Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home (Page) Improvement

When I started this blog, it was meant as an outlet for myself.  I could talk about wedding stuff and document the entire process, without overwhelming the people closest to me.  As these past 6 months have gone by, I've started branching out little by little by sharing my projects and connecting with the larger wedding community.  As my blog (slowly) grows, I would like to develop along with it. Thus, this post is dedicated to improving and becoming a better blogger, but I need your help!  So regardless of this being the first post you've read or you've been following me all along, help a girl out!

Rather than write a book, here's a list of things that I'm most insecure about when it comes to my blog/writing.  Please don't assume that I hate my writing, these are just what I worry about.
1.  That I write like I have ADD (with lots of parentheses and random comments)
2.  That the structure of my posts is disorganized
3.  I provide too much detail or ramble on ("and now's the time, the time is now" - see what I mean?)
4.  My voice is weak
5.  My posts are neither interesting nor useful
6.  My writing quality is poor - I always always always write on paper first, type and then edit (blogging is the exception and I feel like it does suffer as a result).

What do you think? What suggestions do you have for me? My English major friends out there..yeah you...what improvements could I make for the next 6 months?  Please don't feel like I'm begging for compliments - I hate forced compliments. I'm a strong believer that you can always find areas for improvement and my blog is no exception!

I look forward to reading your comments. I hope you know how much I appreciate every visit, subscriber and/or comment.  I have started to like this blogging thing and I can't wait to share many more months (and maybe even years) with you all!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good Things

Today's post is a photographic/screen shot collection of things deemed good enough to share.  Let's begin!

#1.  My Dress Came In!!!
I got this little email the other day.  Since the wedding is so far away, we paid to have it shipped to my mom's house and we'll keep it there for the next 10ish months until we go in for alterations.  This email just said that it was in Kansas City and was ready to be shipped to us.

Mom said the package came in on Tuesday in terrible condition.  I wish there was a picture of it, but apparently the box was caked with dirt, squished and the tape was coated with dirt and peeling off the box...nice! Thank goodness for purchasing the $10 garment bag or else I would have been making my first bridezilla appearance this week!

#2.  Country Stampede is NOT the same weekend as my wedding!
I have been a little bit worried about this because it fell on our pre-versary this year.  When we booked our wedding date, they hadn't release information on the 2013 Country Stampede, but today I googled it...and voila! June 27-30 which is the weekend after the wedding (and most likely when I will be on my honeymoon and far away from the craziness)!

For those of you that do not know about Country Stampede, read that little caption above, and also know that it is an awful time to live anywhere remotely in the area.  Every year it brings in tens of thousands of people.   It is held out at the lake on the last weekend in June, but it floods Manhattan with half-clothed, drunk, confederate-flag-toting (don't EVEN get me started on that), straw-hat-wearing country music fans and Manhattan only has a population of 50,000 to begin with.

Okay, enough bashing on CS. Truly, there are civilized people that go to this celebration, but they are few and far between all the crazies.  More than anything, I was worried about my out-of-town relatives having to pay more for hotel rooms, being able to find hotel rooms and having to fight ridiculous traffic and crowds if they want to do anything the night before the wedding. And the good Lord forbid them forget to bring something and have to go to Wal-Mart.  Also, there is a ton more police out - not that I am encouraging my relatives to drink and drive - but I would hate for something to happen to them when the hotels are only 2 blocks away.

#3.  My Hair

Now, this is my typical lazy day, makeupless 'do for the summer.  If you don't know me, this picture probably doesn't seem too amazing.  If you do know me...can you guess what's missing?

It's the headband!

Ok, pause for sad story:  My hair started falling out last summer.  Like a GIANT spot of hair - gone.  I got 3 rounds of steroid shots at the dermatologist's office and around September the hair started growing back.  I've been wearing headbands for the past year now anytime that my hair is in a ponytail.  The scariest thing was we really didn't know why it occurred (the doc says stress...idk), and we didn't know if I would keep losing my hair (I didn't) or if it would ever grow back (it did).

But now, this crazy mess is long enough to stay in a bobby pin and I don't have to wear my stretched out headbands...yay!

It's actually straight for once (since I put it back when it was wet), but just imagine curls exploding from that section of hair and that's what it typically looks like.  I've basically gone through 4 stages of hair growth this year and this one is definitely the best.  I've named them:
Stage 1:  Bald spot
Stage 2:  Baby chick hair (super soft and stands straight on end)
Stage 3:  Super Curls (hair that would dry curly in seconds and was too short for the straightener)
Stage 4:  Long Super Curls (I can reach it with a straightener or pin it back!)

Luckily, this traumatic experience (imagine you woke up with a bald's traumatic!) was offset by the fact that I wear my hair down 95% of the time during the school year.  It has covered the stages of hair growth quite well, something that I am SO thankful for.  Not only that, but by this time next year, I should have normal hair for the wedding!

#4.  New Camera
Nothing too fancy, but I upgraded cameras.  This guy is 16 megapixels compared to my  4+ year old 7 megapixel camera that I bought in Mexico.  There are a lot more functions so hopefully I will get to beautify this blog with clear, crisp images! Hooray.

Has anything been particularly special for you in the past few weeks? Share your good things!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nautical Nightmares

One of the first wedding decisions that Adam and I made were our wedding color(s):  Marine from David's Bridal. Well, it turns out that Marine, or navy you might say, is kind of hard to pair up with. What seemed to be the most popular at the time was combining navy with a pop of color like pink, orange or yellow which I'm not a huge fan of.
Sources:  Image 1  / Image 2

So I decided to keep it simple.  Just Marine and lots of white to lighten things up a bit. Well,  some time has gone by and I'm starting to rethink things. I am most worried about my wedding being nautical.  Now, if you looked at my wardrobe, I think I could be a sailor's child.  Stripes, black and white, and navy and white comprise a LOT of the clothes that I wear. While I may wear them on a daily basis, that doesn't mean I want my wedding to look like we just pulled into the harbor.

I got on Design Seeds last night and started looking for some inspiration matching my original color.
Dripping Hues - I like the middle four

So I think my winner is More Mental Vacation (the bottom three colors only).  Not only can I keep white in the color scheme, it adds variation.  I'm not a fan of baby blues, but the bottom color is more gray which I think helps get away from that, but also provides differentiation between my colors. I'm thinking to use the colors more in the reception, the ceremony might still be pretty navy/white.

Oh and also? We're not doing Marine. Ha!  

Do you feel like I just wasted your time? Fear not, it's a tiny change to...Peacock!

Turns out that the colors online look different than the colors in the store.  I shouldn't be surprised by this, but when I saw Marine in the bridal salon it looked so...blah.  I've been going back and forth trying to make a decision: 
     Things will match better if we use Marine (cloth and paper napkins, invitation paper, etc)
     Do things have to match perfectly? No.
     Marine is boring and dark
     Peacock is prettier
     Online Peacock looks too teal
     In real life Peacock is more the color that I though Marine was

So finally, when I was in Topeka the other day, I stopped into David's Bridal and bought a fabric swatch of each so that I could actually decide.  Best decision ever.  They only cost $1 each, I can see how the colors look indoors AND outdoors, I can take the swatches with me when I need to match something and I think I am going to give my bridesmaids one too so they can pick out their dresses.

So Peacock it is.  I'm actually not going to tell Adam. Shame on me, I know.  But in the reality of things, it's still blue to know man colors.

Did you have a surprising change of colors with your wedding theme or something turn out different than you expected?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Love-O Our Logo

Awful title, my apologies.

One of the first wedding projects that I worked on was our wedding monogram.  I just love how they "brand" the couple and also provide some design consistency with the stationery and decorations.

I made our logo using Microsoft Word and lots of trial and error with fonts and placement.
We ended up choosing the top right design.  It's pretty simple, but was what I was looking for.  I can always add a border, background shape or other design to add variety if I so desire, but I'm pretty content with it as is.
Fonts:  Adorable (C); Scriptina (names & date)

I plan on using our logo on the invitations (belly band); cake napkins, ceremony programs, dinner menus, cake table and the aisle runner.  I might just use the "C" in certain areas as I don't want to over-do it and make it seem too advertise-y.
Top - personal / The Knot / Staccato Stationery    Bottom - Designs by An Margaret / personal / Chapel Runners

Are you using a logo in your wedding? Do you have a particular logo style that you are obsessed with?

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Photo Faux Pas

Originally, I wasn't too concerned about wedding photography.  I had heard the saying "you can never re-take your wedding pictures" many many times, but it never really worried me.  I had it set up in my mind that we were going to pay a high school student, with camera experience, to take our wedding photos.  Adam and I would do an engagement session with him/her beforehand and, provided we liked the pictures, would go ahead and plan to have them shoot the wedding.

Mom seemed to be on board with this plan.  We had a girl picked out (that goes to school with my little brother) and were right about to set something up with them when Mom started dragging her feet:
     "I don't know Lins, I guess I'll call them and we can go from there."
     "I just don't know how I feel about using _____.  I'll call this weekend and see if they're interested."
     "I don't see any wedding pictures on her website.  I'm worried about hiring someone that hasn't shot a wedding 
     "I just don't think we want to hire someone that hasn't taken wedding pictures."
     "I'm okay with hiring someone with little-to-no experience photographing weddings as long as it is worth the 
          difference in price." 

After about 4 of the exact same conversations with my mother, I realized that maybe I needed to start looking for a Plan B, or it was going to be October and we'd still be waiting on mom to make the phone call.   I went to my wedding "bag" (forget a wedding notebook, I have a briefcase) and pulled out some information on photographers that I received from the bridal shows I went to in January.  As I looked through the information, I saw this:
     "Collections range from $2500-$7500,"
     "Platinum $1500 (plus $75 & $300 for CDs)",
     "The Fairytale $2000 (without copyrights),"
     "Wedding-Engagement $1995"

Wowsers.  I was willing to spend $500, but 3-4-5-6 times that? eek.  I know I'm being cheap here, but really? As I continued my search I found one photographer that looked like it might fit.  I passed the information onto my mom (we'd budgeted $1000 for photography) and told her it was more than I wanted to pay but she could check it out. 

Mom got back to me the next day and told me that she went ahead and sent him an email!  My brother is going to be a senior in high school next year, and she was interested in using him for Bret's senior pictures. 

Now, Mom has been pretty much in the passenger seat during the wedding planning process.  She really wants it to my mine and Adam's wedding (even though she is paying for half), so it really surprised me that she took charge. Basically, she decided that we aren't going the super cheap route for wedding pictures.  On Friday, we sat down with the photographer, signed contracts and are rolling for senior pictures, engagement pictures and wedding pictures! And, just because we booked the senior pictures and the wedding together, we get a CD of the engagement session for FREE (hello Save-the-Dates and guest book!)

Without further ado, let's share some pretty pictures from our photographer, Grant Watkins:

(I tried to use pictures without faces as that would really creep me out if I saw my picture on another person's blog!)

Not only am I super happy to have a photographer scheduled for the wedding, but I really like our photographer.  Turns out we went to high school together (yay townies!), so he has a good connection to Manhattan and knows the area well.  I felt so comfortable meeting with him and I can now focus my Type-A personality somewhere else knowing that our pictures will be in good hands.  I told him about Adam's inability to smile (there is still a post coming on this, don't worry) and he didn't seem phased at all. He just said, "it's my job to make you guys look great and that's what I'll do."  

So in the end, Mom was right.  You don't have to pay $5000 for photos, but do find someone who is professional, fun and will capture you at your best.

Friday, July 6, 2012

DIY Church Door Initials

Can you guess what is missing from our church?  If so, super awesome points go to you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The One Where Lindsy Finds a Dress

Happy 4th of July!  If I wasn't a second-guessing, must-check-every-option-possible type of person...I could have written this post a couple of months ago.

If you hadn't guessed otherwise, I found the dress!

First, let's recap on the dress hunting thus far:
1.  February - went to David's Bridal for the first time - found a dress I liked, but wasn't ready to buy.
2.  Spring Break - went shopping in Manhattan, wasn't very impressed with the bridal salons in town, found nothing.
3.  April to June - Looked online at tons and tons of dresses, created the Wedding Dress Designer Price Guide to help figure out what designers catered to my budget
4.  June - Made two appointments in Kansas City to try on dresses

And now we're up to date.

So Mom and I made the trip to Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.  With two places picked out, I was ready to try on some dresses:
The first place I think I tried on 5 dresses.  The attendant was nice, but not super helpful, and I think we were limited on selection.  I had another appointment following this one and I was afraid of being late so we just cut our losses and wrapped up the appointment.
Front: Casablanca 1892 / Back:  Casablanca 1904C

The second place was really nice.  The attendant was super cute and helpful.  I think I tried on 15 dresses.  She would find a dress that I loved the top part of, but didn't like the bottom, or I didn't like this or that or whatever.  I felt really picky.  I did find some dresses that I liked, but then I would look at the price tag and I didn't want to pay $1000 for a dress that I liked.
(I don't remember who the designers are on these.  Mom vetoed the tulle!)

After needing a break, and most importantly, lunch, I was feeling a little discouraged.

Mom was still up for some dress shopping (provided that I was), so using Subway's wifi and my iPod touch (smartphones...what are those?) we hunted down the nearest David's Bridal.  We hoped that we could just pop in and try some dresses on by ourselves.

Upon arriving, mom and I just searched amongst the dresses.  We found the one I had originally liked and a couple others to try on.  We asked for a room, said we didn't need an attendant since we didn't have an appointment.  Then the desk lady offered Andy. Now Andy (short for Andrew), didn't get a lot of brides, didn't have any we put him to good use!

It was kind of strange to have a male attendant, but he was really helpful!  He put my mom to shame with the lace-up backs, brought over shoes, veils, bridesmaids dresses, the works.  We tried on 3 dresses and with that I realized that my heart still belonged to that first one.

Note:  I debated back and forth whether or not I wanted to post my dress this far away from the wedding.  All I ask is that if your name is Adam or if you cannot keep secrets about my dress from Adam, DO NOT LOOK AHEAD... I will be really sad if you ruin this for me...guilt guilt guilt