Dressing the Men

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pretty soon I will introduce you to the lovely people who will be wearing these fabulous clothes, but until then...let's talk about what the men will be wearing.

Ready for a shocker? {she asks with a raised eyebrow}


Yes, the men will be wearing tuxedos - traditional, classic, tuxedos.

After a recommendation from a couple of people, we decided to head to Men's Wearhouse while we were in Wisconsin to talk over our tux options. I thought it would take a while, we would have the FH put some on, try some variations, etc.

Boy, was I ill-informed.

Just like every other part of this wedding related to men folk, we were in and out in about 15 minutes. Our consultant was super helpful - and very stylishly dressed, might I add - and the decisions were made in no time at all.

Without further ado, the tuxedos that we are going with:

These are the Ralph Lauren Three-Button Super 100's Notch Lapel.
The Super 100's part refers to the weight of the wool, which means that these tuxes will be really lightweight and the best option for men standing out in the heat and hopefully the sunlight.

The vest in this closeup is actually the one that the FH will be wearing at the reception. The tie, if you look closely has stripes on it, and I am not all about mixing patterns, so it will be solid {in his case white} as will the rest of the men's ties {a long tie, not bow tie, much to the dismay of my childhood dreams of a Great Gatsby, white-tie wedding}.

He will be wearing his dress white uniform for the ceremony, but since that thing is white - and so dang expensive - we are not going to chance food or wine being spilled on it while dancing. Therefore, the groom will be a two outfit groom, while I will be a one outfit bride. Ha!

Speaking of uniforms, both of our fathers also served in the military for many years, and we struggled for a while whether or not to have them wear their uniforms, or wear tuxes. Ultimately, we went in favor of the comfort factor and decided that tuxes would be int he best option. Their vests will be in the same pattern as the rest of the men, but in black as shown below, again with the solid black tie.
The groomsmen will be wearing navy vests in the same pattern. I was really nervous about the whole navy and black combo deal, and almost insisted on black vests for everyone, but our consultant assured us that it would be beautiful...and now I believe him. They will wear the vest below, with a solid blue tie {in Marine, which is exactly the color of the bridesmaids dresses}.
{a closeup of the pattern, which is thankfully, subtle and will help the blue and black look smashing together}

Have all of your guy-related choices taken no time at all like ours? Why do they get out so easy?


She has arrived!

Zarah is in!

Bella Bridal Boutique called my mom to let her know that my dress has arrived...a full 5 months ahead of schedule.

While this would normally be great news for a bride, and it still kinda is for me, but I still don't get to try her on until May! So, while I needed her to arrive before then, this early delivery is kinda killing me.

Maybe it is time to check some plane fares for a weekend trip to Wisconsin ;)


Dressing the Maids

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shortly after asking all of my lovely ladies to be a part of the big day - and hearing a resounding yes - we started the bridesmaid dress speculation.

I knew that since we are getting married in July, and I will have them traipsing all over for photo ops in the heat that really does exist in Wisconsin summers, we would go with something short.

One of the favorites off the bat was this Jim Hjelm lovely

{I love pockets on a dress! If my dress wouldn't look ridiculous with pockets, I would pay whatever the amount to have them put in. Seriously.}

While everyone loved this dress, we were not all in love with the around $300 price tag.

Fast forward to Christmas. While hanging out with my sister, and MOH, one day we decided to head over to David's Bridal - one of the only wedding wear vendors in Chippewa Falls - to try on some dresses, just to see.

I wasn't really that confident that we would find anything that we would like. {Also, I was secretly hoping not to find anything so that I could start lobbying for J.Crew}

But much to my surprise, we found this little lovely from their new spring line
Cotton sateen, not taffeta, but the same general shape, and hey, it even has pockets!
Of course it will be in Navy, or "Marine" as David's has named it, just like this picture
The dress on the left comes in the same fabric, and to be honest, I am fine with the ladies choosing either one. These dresses come at a much more cost friendly $135.

Another point for these dresses is that we decided to go with Men's Warehouse for our tuxes who recently took over David's tux line, so the vests will exactly match the dresses. While we didn't plan it out that way it will sure be nice that everything will coordinate well :)

My lovely maids have been running around their respective cities snapping photos of themselves in fitting rooms with the dresses on, and I think we have a winner.

What do you all think?


Engagement Photos

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A while back the FH and I were discussing how fun that it would be to have engagement photos taken here in Athens. This town has been very important to us - it is the first place we learned that we could make it, just the two of us; it is the place where we got engaged; not to mention the place where we both have gone to school and made new friends.

At the time, we were considering going with a wedding photographer who included engagement photos, but we aren't anymore {more on that later}. And while our new photographer does engagement photos on the cheap for his couples, he suggested because of timing and scheduling that we have someone outside of Wisconsin do them for us. Smart man.

All in all this means that we get to have our photos taken in Athens! One of my maids, Lindsey, helped me scout out some possible photographers and after contacting a few, we have decided to go with Alyssa Alig Photography. They are great cost wise and release their photo rights, which means that I can use them for our guestbook idea, which is key, plus their images are beautiful.

This husband and wife team sounds so adorable and have been so great in all of our contact thus far. They even have a quote that I love on their website:

"Love is a canvas of many threads, embroidered by the imagination. Let us tell your story."

Here are some examples of their magnificent storytelling


Making it work

Remember those Kate Spade lovelies that I was drooling over?

In case you don't, and because hey, I love to look at them, here is a photo via zappos

Well, while I could totally rationalize their purchase for a day of such importance, I was still feeling a little guilty about even thinking about purchasing them.

During one of our many breaks while studying for our huge comprehensive exams, I sheepishly admitted both my desire and guilt to my dear friend Kari. This lovely woman, having the same obsession for lovely shoes that many of us suffer from came up with a brilliant plan to raise money for the shoes!

No, I will not be going door to door selling cookies.

Kari suggested that I take advantage of the fact that we live in a college town and the many "gently used" clothing shops that come along with the territory, much like the franchise Plato's Closet. After marvelling at her brillance for a minute, I was sold.

We are going to be moving soon anyway, and let's be honest - I have tons of clothes in my closet that I haven't worn in quite a while - who wants to move all of that to a new location? I may as well make my clothes work for me. Combine that with a little Christmas cash i have set aside and they are practically at my door!

What are the creative ways that you have gotten around your budget busters?


Up Above

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Anyone else have those little things that just annoy them at the back of their mind and they try to avoid at all costs?

One of the things that I always wanted to avoid in our wedding reception venue was a drop ceiling. I have spent the majority of my life in classrooms {19 of 24 years} and drop ceilings just makes me think of the kids in the back launching pencils to see if they would stick.

But, I digress. Main point: I do not like drop ceilings. Moving on.

Every reception location that I visited in Chippewa Falls had drop ceilings, minus the one place that would have been ridiculously expensive and really wasn't that great.

I was still trying to figure out what to do with the ceilings when we went to visit at Christmas and saw this

and this

While clearly these decorations are for Christmas, they gave me and my mom an idea. We could easily make white fabric panels to drape in the same way! We of course, would make more of them (for the whole room, not just over the dance floor). I think navy blue panels might be a bit much, so am leaning towards white.

The FH had an idea for doing a very large white paper lantern in the center where that green thing is, which I think would be ok, but am not really sold, so we will explore some other options.

The good thing is that Lake Wissota will let us do pretty much whatever we want in terms of decorating. AND if there is no event before ours that week {the likelihood of which is low} then we can get in to decorate as early as Monday! I would like to be able to get in there and get done asap so I can enjoy my week.

How have you all covered not-so-cute ceilings? Have you seen any great ideas out there?


and we're back {for real this time}

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I know that my blogging has been severely lacking lately, but I have an excuse. A good one.

Comprehensive Exams.

A week ago yesterday I took a test that will determine whether or not I get to graduate with my M.Ed. this May, like I am supposed to. This led to not only intense studying, but tons of guilt when I was doing anything other than studying, which definitely affected my blogging.

But- they are over now, so I am back to the fun of wedding planning! I have tons of updates for you all and posts that I have been promising for a while, I promise that I will get to them all. Besides, I went to an ACTUAL Paper Source yesterday and you KNOW you want to hear about that!

Thanks for sticking with me!


Almost our palette!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Like many other brides in the blogosphere, I looooove looking at the inspiration boards over at Snippet & Ink, so imagine my happy surprise when a board went up today that was navy, white and gold!

That is soooo close to our palette, that I had to post its beauty, even though it is not exact.


Grooming the Groom

Friday, January 9, 2009

In the midst of the most intense studying I have ever done in my life, I thought that I would take a break and blog about a discussion that the fiance and I had lately about some grooming. {ha.}

To frame this, please recognize that both the bride and the groom will be wearing white on the day of our wedding {he will be in military dress whites, and I will be in a white dress to match his whites}.

So, when I brought up the simple idea that he use a few of these, between now and the wedding:

...imagine my surprise when he looked at me in nothing less than shock and said no.

Now don't get me wrong...the fiance has awesome teeth cleaning habits, and his teeth are not bad looking in any way, shape, or form. BUT, as all of us brides know against pure, clean white - anything, even a shade off - will look, well, not white.

And these pictures last forever.

Eventually, I convinced him that teeth whitening may not be such an awful idea, but he still seems to think that it makes him less masculine somehow.

I was told to find a "lumberjack who routinely punches bears in the face who whitens his teeth" and then he would have no problem succumbing to the same "torture".

Should I be expecting other surprises in the area of grooming my groom? Did your grooms give you the same grief?


29 years of Marriage

Monday, January 5, 2009

My parent's anniversary is today, and they have been married for 29 years!

When I look at their marriage, I am reminded of how much more important all of the things outside the actual wedding details are in love and life.

They have been through a Navy way of life - long and often separations, and little communication when they have been (the internet is new, remember?), three crazy children, finding out that their marriage had to be retroactively made legal (a long and funny story about a priest who never felt the need to send in the state copy of the certificate to the state government, and about how my mom was still able to acquire drivers licenses, passports, and everything else with no official record of marriage ever on file with the government), and all sorts of other ups and downs of life.

But through it all, I have still caught them kissing in the kitchen (when I was a teenager and I would discover them, I would say "Ugh, get a room" to which my dad would reply "You get a room, this is my whole house") and just generally exhibiting how to lead a loving family through, well, life - its ups and downs and bendy and windy twists along the way.

Thanks Mom and Dad for being such great examples. We love you!


Guest Book Ideas

Friday, January 2, 2009

Like many other brides before me, I have never been particularly attached to the idea of a traditional guestbook at our wedding. There are plenty of alternative ideas out there, but the one that I am most attached to is the idea of a photo book, much like this example from Blurb:

Of course, ours would be primarily engagement and a few favorite photos instead of wedding ones, as we will be at the wedding. People could then sign in the white spaces...or there are a few options with lines for people to write on next to the photos that could be a good mix of traditional elements with the twist that I like.

I love that there are so many options out there for making your own professional looking photo book online! Here are a few of the sites that I have come across:
  • Snapfish Photobooks: The first one I stumbled across via friend and bridesmaid. There are a few different options for covers and sizes, but the choice of layouts is not that great. Upside, you do all of the work online, so no software to download and take up precious hard drive space.
  • Inkubooks: This is a fairly new company and site. Again, lots of options for sizes of books, but for this site you need to download the software to create your book. I found the software a little frustrating, but I tried it when the site was brand spanking new, so things may have improved. Prices are right, though, and you can make a book with as few as 20 pages.
  • Blurb: This site is the newest one that I have found...and I may be in love. In order to continue the pretense that I am actually studying for my comprehensive exams, I have yet to download the software to play around. But the big plus for me is that this site is all about making books - many different kinds of books - and seems really versatile from the examples posted on the site.
I love the internet! Personalization of wedding elements is so fun, especially publishing books. I love books. Imagine the possibilities...cookbooks, personalized story books for the {faraway} kids, all sorts of things.

Are there any other good publishing sites out there?


Tough Talks

Thursday, January 1, 2009

While I still have plenty of fun things to blog about from the trip to Wisconsin, there were a couple of tense moments as well. Mostly concerning the subject of...well, money.

Most people of course avoid the subject like the plague. I am no different. Don't get me wrong - discussing everyday budgetary matters is a necessity, and you and your partner/spouse/roommate(s) need to be able to communicate effectively regarding bills and planning for the future.

Discussing whether or not to rent chairs, or what constitutes an "open" bar with your mom (who you may or may not have inherited all of your stubbornness from) is a different deal. Luckily, we worked through things quickly and with a hug after some heated words - as most mothers and daughters do.

I really feel though that we may have just hit the tip of the iceberg here. I am the first in my family in about 20 years to get married, and many family members have not had to think about what inflation has done since their wedding....and maybe they don't have the same standards as other people who "went out East to school", ha! But hopefully because we are a loving and supportive family (mantra, mantra) we will be able to work it all out for the best.

How did ya'll broach the subject of budget with loved ones? Or can anyone suggest some stress relievers?


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