a little too light too which surprises me as I'm so pale my skin might as well be translucent. From the front, my hair didn't really look any different than if I pulled it back into a ponytail. The back was cool though. She had used a hair poof to make it big, although I am not sure I needed it. It gave a lot of volume, but it did feel a tad heavy.

So this was back in April. Trial number two was this month. A few things I'd like to preface and stress right now:
  1. All the people who have worked on my hair and make-up are truly talented people.
  2. I respect many different artistic outlets and hair and make-up is one of these outlets.
  3. Not everyone likes the same kind of art.
  4. As a bride, you need to feel happy with the vendor you pick. You need to feel comfortable and positive and sure.
  5. As a paying customer, you need to get what you want. Period.
  6. I'm sure someone somewhere will disagree with the five points above! However, it's my blog and this is my word to brides on the street. :)
I had trial numero dos with Sherita Leslie. I had the most fun with this chick! We cracked ourselves up and just had a great time. Sherita took her time on my trial and did what I asked her to do. The one thing I wasn't digging was the false eyelashes, so we took them off. I felt better about that. I felt OK about the make-up. Again, I felt I looked better than the first trial, but I was still not-so-sure. I can't explain it. I couldn't explain it at the time because I was fine at the time. It wasn't until several hours later that I realized, it just wasn't me. The Candyman and I went out to dinner and I had the make-up on. We ran into one of my friends and I felt a little odd - like I wasn't who I was supposed to be. That was the clincher for me. Again, I didn't look bad - just didn't feel like me.

I felt like my hair looked good from the back again, but that it was just the same old me from the front. I didn't get that feeling either until later in the afternoon before we went out. I did feel like the make-up was lighter and I felt less dry. One problem was that my eyes went crazy-bananas from the eyeliner under my bottom lashes. I haven't worn eyeliner there in years and I think my eyeballs rejected it. I had runny, red eyes for most of the night. No bueno. No bueno at all.

So the fact that things weren't groovin' on my head doesn't mean I think the person who did it wasn't good. Sherita is great and she comes highly recommended. I would recommend her to others. She's sweet and funny and incredibly professional. I really liked that about her. It kinda made me upset later that I didn't feel incredible about my trial. Since I was upset, I called Tabitha, my day-of planner (duh, who else?).

She stressed to me what I think all brides need to know: You need to feel GREAT. Not good. Not OK. You need to feel fabulous. She (very) quickly pulled some strings and got me into my next trial run. You will have to wait until my next post to see where we went from here.

I'm curious - have any other brides had this much drama around how you feel about something? I mean, the dress creates some more obvious emotions. Does anyone have flower frustrations? Alter anxiety? Venue vexation? Dress depression? Reception resentment? Groom grievances? I could go on and on with this one.....

The Littlest Princess!

So this little love-nugget is my flower girl. You cannot tell me she isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen! She's growing up very girlie. This makes me very happy because I am very girlie. My MOH is also mommy to The Littlest Princess (TLP) and my MOH is not girlie. She's very feminine, but not girlie. Like, I think of my MOH as a woman. I think I thought this at a really young age, now that I think about it. At any rate, she left Bonnie Bell and her Jordache jeans behind her in high school and all focus went to (and still is) most things academic. She got all A's in college, except for one B+, I think. She has two Masters Degrees and is working on her PhD at a really cool place (one that I won't divulge for anonymity, but trust me when I say it's impressive. And cool.). At any rate, I have often berated my MOH for her lack of girlie-ness. To see it in her daughter is just adorable.

Anyway, I digress. Sorry, it happens. Y'all should know that by now, I suppose. As I was saying, flower girl. Cutie-pie in the extreme. Quite girlie. Quite sassy, I think. I haven't seen her in a few years, but I do hear her on occasion. She's well spoken for a girl her age.

They all live a gazillion miles away so the dress hunt (both TLP and MOH) has been remote.

After several emails with my MOH and her mom, we got the dresses narrowed down to three. Two I found on and the other I found on J.Crew. I loooooove me some J.Crew. I was stoked to hear about their wedding section! My aunt ordered all three to see which looked best. My aunt used to own a needlepoint shop that made flower girl dresses and baptizing gowns and such, so knows her stuff. She is a self-proclaimed fabric snob. Who can argue with that?

So the cool thing about FGDL is that they have a free return policy. So says the front page of their website. CHECK THE DETAILS! One of the dresses was on sale, therefore could not be returned. Lame. It's OK though because it was a dress for less, so at least it wasn't a huge chunk of change. Annoying none-the-less.

Here's my aunt's feedback on the dresses:

Here are the pics. No, the cap sleeve is not a contender for the wedding. J Crew is it - if you agree. I am keeping the cap sleeve for two reasons. TLP will love it, and I can't return it. They did not indicate that on my order, but the invoice is marked "final sale item." I would protest if it were really expensive or if I didn't think TLP would love to wear it. She can wear it here and practice for the wedding in it:) As I said, I am going to doctor it. It just is not a real quality dress. The tank from FGDL is very pretty and the fabric is nice. But it is heavy, the hem is not pretty, and the zipper in the back is bulky and shows a LOT. It doesn't look very comfortable and I think we may have trouble getting TLP to wear it - because of comfort. The J Crew has an invisible zipper in the side and is just nicer and more delicate all the way around. So not only does it look nice, it will be way more comfortable to wear. If you want to post pictures of the J Crew on your blog, I will take time to take better pics later. I was in a hurry today and didn't tie the sash well, etc. You can see it peeking out from the side. I will take front and back pics or, better yet, put it on TLP and take pics.

Isn't that just the best feedback!?! It's not often that you find people who think invisible zippers are important and are willing to share pics for the blog!:)
Here are the pictures!
This is the dress we can't return, but that my aunt will "doctor" for TLP. I think some removing of fake flowers is about to happen. I can feel it a gazillion miles away.....

This is the tank style that got returned. Bad hems and big zippers do not past The Aunt Test.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! It's gorgeous silk with micro pleats at the waist. Love it!

Can't you just see TLP in her gorgeous silk JCrew gown with her little Thirty-Something-Bride crafted basket walking down the aisle? How cute is she going to be? Wait, what if she up-stages me? ;0)

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's All Coming Together....

Where should I start?

It's interesting....everything is starting to come together. I just hope it comes together in the same way as it looks in my head. Maybe I need to do my own inspiration board! Actually, that's not a bad idea.....

So I've got a few things I need to blog about:
  • Flower Girl Dress
  • Table Settings
  • Hair & Make-up Trial
  • Ceremony Programs
I think I'm going to start with table settings. The vision in my head is one of casual elegance. Simple and elegant. Nothing over the top, but simple things pulled together well. This is actually part of my daily job as a product developer, but it's so much harder when it's for myself. I mean, I'm about to drop close to 3 million dollars on my 2010 line and I don't blink. However, I can sit and ponder my glass bud vases for hours and still not be sure!

So here's where we're at. As you already know, I ordered my bud vases from Crate & Barrel as they were massively on sale. I also got some $.99 bud vases from Target and $.79 bud vases from Ikea.

Here's all the glassware I have. Hopefully, it will be plenty. The Candyman was not clear on why I needed to unpack it all, just to pack it back up again. However, I'm highly visual and just needed to SEE it.

I already chose my linens from Mere Bulles and I chose a sandalwood colored tablecloth with ivory underlay and ivory napkins. We are actually going to have a mixture of long tables intermingled with round ones. Here's what the colors look like:

So when I was overseas, I got together with one of my Indian vendors and ordered chargers and cake plates from some open stock he had on hand and I just chose a finish for him to work with. The chargers and cake plates came in last week. Here's what they look like.

Hello to 80 chargers! I actually had ordered 90, but he sent me 80. Hm. Can't look a major-deal-gift-horse in the mouth, so I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope that it's enough!

And then I ordered 4 large cake plates for our cake buffet. As of last week, I also ordered another small, 6" cake for the one we will cut. That has it's own smaller cake stand in the same finish (I just don't have a really good pic of it).

We won't use the glass domes because they are too small for the heights of our cakes.

So the tables will have the sandalwood and ivory linens, the chocolate brown chargers with ivory napkins on top. We're going to tuck the menu in the napkin (it's ivory with brown trim) and place the chocolate brown/ivory boxed favors on top of the napkin. The centerpieces will be a variety of glass bud vases with a variety of ivory colored flowers (meeting with the florist this weekend!) and votives. I hope it all comes together! I'm getting pretty excited!