Sunday, December 30, 2007
I bought my first wedding magazines today!
I know, right? Half of you read that sentence and said "You haven't bought any yet, are you crazy?" and the other half thought "Jesus, so?!"
I thought I didn't want to buy any...the internet is such a valuable resource and the magazines just seem to cater to the kind of wedding I am not having, and I thought, who needs em? I've got like fifty wedding blogs I can read every day for free, suckas!
But (and on hallowedding there is always a but) I was kind of expecting Santa to bring me a bridal magazine this year AND HE DIDN'T. And a few days after Christmas I thought, boo, Santa. You should've bought me a wedding magazine. Well, today I FINALLY got my refund check for financial aid (only five months late...great job, university system!) and I said "I'm doin' it!"
You guys, I was wrong about wedding magazines. Wedding magazines are. So. Fun.
And unlike, say, Cosmo, where I always wonder where the content is hiding under all the ads, in bridal magazines, the ads are the best part! and everybody knows it! and everyone is okay with it! It's kind of like a Playboy...if you do end up reading the articles they're really good but if you just look at the pictures you'll get off just fine.
Sorry Mom. Sorry Jesus. That was inappropriate.
But back to weddings, these things are huge! I sat paging through one for over an hour and I'm only half way through--and I was flying through that bad boy. So I still have half of Modern Bride and a whole Martha Stewart Weddings left to go. Remind me that I have things I need to get done in the next week...lots and lots of things. If you see me sitting in a chair, folding over pages, ask me if my costumes for the Moving Company are done. That should get me up pretty fast.
Oh, and Greg and I spent a good chunk of a car trip to Wichita talking wedding shop and we have a LOT figured out. I'll also be doing some quick posts about Christmas gifts that are doubling as wedding prep presents and how I managed to bank AGAIN on post-holidays sales. Hallowedding stuff in post-Christmas clearance: it is a MADHOUSE. Target is a MADHOUSE.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I had plans, big plans about me staying in bed until 9 a.m. this morning, but after letting the dog out for his morning wee I thought, oh, I'll just check the old email to see if there's anything that needs dealing with. There were weddingy emails in there, which make me happy, and then I'm like, oh, a quick pop over some of my favorite wedding blogs and back to bed!
Uh, no. No, that isn't going to happen anymore.
Okay, so it's not like I haven't heard of Watters before. I'm sure I have a dozen of their dresses in my inspiration bookmarks. But someone linked to them and I was all over their site...short dresses, dresses with sleeves, oh my god such prettiness! The downside: the only place around that carries their dresses is in Lincoln (about 45 min away) which isn't too far but...sigh. My maid of honor is modeling in a bridal show this month and she has tried on more dresses than me. Bad bride! Get thee to a fittery!
Anyhoo, you guys want pretty pictures, right? I KNOW I DO! But I can't make them work and I need to go Christmas shopping. So I'll go Christmas shopping, I'll try to post the pretty pictures later, but until then here are the LINKS to the pretty pictures, if you're interested:
Where did they get this shawl, does it come in white and how fast can it be at my wedding?
I even like some of their long styles. I think I want straps or sleeves on my dress, just to minimize the pulling/back fat problem most brides have with strapless. Great, another quality I want in a wedding dress that NOBODY EVER HAS EVER. Baaaaaah.
BUT-Watters has a lot of dresses with sleeve and straps and SHORT DRESSES! Some of them are obviously too springy, but this one looks very fall fashion and fifties courthouse. Can we talk about the fact that there's a jacket? And lace? I know it would probably make me look matronly and would look terrible on me but I kind of love it. Is it okay if I kind of love it? Because I do.
And finally, bridesmaids look away, lest your hearts be broken:
I love this bridesmaid dress SO MUCH.
But I know Watter's bridesmaid dresses run in the 125-200 range. It comes in off-white, I guess, so maybe I could have it, but oh god. Oh it is the prettiest. If I can only post one picture later it will be that one.
We're going to Lincoln to try on dresses. We must!
Speaking of the bridesmaids, there is one I haven't asked yet! Because I wanted it to be personal and she lives in Maine and I never see her and now I don't think I'll be around when she's around for the holidays. Whoops. How tacky would a facebook bridesmaid invite be? So tacky, I know...but I might just have to.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I have never been to overstock.com, but someone suggested them for bridesmaid dresses and oh my gosh. There are a lot of dresses (like the one above...I love chest buttons more than pleats, even) that I want to have justification to buy. Rehearsal dinner dress? Erm, prolly too chilly for October. Engagement photo dress? Wear it around so people will call me pretty?...(is that a wedding justification?) But I DID find some very interesting finds. These dresses will probably not be around in a few months when I need to buys them but just knowing that we have these options makes me feel so much better. This dress comes in rich, dark orange and shiny orange. I know, it was pretty much decided that pencil skirts were out, but I think those people would reconsider for pretty orange dresses...maybe?
And oh, WEDDING DRESS TIME! Oooooooh, ahhhhhhhh. And, and, and, $120. Yup.
If I had any disposable income I would just buy it. Just...because.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
On a more serious note, our friend/professor/mentor Paul summed up my feelings on the Omaha shootings very truthfully in his most recent blog entry. You can find it here. It's smart talk and apparently a good chunk of the Omaha press is going this way. Glad to hear it.
Sorry, I just had to post this. I think this is the first video invite I've ever seen, and it's certainly the first YouTube invite I've ever seen. But it really is a pretty smart idea, and it's beautifully executed. It doesn't hurt that these are two very funny people, the groom hailing from Hard N' Phirm and the bride from Respecto Montalban.
The only X-factor is how you make sure that only the right people see it, I suppose, and that you don't get monstrous guys in LOLcats shirts showing up for cake and the chance to be near a woman.
Anyhow, enjoy the video. And watch for the ending. And leave some feedback! If you've got fun ideas in this vein, let us know. It could be up our alley, potentially. We are wedding bloggers, after all.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Ah, Stephanie James. With all your beautiful tea length dresses. Some with pleats. Some named after beloved characters in musicals. All of which would be so, so perfect for me.
I finally broke down and just emailed the woman. Just to see if there was a boutique carrying her line somewhere closer than Denver. There isn't. But she was kind enough to offer to ship me a dress and gave me prices. Less than I thought. Still too much, though, I think, for something that only I get to enjoy. It shouldn't cost as much as the catering.
Right? Right? Right?
The first dress is Dahlia. Pleated and pretty and new.
And then there's Audrey, "her most popular dress," and Audrey just breaks my goddamn heart.How cute would I look in that? Seriously. I must say, though, Stephanie James is like the nicest person I have talked to about wedding stuff so far. She's unbelievable.
Let us address the bridesmaid dress issue. My ultimate hope for the girls' dresses is for them to NOT be bridesmaid dresses. BM dresses (ha, bm!) are notoriously poorly made and over priced, and are kind of unwearable. There are a couple of REALLY CUTE versions that disprove this theory but they are $150 to $300 dollars and I'm just not going to do that to one of my friends. That's just ridiculous. I'm limiting myself to the $75 and under range...and they'll only be $75 if they're really ridiculously gorgeous.
jcrew has a lot of adorable options (a few of which are in the $150 range and will therefore will not be mentioned, but are still much beloved)
This one is about $80 but is circling the sale drain and will probably go down. I think it's a really flattering cut and will probably be the highest quality.
There are also a couple of similar styles in the Anne Taylor celebrations collection that frequently go on sale for about this price. I think this style has major rewearability, but might be a little too popular...a brown tea length dress is not as sensible if you have more than one, you know?
(Yes, blogger, I know "rewearability" is not a word. But neither is "internets." Just go with me here)
So of course, since this is my wedding and I apparently like to buy my life at Target, I started looking around their website and I've got to say, I'm intrigued. Very, very intrigued. Most of these dresses are $40, some are cheaper. And Target makes some cute stuff. Actually if I could get the t-back dress Ashley wore to our engagement party in other colors, that would be a major contender for either the bridesmaids or even myself.
Here is another variation on the classic shown above, only with a pencil skirt. I love pencil skirts. But they don't look good on everyone, so maybe not.
This option is similarly sleek, but with a little bit of lace. If my dress has lace, this could be a cute way to go. It'll also make the dress a little more different.
Is this dress not adorable? I'm so in love with it. The navy version is in our Target and I constantly stop by to say Ooooooooh to it. The only problems I could see with this dress are that it could potentially be a fuller skirt than my own dress (again, why does this not come in white?!) and also, it's made of that weird taffeta that has an almost woodgrain pattern on it. Since I make costumes I should probably know what that's called but I just always call it woodgrain fabric. Meh.
I looooooove this one. Look at how much fun the girl is having in this picture. I see nothing wrong with this dress. It is also goes very well with the sort of fifties ish feel we're wanting and would look darling on all the girls.
Of course, just like Greg's post about the suits, this is something that can't be decided until I find my dress. Which, if I want to REALLY stay on budget and have a forty dollar wedding dress, Target has some ideas about that one too:
So, if you were in my wedding, which would you rather wear?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
It turns out that brown tuxedos are not exactly the most popular things on earth. They seem to be getting a bit of a resurgence, but the pickings are still slim. So let me preface this post by saying that if you happen to run into a suit that I've missed in this post, please let us know about it. But let us begin.
The first option is from Men's Wearhouse. It's a Versini wool suit, so there isn't a lot of flash to it. Here's some pictures.
One thing I like about this option is the simplicity. It has a casual feel to it, which perfectly matches with the 50's courthouse vibe that we're looking for. It's not a tuxedo, which is honestly a draw for me, and it would pair with our chosen colors of orange, purple, and red (red for me) really well. The pinstripe is subtle but still noticable, and the color is perfect.
This suit would probably go without a vest, if we go that route, and would look good with the chosen footwear for my side of the aisle.
Problem is, I can't rent it, since it's not a tuxedo. They're only $175 a piece though.
Next up is a more dressed-up number, but still casual. This is from Fubu, apparently, and I do like it a bit. It's less reserved and a bit more flashy, but not excessively so. A big part of this decision hinges upon Shannon's dress, so if that side of the equation ends up being somewhat modern, this suit could work really well. Also, since it's an actual tuxedo, I should be able to find it for rent, unlike option 1.
This suit would be much better, however, if the lapel fabric matched the rest of the suit. For this cut and style a contrast lapel doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But despite that, it's still a front-runner.
And last we have the maximum fancy option. This one is nice because it blends a classic cut with a modern fabric, and the contrasting lapel works for me in this case. But because it's a little out there, it may call too much attention to my side of the aisle. I want to look nice, but I'm beginning to see why people gravitate towards black suits, because other colors really can pull focus from where people should be looking: at the bride. This is another actual tuxedo, though, so I should be able to track it down for rental. The website I found it on, however, listed it in their Diamond collection, so it may not be cheap.
I'm also concerned about this suit given our other elements. The groomsmen will be wearing Chuck Taylors in a burnt orange or deep purple, while I'll be wearing red ones. Each of us will have vests and pocket squares to match. But this suit gives me the idea to maybe make the vest a complementary brown color while keeping the ties and squares bolder to match with the shoes. In any case, a suit in this style may not blend with casual footwear.
So yeah, there's my first bit of legwork on suits. As always with this blog, feedback is not only encouraged, but necessary. Otherwise this thing's going to be a fiasco!
Also, Shannon posted the first picture of the ring and mentioned that I might go a little more deeply into the symbolism of it in one of my posts. This is not the case, because it feels corny and I'm shy about it. But I do need to dispense some ring props.
First and foremost to Shannon's mom for providing the accent diamonds. Julie was going to give Shannon a necklace with these diamonds, but the jeweler never got the job done. So thanks to that jerk-off, too! But in all honesty, the stone that my modest means could afford would have looked very insignificant without those, and they lend a personal connection to the ring that I think is really important to Shannon.
Next up is to Paul Pape, for directing me to the jeweler, and then in turn to Custom Gems. I went there initially just to get the stone, but they also do custom jewelry orders. They have in-house jewelers to complete these orders, but the owner also has partners in Hong Kong. One of the samples they showed me was essentially a finger-mounted pagoda made out of diamonds and gold. It was a little intense for my budget and tastes, but it was really stunning work. Also, while I've vowed that Shannon will never learn the price of her ring, they did the work for about 25% of the cost quoted at another establishment, I believe largely due to the fact that I purchased the stone there and then came back to get the ring made. I really value that kind of loyalty and consideration, and you will not get that kind of treatment at Borsheim's or a similarly impersonal jewelry store. I should also add that the only reason the ring wasn't done in time for the proposal was because I was too late in arranging it, so don't hold that against them. They did a phenomenal job and I strongly recommend them to anybody. The place is small and tucked away in a little corner of a strip mall, but don't let that turn you off. They work hard and work well, and I admire that.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I know what you're thinking. Or at least, I know what I'm thinking: Shannon, pick a damn venue before you start buying things like ceremony decorations. I know guys, I know. But listen! This was a serious bargain. And I got to stick it to the man just a little bit. Or at least I felt like I did, which feels equally good.
I found this in the fall Pottery Barn collection and bookmarked it because buying a high quality plastic garland pre-assembled would be much easier than trying to twist a bunch of decomposing natural leaves myself. Even though $34 didn't sound like too much, I'm not really into paying "full price" for things for this wedding, you know? So I waited and waited. And after Halloween it went on clearance, but it was still like $20 and I was planning on ordering four of them and that still sounded like too much. So I waited.
And then last night before I went to bed, as I sat waiting for my severe cold medication to kick in enough to ease my fears of suffocating in the night, I started randomly clicking things in my "Wedding Ideas" bookmark folder. I do this from time to time so things don't get forgotten in the mess of hundreds of sites. And I clicked on the Pottery Barn link and lo and behold, these garlands are $14.99. Ohhh, ahhhh. But Shannon, you say, even at a $20 discount I don't know if this is a superbargain.
OH BUT WAIT, it gets better.
As is the PB way, they know that their usual clients are type A personalities and love symmetry. So they give you a little bit of a discount if you order two of the same thing. Before these went on clearance, you could buy two for $64 and save four dollars. Not a big reward, just a little something to say, hey, thanks for being anal.
Well, I don't know if there was a typo or if PB is suddenly very, very into rewarding multiple buys, but two of the $14.99 swags cost...$16.99. Which is $8.50 a piece and that, brothers, is something I AM willing to pay. Enthusiastically.
Do I know exactly what I'm using them for? Do I know WHAT BUILDING they will be used in? No to both. But, oh, the savings. Just roll around in it for a while.
(if you want some of this action for your house next fall, superbargain swags are still available at Pottery Barn online)
Saturday, December 1, 2007
So, ignore the puffiness of my hand and the chipped nail polish. Any closer and my camera got blurry.
I don't know if you can see it in the pictures, but it's not a complete circle around the center diamond, it's two arms sort of hugging it. There are six little diamonds, three on each arm, those are from my mom's wedding band. It was designed by Greg and made overseas and is white gold, one carat total weight (most of which is the tiny diamonds...I'm not really a 'big diamond' girl). It's got a very art deco feel to it and is very very shiny. It also sits almost completely flat on my finger, which is PERFECT, because I haven't scratched myself or chipped the diamond.
It is perfect.
Also, although it embarrasses Mr. Fiance to have me say so, he made it all symbolic. Each of the little arms is one of us and between us is something bigger, something special. He says it much more poetically so maybe he'll go into it later but yes. Come see me in person and ask to see it!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
But while we were getting ready to start the party, Ashley was making dip and I was washing some last minute dishes, and I washed this adorable sea horse plate I got at Old Navy this summer.
"I really like these plates," I said. "I should see if Old Navy has winter dishes. I want to replace the other old plastic plates. They're getting gross."
And Ashley just gave me an eyebrow. "You're getting married. If you buy any kitchen stuff in the next year you're crazy."
Right. That's why I didn't rush out on Black Friday for a cheap as hell Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Sigh.
And the ring is in! Pictures forthcoming, I promise.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It was my dad's birthday as well, and so we exchanged presents. When that was done he said, so tell me about the wedding. And so we started laying out the plans we had already made, discussed our planning process, etc. I was kind of waiting for the "how is it getting paid for" talk but it never came. So I thought, oh well, I can talk it over with him at Thanksgiving.
But nooooooooooo. No, my new retail job decided to schedule me until close the day before Thanksgiving and at 9 a.m. the day after. Which is awesome, since I am going out of town. So I will arrive at midnight tonight and leave after dinner tomorrow and that means I don't get a dad thanksgiving at all! So I guess we'll have the talk at...Christmas? Awesome. It's hard for me to ask for money. I was kind of hoping I could do it when my brother was around since my dad so highly regards his opinion, but oh well. Nothing I can do about it now.
But you know I can't get TOO bummed about things because this Saturday is ENGAGEMENT PARTY! With dresses and fancy snacks.
And it is also snowing. And it's okay now to decorate for Christmas. Which are not Hallowedding related it is just wonderful.
Friday, November 16, 2007
But of course, there is something I haven't really put a ton of research into yet. And that thing is at the top of all the checklists I see, and it's what everyone asks about, and everyone who has ever planned a wedding says I NEED TO DECIDE ON SOON, and that is the venue.
But, but, but, venues aren't sparkly! Or made of white organza! That stuff is boring and expensive. But dangit, it will affect all our other decisions, it's going to be a HUGE chunk of our budget, and well, we're getting married on a party holiday so we need to get on this.
Another thing we have to consider is whether to have the reception and the ceremony at the same place, since neither of us are tied to a church in Omaha. It would be almost double the money to rent two places but since we're giving a break in the middle it feels weird to have them come back to the same building...I don't know. Any opinions?
First of all, there is the UNO Alumni center
We are getting married on a Friday and that makes this place CHEAP. It's where the VachaPittacks got married and where Vince and Sarah will be getting married. Greg really likes this option because it will be close to the theatre makeup rooms, which will be great when we go off to do our bridal zombie makeup (it'll be classy, Mom, I promise) It also has some prime trick or treating locals around it. But I have my doubts about this place, because one, it's the alumni center for our university, and I worry that it will make us seem kind of like little kids...and since we'll "only" be 23 when we get married, and we're going to have kind of a campy wedding, I want us to SEEM as mature as possible. Also, it will be only about two blocks from the UNO dorms, where about seven hundred students will be drunkenly celebrating Halloween as well, and I worry about noise and shenanigans. And they only give you one choice for caterers, which upsets me both as a controlling person and as someone who REALLY likes food.
But if we wanted to go SUPER expensive, there's always the Joslyn
How very metropolitan would it be for us to get married in an art museum? And the event pictures are beyond gorgeous. Two different pretty places, one for ceremony and one for the reception? Mayyyybe? But yes, it is super expensive. You would save a bunch of money other places, though, because who needs decorations when you have a fountain? Or an El Greco? But we kind of need decorations, don't we? It's Halloween. This is Hallowedding! It is also a lousy location for trick or treating. But still, oh, still, SO PRETTY. I've heard you can rent out the castle too, which could be pretty spooky. Hmmm.
Oh, and the Livestock Exchange
I have heard tales that this part of town smells bad. I don't know the situation on local trick or treating. But Greg and I both like it because it looks like the tower of terror and that is very Halloween friendly. The inside is very pretty also, but again, only one catering company and slightly higher price tag. Also, apparently there are apartments within the building as well and I'm not so into that jive.
The Omaha Community Playhouse
We know a couple getting married at the playhouse, and they're renting it for INSANE cheap. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure October 31st would be a performance day for them, so it's out. But if anyone else is getting married when they're NOT having a show, look into it, it's lovely and there's lots of getting ready room. Maybe if we timed it right it could be a ceremony venue?
Durham Western Heritage Museum
I have never been inside this building, but I think Jen turned me onto it. The picture from the main page makes me want to consider it just for the breathtaking mood lighting--->
And finally we have the Scoular Ballroom
This is where the Bruce-Connealy wedding was and boy howdy, it was pretty. AND mature. AND it could be Halloweened OUT. And you have catering options, which is a big bonus for me. But it is also more expensive and also MASSIVE..I think Jen and Jon's wedding probably had a hundred more people at it than I plan to have at mine, and I don't want it to seem vast and empty.
But here is a picture of the set up of Jen's wedding from her facebook:That big black curtain in the back is a STAGE, you guys. Which appeals to the diva actor in me. And adds fun options for performance.
Oh, and while we are on the topic of Connealy's, can I just introduce you guys to JenBruce Connealy, Captain Wedding? This girl has sent me most of the links to these places and is an INVALUABLE source to all wedding planning...but she's not a wedding planner. She's just a girl who got married and rocked at it. And they're super cute, just look!I'm totally putting her in the program as Captain Wedding, you just see if I don't.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A dangerous game is being played between myself and Endless.com.
Endless.com says, hey baby, you want some shoes? You want these shoes. These shoes can be in your wedding. You can wear these shoes all night long.
And I say, um, no thank you, I don't think I should buy shoes before I buy my dress. That would be irresponsible.
And Endless.com just laughs and says, but baby, shipping is free. In fact, I'll pay you $5 to let me send you these shoes, and if you don't like them, you can send them back. For free.
And I say.........for free?
I could order these?
Or ooh, ooh, ooh, THESE?!
And then I could send them back?
And then Zappos.com says, pssssssst, you wanna see some REAL shoes?Shoes like these, these shoes are why I want a short dress.
It is daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangerooooooouuuuuus.
I bought my first wedding planner, Eplan Your Wedding, because we sell them at the store where I work and well, I kept reading it. I bought it and I looked through it and it made me happy. I filled some things in. I took a little of its advice. I even got to check off a few boxes (!). But now I can't find it and it's lovely, lovely checklists. How did I live before I had checklists? I don't know how to keep things straight anymore, I'm LOST!
Monday, November 12, 2007
This little lady was part of a "good wedding hair" segment on aisledash.
I agree that the hair is very pretty and classic, probably something I should consider for myself, but is it just me or does this girl really REALLY look like a real doll?
Maybe it's the elbow or the blank stare but it is seriously creeping meright out.
AND THEN, excuse me, but is this not the most tasteless save the date magnet you've ever seen?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
No one in the greater NE area has the frilly champagne fantasmo of an Alyce dress, which is kind of okay since I'm sure it's a little to elaborate for little ol' me, but also kind of sad since me ma loved that dress so much she offered to pay for it. Boo.
The Eden Informals dress is also unavailable in my area but I found a woman in Sioux Falls (IOWA! I know! I'm sorry!) who would order it for me, and then if I didn't like it would apply the price of that dress to another dress in her store. So, if worse comes to worse, the old Maid O' Honor and I will take some trips to the Invisible State and maybe get me some frills.But, since I'm me, and apparently I like to accumulate desire for lovely things I can never have, I have a new obsession. The nearest boutiques are Chicago and Denver, I think, and I'm sure they're wildly out of my price range since they are made by a very small company, but OH MY DEAR LORD, the selection of shortie dresses!
Presenting my newest objects of lust, dresses by Stephanie James. She sights one of her inspirations as 50's courthouse weddings...50's COURTHOUSE WEDDINGS, people! That's exactly what I said!
What wouldn't I love about this woman? Tea length skirts, lace, structurally MAGNIFICENT, little peekaboo petticoats and the
Which is all I want in the whole world.
(montage image from weddingbee)
Why do I keep doing these things to myself?!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Most awesome part of having a Hallowedding, every store in town would love to have you buy their stuff at a discount just so they don't have to see it anymore.
A deep, deep discount--we now have our "fancy" candles, most of our candy buffet dishes, some of the bridesmaids gifts (not pictured), almost all our napkins and cake plates, and a few things like giant orange tubs that we will "figure out how to use" for under $100.
I think this "after season" hunting could work for almost any wedding, really--the black sparkly bowls would go with elegant affairs--and after Christmas there's a ton of sparkly items in whites and pastels that aren't obviously holiday related. So hit up those sales! They are super awesome! The only disappointing thing was I was expecting some black and orange m&ms and I only found one bag. But we're on the search for more tomorrow!
Oh my God you guys---we bought stuff for the wedding! This is exciting!
EDIT: Hey, this is Greg. I changed some settings around and now anybody and everybody should be able to post comments here, Blogger account or not. I'll also be working on a proper website this week and then the blog will hopefully seamlessly move there. Just a heads-up.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
For those of you not familiar with our history, here's some fast facts. If you know us, skip this paragraph and the next one. Shannon and I met as college freshmen. She was attending UNL, but one of my new UNO Theatre friends was one of Shannon's old high school friends. I was dating someone else at the time, but that soon fell to the side. Go figure. The first words Shannon ever heard me say were these: "Boy, humping ass all day sure makes a guy thirsty." Obviously, these were words to birth a legendary love story.
We officially started dating just under a year later when Shannon transferred to UNO for school, after a supposedly open but actually closed long distance period. I asked her out with a toothbrush. We moved in together just under a year after that into a terrible house. After three months passed we moved to a nice apartment and bought a Tivo. Another year and we moved into a not as nice apartment and adopted a dog. And then we moved into a house. And we live in a house with our best friends and our little dog.
So that's us the four years of us in a couple hundred words. Now to the good stuff.
To set the scene, Shannon is in Matt and Ben at the Omaha Community Playhouse. This is a two-woman show, and a very big deal for her. She's worked her little ass off to prepare for this role and it really shows. If you haven't seen it, do it.
But this year, her play coincided with a yearly tradition: The Pape Family Halloween Party. I got it in my head to propose at this party and to make her opening weekend just that much better. So I bought a diamond and ordered a ring in September, setting October 20th as the ideal deadline. And that was the day. On October 20th, we'd turn the corner.
Preparations included the following:
- Making Shannon believe that I was constructing a salty fisherman costume to compliment her mermaid costume.
- Actually arranging a different costume, that of the Burger King.
- Ordering a ring and purchasing a back-up if the real ring couldn't make the deadline.
- Ordering a custom-engraved iPod nano as Shannon's "raffle" prize.
- Commissioning a custom-carved pumpkin reading "Will you marry me?"
- Arranging for all involved players to be at the party and paid for at the appropriate time.
- Rigging the iPod nano raffle drawing with the Pape family so that Shannon's number would be called "at random."
- Doing all of this in utmost secrecy.
- Supporting Shannon through her tech week and opening weekend.
So yeah, a tall order. Unfortunately, due to the stress of everything else I may have dropped the ball on the last item, but the lady says I did okay. And everything else went perfectly.
Shannon had her play on the 20th. And her parents were in town to see it. This almost derailed things, as her mom wanted to take her out for drinks afterwards. I made a surreptitious phone call and arranged for her mom instead to come to the party and witness the engagement. I'd already asked for her dad's blessing, so that was lined up and we'd be having brunch with them in the morning.
I didn't sleep much the night of the 18th or at all on the 19th. I kicked myself for falling into the standard trap of being nervous about this, having even the tiniest second thought. I felt like I was living a cliche and that pissed me off. But I still completed all my tasks aside from the sleeping one. That, however, is nothing new to me. And at least my mp3s are now obsessively organized!
On the 20th I swung into action, preparing all of the last minute things. The most hectic was making Shannon think that I was putting together a fisherman costume while running around all day to finish assembling the Burger King one. The ring wasn't done on the 20th, so the stand-in was prepared in a proper box. Directions and schedules were distributed to all involved parties, from the Papes to Shannon's mom to Ben, my point man for getting Shannon to the party after her show. I left the house at 7:00 to get to the party.
The rest of the Burger King costume was ready for me at the Papes'. It is at this point that I should extend the deepest gratitude to Paul Pape and his family for their role in this, particularly his mom, Gidget. She carved a beautiful pumpkin for me that had an unassuming smiling face on one side and a proposal on the back. It's plastic, too, so we can keep it around forever. I owe her such a giant favor for that. Paul also arranged for the raffle with his dad and brother, and his dad bought additional raffle items to give away to make the plan even more secretive and. Paul's younger brother loaned me the Burger King costume elements which he had worn last year. And even Paul's aunt got Shannon and the her mom in the door at the right time (and with the right raffle number) which was the crux of the plan. I owe them everything, they rule.
I spent the two hours before Shannon's arrival in a sort of quietly vibrating anticipation. I tried to chat with other friends at the party, but the only thing in my mind was making sure everything was executed flawlessly. It was all timing, really. I had to know when Shannon was leaving our house to anticipate her arrival. I had to offset this arrival with her mother's entrance so that Julie wouldn't be in the barn until the raffle was being announced. And I had to be moving through the crowd at the right time so that I'd be silently arriving on one knee, pumpkin and ring in hand.
And timing was my friend that night. It all worked perfectly.
Here I am as I'm turning the propumpkin around. Shannon's just won the iPod she wants, so she's already happy enough. Paul and his brother are in back, Paul diligently filming the whole thing. Video will be coming later.
And here we are after she's said yes. Well actually, "FUCK YES!"
You know, I always hoped I'd propose within a foot's distance of an old pirate.
And of course, the kiss. We don't kiss in public very much, but I think it was warranted. Move along now, nothing to see here.
So now we're engaged. It doesn't feel very different, it's just that there's a new stress hanging over our heads. But the nice thing is that it's a very fun and exciting stress. It's kind of like MegaChristmas or something. Still a year away, but on our minds every day of the week. It's really important to us to have a very awesome wedding, but the real treat is the countless years after that. We'll have a fun party and all that, but then I get to be married to this gifted, beautiful, smart, hilarious, simply marvelous person. For forever. And that's about as rad as it gets.
Anyhow, I probably won't be posting here as much as Shannon, but I will make my presence known. Each of us has a big project to do in each of the upcoming months, so I'll keep you posted on what I'm working on and how it's coming. And it should be known that I'm not going to be a slouch of a groom. I'm hitting lots of websites and learning all sorts of things, but I'm obviously still new at this. If you read my posts and think I'm doing something completely wrong, let me know. November's project is determining the venues for the ceremony, reception, and rehearsal dinner, as well as the guest list for these events. We'll be asking all of our respective people to be in the wedding party, to be the one to marry us, sing, play music, etc. We'll be tackling that project together to set the foundation for all of the other ones. My December project is the Save-the-Date, which I hear can legitimately be called STDs. HA! But honestly, I can't wait to knock those out. They're going to be epic.
No, not that Ruffles...although Ruffles will hopefully be involved in the wedding somehow. I'm talking wedding dress ruffles. And pleats. Ruffles and pleats, and how much I am in love with them.
Here is an observation I've made during my extensive online searching of dress styles: I love dresses that are structurally pretty. I look more to a dress' silhouette than to its beading and bows. I think this is because I make and design costumes. I know what goes into making clothes, and so I'm looking for something that is beautiful because of how it is made instead of how it is decorated.
One pretty structural thing that I love is ruffles and pleats.
>Now this dress is structural fantasmo. Pleated bodice AND pleated bottom. See how the decoration (except for that trim) is sewn into, not sewn onto the dress? That's what I mean by structural detailing. I love how the dress is smooth in the middle between the two crinkle areas. Actually, the more I look at this dress the more I am falling for it. I'm sure that middle section would make me look like a brick. And I'm sure it's beyond expensive. And the only retailer near me is Lincoln. But nevertheless. Te amo, pleated Jim Hjelm dress.
Here's another Hjelm with a slightly more demure pleat. It also has the separated bodice which I'm loving pretty hard at the moment, in dresses like this one and in the Eden Informal dress that I posted about before.
(Update on that dress: The boutiques I emailed all said they don't carry that dress. But I love it! Don't they understand a little thing called destiny? If I don't find a decent "in person" dress in the next few months I am embracing the modern age and ordering that one OFF THE INTERNET--horror. Gasp.)
And here is some vintage pleating, kicking it old school, keeping it real, etc:
That, friends, is rounded pleating and it is beautiful. This 1950's original sold for $99 (oh, oh it hurts) and had a, um, a 33" bust. That would not work for me. Also, I haven't had a 25" waist since I was born. But still, vintageous has all sorts of wedding-esque options that fill me with longing for simpler times and smaller measurements.
Oh, and in case you hate ruffles and pleats and this post was painful to you, here is something else I found in the "ruffles wedding dress" search:
Thursday, November 1, 2007
It might be November 1st but I've still got Halloween shows on the tivo...so I'm watching Great Pumpkin. Part of me really wants a little corner or side room at the reception where a tv will play the Charlie Brown, Garfield, and Raggedy Anne Halloween specials and the Nightmare Before Christmas movie...again, so the kids won't be bored out of their tiny, candy-loving brains. But it could come off as tacky...I don't know. This could just be one of those wacky ideas that come to me when it's after noon and I'm still in my pajamas (like today).
Any thoughts? Would a cartoon area be tacky? Distracting? Adorable?
But of course, Halloween Loving Shannon is now Hallowedding Loving Shannon, and so I found myself doing "research" all night.
I think one of my main concerns about having a Hallowedding, besides keeping it un-goth, is the children. We're not inviting a ton of kids, but there will be a couple of little ones (and even more medium ones) around, and I would hate for them to miss trick-or-treating just because their aunt-cousin-mom's friend had to go and get herself married. And, to wax selfish, I don't want a bunch of pictures of frowning, crying, candy-hungry children in my album.
So we decided that there will be a break between the ceremony and the reception for people to get into costume and, if necessary, do some treating. We're even going to give maps of surrounding safe neighborhoods to the out of towners so they can make some candy bank as well.
So a lot of my "research" yesterday revolved around when the trick or treating began, when it was heaviest, and when kids were most likely to find people at home, and hopefully we'll be able to plan everything so they'll get an hour or so of candy grabbing in before we stuff them full of cake.
And, oh yeah, more candy:Oh, the candy buffet is TOTALLY happening. Sure, it's trendy, but it's just so, so right.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Oh, and to explain my display name, we haven't settled on a last name yet. We may keep mine, hyphenate, or hybridize, and this is the alternate hybrid to Jacksies. Don't worry, this won't stretch into a protracted argument spanning the blogosphere, it's just a name.
(I know! I took the groom with me! For shame!) It was a very long drive, and when we walked in there's a big desk right in the middle with four ladies sitting at it. And they just stared at us when we walked in, which made me very nervous since I have never stepped foot into a bridal salon in my life. I finally said I heard about their sale and wanted to try on some gowns. And they said, get this, what sale?
On your website, I said.
And the woman who was clearly in charge said, oh, I'll have to check the website then. And sent us off to look at the racks of dresses by ourselves until she could figure it out.
You don't know when your own sale is? Insanity!
The service wasn't stellar, but I might go back because they weren't really expensive and I don't really require assistance when Greg and Ashley are on the hunt. Also, despite my college appearance, they didn't stop me from trying on dresses. Here I am trying on my first ever wedding dress:
It was...pretty. I liked the bust detailing, and the straps that were all beaded (although you can't see either of those things here) and I LOVED the price--$99, suckas. But I didn't love the dress. I put it on again when I was done because, come on, it's $99! That's less than I spend most grocery trips. It looked nice and it made me look pretty, but I just didn't think it was the kind of dress I would wear. But, but, $99! Then I figured, if I had to consider whether or not I wanted it, it wasn't the dress for me.
Remind me of this moment when I'm desperately over budget and crying because the dress I want is too expensive.
Then, when I realized none of their dresses were for me, and NONE of them were short (dang) I decided to get a little silly. Since the beloved Alyce dress has a huge puffy skirt, I decided to try on a dress with a huge puffy skirt. Heavy emphasis on the puffy. And the huge.
We couldn't even capture the entire thing in one frame of film! Definitely not the dress for me.
Don't feel bad for the dress, though. It doesn't need me. When I took it off, it stood on its own. Spooky.
I also tried on a straight skirted dress with a lace overlay and a little dragonfly detailing. Made me look like a box. Not even worth a picture. But it made me a little misty over a dress I found when I was doing a high school research project, before I even HAD a boyfriend, of course. It was a Michelle Roth with cap sleeves, pearl buttons, and a diamond dragonfly, that was the first dress to which I ever said "I want that to be in my wedding." And funnily enough I didn't really think about what I wanted to wear in my own wedding again until now. What kind of girl am I, anyway? Well, turns out, the kind of girl who leaves her skirt and leggings on underneath wedding gowns. Class-ay.
It's available at David's Bridal (which is sort of The Big Supplier for midwestern brides) and I like the overlay. Don't know about the bow.
or this one:
Oh dear lord I love this dress. Do you see the ruffle? DO YOU? You can't really see it but there's sort of a corsetty thing going down in the middle.
This is the dress I was flipping out about being lost. Maybe because I was so sad about losing it that means I'm in love with it? That we are meant to be together and have adorable ruffly lacy babies together?
The problem with short dresses is they are very spring-ish. And I am getting married on Halloween, surrounded by pumpkins and all things autumnal in nature. What's a girl to do?
Buy a really awesome jacket. David's bridal has some satin boleros that are very plain but if I went with the above options they would be super cute. However, if I got a plainer dress I could get this glass hall shrug from anthropologie (look at the back!) and be super adorable.
And the "serve a purpose" part of short dresses is shooooooooes. Shoe porn will follow.
So lets sum up what I say I want in my wedding dress:
Tea length dress
Timeless--vintage, not really high fashion
Jacket or sweater
No "princess" effect
No enormous skirts
Opportunity to see the shoes
If that is what I want, why do I keep clicking my links to this dress like a rat in the Olds and Milner experiment?
It is too long to see the shoes, the skirt is enormous, it's so high fashion that I know, I KNOW, I would look back at the picture in five years and kick myself for it and OH YEAH, IT'S PINK!
It's by Alyce and costs two or three times what the others do. Shannon, do not love this dress.
Too late. I've already emailed every dress boutique in a hundred mile radius who might possibly carry it asking if they have it. I just want to try it on. I'm sure it'll look like hell and I'll get over it. But hey, it DOES have a jacket. And it's much more Halloweentastic than the above options. So maybe that's okay?