Tag Archives: wedding

Registry mistakes

I loved registering for gifts. Plain and simple, it was an afternoon o’ pure fun for my favorite redhead and me. Walking the aisles of our fave department/home stores and adding everything from toaster ovens to cake stands to what is essentially the ultimate kitchen and home wish list was so much fun.

Martha Stewart Lisbon collection

Since we’re both older 20-somethings (doesn’t that sound better than “pushing 30?”), we already have most the essentials. I mean, if we had been waiting for the day we were engaged and got a chance to register for gifts, we would’ve eaten a lot of meals cooked on a George Foreman off of paper plates. I’m sure other older – I mean, more “mature” – brides can relate. All that is to say, it was quite fun to get to register for items we’ve been really wanting but maybe don’t need as much. I mean, I make do with the little coffee bean grinder whose lid I have to hold down while it’s operating. But getting the opportunity to register for a super duper fancy shmancy coffee bean grinder? That filled my heart with joy and caffeinated gladness.

The Cellar cake stand

Anyhoo, despite the massive amounts of registry fun we had, I realize – in retrospect – we may have made some mistakes. You know, hindsight’s 20/20 and all that jazz. The biggest mistake was that we (read I) jumped the gun and registered way too soon. With a euphoric engagement fog hanging over me (don’t worry, the fog does eventually dissipate, and you’re able to make logical decisions again), I just simply couldn’t wait to do anything wedding-related. I wanted to do it all. Every last little wedding task I could get my hands on, by golly, I was gonna. It makes me giggle a little now when I look back and realize we registered after being engaged for less than a month. Less than a month, people! Why is that a problem, you ask? Because a number of items we registered for are no longer in stock. Which is apparently what happens after, you know, several months pass. Whoops.

Brabantia bread box

So, in recent weeks, The Beau and I have had to do some registry tweaking, making sure it’s up to date, with items that are currently available, should someone actually want to purchase them. Kind of important an important detail, I suppose. Thankfully, our registries are available online and easy to edit with our tushies firmly planted on the couch.

I know the title of this post is “registry mistakes,” but it’s really just the one, kinda big mistake. But I thought “the one kinda big registry mistake” sounded a little too foreboding. And I didn’t wanna scare anyone.

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Fun with spray paint

Some of my favorite wedding DIY projects have involved none other than good ol’ cans of spray paint. It’s true. I’ve been channeling my inner wannabe-graffiti-artist by shaking up cans of paint and spraying their colorful contents onto otherwise boring surfaces.

I’ve always wanted to play with spray paint. I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t? It just looks like so much fun! But, as a law-abiding, non-graffiti-ing citizen, I had yet to come up with a craft project that would provide me a purpose for purchasing spray paint (like the alliteration there?). But, my friends, what is a wedding, if not a blank canvas upon which to spray paint to your heart’s desire? Ok, ok, maybe I’m getting sidetracked. The point is, in summary:

  • I’m getting married.
  • That provides fodder for DIY projects.
  • I decided to use spray paint.

One of the first craft store purchase I made was wooden initials representing mine and The Beau’s first names and the initial of our married last name. I know, it’s totally clichéd. Whatevs. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of monograms in day-to-day life, I love the use of initials in wedding décor! Call me corny, but I just just adore ’em. I bought them white, but that just wouldn’t do, so I bought a bottle of Krylon spray paint in a shiny nickel color and went to town.

Another project I’ve embarked on is the pictures-hanging-from-a-clothesline concept. Something kinda sorta like this:

I haven’t decided what sort of string, ribbon or twine I’ll use to suspend our photos from, but you can bet I’ve spray painted the heck out of some tiny clothespins!


I also decided we needed signs. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t need signs? Signs are good.

I dunno yet what I’m gonna write on this purple beauty yet.

But, with the help of a purple paint pen, I’ve already completed one sign!

(I really like the imperfection in the wood between “to” and “our.”)

The place where we’ll say “I do”

It makes me a teensy bit sad that I have yet to see the church in which we’ll say our vows. Making the decision on such an incredibly important venue from 900 miles away was not easy.

Thankfully, my amazing sister/MOH R met with the coordinator at the church and provided a thoroughly detailed account of her visit. And her partner-in-crime VT took some fantastic pictures.

Ignore the somewhat orange-y carpet!

All photos courtesy Val Tenyotkin

You may remember my previous discussion about the wedding church conundrum. It was a bit of a task trying to find a church in the Raleigh, N.C. area in which we could wed. I had attended a church in the RDU area with some regularity, but I didn’t personally know the minister and the church isn’t the most photogenic (not that that really matters). Unfortunately, most churches we looked into required membership to be married there. Part of me understands that policy, but another part of me thinks that’s a bit silly. I would think if you charge someone a bit of money to be married there, you have an opportunity to make some money and share your place of worship with someone new. I wish more churches were open to “outsiders” using their facility for marriage ceremonies.

But I digress. We did finally find a church that permits non-members to be married there, and, unlike the one or two other churches we had found, their prices were very reasonable. And after looking at a couple of pictures online, I was smitten. From our computer screens halfway across the country, we knew Unity Church of The Triangle, also known as the Long View Center, was the place for us. It’s a lovely facility, and the coordinator there has been extremely helpful and eager to work with us, despite the distance.

The church is in a fab location in downtown Raleigh, right in the middle of everything and super close to our reception venue. What’s funny is I have actually parallel parked alongside one of the more plain exterior walls of the church, and I didn’t even realize it was such a gorgeous church. The church faces in a direction I rarely traveled, and I had never been inside – so, I never previously paid attention to the beautiful front or got a chance to see its lovely interior.

My advice to those getting married somewhere far away from you live:

  • Do lots of research. Don’t just stop when your Google search spits out a couple of facility options; check for photos of weddings that have taken place there (I definitely found some!) and see if anyone has written any reviews.
  • If you can’t visit the venues in question, try to find someone whose opinion you trust to go in your stead. And ask them to take lots of pictures!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I have bombarded our poor point of contact with dozens of e-mails and phone calls. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem she’s minded too much!
  • Know exactly what your church (or other facility) provides. Is there a place for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready? What about somewhere for the guys to get ready? Are there picturesque backdrops for photos to be taken?
  • And lastly, make sure you get the venue for the amount of time you want to get it for. We almost went with a venue that wanted us in and out in such a short time, it likely would’ve made our heads spin. We’re glad we kept searching and found a place whose price includes a longer time frame in which we’re allowed to occupy the space.

The beau and his compadres

Though so much focus is given to the bridal duds, I would be remiss if I didn’t give The Beau some time in the wedding fashion spotlight. Because, for seriousness, he is going to be looking pretty spiffy on said day.

When we started talking about what the Mister would wear on the big day, we wanted all options to be on the table: renting a tux, renting a suit, buying a suit or just going super casual with button-down shirts and a tie or something along those lines. The more we talked about it, the easier the decision became. We weren’t too keen on shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a rental suit or tux, when we knew buying a new suit meant he would then have something nice to keep and wear again. And so we embarked on a hunt for a black suit.

We veered from our course of action a bit, however, when we stumbled upon a dapper charcoal gray number at men’s store Bachrach. It became pretty clear to me that gray is the Mister’s color. He looked so handsome! So we purchased a charcoal gray suit and altered our plans a bit. Mr. Groom would wear his charcoal gray suit, and he would ask his attendants to wear black. We figured it wasn’t a bad thing for him to stand out and be a little different. I mean, it is sort of his his day to shine, right?

With charcoal tux purchased, The Beau set forth asking his three male attendants to wear any nice, black suit they might have or to see about purchasing or borrowing one. It turned out none actually had a black suit they could wear for the occasion, but all expressed excitement at the opportunity to purchase a suit they knew they would get some wear out of – which is what we had hoped would be the case!

That simply left The Beau’s one female attendant, whom – after much surfing of the Interwebs – we have decided to dub a groomslady! Lovely groomslady R has been such a sport and agreeable to anything, in terms of attire. We ultimately decided to have R wear the same dress my bridesmaids will be wearing, except instead of purple, hers will be black to match the fellows. And instead of silver shoes, like the other girls, she’ll wear black heels that match theirs.

I’m pretty excited! I think we’re going to be one good-looking bunch!

Dealing with stress

It continually amazes me how stressful planning a wedding can be. I realize the beau and I purposefully chose the route of a larger-scale wedding and reception with all our friends and family present, as opposed to the calmer course of going to the courthouse by ourselves. Therefore, on some level, we readily accepted as givens all the stressors of wedding planning. But it doesn’t make the stress any less palatable.

I’ve found my stress comes in waves. It was worst, by far, in the first few weeks of being engaged. As someone with a proclivity (booyah for opportunities to use fancy words!) to stress and be anxious, it didn’t surprise me that I began to stress about the wedding planning virtually the instant we were engaged. What did surprise me is how bad it was. For the life of me, I couldn’t sleep. I was like a kid at Christmas too excited to find out what Santa Claus might bring me. I probably only slept a couple of hours a night the first week or two we were engaged. This was because my head was filled to the brim with ideas, to-do lists and dream sequences of various wedding-day scenarios (both good and bad!). And, I couldn’t eat. I simply wasn’t hungry – mostly because my stomach was perpetually in knots. It was as though some part of me felt like I needed to have all the wedding planning finished already. Even though we had months and months sprawling before us!

Thankfully, with each item I’ve checked off the seemingly neverending to-do list, my stress lessens. But it does pop up randomly from time to time. It’s strange what makes it rear its head. I couldn’t care less that I didn’t have a solution to my I-don’t-want-to-pay-a-gazillion-dollars-for-real-flowers conundrum. Yet, for some reason, I was getting panicky about not finding the right shoes, even though I had plenty of time. Sigh. It’s crazy how stress-inducing this process can be. And perhaps even crazier that I let it be stress inducing.

Talking it over with the hubs-to-be always makes me feel better when I start to stress. He is a constant calming force. He’s wizard-like in his mellowing abilities. He can inevitably talk me down from any frenzied state. And he reminds me time after time what’s important and what’s not. He puts things in perspective. It’s easy to remember why I’m marrying this guy and why I’m (semi) embracing all this stress!

Bachelorette Par-tay

I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody. I wanna dance with somebody, with somebody who loves me. – Whitney Houston

Is it wrong that every time I picture my bachelorette party, my head is filled with poptastic ’80s tunes like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody?” For reals, I loved the video for that song when I was a kid. And now, forever, I associate giant hair, neon colors and paint-splattered walls with a good time. Is that so wrong? Ok, so maybe I am in the wrong era for an acid-washed bachelorette party, but a girl can dream, right?

In all seriousness, I am pumped about getting together with some of my favorite gal pals and painting the town red for a night (Hmm, maybe paint-splattered walls aren’t out of the question, after all!). One of the hardest parts of planning this wedding from a state I only recently moved to has been being away from my BFFs. I miss them like whoa, and I cannot wait to be reunited and spend a weekend letting loose and celebrating the end of one chapter and beginning of another with them.

In just a few short weeks, I get to put on my party shoes and have a weekend o’ fun in one of my favorite places in the world, Charleston, S.C. I hope we eat lots of delicious southern specialties, have a few drinks and have more than a few laughs. I am in desperate need of time with my girls!

The ceremony deets: everything that leads up to “I do”

Just like with all aspects of planning a wedding, planning the ceremony means making some pretty big decisions. The nice thing is that it can be as elaborate and over-the-top or as scaled back and minimalistic as you want (10-minute service, anyone?). No matter how many weddings you’ve been to where a cheesy ritual has made you roll your eyes or the length has made you nod off to sleep, this is finally your chance to shine.

It is kinda crazy, however, just how much there is to think about. Oy vey. Much more goes into creating a meaningful ceremony than I had ever really anticipated.

This is what we’re currently mulling over:

  • Music
  • I’m doing a happy dance about this one because two of my favorite peeps are going to be lending their musical talents to the big day. My cousin JK has agreed to play flute, and a dear friend is playing the piano. And these, my friends, are some of the songs I’m considering for various parts of the ceremony, because I loves me some Vivaldi.


    And, I kinda really, really love this. Adele is freaking amazing. And this song is gorgeous.

  • How we want the bridesmaids and groomsmen to enter
  • I’m kinda stuck on this one. There are too many stinkin’ possibilities! The groom’s attendants (I gots to be fair; it’s not just groomsmen – it’s groomsmen and a groom’s lady!) could process first, with the bridesmaids processing after them. Or the groom’s attendants and bridesmaids could process together. Or the groom’s attendants could be in place already and just the bridesmaids could process. Whew! There sure are a lot of different ways to go about getting a group of people to the front of a church!

  • In what ways we want to involve family members
  • I am loving working on this aspect of the ceremony. We want to share our day with our loved ones and include as many of them as possible in important ways. One way we plan to include our mothers is by asking them to read a passage – from a book, a poem, a song, anything – that means something to them that they think might be meaningful to us. We’re also tossing around some different ideas that might involve all the guests, though we haven’t really decided on anything on that front.

  • What rituals or special ceremonies we want to perform
  • I know it might be horribly clichéd, but we plan to have a unity candle. Though this particular rite has been performed at oodles of ceremonies before ours, I’ve always loved it. I think there’s something really special about the symbolism of unifying two as one. And, the best part is that our candle brings a little bit of the beau’s hometown to the ceremony – the candles are from A.I. Root Candle Co., which is based where he is from in Ohio!

  • What Biblical and other passages we want read
  • I’ve always known I wanted passages from the Bible to be read during our ceremony, but determining which ones is proving harder than I thought. I really don’t want to use the same passages I’ve heard at so many other weddings before. I want to find passages meaningful to me, to us. I’m a big fan of Ecclesiastes 4:9
    “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

  • What vows we’d like to say
  • I’m pretty sure we’re going to say standard vows. There was a time I considered writing my own, but at this point I’m thinking that’s probably not what I want to do.

    Yikes! There’s so much to consider!