Trying to Accomodate

Friday, February 27, 2009

A large issue with our wedding planing has been the accommodations for our guests, which I naively thought would be so easy! Call a few hotels, book a couple of rooms, score a discount, bada bing bada boom, scratch it off the list.

Well unfortunately, we seem to have chosen the same weekend for the wedding as "Rock Fest" - a huge summer music festival in the area. We thought that we would be safe since the festival is in Cadott and we are in Chippewa Falls, but boy were we mistaken.

At first we were kind of bummed when the hotels we were calling said that we could block rooms, but that they couldn't give us a discount because it was one of their most sold out weekends of the year, but we understood.

We recently found out though, that some of the hotels in the area are also tacking on a one time 9% service charge - just for that weekend. Oy.

The FH husband and I realized from the beginning that many of our family and friends would have to travel to make it to our nuptials, but that would have been true for any location that we could have chosen, so we intentionally went to where the most people would not have to travel (my family) and where we thought it would be most cost effective for out-of-towners to stay.

At this point there isn't much that we can do, except suggest more places to lodge. My family has, however, graciously thrown open their homes to allow people who need to to stay with them, free of charge. My first priority is the bridal party, followed by any friends and family whose decision to come or not come will be based on the finances (and with times like these whose won't be?)

What tasks did you think would be no-hassle that ended in you working to welcome your guests?


Extra E-pics!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but my FSIL is a photographer. Seriously.

What a major hook up - right? Wrong. I don't want her working on our wedding day! I want her standing next to me as a bridesmaid able to enjoy the moments, not worrying about capturing them.

There is another way that she can put her awesome skills to use, however, and I am SO excited to share that with you all!

You see, the FH and I originally met and fell in love in high school.

{yes, that is actually our high school}

Since we graduated (way back in 2002) there have been many changes in administration and school district zoning, but I had alway thought that it would be kind of cool to head back there some day.

As I was thinking about locations for our engagement pictures I began to think how awesome it would be to be able to have access to a high school setting (like this photo shoot from the incredible Anne Ruthmann) since that would be so us. But what school, in this day and age of safety and security nightmares, would let us in?

Turns out, our school will! On a whim I shot off an email to the new principal of our alma mater explaining our situation and the one weekend that both the FH and I, along with his sister would be back in our old stomping grounds. This morning she emailed me back saying that she was more than happy to help us in our endeavor. Success!

We are all so excited to get to head back to our hallowed halls, and I am even more so because now we will get two engagement photo sessions in places that have meant so much to us as a couple - where we began, and where we first lived our lives together, as just us.

Did you take engagement photos in any unusual places that had sentimental value?


Dressing the Hot Mamas

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One of the hardest people to dress for the wedding is definitely going to be my mom. It's not that my mom is not beautiful, or lovely...or a nudist. Ha!

See, when I am a mother of a bride...someday...waaaay down the road, I hope to wear something like this little number

{via Nordstrom}

My mom, on the other hand has much different tastes than me, which not only stems from the lovely person that she is, but a very different body type as well (which include some desirable curves that my sister and I joke we split between us). She used to dress up quite a bit as an officer's wife, for balls and such, but since dad's retirement and her career as a preschool teacher took off she has relaxed into a much more comfy repertoire.

She first tried to argue for a nice pair of black pants and cute top, but after realizing that she would not only be standing next to my dad in a tux, but also my brother and her new son in law, besides my sister and I in fancy schmancy dresses, she conceded defeat. I, for one, was envisioning her in something much more like this

{via Nordstrom}

I begged her to go look at some dresses and just see what she could find, and am so proud that she went outside her comfort zone on her search to find something appropriate! My mother clearly loves me very much :)

She and my grandmother headed to Minneapolis to drop my sister off at the airport, and took advantage of the situation to drop by the Mall of America!

My mother, who loves comfort and hasn't enjoyed shopping for herself since she has had children to shop for, spent the entire day trying on dresses at stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's. She told me all about it on the phone today and I can only imagine what some of those lovely frocks were like (including one covered in feathers, which is so not my mom)!

She ended up bringing one option home, and I could tell from the tone of her voice that she feels pretty confident and excited about her choice, but has decided to keep her eyes open for now. I love that she put so much effort into finding something and is having fun during this planning process too, even though we are so far away from one another. I feel like this is the one of the first glimmers of pure fun and excitement that I have seen from my normally stoic and super-planner mom.

Did your mom have fun planning with you? Did you have fun planning with your mom?


Friends with your Vend...ors

Monday, February 23, 2009

Originally, the FH and I were planning on picking up our wedding bands yesterday. Since the Mr. spent so much time with the Spencers designing my wedding band, we have been back in the shop many times since September. Even my lovely Christmas present was purchased there. {We are pretty brand loyal people in general, but when there are such nice people involved you can't pull us away!}

The Spencers know us by name and always make a concerted effort to keep up with wedding plans and are just such nice people. We have recommended them to so many people in town you would think we are getting a kickback. We rejoiced with them when their son, who will someday take over the management of the business, got married a few weeks back.

Yesterday, however when we pulled up to the familiar storefront we were saddened by a sign on the door that read that they were closed over the weekend due to a family funeral. We both looked at each other and expressed our sadness immediately. Not at not being able to pick up the bands we had been so excited about moments before, but for instead for their family.

As we pulled away, I began to realize how much we sincerely care for this family and it had me wondering; which vendors did you become close with in your planning process?


Post 101!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here it is: post one hundred and one!

Spencer's Jewelers called and said both the FH's and my rings are in and ready to be picked up!!

I am so excited!

Expect some pictures of both of our bands tomorrow :)


Back in the saddle!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So, admittedly, yesterday I kinda freaked.

but after a few of these:

and some lovely and supportive friends - and my especially lovely fiance's - reassurance, I am better now.

I am totally rejuvenated and ready to go - let's get this wedding on!

One thing that helped me feel so much better is the fact that we finally heard back from a church yesterday. {YAY!}

Father Felix from S. Charles Borromeo in Chippewa Falls sent me an email yesterday that sounded positively open to having our wedding ceremony there.

I am so happy, but trying not to get too excited just yet since we are not finalized. It's pretty difficult though because S. Charles was the first church I found and pretty much fell in love with.

My sister also just attended a wedding there - and like any good MOH - took the time to snap some pictures of the inside of the church.

 The outside of the church is equally gorgeous and the directions from the church to reception site are easily navigable for all of our guests. Cross your fingers for us so that we can get some awesome shots like this one from Jerry Yoon Photography, via WeddingbeePRO today...


Today Marks...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

...exactly 5 months to our wedding - but even less since February isn't even a whole month!!!

...excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag...

While I feel like I have been steadily knocking things off of the to do list, according to Martha I have only gone from this:

to this:

23??? t-w-e-n-t-y-t-h-r-e-e things??? THAT'S IT?

Granted, quite a few of the things I have been working on are just not completed yet, so I refuse to check them off...but this has me stressed right out.

Anyone else having a minor meltdown?


Making our Get Away

Monday, February 16, 2009

Much like this picture, we will be making our big getaway on a BOAT! When i first started thinking about this idea, I found others who had done the same. Like this getaway from the lovely With This Ring...
{Dear Lorelei, You are gorgeous.}

While I am in love with these pictures, however, I have a sinking feeling that our boat may end up looking more like this:

{only $40 for the day! What a steal! ha.}

I have some uncles and friends of the family in the area who have speed and motor boats who are more than willing to let us use them for free, so I think we may end up going that route, or playing around for a pontoon rental, much like this one...

I keep telling myself that it will be dark anyways, so this is not a priority, but sometimes it is hard to let those grander dreams die. I am pretty sure that this is a common issue for most brides. Did you ever have delusions of grandeur that needed to come back to reality?


Dear Maids,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I had been thinking about white, and maybe blue...but how do you feel about holding GREEN flowers?



Rehearsal Dinner Spot

While the FH and I were in Wisconsin, we drove around and were able to visit cross many places off of the possible rehearsal dinner spots for his mom. Some of these spots were just, well, not us.

{Besides the fact that they looked at us like we were crazy for requesting a space for more than 20 people}

Luckily though, we happened to drive by a place that is now our RD location!

Welcome to the High Shores Supper Club!

{isn't it adorably Northwoods-y??}

The best part however, is that it is also on Lake Wissota, and the RD will be out back - where it looks like this

{see that deck up there? to the left?}

{see that lake view? can't you just feel a delicious summer evening upon you?}

{the, um, Busch Beer sign will be coming down}

The food at this place is delicious, or so we have heard, and they are giving our guest the choice of 5 different entrees for a standard price. It was really important to us to have a location that is low-key and relaxed, while being nice at the same time - which is a hard find in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, I won't lie. We really just want a chance to mix and mingle and have fun with our friends.

This venue also offers Champagne Cruises, which would be awesome! {totally unnecessary, but awesome}

The date is booked, and we are ready to go. We are so excited and grateful that my FMIL is so generous and loves celebrating as much as we do!

The only question now is who all gets invited? A huge majority of our guests are coming in from OOT...which could drive up the prices really quickly. The bridal party, FH and I alone make up 18 people, not even including their significant others, or our immediate family!

Who did you invite to your RD?


just because I am excited...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Check out some of my faves of Jeff's editorial and commercial work...


Photographer Booked!

Remember way back when in December when I got all indecisive about our photographer?

Well, it is a good thing that I did.

We met with Jeff Thompson, of Jeff Thompson Photography, when we were in Wisconsin over Christmas and immediately fell in vendor-love with him.

His work is fabulous, and while we were all for booking him then and there...he was way more expensive than the other photographers that we had been looking at.

But look at these photos!

After much thoughtful consideration, the FH and I decided that since photography is one of the most important things to us about our wedding day, we would go ahead and splurge on him. Between his attitude and style, he was one of the easier decisions that we have made...though it will be tough to balance the budget a bit.

We sent him word and our happy contract is off in the mail. Consider him booked!

What were your budget priorities?


Once upon a time...

Friday, February 6, 2009

...I promised you a post about envelope liners from our Maids & Men cards.

Here it is.

To be perfectly honest, I was kind of oblivious to envelope liners before the wedding blog world. I did realize that some envelopes were lined and some were not, but not that you could make your own!

Once I saw this tutorial over on With This Ring, I was pretty much hooked and set off on a quest for the perfect navy and white paper for liners.

I headed to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and even a few local craft and scrapbooking stores. What did I find? Nothing. Not a single navy and white patterned paper!

After reflecting in disappointment for a few days, I started thinking...why not print my own paper?

So I did.

I opened my favorite program throughout this process, Microsoft Publisher, and simply created a box that would be the right size for my envelope liners, on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

Then I simply created a vertical line, with the line drawing tool, and opened the formatting options. I changed the color to the same navy blue as the rest of the card design, and bumped up the style and the weight.

Once I formatted the line the way that I liked, I simply copied and pasted it in a repeating pattern across the box, and made sure to let the lines bleed over the box a little bit. I also made sure to center my first line so that it would hit right at the point of the envelope flap.

I simply printed enough copies right onto normal printer paper and then followed the steps from the envelope liner tutorial.

Finished product looked preppy and clean, which was exactly what I wanted, and cost nothing besides printer ink and paper!


A little tin...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Between this lovely photo from the talented Rebecca Thuss...

and this lovely photo from Martha Stewart...

...I have been pretty much obsessed with incorporating galvanized vases into the decor of our wedding, but of course instead of bright and shiny silver, in our fabulous accent color of copper!

Turns out finding copper vases for a semi-affordable price has been a pretty big challenge. My quest, however, has finally been fruitful!

I came across the lovely site {why it took me so long to find such an obviously named website I will never understand}

In any case, there are a few different options, for affordable sizes, but my mom is super concerned about high centerpieces interrupting the flow of conversations, as have many brides before me.

There is the 5.5" diameter opening vase, which is actually 8.5" high.
These are $2.89 for any less than 48 vases, 48+ are $2.59 each.

{I am not really sure how I feel about the long handle. Meh.}

Then we have the 6.5" diameter opening vase, which is actually 11" high.
These are $3.79 for 1-59 vases, and $3.29 each for 60+ vases.

{I like these handles better, and I am thinking that I could order a large amount and use them both for aisles at the ceremony, and then transport them to the centerpieces for the reception? Maybe? Too much work?}

Lastly there are these 8" diameter opening vases, which are actually 15" high. Super tall.
1-35 of these vases are $6.59 each, and more than 35 are $5.89 each.

{While these are super tall, I secretly yearn for tall centerpieces...}

Clearly I would need to spray all of these copper...but with my trusty spray paint this is no issue.

They would of course be filled with white flowers, and though I have always loved the look of hydrangeas, I am currently in love with each of these options shown by Style Me Pretty earlier today.

{especially those tulips in the top right! Swoon!}

How do you all feel about centerpiece heights? Do high centerpieces annoy you at weddings?


So, it has been a week -

Monday, February 2, 2009

Since my last post.

I am a bad bride.


In the mean time...

My ladies are now ordering their dresses {yay!}, and I made the trip with my only local maid, here is proof of our trip:

{though this looks close to Navy, it isn' not be fooled, K also won my mostfavoritepersonintheworld award that day because she brought me that skinny vanilla latte you see in my happy, happy hand.}


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