December 22, 2009

Guest book alternative

I just found this while browsing on Etsy and I love it! 

Lovli Day created this family tree to use instead of a guest book!  It's so personal and unique.  I love the thumbprints!  It would also look nice if you used fall colors for the "leaves."

December 21, 2009

I will not be naked at my wedding!!!

I got my dress!!!  I only tried on about 10 dresses, but it was obvious this was the one.  I went to Wedding Belles in Barrington, and it was a great experience.  It's an old house with a few of the bedrooms set up as dressing rooms and some full of dresses.  I told them my budget was under $1000, and they told me that their dresses run between $500 and $2000, so I'd be counting some out, but that it was doable.  We only pulled dresses that were under $1000 and there were quite a few.  I was open to most styles, so that helped when it came to trying things on.  If you're pickier you'd probably have a much smaller selection.  

Two ladies from the store help you get in and out of the dresses, so beware.  My underwear wasn't the most appropriate but I figure they are probably used to it.  In the dressing room there is a three way mirror and a pedestal so you can see yourself very nicely.  If you love a dress, you head down to the main floor to stand at a larger mirror and they give you some earrings and other accessories (veils, too) so that you can get more into the look.  I think they sell veils also but I don't plan on wearing one so I'm not positive.  

Overall, this was a great experience, though I have no others to compare it to.  It was that easy.  :)  I ended up spending $700 on the dress plus $50 in tax (they're on the Lake county side of Lake-Cook Rd, so you only pay 7% tax instead of 10%!).  A tip if you plan on going there: check out the dresses in the dressing rooms.  They have some hung in the closets.  I actually found my dress that way--it was in the room that we were all in and I thought I'd add it to the pile.  I'm so glad I did!!!  I can't wait to wear the dress at my wedding!

December 19, 2009

More color questions

(source: The Bride's Guide)
So, these are the colors that I want in my wedding.  Aren't those flowers in the middle gorgeous?  And I love that pink tie.  The pattern is different, and I love how it incorporates different shades of the same color.

Navy dresses, and flowers in these colors, plus maybe lime green hydrangeas.  So in order to avoid the Halloween look, what color ties should the guys wear?  Orange is out (sadly).  If they were black or charcoal suits, maybe a navy blue tie?  That would certainly make this decision a whole lot easier.  Plum?  Lime green?  I'm still on the fence about the green, though.  The board above just looks so great the with the colors as is.


December 9, 2009

Is orange too much?


This picture is the inspiration for my flowers and accent colors.  I have always had a thing for orange, and I love the contrast with the dark purple and bright pink.  I also saw a bouquet at a flower shop that had lime green hydrangeas and I thought that might add that in for an extra pop of color.  Not that it really needs it....

But now I'm in a quandary.  What is my accent color?  I am planning on putting floral centerpieces on half of the tables and a non-floral centerpiece on the other half.  I want to add color to the non-floral centerpieces, but I'm not sure which color to use!  And also, the guys will need to wear colored ties.  And the invitations.  And lots more!

I don't want to do bright pink.  I love it, but I have a few friends using that color next year, so I want something different.  I am leaning towards orange, but I do not want the wedding to have a fall, or worse--Halloween--theme.  I love the look of fall decorations, but I don't want my wedding to have a seasonal theme.  For some reason I'm just not into that.  Not sure why.  I think it's really cute whenever I see pictures. 

Enough rambling and back to my first thought: is orange too much?

December 7, 2009

I've got my list and I'm checking it twice

How is it that the number of people in your life seems so small until you have to actually list each person?  We went into our wedding planning blitz with a rough list of about 180 people...about 100 of which were my family and friends.  But now that we have already made a decision of where to have our celebration, we've firmed up the list.  We're now around 230 invites.  I know everyone says that 20% won't be able to make it, but is that realisitc when the majority of the people live within 20 miles?  

That said, I'm not too concerned about having gone up so much in number.  The maximum number of people that can fit in the reception hall is 230, so we're ok.  For now.  Unfortunately the chapel will only fit 150 people.  Has any one else encountered this problem? 

December 1, 2009

Bridesmaid dresses!

I am so excited about my bridesmaid dresses!  I found them on sale at JCrew and snatched them up immediately.  I wanted all three girls to try them on before we settled on them just to make sure that they were all comfortable in them and that they were as cute in person as they were online.  With a few alterations, I think they're going to be perfect!  And for only $90 each!  (They're now marked down even lower, but I didn't want to wait, since JCrew often sells out of sizes very quickly)

I knew I wanted navy blue, but I didn't have a specific style in mind.  I think they'll wear thin black belts like the model, but I think black patent leather shoes.  It's a more casual look, but I think the girls will be comfortable and will hopefully wear the dresses again.  Though, my sister Terri tells me that she absolutely will not wear it again because there will be too many pictures of her in the dress.  She's nuts....

November 20, 2009

Indie Wed

I just bought my ticket to Indie Wed!

Here is the description from the website:
On January 30th 2010, Chicago will be the location for a unique wedding event. The event, called Indie Wed will be the first of its kind in the Midwest, bringing together local vendors with a twist. Indie Wed caters to unconventional couples who are taking a more modern, edgy, or eco-friendly approach to their special day as well as the more conservative couples who simply want to add some special touches.
The event will highlight the work of local independent designers specializing in various wedding related fields including stationery, cakes & pastries, fashion, catering, floral design and photography.
What also makes this event unique is that it is both a wedding show as well as a market where vendors will be selling their wedding related wares on the spot.
I'm really excited!  My friend Lauren, who is getting married in July 2010, has agreed to go with me.  We're both big etsy fans, so I think we'll find a lot of things that we like there.  I haven't been to a bridal show, and I wasn't really planning on going to one, but this one looks so cool! 

November 16, 2009


So we decided on our photographer.  Bryan Swisher photographed my friends Betsy and Jon's wedding in May 2009.  I was a bridesmaid in that wedding also, so I got to see Bryan in action most of the day.  He's very quick and easy to be around all day.  I think that's what is most important.  You have to be comfortable with your photographer because you have to smile at him all day long

And Joe and I both really like to take pictures and so we wanted to find someone who has an eye for detail and is creative.  We met with Bryan and got to see some of his pictures and talk to him about what kinds of pictures we want, and he can do it all.  The photojournalistic pictures of the cake and the flowers and the rings, the candid pics, and the posed pics.  We didn't want to be limited to one style, so Bryan's ability to get it all done is what made the decision for us. 

After all, the photos are probably the only reminder that we'll have of our wedding day in 2030.

November 11, 2009

The most important detail--dancing

Ok, so maybe it's not the most important part of the day, but the music is key to everyone having a great time at the wedding!  I've already told Joe that I'll be spending the entire time dancing once dinner is over.  He's not too keen on that idea, but I think I'll get him used to it in the next year. :)

So with that in mind, we hired our DJ!  My friends Debbie and Rob used the company something2dance2 for their wedding, and since I was a bridesmaid I really got to experience Something 2 Dance 2 first hand.  Jon, who DJ'd (is that spelled right?) at their was great!  And Debbie and Rob LOVED the company.  And it's also been part of the "the knot best of weddings" since 2007!

Something 2 Dance 2 uses an online planning tool so that they can get to know the bride and groom through stories about their relationship, how they got engaged, etc.  The site also has an extensive list of songs that you can request to be played or not to be played at your wedding.  The DJ basically acts as a wedding coordinator, also, making sure that toasts, pictures, and dances are all done in an easy manner.  So you're paying for two services in one!  Who can pass up that bargain???  :)

November 5, 2009

Stamp it up!

I first found custom stamps on Etsy during one of my long nights of "putzing," as Joe likes to call it.  But then tonight, in another night of putzing on wedding blogs, I found a giveaway for one of these BEAUTIFUL custom stamps from Barbara Kua Calligraphy!

Imagine how much time this would save, plus how fantastic the invites/thank yous/save the dates/etc would look!  To enter the giveaway head to Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bridezilla before November 8!!!

October 29, 2009

Some ideas right now....

inspiration board created on  all photos from wedding wire expect for dress (bottom right, JCrew), and lantern (ikea)

October 26, 2009

Mark your calendars!!!

October 30, 2010....

It's official!  We have a date!  After a few stressful moments at the very beginning of our wedding planning, we were very excited to find an adorable chapel and a great reception site for the wedding!  And both are conveniently very close to where we live! :)

Ceremony: Schram Memorial Chapel

Reception: The Lakeview Room (Glenview Park District)

We originally thought we wanted to have the ceremony at the reception site to save on money and to make things easier for our guests, but we quickly changed our minds and decided to go with a more traditional setting.  We hadn't dreamed our whole lives of saying "I do" in a banquet hall after all. ;)  And we decided on the Lakeview Room for a few reasons:

1) it's right across the street from the chapel
2) there's a great view of a small lake
3) the simple decor allows us to make the wedding more "us"

So now I want to spend a while getting inspired and then decide what's best for our wedding!