Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas has completely derailed the wedding planning. I haven't posted much in the last week because I haven't really done anything that is wedding related. I've been going back and for the the mall buying christmas presents, cleaning the house in anticipation of a xmas potluck I'm throwing and attending Christmas parties. It has been quite nice actually. I'll be nice a recharged by the end of December. And 10 lbs heavier, but whatever. I will either be ready and raring to go on the planning stuff, or I will be thinking, "Oh, my freaking God, there is only 5 months to W day!" One or the other.

I shouldn't say that I've done NOTHING wedding related. I've been stalking because I recently discovered the amazing array of jewelry they sell. I have fallen in love with this cuff bracelet:

At close to $75 dollars after exchange rate, taxes and shipping, it is a little pricey...but I know that I would wear it after the wedding. And if I'm willing to spend $30 on earrings that I won't get much wear out of...

We'll see.

And these shoes are making me reconsider my idea of wearing flats:
This is kind of a problem because I'm a huge clutz. This shoes is a serious falling hazard, but I don't care because it is just so pretty (and on sale!!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why this man? Why right now?

I just finished reading a great post by Miss Cheese on weddingbee that was centered on "Why marry this man? Why now?" and I'd like to answer these questions for myself.

Why this man?
Well, the obvious one first: I love him. I am in love with him. I love being around him. But love can be a tricky thing. Plenty of people stay in bad relationships, abusive relationships because they love their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. So while I think that you must love someone to get married, I also think that you must have something else besides that love to back it up. So here they are:

He treats me well. Better than I think I deserve sometimes. (Just my insecurities talking, never mind it) The normal stuff, like he respects me and my ideas. He is a good listener and a good friend. He is considerate of my feelings. He is thoughtful. Cute things like giving me the same amount of food on my plate as on his because he doesn't want me to have the inferior plate of food, even though he is much bigger person that needs a higher caloric intake. This is the most important thing to factor that should be present before you marry someone. If you marry someone that does not treat you well, you are not being kind to yourself.

I trust L implicitly. My parents divorced very early on in L and I's relationship, and I think that it actually made our relationship stronger because I took it very seriously. The first thing that attracted me to him when we were first dating was his almost old fashioned sense of honor, not as a means to an end, but as a personal code that one holds themselves to. I honestly can't imagine marry anyone else because I can't imagine trusting anyone much as him. It will be what I hold on to when things get rough as they inevitably do. Because no matter what else is going on, no matter how we squabble, have money problems, depression problems, family problems, job problems, I trust that he will do the honorable thing. He won't fuck off and leave me high and dry.
My life is richer for having him in it. L challenges me. Challenges me to think harder about my view points, challenges me to be a better person.

I want my children to grow up to be just like him. WEll, just like him, except with a smaller head...because I'll have to push those kids out! I think he will be a wonderful father, and I look forward to the time when we are both ready to embark on that stage of our lives.

L is fun to be around. He doesn't take life too seriously. We both like camping, and running and watching geeky tv shows.

We compliment each other well. He's great cook, but not so hot at the cleaning part, and while I think that shake and bake chicken is gourmet, I actually clean the apartment. I'm good with not spending larger amounts of money when I shouldn't, but I nickel and dime myself to death, where as L know how to make $50 last a week. I am fairly good at communication, which come in handy during cranky times, and L know how to just listen when I go on PMS fueled rants.

Why now?
I had to think about this for a while. L and I have been dating for 5 years and living together for the past four. We are getting married during the year between my finishing school and him starting a two year degree. Let's just say that money is tight. We've definately had to cut somethings that we'd like because they were too expensive (oh, my Costa Rica honeymoon, how I mourn you) and I do lay awake fretting about paying the bills once L is in school, so why are we doing this now instead of in let's say 2 years?

First of all, I feel like the time is right NOW. 3 years ago when I first wanted to be engaged would have been very exciting, but I wouldn't have been as confident in the two of us, as thoughtful and present in my decision.

My mom says that if you wait until you have enough money to have children, you never will. I'm thinking this applies to marriage too. It means that we can't go all out, but that's okay.

I feel like we've are already married because we live together as a married couple does. We enjoy the good times, support each other during the bad times, pay the bills, chase the cats around the apartment, etc. I'm sure that we will feel somewhat different after we are married, and yet also largely the same. I feel like our marital status does not match how we feel about each other.

We want to have children together someday. That day is not today :) but not that far off either. I'd like to take one thing at a time. I'd like to enjoy being married for a while before kids enter the picture. So in the general time line, now is right on target.

This is the part that was slowest in coming to me. I read on another weddingbee blog someone asking why get married and spend all that money if you feel like you are already married. For me, this answer is all tied up in divorce. Marriage is a lot of work. It is about love, and loyalty and romance, but it is also about forgiving and asking forgiveness, about swallowing that "you never do BLANK," and replacing it with a "can you please do BLANK?", about pulling tight and not pushing away when life gets tough. Entering into a marriage is dilibrate. I am saying that I will do all these things. I am saying that I will try to be a better person, and show L my best, not my worse. I will acknowledge the fact that life's surprises are not always happy, and that I may momentarily resent him, detest him, feel ambivilant towards him, but I WILL NOT GIVE UP. I will get up infront of all of the people that matter most to me and they will hear me say these words.

A relationship is often not delibrate. People end up together and stay together out of a multitude of reasons. I want to move out of chance and into deliberate. Maybe some people can have that without being married, but I want that daily reminder that I didn't just end up with L. I will choose him over all others, and I will choose to work at our marriage, never let it wither or stagnate or grow unrecognisable.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How much is too much?

My plan for the guest book is to make it look more like an old fashioned photo album. I always thought it was silly to have someone sitting at the guest book table, bc they never actually do anything. Why do people do that? I'm going to get my guest book people to take a picture on a digital camera of everyone that signs the book. That way I am guaranteed to get a picture of most people that come. And its fun taking people's mugshots.

On each page I'm going to draw on a squares where the picture will go and lines beside it for people to write on. And I'm a big sucker for those old fashioned triangles that hold pictures in place. I'm not a real big do-it-yourselfer. This is about the size of project that I can manage.

I hope that people don't feel bombarded with pictures. I love pictures and I can't get enough of them. We are going to have pictures as part of our table numbers, on a home made card everyone is going to get at the table, and we are probably having a slide show as well. Is this too much?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Ring and the Guilt

I love my engagement ring. Like really love it. It was the only ring that I put on my finger that I didn't want to take off. I'm usually not the kind of person who believes in metaphysical mumbo jumbo, but I swear that ring gave off fantastic vibes. It is an old fashioned ring, and even the stone is cut in a way that they no longer do anymore. I can just imagine that the woman who wore it was happily married for 60 years.

The problem? It was expensive. L and I live on quite a modest budget because we've been in school for years. The ring cost over 30 % of his ANNUAL earnings. He worked a second job for year to save up for it, and it makes me feel guilty. The diamond is also quite a bit larger than I would have normally picked for myself. I feel a little uncomfortable with expensive things because I'm afraid that I am going to lose it or ruin it. But there wasn't any ring like it that was smaller and more affordable.

We ended up leaving it at the store that day, and I told him that it was too expensive. Princess Bride was saying 'I love it. I love it. I love it.' She was even let loose by too much alcohol, and I drunkenly told my girlfriends about this beautiful ring that I absolutely loved, but that was too expensive and I could never have.

Budget girl was more practical, "That is too much money. We can't afford it. We could buy a car with that kind of money."

That day I left the ring store and got ready from work, and as soon as I left our apartment, L raced back to the store and bought it. I guess I feel guilty because there wasn't even another ring that was in the running. All other rings were nice, but not me. So I feel like I didn't give him any other options, but this insanely expensive ring.

And I would have said yes if he'd taken my claddagh that I had been wearing as a promise ring of sorts and asked me with that. For those of you unfamiliar with the claddagh, here is a picture and a short history lesson:

According to Murphy, Colin, and Donal O'Dea (2006) The Feckin' Book of Everything Irish,
Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart pointing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the heart pointing inward toward
the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured
their heart". A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, pointing outward away from the body,
generally indicates that the wearer is When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and pointing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married.
I joke about being a princess bride, but really I'm not a princess. I feel bad that he went to all the trouble and through all the stress of working 2 jobs when he didn't have to. Most of the time I don't think about it, but I came across the price in our insurance paperwork, and it has me fretting again. I guess I'll just have to get over it.
And I do LOVE the ring. I have been wearing it for over a year, and I still stare at it dreamily.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How the times change

L and I visited his Nana last week. Nana is 94 years old, and not only does she live alone, she played scrabble with us until 4:30 am! I learned some new words (the xu is a type of vietnam currency), and it got me thinking about how much different it must have been for Nana when she was approaching her wedding date.

L and I have been building our lives together for the past 5 years, and we've been living together for the past 4. I can't imagine marrying someone that I haven't lived with. Nana probably hadn't spend any unsupervised time with her 'beau' before they were married. How can you really know someone if you've never seen any thing but what they show everyone else? No, perverts, I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about a person's quirks and bad habits and grumps.

I know that L is a water sprite-whether he is washing the dishes, his hair or his hands its water, water, everywhere. I leave my socks everywhere. No, I actually leave everything everywhere and have a pessimistic view of house cleaning (its all just going to get dirty again anyways). L puts his dishes into the sink, it ends up filling with water from washing hands, getting water to drink, etc, and the dishes sit in the dirty water for days at a time. I leave cat vomit on the floor until it is hard enough to scrape off the floor so that I don't have to get cat bile on my fingers that has seeped through the paper towel.
None of these things are deal breakers, but I like the fact that I know that marriage isn't a 1950's sitcom. Real married life is about love, loyalty and trust, but it is also about laundry, cat vomit and dishes. Real life must have been quite the surprise to brides back then - I don't imagine they were warned very often about how hard it is to be married or to run a home or forgive or ask for forgiveness. It must have been unimaginably hard to be newlyweds back in the day. You'd be struggling to do all the housewifely things that I am not good at, as well as nuture this new relationship this is so different from the one that you use to have with your beau.

The L that I fell in love with wasn't the one that he showed everyone else. Now that I do know the real him, I can see it whenever I look at him, but at first it showed in the quiet spaces between outings, comfortable silences during long car rides and how comfortable I was doing absolutely nothing with him. He saw me through wild mood swings, nights when I drank too much and migraine headaches. I know that he will take care of me and I of him because we've already DONE that. I am so comforted to know that we've already seen hard times and weathered through them (university, depression, being fired from a job, poverty, parents divorce, drunkenly telling off divorced parent, etc).

It must have been exciting for brides from long ago to get married, but also terrifying. They didn't date as long as we do now. After 5 years, I think I would know if L had a drinking/ gambling/womanizing problem, but if they only had chaperoned meetings for 6 months they would have no idea. Talk about a rude awakening when you realize that your husband is womanizing alcoholic, you're pregnant and he's drinking you into the poor house. Terrifying.

I am so thankful that I live in a time that I can really get to know the person that I am going to marry before I promise to stand by him for the rest of my life. I am thankful that I feel secur in my love and life with him, and that I approach my wedding day with no fear of the unknown. Our future holds unknown and possibly dark possibilities but at least we know each other and know that we can weather the storm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've got a bit of a problem. I'm an introvert at heart. There is a part of me that says "Look at me! Look at me!" but that part remains buried most of the time. This stage dancing attention whore never sees the light of day and is generally only released by copious amounts of alcohol.

The real me is nervous. I have no reservations about being married to L, I'm worried about the PROCESS of marring him. When I picture us at the alter, I get that 'I'm going to pee my pants' feeling. Not because I'm afraid of being married, but because EVERYBODY WILL BE LOOKING AT ME. I have this crazy notion that I will say my vows wrong. (I will be repeating why the minister says-how can I screw it up?) I'm afraid I'm going to open my mouth and say purplemonkeydishwasher instead of what I'm supposed to say.

I realize that the whole point of the big white dress is to draw attention to myself. And I'm okay with that at the reception, but the ceremony freaks me out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am a Gigantor with ski feet

What was very first wedding decision? Was it the venue? Nope. My dress? No way, that took months! The rings, the church, anything that most people would notice. No, no and no. You have to peak under my dress to find my first purchase. My very first wedding decision was to buy these babies:

It may seem strange that I bought my shoes over a year before our wedding, but if you knew me and my feet you would understand. At 5''9' I am not abnormally tall, but my feet are a size 10-11, which is almost impossible to find. American stores seem to order the same number of sizes regardless of the % of people that have each size. Up here in the land of snow and ice, they seem to undersell the higher sizes. Finding a good deal? I'm possible. Finding a shoe that fits? Improbable. Especially because my feet are unusually narrow. (While I think I have very attractive feet, other people like to call them ski feet. Whatever. I should become a foot model and show them)

I tried them on last spring and they met all of my criteria: they were white, they fit and they were flat. They have almost a pearly sheen to them and I'm hoping that they go with my ivory dress. (Why didn't I bring to the dress shop when I was trying on dresses? I don't know. )
Each time I tried on dresses at the store, they would have me wear a pair of heels to get a better idea of what my dress would look like with heels. I'm wondering if they were doing that to incourage me to need alterations, because almost every dress I tried on was the perfect in my stocking feet. I told them that I was going to wear flats and they always said, "Oh, no, everyone always looks better in heels."

Here are the reasons why this is not the case for me:
1. Dum dum dumdum..dum dum dumdum, crash bang I've tripped on my way down the isle, I have fallen and I am now lying on the floor. I am a clutz. If you give me the opportunity to fall, I will take it.
2. I don't normally wear heals, and people that wear them when they haven't had practice usually end up looking like teetering chowawas (how the hell do you spell that?) Okay, maybe that is just my mental picture, but it never looks good.
3. I would be 6 feet tall and I would feel like a gigantor with the largeness of my dress. I wouldn't necessarily let that deter me because as my FSIL says, I would look like a glamizon, except that:
4. My tallest bridesmaid is under 5''2. In group shots my hair is often cut off. It just seems silly to make me a foot taller than my bridesmaids just because most people where heels. We all know that I would take them off super early because I'm all about the comfort.
I'm very happy with my shoes. Like most shoe purchases, they found me when I wasn't really looking for them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The wedding isn't making me feel blah, just the planning of it

Lately I have been stressing out about the wedding a lot. We've got all the major things worked out, and now I feel like I'm drowning in the little details. There isn't one BIG thing that needs to be done, just a kindergarden class full of little things that are jumping up and down, waving their hands, saying 'pick me! Pick me!'
I'm feeling very overwhelmed and not very excited about the up coming wedding. And then I feel bad. I've told L that it isn't the getting married or being married that has me feeling blah, but the fuss and the rigmarrol that I'm not excited about. Its times like these that I think we should have just eloped.

I'm worried that we've planned a wedding that we can't afford, or can just barely afford. L starts school 7 months after the wedding, so money has been weighing heavily on my mind. I've been trying to save money, but that leads to us never going out and doing something. Maybe a romantic dinner date chez moi is in order. I work nights/evenings, so I rarely see the sun, so maybe thats why I feel so craptastic. And, as always, that b@#% PMS has been harrassing me. L was kind enough to make me laugh by singing PM&S to the YMCA song. The human race has put men on the moon. Why can't they figure out the cure for PMS?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Budgetgirl vs the Princessbride

Looking for wedding jewelry has been one the wedding searches that I actually enjoyed. I wasn't looking for anything to big or outrageous. I seriously considered buying a pearl necklace because they are so elegant and classic and would go well with my dress. High quality pearls look fantastic, and 'bargain' pearls look like the kind that I used to play dress up, so not so nice. And since our wedding budget is definately closer to the bargain end of the scale than high end, I decided against the pearls. Sigh.

And that's why these earrings make me happy. They give me some pearl, and they are down right awesome.

I usually don't wear big dangly earrings. I actually don't own a pair. And I do have pair of white gold and diamond earrings that L got me for christmas last year. I love them and I wear them whenever we get dressed up and go somewhere nice. I could wear them again...but I think I want something that is a little more costumey. Does that make sense? I want something a little more theatrical because there are not many days that I could get away with wearing big dangly pearl earrings. And they are $30.

Budget girl says, "Don't get 'em, wear the fancy ones you already have."
Princessbride says, "$30! That's a steal! Look at them, they are gorgeous. Buy them. Buy them Buy them"

The necklace that is the top contender is only that, a contender. I'm not 100% sold.

I like the close up on the necklace. It has pearls, but is not entirely pearls, and it has some sparkle. It is very pretty. The picture of it on the model doesn't sell it for me though. It is too sparkley. I don't want so much shine around my neck for pictures, and I don't know if the photographer could deal it. It is $60, which I don't think is that bad in the wedding world, but...I'm just not feeling it for that price. The neckline of my dress is strapless, pretty much straight across the top, and the bodice is quite busy: lace and crystals and ribbon. I think it might even be better to go necklace free, especially if my earrings are bigger.
Either way I should probably wait until the Canadian dollar is a bit better. Why couldn't I have been ready to buy wedding stuff when I went down to the States last year? Our dollar was on par!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Invitation Rebellion

Invitations are my next big thing that I am tackling. Everything that I have read says that guests should receive their invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. I think that is insane. Or if you are a conspiracy theorist, just a ploy to make all us engaged folk send STD's and invitations. Here is a thought: just send your invitations earlier!!

Our wedding is on a budget. We are not renting a limo. Nor a videographyer. We are probably not having a cake. Why? Because these things do not matter to us. Why do something just because everyone else does it? Especially when our budget is as low as reasonably acheivable.
Save The Dates have likewise fallen to the wayside. We are pretty much inviting all of our family members, so my mom has been emailing and msn'ing away, so they know the date. Is this breaking some etiquette rule? I don't know. I hope not.

So I'm throwing tradition to the wind. My wedding is May 17, 2009. I hope to have my invitions ready to go out in the beginning of January, and will have the RSVP date as April 1st. This is 4 months too early but I can't see it being too much of a problem.
There is nothing I hate more than being late. It makes me very anxious, and dare I say, I little bitchy. So in efforts to keep my inner bridezilla firmly inside my brain and not rampaging out of my mouth, I am setting my wedding to do schedule early. That way if things don't go as planned, and they never do, Bridezilla won't even rattle her chains. Its like changing the time on your clock 15 minutes fast so that the 15 minutes you inevitably sleep in every morning isn't a problem.

We fell in love with some invites that we found on line, but are made right here in Winnipeg:

They are fun and cute and the perfect color. The price was reasonable too, something like $2.80 per invite. The owner of the company was so helpful and awesome in general. If we weren't trying to be on a budget, we would have gone with this design and company, hands down!

But then we found a bargain that we couldn't pass up. Invitations and RSVP card set with envelopes that cost $1 dollar per invite. They are cute, simple and totally within our budget. Please excuse the crappy pics - i couldn't get the lighting right. But it gives you the idea. These aren't in the same league as the polkadot ones, but the $1!

I just try and keep in mind that I am probably the only one that is going to remember the invites and that these still fall within the feel we want for the wedding : simple, cheerful and fun. Do I REALLY care about the invites, or am I being sucked into the wedding hype that everything must be mindblowingly awesome? 'Cause we can't afford mindblowing!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bridesmaid dresses have FINALLY been decided

My to do list is located between the bermuda triangle and the pile of socks that my drier has eaten. So to actually find said list and cross something off of it is HUGE. For those of you that have read my past posts, you know that the bridesmaid dresses were a huge issue. I'm just so indecisive and a little unsure of my ability to know if two colors clash.
When I realized that the 6 months to the wedding mark was fast approaching, I decided to go to the store that I was getting my wedding dress and not leave until a decision had been made.

The decision: the girls could pick any dress they liked as long as it was floor lenth, satin dress from Impression. May I present the bridesmaid dresses:

My MOH is wearing the dress on the left. A little more sexy than most BM but I love it.
And my FSIL C is wearing the dress on the right. Also awesome.

My friend S is wearing it. Ladies, if you are worried about having a bit of a tummy you should check this dress out. S was 4 months pregnant when she tried the dress on and you couldn't even tell.

The color is very similar to the first picture. The picture is mocha and the color I chose was bronze. I have the lady at the bridal store to thank for this decision, because i couldn't tell whether it would go with the hunter green and brown kilts that the groomsmen are wearing. I admit that it was a little out of my comfort range, but I'm loving it.

The flowers are going to be yellow, white and green at least they were back when the ladies were going to be in brown. I have to go back to my florist and see what she thinks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rings and Germs

I'm back!! I'm sorry my little blog, that I've neglected you so!!

I've been working at one hospital 4 days/nights a week for the past couple months, and about a month ago I started training at another hospital 2 days a week. Working 6 days a week may not seem that bad for some people, but when you add in changing your sleep patterns from nights to days every 4 days, its a freaking disaster. I had to give up fun things like computers and blogging and concentrate on sleep and not being a grump monster. My training is done at my second hospital is done, so I'm here to stay.

We actually got some wedding things done dispite the hectic work schedule.

L picked out his ring and I'm kicking myself that we didn't take a picture of it. It was a hard decision bec L doesn't wear jewelry of any kind, so a lot of the chunkier rings irritated his hand. I really liked the one that he picked, and I can hardly wait until he wears it full time.

L works at a hospital, as well, and I'm not sure if he is going to wear it there. I don't wear my engagement ring, and I am fairly far removed from poop, pee, etc, but L is right in the thick of it. Eventually I would like to have a thin plain band that is just my work ring. This sounds silly and like I am just angling to get another ring, but technically you are not supposed to wear rings with stones or grooves in it at the hospital, and my engagement ring and wedding ring will have both. It is not just a stupid rule for the sake of rules. Germs collect around the grooves and stones and the idea of having a germy ring kind of grosses me out. Whenever i forget to take my engagement ring off before work I wear gloves all day, but then I am terrified of pulling my ring off when I pull of the gloves and throwing it out. I tried to design a ring that would fit with my engagement ring but still fall withing the hospital rules, but my engagement ring is quite full of stones and grooves:

I was unable to come up with something that would suffice, and there is no way I was going to stop wearing my engagement ring ever because I LOVE it. So we are designing a ring for me that is in the style of the engagement ring. And one day I hope to have a very simple ring that I can wear at work because I don't like the idea of wearing the ones that have stones, and I don't like the idea of neither of us wearing our wedding rings at work. I'm okay if my ring is a germ colony, as long as its my own (fairly harmless) germs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Napkin Treatment. What?

Sometimes a long engagement is not a good thing. If I was planning my wedding in only 7 months, I think that I would have to concentrate on the big things like where is the reception, and what dress am I going to wear. With a long engagement, you have the luxury, or the torment, to think about things like Napkin Treatment.

This last one is the most common napkin arrangement I've seen. I worked in a restaurant that had many wedding receptions, and this is how we did them. Its easy and takes very little time. Most of the servers would have made a pffftt sound if they'd been told to fold the napkins, tie a bow around them and then stick a flower under the bow.

But I kind of like the second one. How silly is that? Do my napkins really need treatment? I don't think so. Will I be thinking about it? Yes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nature Freaks disguised as City Slickers

I couldn't sleep last night. Like REALLY couldn't sleep. I work a mix of days and overnight shifts, so my sleeping pattern is usually pretty wacked. Its not unusual for me to get up at 4 pm, go to my parents and debate whether I'd like a can of coke or a cocktail like everyone else. Mmmm...coke for breakfast. Anyways, I was trying in vain to sleep because I worked in the morning, but I pretty much laid in bed for 4 hrs thinking about the wedding.

I thought some more about the bridesmaid dresses because I am still stuck on them. I even got up and checked out the Nordstrom's website, which had some pretty fantastic deals I must say. Not exactly practical for bridesmaid dresses because each dress was only available in a certain (mostly smaller) size, but if you are only having one lady standing up for you, check it out.

I also thought about the table numbers. I didn't really want to just have boring black numbers. I toyed with the idea of taking a picture of L and I using our bodies to make each number. To begin, I tried to touch my toes, yelped and fell over. This idea was entertained only briefly.

I wanted something that was meaningful to L and I, and could add decoration to the table. And I wanted it to be fun.
I think that we are going to name our tables after campgrounds that we have been to. L and I love to camp. We haven't done much of it lately because I've been in school, but as soon as our days off actually start to coincide, we're going to break out the hippie van and tent and motor off into the sunset. We've actually had some big moments and fun times together camping:
1.St Ambrose - we were on a day trip to the beach when L realized that he wanted to ask me to marry him

2. Tangle Creek - Its not really a camp ground or beach (or a creek for that matter) but we were on a camping trip when we saw this waterfall on the side of the highway. This is were L proposed. How romantic can you get, huh?

3.Riding Mountain National Park - we ended up camping in this very secluded, quiet campsite that was right on the lake. The only downside was the the lake had yucky leeches in it so I couldn't swim in it. Here is L manfully opening a can of soup. The grass ends and there is a 4 foot cliff, then the water.

4. Grand Beach - many a drunken work party was had at Grand Beach. Mayhem. Madness. Dancing in your underwear. Skinny dipping. Breakfast wine. Need I say more.

5. Steeprock - I used to camp there as a kid for months at a time. My family camped in a converted school bus, but the big kids on the block had a converted Greyhound bus. If I had to pick a favorite time and place it would be Steeprock circa 1990.

6. Duck Mountain Provincial Park - we camped there in the hippy van with sister in law C. We went hiking and walked around a beaver dam. It was kinda a trippy because the lake water was at eye level. Very cool.

7. White Hawk Lake - where we like to think we were almost eaten by bears, not our wild imaginations

We will put a couple of picture of us in these locations on the table car and a brief explanation of why it is one of our favorite nature places.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Old School Bling

I know that I complain a lot about the tartan thing, but there are some kinda cool things about the plaid invasion. L is an awesome guy and I want him to feel all special on his wedding day. Guys have it rough in this department, though. For us girls there are so many things that make us feel like our wedding day is like no other. We wear dresses that make us feel like princesses or femme fatales or supermodels. We accessorize with veils, pearls, earings, bracelets, tiaras and flashy shoes. We get glammed up with makeup and fancy updos.

Our guys? Most men I know WERE jazzed up about their suit. But everything else? Most of their ties and cufflinks were chosen to match the color scheme of the bridesmaids. There is no male version of the veil, pearls or tiara. Their shoes are actually kind of ugly, but that's okay as long as they are shiny. The worry about cutting themselves while shaving while we sit back and have someone else tend to our face. And most guys have pretty short hair, so their wedding hair is, well, short.

I shouldn't complain about this kilt business because it would be like L telling me that my wedding dress is ugly. If L told me that I couldn't wear the wedding dress I wanted because it was too long and interfered with the 'feel' he envisioned for the wedding, I'd tell him to stuff it. So here is me being supportive of my tartan loving L.

Here are the cool things about being a scotty groom:

1. The kilt pin - the most popular design is a pin that is shaped like a mini sword. There are some really nice designs out there (like the thistle-the manly man's flower) It adds a bit of flash and keeps the family from knowing the answer to the question you know they'll ask (what are you wearing under your kilt)

2. Clan Crest Cufflinks - a chance for him to have accessories that are fully his own-not a part of the bridal color pattern. Each clan comes with its own motto and crest. Some can even be incorporated into the wedding itself. L's clan's motto means 'without end' and I plan on telling him that not only do I take his name, I take it to heart because I beleive that our love is without end.

And just so that you don't die of lovey-dovey overload, I'll add that my clan motto is 'with a strong hand'. It makes us sound like we run around slapping people around (I assure you, this is not the case). His clan motto was the obvious choice.

3. The Sgian Dubh (pronounced skin do-remember that my info comes from a scotty enthusiast, not expert. )The sgian dubh is basically dagger that the groom carries in his sock. What guy can resist carrying a dagger around?

I passed my national exam!! I can now x-ray to my hearts content...that is if the doctor askes for one!

What does this have to do with my wedding, you ask?

Well, during the exam when I should have been concentrating on grids and scatter radiation, I was thinking about what would happen if I failed:

1. I'd lose my job that I temporarily held during the month between clinical and the exam

2. Without said job I would find it very hard to pay the $700 sitting fee for the rewrite

3. My wedding would have to be downsized due to the lack of funds

4. My honeymoon would be cancelled

So...the wedding planning can go ahead, and honeymoon here we come!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm vain about my hair. There I said it. If I coax it enough, I can make it look pretty nice, if I do say so myself. The flip side to that is that it can look pretty terrible. My hair is actually a lot like a two year old. If I pay enough attention to it, it will behave nicely. If I touch it fuss with it too much it become spoiled and will ran wildly about my head.

I have a stylist that I trust without a doubt. She has saved me from many a hair disaster:

1. It may not be obvious in this picture, but my hair is greeny. It was supposed to be a blondish color. I got it done the day before the wedding, and I was in denial about how bad it was until I stepped into the sun.

2. I can't even remember what prompted this orange disaster, but a disaster it was.

It was at this point that I came that I returned to my stylist. The only reason why I left was that I was in school and therefore broke. I turned to a cheaper hairdresser and then a box of dye. For those of you out there telling yourself that dying your hair can't be THAT hard, let me tell you, it is. Sure, I saved money with my box of dye initially, but then I had to pay my stylist to fix it.

I promised her I would never let another hairdresser touch my hair again. And she worked her magic:

Don't look at the scraggly ends (I need a trim) The color is perfect, no hint of green or orange in site.

I have pretty much chosen not to wear a veil. Not because I don't like them. I just would rather have awesome hair than an awesome veil. I plan to put some yellow orchids in my hair instead. I have to remind myself that less is sometimes more. Orchids and a veil and hairpins and a tiara would look a tad bit over done, don't you think? So after repeating 'less is more', 'less is more' I went with the flowers because what other day do you get to wear flowers in your hair? I guess the same could be said for the veil and the tiara, but the veil gets yanked on whenever people hug you and well, I'd feel silly even saying tiara. I tell L quite often that i'm not a princess. It may just be the word tiara that makes me feel silly because I saw this beautiful, ahem, head piece...

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bane of my wedding existance 2

Another problem I am having with the bridesmaid dresses is the length. Before the wedding planning began I always said that I would have bridesmaid dresses that were cocktail length. Now I'm not so sure. I'm afraid that cocktail dresses with kilts will look funny.

Kilts can look manly. I'm am aware that a kilt is not a skirt. But won't it look like one if the ladies and the gents have fabric hanging to their knee? I'm probably over thinking things a little. Okay, a lot. Its just that its hard to find pictures of wedding parties that contain kilts so that I can get an idea of what it would look like. Most wedding kilt pictures have just the groomsmen.

I think we are going to go with floor length. Its the safe bet. Here is one dress that I came upon last night that I like:

I think it is quite elegant, and (I'm 90% sure) the color would go well with the hunter green/brown kilt. If you read my last blog, you'll remember that I was going to go with brown because it is the safe bet. I know, I know, I am the queen of indecisiveland.

Another reason why the bridesmaid dresses stress me out is that I want the girls to be happy with what they are wearing. The contenders for bridesmaid dresses are on the low end of the price scale, but I still feel bad asking them to buy a dress that they will only wear once. I'd hate to have them spend all that money and feel like crap. At the very least, they should feel like they are strutting their hotness.

My poor future sister in law C has gone bridesmaid shopping with me 4 times and I'm going to ask her to go again with me at least one more time. Thank you C!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Bane of my wedding existance

What aspect of wedding planning leaves me awake at night? Bridesmaid dresses. They are driving me freaking nuts. At this point I'm ready to throw my hands in the air and say 'I QUIT'. No more thinking about colors, and fabric, and length. I'm this close to saying suprise me. Pick whatever dress you want.

Let me tell you what the source of all of my wedding related problems (this makes me sound like I've got therapist related problems, but this is not the case). Let me rephrase. The source of my wedding angst is:

I understand L's love of the tartan. While I do not own a kilt (and likely never will), I do have a family tartan and I think its quite nice. I know that my family crest reads 'with a strong hand' which makes us sound like we smack people around a lot, but I assure you, this is not the case.

That said, the tartan is the bane of my existance. Chosing a bridesmaid dress is difficult because there are many things to consider: color, length, fabric, style and bridesmaid general shape. The tartan complicates things even more.

Let me show you L's family tartan.

Now that's a lot of color. How am I supposed to match the bridesmaid dresses to that? And there is NO way that the ladies are wearing it. Do you hear me? NO WAY. After much discussion, we decided to further compromise. While I still didn't love the idea of L and his boys wearing kilts, I could accept it with more grace when I pictured them wearing a different tartan.

So we picked a more sedate brown/hunter green tartan. It will be easy to match. The obvious choice is brown. I have a hard time telling if colors go well together. I usually have to ask the retail people if skirt that i'm buying goes with the shirt. So trying to find a color to match the red to was kind of a nightmare. Brown is brown. It will go. But that leaves the wedding party kind of dreary. Brown. Green and brown. And our wedding is mid-may, so in not-so-sunny Manitoba there may not be many leaves on the trees. Which leaves us with what color? You guessed it. Brown.

Sigh. I love color. My closet is full of yellow and orange. Will the girls look good in brown? Yes. Will they match the tartan? With out a doubt. Am I excited about them? No.

Monday, October 6, 2008

AWESOME engagement photos

L and I just got our pictures back from our engagement photo session , and we couldn't be happier! We actually look like normal people. No squint eye! No pained smile! And I'm pretty impressed with my makeup if I do say so myself. You can't even tell that I had a grand total of 9 hours sleep in two days or that I got ready in 45 minutes, when the bare minimum usually takes me an hour.

I am so happy that we went with our photographer! I have complete faith that our wedding photos will be spectacular. The wedding pictures were pretty much my biggest thing, so I am relieved that I don't need to worry about it anymore. I was concerned before because he doesn't charge as much as the top drawer photographers. I didn't want a bargain photographer at the expence of quality, but that is totally not the case.

I am also releived that my glasses didn't cause a problem. They usually slide down my nose so that the rims cut thru my eyes, get glare on the glass or cause shadows on my face, but this wasn't a problem. They actually looked good. I'm a long time glasses wearer, and I still don't like wearing them. I got an eye infection years ago that left me unable to wear contacts because my eyes don't tear properly, but I'm going to give it a try again. (fingers crossed) But if it doesn't work, at least I know that I will still look good, even with my glasses on. I was also concerned that my extreme paleness would be a problem (sometimes flashes make me look ghost-like) but it wasn't!

These are my three favorite pictures:

(Pictures taken by Joseph Keith) Thanks Joseph!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Registering is Hard Work

After 4 separate trips to the mall, L and I have actually registered for something. This involved a pep talk, a mini arguement, a nose bleed and some Orange Julius. L and I are the most indecisive couple ever. A discussion about something as mundane as dinner usually goes like this:
L: What do you want for dinner?

Me: I don't know. What do you feel like?

L: I don't know. A pork chops?

Me: I don't really feel like pork chops. Shake and bake?

L: Okay.

Me: But if you want pork chops, I guess we could have them.

L: Hmmmm.....

So choosing something like dishes and cutlery that we will be using FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES, we pretty much become catatonic with indecision. Hence the 4 previous trips to the mall.

The registry field trips make me want to buy furniture. We saw some beautiful furniture that puts our 1960's (seriously) yellow flower print couch to shame. And a gorgeous full length oval mirror on a wooden stand. We registered for it, but at $350 we felt guilty even putting it on there. The registry people told us to put stuff in all price ranges, right? Nope. Still feeling guilty.

The mirror is from EQ3, and is just lovely. It would also enable me to see what my outfit looks on me all at once, without having to go all the way down the hall to look at myself in the apartment hall mirror. (Its weird and awkward when your 70 year old neighbor catches you trying on your fancy shmancy cocktail dress and stillettos at 1 in the afternoon on a tuesday.

This bed set was also from EQ3. I'd paint my entire apartment yellow if I could, so the small bit of yellow is perfect. I still get my yellow, and L is happy that the entire bedspread isn't an eye watering gold.

L had a great time using the registry gun. I think that was his favorite part of the whole day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our photographer is so funny! He called us yesterday evening to say that he was looking at the photos he'd taken earlier in the day on his computer and that he was very excited with what he got. I worked nights during the weekend and got a grand total of 9 hrs sleep in two we were asleep at 8 and didn't really talk with him. L only remembers the conversation briefly and I didn't wake up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Engagement Photos

We just got back from our engagement photo session, and it was fantastic! The weather even cooperated. It was 16 degrees today-cool, but not so cold that I couldn't wear my dress. The sun came out just as we started, and looked really great with the yellow leaves.

Our photographer is the Winnipeg based Joseph Keith, and we were very impressed with him. He provided direction, but wasn't overbearing, and was encouraging, but didn't sound like a cheerleader. He showed us a couple pictures that he'd taken of us off the digital camera, and we were happy with what we saw. I was thinking it would be like going to the gym-I don't like doing it, but I like to see the results. I wasn't expecting to actually enjoy the session.

L got the easy part. He usually sat/stood in position, and I was asked to lean this way and that, bend this knee, put hands here. I held an awkward lunge position with head tilt and trailing hand for 5 minutes. It may not seem that hard, but try doing it with a smile on your face. Not so easy.

I can hardly wait until we get the pictures back, and he said that he could have them back as soon as thursday. Thursday!!

I feel completely comfortable with him doing our wedding photography. More than comfortable, totally excited!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My wonderful, beautiful internet has been restored! I've been in wedding planning withdrawl. I don't know how pre-1990's brides planned anything. It would involve so much work and so little fun. Almost all of my ideas have come from the internet. And I regularly visit sites that I've come to think of as wedding support groups. But enough about that.

L and I are hopefully doing our engagement photos this sunday coming up. I am alternately excited and afraid. I am not a photogenic person. I can not look into a camera and look normal. I look a)overexcited b)uncomfortable or c)dim witted. The flash almost always give me a squint eye. My future sister in law and I spend every christmas day taking pictures of the ourselves (you know the one where one of you is holding the camera and hoping that you both are in the camera's sites) and laughing at the results. We both have a squint eye; hers is the right, mine is the left.

I have high hopes for this photo session, and for all the photography for the wedding. Everyone has that one thing that they think is the most important thing for their wedding. For some people it is the dress, the food or the wine. For me, its all about the pictures. Its just unfortunate that L is just as unphotogenic as I am. L is as handsome as they come. And I'm am no ugly ducky myself. But put us together, and the unphotogenicness multiplies tenfold. It took us 16 tries to get a decent picture of the two of us this past christmas. And I'm not talking about the kind where one of us is holding the camera. We had someone acting as photographer, it took us 16 tries, and it was only DECENT. So I am afraid that I've set my expectations too high, and that I will end up disappointed.

I don't know how people can look into a camera an get pictures that fairly scream mysterious or sexy or radiant. Mysterious for me = perplexed. Sexy=dim witted. Radiant= well, normal dull skinned me. If I had to pick a super power, I'd pick the ability to give pictures that say something other than I have not slept in days'.

Take this picture by Hamed Saber (creative commons). The comments that were on the site that I found this on are about how striking this woman is. And I agree. She is striking. But what is it about her that is striking? I don't know. And that is what makes you want to look at the picture. It has something that you can't quite figure out. How do you do that?

Is it the photographer or the person photographed that gives people the sense that picture is not quite static, not just a piece of celluloid?

Okay, enough with the philosophical mumbo jumbo. How do we make sure we get some great pictures?!

Well, we went with a photographer who was very high energy, and had a similar philosophy as L and I. His portfolio was filled with people that looked liked they were having FUN. As we went through his portfolio he became excited and animated and I could imagine his excitement being contagious during his photo shoots. Maybe if L and I can forget about the process of taking a great picture and just enjoy ourselves our personality will shine through. At least I hope so.

And our lack of photogenic fiber is not even the only thing that stands in our way. We are taking our photo's at the Fort Whyte Center, which is a park/marsh setting. We want the trees to be changing colors, so that means that Sunday will not be picture day if the leaves are still mostly green. But the later we wait, the colder it may be, and I have my heart set on wearing this little black dress that I got in the spring and have yet not had a chance to wear. It seems like a strange combination but I like the contrast of the classy and elegant with the casual background. L plans on wearing a suit and having his shirt unbuttoned and no tie, and I'll be wearing black flats and plain straight hair. I hope this idea works as well in the real world as it does in my head.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Vortex

I decided to blog about planning L and I'd wedding for 2 reasons:
1. I don't want to bore all the people within a 3 meter radius with my wedding ramblings
2. I am already beginning to forget the details

I get giddy when I think about the details, and I could talk about the pro's and con's for the bridesmaid dresses in brown vs green for hours. I didn't think I'd be SO into planning the wedding, but I've been sucked into the vortex that is wedding planning. No. That's not right. I dove right in and I've been loving it.

The wedding vortex. Inviting. Fun. Important to remember to come up for air.
(creative commons - from fatcontroller)

But that still is no reason to bore my friends, family, coworkers, etc., with my hair debate (up or down? flowers or veil? curly or straight) or my centerpiece plans (drowned flower-over done? a bit. Awesome - you bet.) I realized that my wedding over share was in danger of reaching crisis levels when I was contemplating emailing my friends and family a picture of the wedding invitations we were planning on using. I could show them, or just mail them to them when we mail out all the invitations. They will see them eventually.

I just get so excited. So you'll get to see them, random internet people. Or nobody will see them. That's ok too. Just as long as I don't show them to people who will be receiving them in good time.

Most importantly, though, I want to have something that I can look back at and read to remind me of how wonderfully exciting and hectic that the entire experience has been. Because I will forget. I'm sad to admit that I can not remember the date we got engaged. I can only narrow it down to the end of August, and its only been a year. I don't won't to lose the details
because the details are the best part.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Wedding is Being Taken Over by Dresses and Kilts

L and I have been engaged for just over a year now. The first 6 months were idealic. I confess that during this time I thought that planning the wedding would be no big deal. I thought that we'd throw a party in my mom's backyard, we'd deck the bridal party in some sort of color themed fancy wear and I'd wear a pretty dress. Piece of cake, right? Not so much.

The problem was the dress. I want the equivalent of a ball gown. I tried one on, and well, that was it. I'm not even talking about THE dress. Once I tried the first ballgown on, I couldn't stop trying them on. I tried them on during that entire first 6 months, and each time I had someone lace me into a fancy girly dress that back yard wedding became smaller and smaller in my mind's eye until it was gone entirely.

Okay. So no more backyard wedding. No problem. Did you know that 130 people is the most akward number of wedding guests? Most large places require 150-250 people to book a saturday night and most small places only seat 100. You'd think that there would be a happy medium, but no. Its either sitting on your table mates or listening to the crickets. This was the toughest things we've had to figure out for our wedding so far. It left the rest of the planning in a gridlock. But we came up with a solution: Sunday (of a long weekend) wedding! Feels like a saturday but costs us less! And in hind sight, my mom's backyard is big, but maybe not 130 people big.

Now most ladies that I know that have planned their wedding, did just that - planned it with little input from their future husband. It wasn't that the husbands didn't think that the wedding day wasn't important. They just didn't think that the decision between teal vests or aquamarine vests warranted hours of internet searches or discussion. I am lucky that my honey is interested in the mundane details of the wedding obsessed. Unfortunately, he is also interested in kilts. As in wearing a kilt for the wedding.

I've always maintained that the wedding is not just the bride's special day; its the groom's day too. This belief was difficult to maintain however, with visions of plaid dancing through my head. And my favorite colors are yellow and orange. (think less pale and more cautionary) Talk about fashion disaster.

I'm signing off to watch Mama Mia. Not because I love ABBA or musicals, but because my mom said that I should do my hair like the bride in the movie. This makes me truly wedding obsessed.