Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have a confession to make.

I picked up my wedding band 2 weeks ago...

and I can't help but wear it around the house sometimes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pros and Cons

Con: Our violinist has a busted collarbone. He will not be able to play at the wedding. The music was our wedding gift, we have not budgeted to pay for a ceremony musician.

Pro: We found out now, and not July 23rd.

Anyone know of a violinist who works for cheap in St. Louis and doesn't have a gig July 24th?

Bunions, and Why It's Time to Get Married

It's time to get married.

How do I know?

Ryan asks how my bunion is doing.

(DO NOT google bunions to try to find a picture of them. Serious ew. Trust me on this.)

Ryan knows so much about feet. He's been working at a specialty running store since last August, and he knows when people are wearing the wrong shoes, which shoes they should be wearing, and all kinds of other super detailed stuff. We'll be out at the grocery store or something and he'll nudge me and whisper "See that guy over there? He's over-pronating. He should be wearing XXXX shoes."

So of course he's glanced at my feet before, and a while ago he noticed that my left big toe was pointing just a little towards the other toes on that foot, and not straight ahead. I'm growing a bunion, it's super sexy.

But he didn't just notice it, comment on it, and leave it, oh no. When he was down for the weekend he casually asked "how's your bunion doing?"

It's like a starter bunion, you'd have to know what you were looking for to notice this thing. So it's not like it hurts or anything, he just wants to stay updated on the progress of my weird toe.

And every time he asks how my bunion is doing (it's just fine, thanks) he comments on my finger toes. My toes are super long. He also likes to tell me that I'd be a whole shoe size smaller if my toes weren't so abnormally long. He's not at all mean about any of this, he talks about my weird feet like we're discussing the weather or something.

Time to get married? I think once you casually ask your future spouse how their slightly deformed/odd foot is doing, it's definitely time.

Anyone want to share something odd/funny about their partner?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Brain Dump

I had the laziest weekend ever. I cannot remember the last time Ryan and I just...hung out, with nothing else to do. It felt, wrong, almost, or foreign. But it was really nice. We didn't even do any wedding stuff. Glorious.

Our ceremony is clocking in at 15 minutes. I'm going to have our officiant lengthen his homily a bit, and I'm looking to add a reading. I'm also thinking about adding in a piece about why we're getting married in a Unitarian Universalist church, since we aren't doing programs (they seem to be tossed quite frequently...and I'm just lazy) I think it'd be nice to fill people in a bit.

Big job things are happening. Huge ones. Job things that could be just the break that Ryan (and indirectly, me ) needs. So if you would, pray, or send happy thoughts or good karma our way. And now I'm having a crash course in how not-to-freak-out-and-lose-my-sh*t. So far so good, I just try not to think about it. Because when I do my heart gets all fluttery and I get light headed.

I successfully finished a major sewing project on Friday, but I can't tell you about it because a certain someone reads this blog regularly. I am obnoxiously proud of myself, and I have my sights set on a quilt, next. I'd like to buy the fabric for it on our honeymoon, and then it could be a honeymoon quilt! I know, it's silly, I've got the idea in my head and I can't get it out.

I have my first physical in years today, and Wednesday I'm getting my teeth cleaned. I'm trying to get all of this in before I get booted off my parents insurance. The nurse practitioner I'm seeing today is such a bad*ss. She completed P90x and it wasn't hard enough, so now she's into this workout called Insanity. I know, right! Appropriate naming there.

We're still waiting on RSVPs. Lots of them. The deadline was Thursday. Luckily, we have willing family members to make phone calls. What's so hard about dropping a postcard in the mail?

What's going through your head today?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Our completed ceremony was sent off to our officiant this morning, and he replied with such kind words. He did mention that it would last 15 minutes at most the way we have it now.

I was aiming for 30 minutes. Hmmm.

We have to add to it. I'm going to ask the officiant to add some length to his homily, but that will buy us maybe 2-3 minutes max.

We aren't having any songs in the middle of the ceremony, and we aren't doing a unity candle or sand ceremony or anything. We have one reading that isn't very long.

Thankfully, Ryan has an idea.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making it Legit and Stuff

I figured I'd better take a peek into what needs to happen marriage license wise, because it would be just our luck to accidentally not legalize our marriage.

The City of St. Louis provided this helpful information:

$48 cash is required at the time of application

We need to bring a current ID and proof of social security numbers

$12 is needed for the certified copy which I need to change my name

After we apply, we have 30 days to have the ceremony done, and we can pick it up 3 days after the application is made.

How needlessly complicated is that? I'm going to have to be in St Louis with Ryan on a week day when neither one of us is working and pay an *sston of money. Yes, $60 is an *sston of money, especially for paper. And the scheduling is guaranteed to be a nightmare.

I would continue to complain, but I am humbled by the fact that we have the right to walk in there and obtain a marriage license at all. So I'll stop now and soak that in.

What did you have to do to get your marriage license?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello Goodbye!

Operation: Have as little of a break between the ceremony and reception as possible.

When there's a huge break between the ceremony and the's always a bit weird, especially if you're from out of town. The break between our ceremony and reception is 2 hours at most, and the reception hall will be open for our guests to go and relax if they choose. This means we have a small window of time between the ceremony and the reception to take pictures with our wedding party in Forest Park. We're taking as many pictures beforehand as possible with the families at the church pre-ceremony.

Long story short, since the time between the ceremony and reception is so small, doing the traditional receiving line after the ceremony means we would have maybe 30 minutes left for pictures, which definitely doesn't work. We thought about talking to people at the reception, but you really run the risk of not being able to talk to everyone, and some people might not be there, blah blah blah. Plus, the selfish side of me did not want to spend the party portion of the reception making small talk and not partying. I know, call me what you want in the comments, but I've been planning this wedding for over a year and I want to party.

After much deliberation, Ryan and I have decided to have our receiving line before the ceremony at the church. We're going to talk to people as they walk in, before they reach the guest book.

It'll be just Ryan and I; the bridal party and our parents can talk and mingle as they so choose. We'll start greeting people around 4:15, and since the ceremony starts at 5, there's a definite cap on this. Since the ceremony will start promptly at 5, we'll just talk to who we can talk to before then and then retreat around 4:50 or so to get ready for the aisle walk. This way the receiving line can't possibly run on for forever, since we have a ceremony to start.

Quick aside. We are seeing each other before the ceremony, as I'm sure you've deduced. I haven't been hiding pictures of me in my wedding dress from Ryan, and we're getting lots of pictures done before the ceremony together. When we first started wedding planning, I was planning on keeping the first look for the aisle walk, but then I read into the tradition behind it (there's a super brief overview of the tradition here), and we decided that the tradition did not hold a lot of meaning for us.

Ryan mentioned last night that we need to come up with a quick, polite line when people inevitably ask us "But you're seeing each other before the ceremony, isn't that bad luck!?". I suggested something that involved an obscenity, and Ryan suggested something along the lines of "Shut up and go sit down." Obviously neither will work (though I will use the obscenity with my friends), so do you all have any suggestions?

What are you doing for your receiving line?

I just finished reading...

I'm a bit behind, so we'll go 3 for 1!

Portrait of a Marriage by Pearl S. Buck.

I really dig Pearl S. Buck, but this book sucked big time. It was terrible. It's all about this rich New York artist who marries a Pennsylvania farmer's daughter. Cliches about the "simple folk" abound endlessly and the artist is 100% worthless, he won't help her do anything and produces little income. I've decided that I only like Mrs. Buck's novels about Asia, the rest seem to be unfortunate.

The Saint of Lost Things
, by Christopher Castellani.

This was also pretty lame. It's about a young Italian woman who marries a guy who takes her back to America. They live with her in-laws and work all the time and then can't get pregnant, and her hubs is kind of an *ss. Though the ending was good, it wasn't worth all the nonsense in front of it, so I wouldn't recommend this book.

Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanca.

OK this book was amazing. It starts out as a series of e-mails sent anonymously by a Saudi Arabian woman about her and her upper class friends and the dating scene in Saudi Arabia, where it is illegal to interact with the opposite sex for the most part. It was fantastic, I think I read it in under 24 hours. Dating and marriage are so much more complicated over there, and so different. Women will have boyfriends for years they only correspond with via phone or e-mail. Anyway I loved it, you should check it out!

What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bachelorette Debauchery

So, my bachelorette par-tay was Saturday, and it was out of this world.

The day started off with a present for me to wear for the day. It's a personalized bride shirt from the Wedding Chicks, and it was so, so cute.

Alli and I dropped Henry off at my parents for the day and picked up Mary. Henry sits in our laps while we drive. He isn't spoiled or anything, I swear.

We made a pit stop in Perryville at Hoeckle's donuts. It's pretty much the highlight of the town. Obviously:

Our next stop was close to the City Museum, so we stopped for a pic. If you ever visit St. Louis, definitely go here, it's amazing.

Then we were off to the London Tea Room for lunch/tea! Melissa had called ahead and had dessert waiting for us (bad*ss), and we had a lovely lunch and Alli and I shared a pot of tangerine ginger tea.

The tea was awesome. Iced tea would've made much more sense, since it was 90 something outside with 90% humidity...but then we wouldn't have gotten to pour it out of a tea pot, and that just couldn't happen.

My lovely Maids of Honor.

I was presented with a gift at every stop that day (so much spoiling), and Alli got me a mug from an Etsy seller with a Pride and Prejudice quote on it that said "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." I love it. I love it even more because Elizabeth totally turned Mr. Darcy down after that proposal. Hehehe. I've had my eye on that mug for forever, thank you Alli!

Then we went antiquing on Cherokee street, which ruled. I love thrifting/antiquing, and new stores are always fun. The owner of the following shop was a real artist, he had stuff I have never seen before, like old circus advertisements. I scored a copy of Pearl S. Buck's Imperial Woman (it's my FAV Pearl S. Buck book, and it's a pretty copy) at the coolest bookstore ever. Hammond's books was a maze and shelves of books were absolutely everywhere. I am 100% going back to spend the afternoon the next time I have a chance.

After 2 and a half hours of antiquing, we saw a restored mansion, the Chatillon-Demenil house. Our tour guide was really quirky and funny and she was an architectural preservationist of some sort, so she had some really interesting things to say about how the home was restored.

Then we went to the zoo! I LOVE the zoo, it's such a happy place. No room for sadness at the zoo. I was forced to wear a crown with a veil (I obviously didn't mind) and one little girl thought I was a princess. My ladies certainly made me feel like one!

The ring is ON IT!

Then we rode the train around....I love this train so much. And Melissa, love her so much too.

See how wonky my hair is? Thank you humidity...another reason I was so impressed that my hair trial worked out!

So it poured after we got off the train but we waited it out at the train station and then headed to dinner. The rainbow made it worth it.

Melissa went to dinner there the night before to drop off centerpieces. She made these herself...isn't she the best?

All of the ladies at Square One Brewery. Yum, beer!

Me and Alli.

I am 99.9% sure I said something totally inappropriate and told my sisters to put earmuffs on. I love how grossed out Mary looks, hehehe!

Do you SEE Alli's face here? I am obviously talking nonsense. That's what 3 beers does to me. Yup, 3 beers...that's why Ryan's marrying me, I'm a cheap date.

Then Alli drove us back to Cape. It was a day that made me feel so cared about and loved. Everything was so thoughtful and amazing and I felt so spoiled. I can't thank Alli and Melissa enough for putting everything together, and all of my bridesmaid's for pampering the pants off of me!

What did you do for your bachelorette party? No bad*ss dance moves like you, Em, the only moves I have I learned from the Wii Dance game!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Bouquet

Yes, I am still harping about the bouquets.

My bouquet is different though than the bridesmaid's bouquets that you've already seen. The bridesmaid's bouquets have 16-18 flowers in them, and mine has 22, so it's bigger. Mine also has more pins, and small feathers are stuck in the top. Oh and mine has an aqua handle while the b-maids have ivory.

Ta da!

The big pin on the handle is my "something borrowed" from a dear friend of the family, Suzanne.

I could stare at these all day. So pretty. I am going to carry this around as much as humanly possible on July 24th.

What's your fav DIY project that you've done or seen?

Friday, June 11, 2010


Tomorrow is my bachelorette party, and I am so, so excited! Ryan's spending the weekend at the lake with the guys and I'm going to be cutting a rug up in St Louis with some of my favorite ladies.

Tonight I'm thinking a leisurely evening of experimentation in front of my sewing machine. I promised my sister Alli a case for Kindle, and I want to give this tutorial a shot. I also promised my buddy Melissa a garter for her wedding in November, and I have some ideas I want to try out.

Sunday, I have nothing on the books, so the house will be cleaned and I'm going to try out a new Unitarian worship service in my hometown. And if I get lazy tonight all of the sewing projects will be moved to Sunday. And I want to antique for some vintage rhinestone earrings for the wedding. Now that I'm wearing my hair down, the post earrings I have won't work. This puzzled Ryan, that earring plans had to change when it turned out I could wear my down.

Monday I am going to harass you ONE LAST TIME about bouquets, I finished mine and it is different from the b-maids and I am of course way too proud of it. I'll also have some pics of the bachelorette extravaganza!

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hair Trial

I had my hair trial last weekend, and it went super, super well.

I wanted it down in loose curls with some volume on the top, and I got just that.

In my car 5 seconds after:

8 hours later:

8 hours later from the side:

It took an hour and a half, so I'm glad we know to budget more time in for the day of the wedding. The hair stylist was a friend of Ryan's sister Erin and she will be doing my hair on the day of the wedding. I don't think we'll really do anything differently, this hair stayed put through wind and 90% humidity for a good 8 hours. Talk about staying power....and I have thin, fine hair that goes limp pretty much 2 seconds after I'm done styling it. So yeah, I'm thrilled with it, and relieved that I can have the hair style I want without it falling apart and looking straggly.

How are you wearing your hair for the wedding? How did your hair trial go?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

For the Ladies

Last night, I wrapped the bridesmaid's presents.

Bridesmaids: Please vacate the premises.

I probably shouldn't've wrapped them so early, but I really don't want to be scrambling right before the rehearsal. If I don't do something when I think of it, it probably won't happen.

So I told you all that I made them tote bags, which I finished a long time ago. I ended up having enough scraps of fabric left over from that project to make my bridesmaid's matching jewelry rolls as well.

Sorry about the sideways....

The ribbon unties and you can thread rings through it, and there are 2 good sized zipper compartments to store jewelry in. You roll it up and tie it with the 2 long ribbons (I put little tags on them so people would know what they are).

And here is a tote bag with a jewelry roll:

This set is for Ryan's sister Erin, I love the pop of pink.

I also got a lightweight pashmina for everyone - red for the MOH's, since they're wearing aqua dresses, vice versa for the other B-maids.

So there it is, a bridesmaid present in its full form. They are all wrapped and sitting in a corner. I just need to write cards to the ladies and tie some ribbon and we're all done! Love having this crossed off my list...

I'm really glad I made their presents...I was able to get them more than if I had just bought them presents, and each bridesmaid has a tote bag/jewelry roll with fabric picked out just for them. Plus it was fun.

What are you doing for your bridesmaid's presents?

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's on the menu

Friday Ryan and I met with our caterer, Beth.

She's super easy going, and she's taking care of so much more than I thought she would! We're doing the linens through her at $2.25/table cloth, she's going to set out snacks we're providing for the cocktail hour, she's getting us liquor info/pricing (which we're doing on our own, so it really isn't her job/problem), she's setting out the cakes for us and she gave us some great ideas on how much alcohol to purchase.

Here's the menu (buffet style, $12.50/head):

Chicken parmesan
Oven browned potatoes
Green beans
Baby carrots with dill
Rolls and butter
Salad with house dressing
Iced tea, lemonade, water

All of this on real dishes and with real silverware. That was quite the revelation with wedding planning-a caterer's price often does NOT include silverware and plates. Ouch. She has this thing where she thinks people should always eat off of real plates. I'm with her.

This was Friday that we figured all this out on. Sunday morning Ryan has a voicemail from her with a message saying that her distributor messed up and she has a chicken surplus. If we pay a deposit today, she can cut 10% off our total bill. So Ryan ran a check down to her today and now we're saving 10%!

I feel very lucky that we found Beth. Not many caterers would pass savings on like that, or work with us the way she is. For kids, she's leaving it up to use to determine how much they'll eat, so most of the little kids are eating 2 for the price of 1. She's definitely going above and beyond and her food is SO GOOD. I ate at her restaurant with Ryan's family a few months ago and she makes Italian soul food. Our guests will not have to suffer through the dreaded "wedding food."

What are you doing food-wise at your wedding?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why I'm boring

So I had a super low post count for May, and it occurred to me that it's because I am spectacularly boring.

Here's what I've been up to:

-Calling Trader Joe's to see when we need to place our wine order. We don't have to place it until 5 days before the wedding, which is great because that way we'll have a solid guest count. I'm going to order 2 weeks out because I'm psycho.

-Making an appointment with our caterer for today to finalize the menu and get some tips on where to purchase our beer from. Also maybe her perspective on what a good signature drink would be.

-Finishing our wedding ceremony.

-Filling out worksheets for the photographer and DJ.

-Deciding on adding an hour of time to our reception, so now it'll end at 12:30 instead of 11:30.

-Figuring out itineraries for photos and the reception. Full itinerary to follow once we figure out how much time the hairdressers need.

-Getting the presents for our bridesmaid's, groomsmen, ushers and parents finished up.

-Learning how to dance (which was so not boring, but I'm all about being thorough here).

-Finishing up the card box.

-Mailing out invite stragglers and gathering the last few addresses.

-Sending out an e-mail to the bridesmaid's to update them.

-Hair trial is scheduled for Saturday.

-Registry monitoring to make sure they weren't emptied for the 3rd time.

-Hiring bartenders.

-Working on the playlist for the reception.

-Lots of other miscellaneous stuff

Boring boring boring. I'm still wedding planning, but it's just boring and more nitty gritty details and less fun stuff.

Are you out of the fun stuff and in to the not-so-fun stuff?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I just finished reading....

This is Not the Story you Think it Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness by Laura Munson.


Remember her article in the New York Times? Her husband walked in one day and said that he didn't love her. She looked him right in the face and said "I don't buy it." She felt in her gut that the problem was his and that she could wait it out. So she never acted the victim, never treated him like someone who had deeply betrayed her...and it all turned out OK. She went on to write this book and I am so glad I read it. It really shows how to ride out a rough patch in a marriage by not accepting the mentality of a victim and by refusing to wallow.

The front part of this book was on the slow side, but the last half was super worthwhile.

What are you reading right now?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

P*ssed Off Bride

Remember P*ssed Off Bride? The one place where you can let all of your frustrations and anger out 100% anonymously? Kelly and I are in need to submissions, so if you have anything at all you'd like to get off of your chest, please please please send it in to pissedoffbride @ hotmail [dot] com. It can be anything, from the checker at Target who said something nasty about your ring to the relatives who RSVP'd yes and then never showed. We would love to hear from you, and we promise to never tell who wrote it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We can dance if we want to

Yesterday Ryan took one for the team and we had a dance lesson.

For all of you St. Louis brides, his name is George Denninger and you can find him here. He does private lessons for $50/hour and larger groups for a little bit more.

Anyway, we brought our music in and he listened to the first bit and showed us 4-5 different dances that would work with our music. We ended up choosing the foxtrot and he slowly broke the dance down for us. Within 30 minutes we were dancing around the room! It rocked. He taught us some pretty fancy getting-on-the-dance-floor moves which we ended up simplifying when we practiced at home later on that day. He was a really good teacher.

So yeah...Ryan's a better dancer than me. I apparently keep trying to lead. Having someone else 100% dictate the dance is weird though, and it's taking some getting used to.

We're going to try to go back before the wedding, but if not, it'll be fine. We have a little video of the dance to refresh our memories if need be, and I can't believe how much we learned in 1 hour!

I am so, so glad we did this...and that Ryan did this. It definitely wasn't his thing but he knew how much I wanted to do it. He is awesome.

Did you take dance lessons for your wedding? Are you glad you did?