Sunday, November 25, 2007

oh, yeah, right

Yesterday Ashley, Krystal and Ben threw us an engagement/birthday party last night, which was wonderful. I like parties. I like party food. And I like excuses to wear pretty dresses.

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

a looooong weekend before a long weekend

Last weekend was my birthday, the end of my show at the Playhouse, and the week that EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF MY FAMILY came to town. It was high stress. My dad hadn't told any of his side of the family that I was engaged because he thought I wanted to--but I think I may have expressed that this is embarrassing to me, like announcing it's one's own birthday, and I just want people to magically know and be happy for us. And maybe buy us drinks. But I think we all handled it very well. It was the first time Greg had spent time with that side of the family (and he ended up spending A LOT of time with that side of the family) and he just charmed the pants off of everyone because he's just impressive like that.
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


I thought I was overestimating with the six hundred but I have 572 bookmarks for inspiration. Excessive.

location shmocation

I have been engaged for almost a month now, but of course since I sort of knew it was coming, and since it's under a year away, on a holiday, I've got a lot of stuff planned out and about six hundred "inspiration" bookmarks on my browser (I haven't counted, but I will later...when I'm not blogging at work...whoops) so I always think, Shannon, you are in a pretty good place on this wedding. I have very strong ideas for my dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the center pieces, we know who's going to marry us and who's in our wedding party. I've emailed about a hundred thousand dress salons looking for certain dresses (with no luck...and it turns out one of my favorites is getting discontinued so, you know, that sucks) and asked two of the bridesmaids to consider crocheting shawls for the bridal! Progress, right?
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

on a happy note...

A dangerous game is being played between myself and 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 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 these?
Or these?
Or ooh, ooh, ooh, THESE?!
And then I could send them back?

And then says, pssssssst, you wanna see some REAL shoes?Shoes like these, these shoes are why I want a short dress.
It is daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangerooooooouuuuuus.

wedding planner misplaced, fiancee lost

I lost my wedding planner!

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

wtf wedding edition

every once and a while I will browse a site full of wonderful ideas and great products and then I find something that just...isn't...right.

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

for the casual wedding

My obsession with vintage weddings has sent me doing all sorts of crazy searches. I found the vintage hair archives and I thought, oh look! A wedding section! But maybe this is a little TOO advintageous (ha! New word!) and a little too quirky, even for our weird loving selves.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

an update on love...

...dress love, that is. (The other kind of love is sort of a given in the wedding process.)
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

This Hallowedding Brought to You by Target

No, we're not getting corporate sponsership. But gosh darnit, we should be!
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

The Proposal and the Plan

Hey there again. I was initially going to edit this into the last post, but Shannon has already buried that under all sorts of different exuberances. So here's the breakdown of how I landed this pretty little lady as my very own.

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:
Mr. Fiance calls it "whimsical." Ha. You totally want me to get it, don't you? Well, it IS only $278. Which is totally in my price range.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Speaking of kids...

It might be November 1st but I've still got Halloween shows on the 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?


Happy All Hallows! I would've posted yesterday but I got a little carried away with, you know, loving Halloween. Unfortunately my original pumpkin had to be tossed out because it had complex organisms developing inside molded so fast! If I'm going to have carved pumpkins at my reception I'm going to figure out a good way to preserve the little devils. There is no way I'm gutting pumpkins the day before my wedding. Having orange goop crusted under my fingernails at my reception is a little too rustic for me.
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.