Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why September 29?

We are officially 10 months away from our wedding. Hooray! I can't wait to get married on September 29. But why September 29?

This is why.
Photo credit: und.com
Adam went to Notre Dame, and I went to Saint Mary's College. Therefore, we are huge Notre Dame football fans. We go to nearly every home game and have game watch parties with our friends in Chicago for the games we don't attend.

We also wanted to get married in the fall. I didn't want to get married while still in school, so that ruled out spring 2012. I graduate from law school in May and then take the bar exam at the end of July, so summer was out, too. Winter seemed too far away, and we decided that Chicago's unpredictable winter weather was too big of a hassle to deal with anyway. Plus, fall is both Adam's and my favorite season. So fall 2012 it was.

Once we decided on fall 2012, the first place we looked was the ND football schedule. We didn't want our friends to have to sell their tickets to come to our wedding, so home game weekends were eliminated. We also didn't want everyone (ourselves included) huddled around the TV at the reception watching the game, so away game weekends were eliminated. There is only one Saturday in the fall that Notre Dame does not play football, and that day is September 29.

The wedding coordinator at Saint James Chapel laughed when we told her why we chose our date. Fortunately, we're used to people laughing at us for being Notre Dame fans.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cheers!

How adorable are these?

These are a collaboration between Fig 2. Design and Chicago designer Jess LC. The tags would look lovely on gifts under the tree and the cards would look great in my stocking! ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dress Dreams

I haven't dreamed about my wedding dress since I was a little girl, but after seeing the runway show at the bridal expo, I got really excited for this portion of wedding planning. I'm also really nervous about it because I'm picky. I'm scared I won't find something that I will love.

I definitely have a few ideas about what I want in my dress:
  • not poofy (preferably a fit-and-flare or mermaid shape)
  • lace
  • sleeves or straps
  • V-neck or sweetheart neckline

Now for some visuals:

Photo credits: Paul Johnson Photography

This is my dream dress. I love the open back and it meets all of my requirements. Unfortunately, this dream dress is by Monique Lhuillier and costs $5,000+. Major sad face.

Photo credit: jlmcouture.com
Right after getting engaged, my mom emailed me this dress. It's by Alvina Valenta and costs about $4,000. Closer, but still over-budget. Thanks a lot, mom.

 Photo credits: preownedweddingdresses.com
 I actually saw this dress in person on a trip to look for bridesmaid dresses. The designer is Priscilla of Boston. Unfortunately, POB is closing its doors on December 31st and stopped accepting orders for gowns in August. I had the chance to try on and purchase the sample for $1,000 (!!!) in September when I went to the salon, but didn't because that would've meant eliminating the whole dress shopping experience. It was hard to walk away.

Photo credit: jlmcouture.com
 A few years ago before we were engaged but after I started thinking about getting married, I fell in love with this dress. It's by Jim Hjelm. I'm not sure if it's still sold or how much it costs, but I'd love to try it on because it's the first wedding dress I ever pictured myself wearing.

Photo credit: jlmcouture.com
Every dress I've shown so far has been 100% lace, but I'm also open to doing something like this. (I'd probably swap out the taupe sash for something sparkly, though.) Strapless dresses are very popular these days, so it would be pretty easy to find a simple strapless gown and buy a gorgeous lace bolero separately. I could even buy a white bridesmaid dress to get this look for a fraction of the price.

I have lots of ideas, but most of my married friends said that they ended up buying dresses that were completely different from their original visions. Who knows what I'll end up wearing down the aisle!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Steady Making That Paper

I love stationery. When I was a little girl, I had pen pals to whom I wrote letters on personalized Little Mermaid stationery. (You know you're jealous.) I spent my first communion money on an entire desk drawer full of stationery.

Now that we live in the email age, you'd think my love of paper has waned. You'd be wrong.

My favorite gift for my 23rd birthday was a boxed set of Vera Bradley stationery and I recently bought myself Kate Spade notepads. I have even converted Adam into somewhat of a paper snob who only shops for birthday cards at the nearby stationery store.

Needless to say, I am incredibly excited about wedding paper. I'm even more excited about designing our wedding paper than I am about buying my dress.

There's just one problem.

While I'm very decisive about almost every aspect of our wedding, I just can't decide on what I want to do about our paper. I firmly believe the old adage that your wedding invitation sets the tone for the wedding. That's a lot to live up to! What do I want?

Do I want classic or modern?
Photo credit: Smock Paper

Photo credit: Bella Figura

Calligraphy or type? 
Photo credit: The Happy Envelope
Photo credit: Paper Source

What size?
Photo credit: Wedding Paper Divas

Photo credit: Minted
Photo credit: Minted
Photo credit: My Gatsby
 What colors? What fonts? Engraving? Letterpress? Thermography? Flat printing? There are so many decisions to make and I don't want to make any of them!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Menswear for Dummies

Adam has decided that our wedding is the perfect excuse to buy a tuxedo. I approved of this decision because I hate ill-fitting, low-quality rental tuxedos. If I get to wear a brand-new, fabulous gown that fits perfectly, why should he have to wear a crappy rental tux? Yesterday after work, we ventured to Marshall Field's Macy's to check out their selection.

As a woman, I don't have a great deal of knowledge about menswear. All I knew is that I want Adam to look like this on our wedding day.
Photo credit: Put This On
This would work, too.
Photo credit: GQ Magazine
 Lacking knowledge about how to get him to look like this, I did what anyone in my position would do: turn to the internet.

The first thing I found out is that Adam really shouldn't wear a tuxedo at all since we're getting married during the day. Proper formal attire for an afternoon wedding would be a morning suit (which neither of us care for) or a stroller suit (which is nearly impossible to find in 2011). Because we're having a relatively formal wedding and the reception is taking place in the evening, Adam has decided he ought to wear a tuxedo.

Even though I love rules, etiquette, and Miss Manners, I conceded.

I found a great menswear blog, Put This On, that listed the requirements for classic black tie.
  • black or midnight blue
  • single-breasted, single-button jacket
  • peak lapels
  • grosgrain facing
  • pleated pants with no cuff
  • bow tie
  • cumberbund
  • shirt with a detachable wing collar, French cuffs and a pique bib
  • opera pumps with black silk hose
  • suspenders
There are substitutions that can be made, of course, like satin facing instead of grosgrain, flat-front pants instead of pleated pants, a two-button or double-breasted jacket, and a vest instead of a cumberbund. There are some things on which the internet has mixed opinions, like wearing a long tie or notch lapels.

These are two things that Adam wanted.

He reasoned that he didn't know how to tie a bow tie and that he would look silly. I said he could learn how to tie a bow tie and should because it's a skill every grown man should have. Plus, the bow tie is what makes a tuxedo a tuxedo. With a long tie, it just looks like a black suit. Once he tried on a bow tie, he decided he liked it. Advantage: Molly.

He, however, decided he preferred the notch lapel to a peak lapel. What's that you say? How could someone who knew nothing about menswear 10 minutes ago suddenly have such a strong opinion about lapel shape? Is there really a difference between the two?
Photo credit: Sebastien Grey Clothiers
This is the difference. (The notch lapel is on the left and the peak is on the right.) Even though the peak lapel is considered the standard in men's black tie, the salesman kept telling us that a notch lapel was more classic. I think this might be because they only sold jackets with notch lapels. I think the notch lapel looks too much like a business suit. A peak lapel looks more formal.

We have yet to reach a final decision. Macy's only carried a few styles of tuxedos. We also checked out Joseph A. Banks, which only carried 2 styles, neither of which were to our liking. Who knew it would be so hard to find a variety of tuxedos to try on? In a dream world, our budget would allow for a trip to London for a bespoke tuxedo sewn on Savile Row, but unfortunately, off-the-rack will have to do.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sorry for (Wedding) Partying

Adam and I have asked a great group of friends and family to stand up with us on our wedding day. Without further ado, here they are!

Maureen (MoMo) Lamping
MoMo is my 18-year-old sister and maid of honor. She's a freshman musical theatre major at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Lauren Poell
 Lauren and I met freshman year at Saint Mary's. Even though she transferred after first semester, we've remained best friends. Lauren is an oncology nurse in Kansas City.

Bryan Fleck
 Bryan is Adam's younger brother and best man.  He lives in Clawson, MI with his puppy, Bailey, and works for a corporate event-planning firm.

Chris Reynolds
 Chris is Adam's friend and former roommate. He's currently finishing up his MBA at Northwestern University.

Phil Wells
Phil and Adam were roommates in London when they studied abroad their junior year of college. When Adam and I started dating, I stole Phil from Adam and co-opted him as my best friend. Phil is an attorney in New York City.

Andrew Lamping
 Andrew is my oldest brother. He lives in Indianapolis where he just started his own business.

Christopher Lamping
Christopher is my middle brother. He is a junior at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he's majoring in French and plays football. He will (probably) have to miss a game next fall for our wedding, so we're especially grateful to have him in our wedding party.

Joey Lamping
Joey is my youngest brother. He's a freshman at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne where he's in show choir and plays football.

Braden Rogers
Braden is the littlest member of our wedding party and will serve as our ring-bearer. Braden is my cousin and godson. Braden is 6-years old and in kindergarten. He's excited for the wedding so that Adam can be his godfather-in-law.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11 months


To do in November:

-book a DJ
-finalize hotel blocks
-design save-the-dates
-make dress shopping appointments

Last month, we successfully completed our only task and got a jump start on the DJ hunt and hotel block research. So far, so good!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All The Things goes viral

Yesterday, I posted about the WIC and its focus on beautiful details over the couple's love and commitment. Today, I pulled up my favorite wedding blog to find that this topic has been quite the source of discussion in the wedding blogosphere recently.

A major wedding photographer published his "Mason Jar Manifesto," a reference to the current trend of rustic, vintage-inspired weddings. In it, he complains about the focus on details and advises people to "Strip it back. Peel the layers off. And start again. At the center of every wedding we have a girl. Who fell in love with a boy. Or a girl who fell in love with a girl. Or a boy who fell in l… you get my point. The rest is fluff. If you read magazines and wedding blogs today, you’d think it’s all about the dress, the decorations, invitations or a million other things. THINGS. It’s not. It’s about celebrating love, a manifestation of commitment, a gathering of friends and family."

A few weeks earlier, another wedding photographer posted an open letter to wedding blogs. "Not all of our weddings include brides sporting bird nests in their hair, or pretty, young Anthropologie-swathed bridesmaids, or meticulously stenciled miniature burlap dinosaurs holding up place cards made from the recycled issues of Rolling Stone, or weddings held in obscure meadows that can only be reached via bush pilot or a team of sled dogs. Sound over the top? It is, but you publish this stuff daily!" She says that brides have apologized to her about the lack of details in their weddings and urges bloggers to focus more on average weddings with simple details.

Abby Larson, creator of Style Me Pretty, one of the biggest wedding blogs (and host of many a mason jar wedding), responded to both of these posts by saying blogs like hers "can do better at showing the pure love that should always be the focus of a wedding."

I'm glad more and more people are talking about this, especially within the Wedding Industry. Details are great and most engaged couples want their weddings to look nice, but the details are all a bonus. You and your partner are enough. Your love is enough. Pretty flowers, place settings, and yes, even mason jars, are all just fun extra things. The details are not the most important part of your wedding; your marriage is. That's what blogs should tell their readers.