Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy new year guys!!

Dude and I are off on vacation the entire first week of January, so I hope you enjoy the day(s) off!  When I get back, it will officially be the year of our wedding!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Happy New Year Kitty

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bridal Belt Bonanza

So you may remember that I purchased my wedding dress ages ago, but it was still missing one important accessory - the belt.

To refresh your memory:

Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Belt

I just couldn't bring myself to purchase it because I couldn't justify spending $500 on an  (admittedly gorgeous) accessory I'd wear once.

I searched and Googled for weeks and couldn't find the name or item number of the belt.  I looked EVERYWHERE and couldn't even find anything similar.

But all my Googling brought me to Etsy and Ingenue B.  She makes stunning bridal belts, sashes, headpieces and other goodies.

She didn't have anything resembling "my" belt, but I noticed that she did custom work.  So I emailed her a bit before Thanksgiving and with my notes, she was able to create my dream bridal belt.

It arrived last Wednesday and seriously, I am in freaking LOVE and I'm so, so, so happy I didn't spend the money on the belt at the bridal salon.

Check it out:

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Belt Detail 1

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Belt Detail 2

I don't know why I was taking pictures in my bathroom, but here's a picture of the belt all laid out and you can also see my old-ass bathroom sink and Dude's beard brush.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Belt Laid Out

 And finally, here it is on me!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Belt on Me

Obviously not a perfect match to the $500 belt from the boutique, but for roughly 1/4 of the price, I think I can deal!

I swear I'm not being paid or reimbursed in any way to sing the praises of Maris at Ingenue B! 

Has anyone else gotten some great custom work done on Etsy for your wedding or otherwise?  Anyone gotten some not-so-great custom pieces from Etsy? 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crafting our Self-Uniting Ceremony

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Dude and I have decided to take advantage of a little-known but totally awesome marriage license available in Pennsylvania called a self-uniting marriage license. 

I won’t get into the history of it, but basically, it’s an old Quaker tradition that only requires the bride and groom to say “I take you as my husband/wife” in front of two witnesses for the marriage to be legal.

We decided to go this route because we’re not religious at all, and felt it might be hypocritical for us to join a church and say some religious-based vows.  We also wanted the freedom to create our own ceremony and not have it performed by a random stranger we picked based off their reviews on WeddingWire.

The awesome thing about a self-uniting marriage license is that our wedding ceremony is basically a blank slate.  We can make it as funny or as sentimental as we like.

The worst thing about a self-uniting marriage license is that our wedding ceremony is a blank freaking slate!!  It is so hard to even know where to begin when you have no idea if your ceremony should have readings, if it should be 10 minutes or 30…

But thankfully, Dude and I are awesome Googlers though and we found a ton of resources all over the place.  We took inspiration (and sometimes we blatantly copied and pasted with no intention of editing) from the self-uniting ceremonies of Mrs. Wizard on WeddingBee, and Robin and Collin on Hitchdied.  And ceremony structure and readings from Beau & Lyn’s wedding on anotherdamnwedding, Mrs. Cherry Pie on WeddingBee and Candyman and Louise’s wedding on thirtysomethingbride.   

And we came up with this outline. 

Wedding Ceremony Outline

Part 1:  Welcome/About Self-Uniting Marriages

Part 2:  About Marriage

Part 3:  Remembrance

Part 4:  Pre-Vows

Part 5:  Vows

Part 6:  About Rings

Part 7:  Ring Exchange

Part 8:  Close

Part 9:  Pronouncement/Kiss the Bride

Part 10:  Introduction as Husband & Wife

Are we missing anything? 

We’ve come up with a script that we both like, but sorry, I’m not gonna share it with you until I start recapping the wedding.  But I will tell you this – I had MOH BsB proofread it for me and she said she got misty-eyed! 

I think I’m going to make it a personal challenge to make as many people cry at our wedding as possible. 

Now that we’ve got the script, we have the two hardest parts left:  1) Writing our vows and 2) Picking an Officiant.

Oh my GOD why does spell-check hate the word officiant?? I legit had to go to to make sure I was spelling it right.  I’ll save you from following the link – that’s the correct spelling. 

So anyways, we have a couple people in mind for the officiant, including my sister-in-law, Dude’s brother-in-law, and a mutual friend.  But, honestly, the person we think would be best for the job, and the one who knows us the best, is one of Dude’s best men.  Is it too much to ask for a best man to be the officiant at the ceremony?

As far as vows go, I’ve been jotting down notes for mine for a couple of months, but I just know I’m going to procrastinate until the last minute to put anything on paper.  Note to self:  remind bridesmaids to force me to write my vows before wedding day…

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Dreaded Registry

With a guest list of 250 people, I knew our registry was going to be a monstrous task.  Even more monstrous because Dude and I have been in our house for more than three years at this point - we pretty much have everything we need. 

Sure there are some things we can upgrade. 

Like that plate I accidentally smashed off of Pepper’s head while using it as a fan to shut the smoke detector off after a particularly disastrous round of pancakes.  She was totally fine afterwards, surprisingly.

Or like the two spoons, one fork, and the ¼ tsp measuring spoon that have all gone for a ride in the garbage disposal.

Or the malfunctioning smoke detector in our upstairs hallway that we eventually just took down because it went off at exactly 2:34 and 4am two mornings in a row.

But all these defective things in our life will not make up the 200 or so gifts that etiquette says we need to register for.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Dreaded Registry - How Many Gifts

Cue Dude’s panic.  Dude is just about the worst gift getter (gift receiver?) I’ve ever met.  His reactions to a great (if I do say so myself) gift range from a smile and a muttered “thanks” to an “Oh wow I don’t have this (extremely rare and awesome) CD (that you scoured eBay for months for), thanks.”

So, as you can imagine, the thought of registering – what he calls “begging for gifts” – was torturous. 

I brought up the idea of a Honeymoon Registry and it was immediately shot down because 1) we haven’t picked a honeymoon destination yet, and 2) Dude called it “tacky” and said “begging for money is even worse than begging for gifts.”

I will never agree or understand this, but I think it must be a gender thing because both our Dads agreed it was tacky and both our Moms thought a honeymoon registry was a great idea.

In the end, I saw this as one of those pick your battle type of things so I let it go.

So we were back to registering for 200 gifts.  Thankfully there are a million references on wedding sites all over the internet with lists of things to register for.   My favorites were:  EveryGirl, Real Simple, YumSugar, and Martha’s Dos and Don’ts.

I spent an evening compiling them and going through all our crap to see what we really needed. 

Here’s a peek at the list we took with us when we registered.  And because I love you, a printable PDFversion.

Personal Screen Shot

We ended up registering primarily at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and  I LOVE our Amazon registry because you can add things from any website.  So those awesome dinosaur planters I saw in the Uncommon Goods catalog?  Totally on our registry. 

We also started a Sears registry because I thought Dude would like to register for some more “manly” things like tools and garage organization stuff.  He says he needs to “research” before he can add anything.  We’ll see… 

How about you guys?  Did you have fun registering or do you have a fiancĂ© like mine that hated every second?  Do you see anything I missed registering for?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers

You may remember from my last post that flowers aren’t really my thing.  I never understood the point of spending craptons of money on something that was just going to die in a couple days. 

Dude and I discussed flowers at length and he just was not thrilled with my cheap alternatives to flowers – silk, paper, or sola flowers.  He also immediately shot down the idea of arranging our own flowers the day before the wedding. 

In the end it was kind of obvious that he really wanted bright, fresh flowers.  So I started asking around for florist recommendations and more people than I could count recommended we check out Petal Pushers.

I set up an appointment with Jen and started putting together some inspiration pieces to show her.

Again you may remember from my last post that finding inspiration didn’t start out that great.  But once we got past that, we collectively came up with these must-haves for our florist:

From Dude
Must be BRIGHT, no burnt oranges or cranberry fall-ish colors
Must include tropical flowers (lilies, orchids)
Likes swirly wire accessories
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Dude's Flowers - Swirly Wire
Likes bright green button-looking flowers (like in the wrist corsage above)

From Laura
No roses
No gerbera daisies
LOVE dahlias
LOVE peonies (but I know they’re out of season in August - bummer)

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers Red Orchid Bout
Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Spider Mum

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Magenta Dahlia

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Spider Mums and Succulents

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Birds of Paradise

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Orchid and Succulents Bout

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Types of Flowers

We met with Jen last Saturday and immediately liked her.  It seemed like she just understood us.  She immediately started talking about the funky flowers I could have in my bouquet.  She make Dude wait outside while we chatted about my dress and my shoes.  All in all, we felt really taken care of and anxiously awaited an email quote from her. 

We got it on Wednesday, and after conferring with Dude really quickly, this was my emailed response to her quote:

Doeblerghini Bunch:  My Flowers - Email
Personal Photo

And since I found these kind of breakdowns helpful when I first started budgeting for flowers, here’s what we’re getting for our money:
  • 1 Brides bouquet:  $100 
  • 4 Bridesmaids bouquets:  $60 each or $240
  • 2 Jr. Bridesmaids bouquets:  $60 each or $240
  • 1 Groom bout:  $7
  • 4 Groomsmen bouts:  $7 each or $28 
  • 1 Ring Bearer bout:  $7
  • 2 Mom corsages:  $25/each or $50
  • 2 Grandma corsages:  $15/each or $30
  • 2 Dad bouts:  $7 each or $14
  • 1 Grandfather bout:  $7
  • Cake decorations:  $50
Ok lovelies, I want to hear about your bouquets!  What kind of flowers do you like, which ones do you love?  Are you making your own?  Anyone out there doing an origami or sola flower bouquet? 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our First Wedding Fight

Dude and I are very fortunate in that we rarely fight.  In the 7-ish years we’ve been together, I can only remember two really big fights.  Of course we bicker sometimes, he drives me nuts, I drive him nuts, but we’re both usually pretty level-headed when we disagree.

So when I read horror stories about how stressful wedding planning can be on a relationship I kind of laughed and said to myself “not me and Dude, we’ll never be like that.”

Boy was I wrong!!  Planning a wedding is stressful and it brings up a lot of opinions that couples have probably never broached before.

I can tell you with reasonable certainty that Dude and I never discussed any of the following before we started planning this wedding:
  • Flower colors, flower arranging, flowers in general
  • The differences between charcoal and dolphin grey.  Or really colors in general other than the fact that I love teal and he loves ugly colors like baby poop brown and pea green.  
  • Church (besides the original “Are you religious?” questions when we first started dating)
  • Our cousin’s significant others and how “serious” they are
  • Registering for gifts 
All of these topics have come up and started a disagreement between Dude and me.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to work almost all of them out without a giant blow up. 

All of them except flowers.  Our fight about flowers was the worst one I can remember and resulted in both of us going to bed angry for the first time in our relationship. 

I won’t get into all the details but it basically boiled down to the fact that I don’t particularly like and/or care about flowers, so I struggled to come up with inspiration pictures for our florist.  I asked Dude for his input and ended up being very negative about his suggestions which snowballed and eventually ended up with both of us thinking the other “didn’t care” about the wedding.

We did eventually work things out and ended up with some awesome inspiration for the florist and I think she’s going to be able to create some awesome bouquets and bouts with what we gave her.

Bring the type-A, analyzing kind of person I am, I spent some time after our fight dissecting it, trying to figure out what I could have done better to avoid the fight and what we both can do when we see disagreements starting to expand into arguments. 

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • When you ask for help, be willing to accept suggestions given and really consider them even if they aren’t what you think is best.  By the time I asked Dude for help looking for floral inspiration, I was already so irritated with the process that every suggestion or picture he showed me I instantly shot down.
  • When you ask for help, remind yourself that the suggestions given are not meant to hurt or offend you in any way, they are exactly what you asked for – HELP!  This is a big one for me and something I really need to work on.  Whenever anyone offers me a suggestion about my work, I immediately get defensive; and instead of listening to the suggestion I defend my own choices.
  • Don’t sit and stew, if you are upset, irritated, or need help - ask for it before you pass your boiling point!  There were many times during the time when I was looking for flower inspiration where I saw Dude playing on his phone or watching TV or doing something other than looking for flowers and it pissed me off and made me feel like I was doing the bulk of the work for something I didn’t care about.  Instead of speaking up and asking him to find inspiration to share together later, I just kept quiet and got more and more pissed off, which ended up instigating the fight when I finally did speak up. 
  • I know this is going to be a shocker for you, but boys are different than girls.  Accept that you both have different but still good ways of preparing for this wedding.  Dude’s not going to spend hours checking out Pinterest for wedding inspiration and there’s no way I’m going to order a bunch of ties just to see what they’re like before picking my favorite.  My way of preparing for our meeting with the florist was to gather a bunch of photos of bouquets and pull things from them to create something I liked.  Dude’s way of preparing was knowing what colors he liked for flowers (bright orange, blue, green), what flowers he likes (orchids and tropical), and what he doesn’t like (roses, pale or fall colors).
  • You are not the only one working on wedding stuff.  Whether you see it or not, you both are working on completing tasks for the wedding.   Dude and I both said during our flower fight that we felt like the other wasn’t doing anything for the wedding.  And we were both completely flabbergasted and immediately started listing things we’ve done.  We both should be more aware and appreciative of the things the other is doing. 
  • Remember a fight is just a fight.  It means nothing about your relationship, your future marriage or how your partner feels about you.  Sometimes I get a little too “in my head” where every single word Dude utters has a second meaning (it doesn’t) and every fight we have is another nail in our marriage coffin(it’s not).  Yeah, sorry for that strange metaphor…   In the end this and every fight we have is something we’ll get over and our relationship will be stronger because of it.  Each time we fight, we learn a little bit more about one another and come that much closer to becoming Lee and Morty!  You need to work at any relationship and having to work doesn’t make you a “bad” couple or doomed to fail. 
I’m gonna wrap this up with one last sentiment - shut up and remember nothing is more important than your wedding. 

Not the reception.  Your wedding.  The part where you promise to love your partner forever.  It doesn’t matter what flowers you’ll be holding when you walk down the aisle. 

What matters will be the look in his eyes when I read him my vows.  What matters will be the sweet, almost shy smile I know I’ll see when I walk down the aisle.  What matters will be the moment we become husband and wife. 

Oy vey, I’m getting teary thinking of those moments, so lighten things up for me - what was your first wedding-related fight with your fiancĂ©?  What is something stupid like flowers?  How did you get over it?