Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Post-Wedding Chop

I wrote about my pre-wedding chop, but 6 months later, I found myself craving an even shorter style. Yesterday, I decided enough was enough and went from this:
 To this:
I love it! (And yes, I am wearing the same t-shirt from the before picture.) It's a medium-length bob that's slightly angled in the front. Before, my hair was all one length. Now, it has long layers and some shorter pieces around my face. I can still pull it into a (very short) ponytail for when I work out, but I can keep it down for professional events now that it doesn't look sloppy.

What do you think? Have you ever gotten a drastic haircut on a whim?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Flower Girls

Before I start recaps, I want to address one last thing. I've mentioned before that we planned on making our own bouquets. The day before the wedding, I went to Whole Foods with my brothers and bought enough flowers to make 3 bouquets. I spent a total of $117 and got 12 stems of white hydrangea, 12 stems of green mini hydrangea, and a few bunches of hypericum berries. We took them back to the hotel where MOH M, Bridesmaid L, my mom, my gramama, and I put them all together.
Me and Bridesmaid L putting things together
My mom turned out to be quite the expert at floral arrangement.
Gramama helps take leaves off the berries.
My mom helping my sister, MOH M, with her bouquet.
Bridesmaid L documents the activity.
My gramama takes a break from helping to check out my wedding band.
My finished bouquet!
We followed the steps I outlined in a previous post. Once we were finished, we kept the stems long and put the bouquets in water overnight. The next morning, we trimmed the stems down before leaving for the church. Hydrangeas are notoriously wilt-y, so we wanted to give them enough to drink before the long wedding day. They held up pretty well!

It took us probably 30-40 minutes to make all 3 bouquets, and it cost about a third of what I was quoted by a florist. It was definitely worth it for us to DIY our bouquets, and I would recommend it to others.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Kardashiversary!

Today marks 72 days since we tied the knot, which means that tomorrow, our marriage will have lasted longer than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries's! Hooray!
Us Weekly
I know I've kind of fallen off the face of the earth during the past month, but I promise to start recapping very soon. 1200+ pictures is a lot to go through!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spend, Splurge, Save

When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone has a budget. In the end, we were right on budget. The spending didn't break down exactly the way we thought it would, though. Here's where we saved and where we splurged.

Places we saved money:
  • Flowers - The only flowers we had at our wedding were bouquets for me and the bridesmaids. We bought flowers from Whole Foods for a total of $113 and made our own bouquets the night before the wedding.
  • Reception décor - We didn't have floral centerpieces, so instead, we decided to go with candlelight. For our 12 tables, trips to Ikea and the Dollar Store gave us a gorgeous look for around $150 total. Eliminating floral centerpieces saved us over $1,000.
  • Rings - Even though these are one of the only things you'll have from your wedding forever, we didn't feel the need to spend a lot on our wedding rings. With a lot of internet shopping, I found the band of my dreams at a shop in New York City for less than half what it would've cost at a local jewelry store.
  • Hair and makeup - My friend did my hair for free, and I did my own makeup. I probably spent about $50 on new products, but I use it all regularly.
Places we splurged:
  • Venue - Technically, I'm not sure this counts as a splurge because we worked it into our budget very early on, but our chapel and reception venue were both pricier than we'd initially planned. We couldn't be happier with our choices, though. Both places were absolutely beautiful and really highlighted our amazing city for our guests.
  • Trolley - We both really wanted a trolley to transport us around the city for photos, but we had no idea how much it would cost. In the end, we went over-budget on this item, and it was totally worth it. Riding around on the trolley was one of my favorite parts of the day.
  • Paper - Our letterpress invitations weren't the most economical option, but as a paper-lover, they were a priority for me.
  • Photography - We went a tiny bit over-budget on our photographer, but photos of our reception were totally worth paying for a couple hours of overtime.
Where did you splurge and save?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lace It Up

I posted a while ago that I was having second thoughts about my veil. I fell in love with lace-edged veils, and after some hemming and hawing, I decided to turn my plain veil into a showpiece. To accomplish this, I ordered a strip of lace trim off of Etsy.
To start, I cut the strip in half. In order to make one continuous strip of lace for the edge of my veil, I had to stitch the two pieces of trim together in the middle. I lined up the pattern on the lace and sewed it together with invisible thread.
See? You can't even tell that's two pieces of lace.
Next, I placed a safety pin near the hem of the veil to mark the center of the veil.
I lined up the lace trim and pinned it into place.
Then came the stitching. I used invisible thread so I didn't have to worry about stitches ruining the look. After about an hour, the lace was firmly in place and my veil was complete!
To add a bit of weight, I sewed tiny seed pearls into the center of each flower. I'm a bad blogger, though, and neglected to take a photo of that. Sorry!

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out, and I think it looked gorgeous on my wedding day.
Photo by Andrew Collings Photography
I hope that maybe someday, I can pass my veil onto my daughter or daughter-in-law for her wedding.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't worry, be happy

My wedding day was not the happiest day of my life.

I've talked before about the pressure to have the right feelings. A bride is supposed to be blissfully happy on her wedding day, and declare it the best day of her life. The wedding dress is supposed to be the best thing she's ever worn, and she's supposed to look the most beautiful she's ever looked. Everything comes with a superlative attached to it, according to the WIC.

Some people may feel "the most" or "the best" all day long, but I was not one of those people. Sure, my wedding day was filled with moments of joy - sometimes even transcendent joy - but it was filled with a lot of other feelings, too, some of which were unhappy feelings. I felt a lot of anxiety. Looking back, it was unfounded anxiety, but that doesn't change the fact that I felt it. And I feel a little bad about feeling that way, which is ridiculous. I'm a human being, not a robot. I can't control my emotions on cue, especially on a day that's supposed to be emotional.

But the WIC tells brides that they should feel a certain way, so when I didn't feel that way, I felt like I was doing it wrong. It was a vicious cycle that went something like this: feel anxious --> feel bad about feeling anxious --> try to calm down --> not be able to calm down --> get mad that I can't calm down --> increase level of anxiety because now I'm anxious about being anxious

It's not that I wasn't happy on our wedding day; it's that I feel bad that I wasn't happier. I can't go back and make our wedding day perfect for me, and that makes me sad. I only got one shot at it, and I feel like I failed. I love Adam, and I love our marriage, but I didn't big puffy hearts love our wedding every moment of the day. That's not a feeling that's discussed, so it makes me feel like a failure because I didn't experience transcendent joy all day long.

So I share this post with you so that you know it's OK to feel however you feel. If you feel transcendent joy and think your wedding day was the best day of your life, you're not doing it wrong. If you feel panicky and nauseous, you're not doing it wrong. If you actually vomit, well, join the club.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Announcing Molly Ever After

I'm taking a break from my regular wedding-related programming to announce that I've begun a new blog!
I will still finish up recaps and discussion of my wedding over here, but this new blog will be about my life after "I do." From recipes to running and a whole lot more, hop on over to Molly Ever After and check it out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get with the Program

By now, you all know that I love me some paper, so it should come as no surprise that I dedicated a lot of time to our ceremony programs.

I wanted our programs to be a little different than the folded piece of paper you typically see at weddings. To accomplish this, I decided to go with a different shape: a square.
The cover of the program was printed on cardstock and featured the same calligraphy as our save-the-dates and invitations. The other font (Copperplate Light) and the Chicago star also carry over from the save-the-dates and invitations.

We wrote a note to our family and friends, thanking them for coming.
On the next 2 pages, we listed everyone involved in the wedding. We are fortunate to have amazing family members and friends who were able to help out in every aspect of our wedding. My uncle is a priest. He baptized me, and he married us. Our friends served as musicians, Eucharistic ministers, ushers, and program hander-outers, and family members served as readers and gift bearers.
On the next page, the Mass details began. Because the chapel we got married in isn't a parish, there are no hymnals for people to use during Mass. Therefore, I wanted to include all the music and readings in our programs.

Getting all the music was the hardest part of making our programs. Fortunately, my parents and a couple of our friends are church musicians, so we had easy access to the sheet music we needed. All it took was compiling the music, scanning it into the computer, and using a little Photoshop magic to size it all up.

On the last page, we included a remembrance for my grandfather and information on the reception. Because we had 3 hours between the end of the ceremony and beginning of the reception, we included information on our website about what to do in downtown Chicago. In our programs, we included our website information and a QR code so people could pull it up on their phones instantly.
Getting all of these bad boys printed was a frustrating journey. There's a reason everyone has the same folded 8.5 x 11 programs; they're much simpler to print! With the size and the need to print full bleed, this project presented a major challenge. Thankfully, the people at my neighborhood FedEx Office were amazingly helpful and went above and beyond to make it happen. They turned out great and helped our guests turn our ceremony into a beautiful celebration.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Feeling Married

Today is our one-month anniversary. In some ways, I can't believe it's already been a month. In others, I can't believe it's only been a month.

One thing I know for sure is that I don't feel different.

I can honestly say that our relationship isn't any different now that we're married. We're the same people we were before September 29th, just with bands of metal on our left ring fingers and a marriage certificate in our fireproof safe. It's changed my health insurance and even my name (well, not legally quite yet), but not who I am.

I wish I felt different. Marriage is supposed to be a transformative experience, something that changes everything about you. That just hasn't been my experience. From day one of our relationship, Adam and I have been very committed to one another. I have never once felt that we would break up and neither of us has ever threatened to walk away. Maybe this level of security in our relationship is why marriage hasn't changed anything. Maybe our marriage is too new for things to feel different just yet. Maybe things never will feel different. As long as we're as happy as we are today, I'm OK with that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pack It In

Unless you're getting ready for the wedding at your house and returning to your house that night, you're going to need to pack for your wedding. In our case, we got ready at hotels downtown, spent our wedding night at a hotel downtown, and then immediately left for our honeymoon on Sunday afternoon. In preparation for the massive amount of stuff we would need, I turned to the internet for every packing list I could find. Here's my contribution to the internet groupthink on this topic.
  • Molly's wedding attire (dress, bolero, veil, belt, shoes (heels and flats), earrings, hair comb, brooch, Spanx, necklace)
  • Adam's wedding attire (tuxedo, shirt, bow tie, undershirt, studs, cuff links, belt, shoes, socks, boxers)
  • Rehearsal dinner attire
  • Rehearsal bouquet
  • Toiletries (bridesmaid kit, comb, teasing comb, teasing brush, hairspray, makeup bag, fake eyelashes, eyelash glue, makeup sponges, razor, shaving cream, bobby pins, hair ties, moisturizer, toothbrush, blotting tissues)
  • Robe for getting ready
  • Marriage license
  • Rings
  • Ring box
  • Invitation suite for photos
  • Vendor tips/checkbook
  • Cell phone charger
  • iPod stereo
  • Flip cams
  • Champagne and orange juice
  • Paper plates and plastic knives for bagels
  • Bouquet-making supplies (floral tape, floral wire, ribbon, pins)
  • Pretty hanger for dress photos
  • Honeymoon luggage
Here are some things I forgot that I wish I would've brought:
  • Flip flops for getting ready in the morning. Thankfully, one of my friends let me wear hers.
  • A rockin' iTunes playlist for getting ready. I made an amazing playlist on Spotify, but the signal was terrible in the high-rise hotel, so we couldn't listen to it. My pride parade playlist had to suffice. (It was oddly similar to my wedding playlist.)
  • Even more bobby pins. I had one little piece of hair that kept poking out, but I ran out of pins to control it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Newlyweds in New England: Strike a Pose

I haven't been completely honest in my honeymoon recaps. When I wrote about our day in Chatham, I left out a major part of our day. That afternoon, Adam and I met up with Lauren Methia for a honeymoon photo shoot on the beach!

After looking at gorgeous weddings one day on Style Me Pretty Massachusetts, I got the idea to do a New England-themed honeymoon shoot. It would be fun to get pictures in a different setting than our engagement or wedding photos. Plus, I figured that we wouldn't have too many pictures of the two of us together on our honeymoon. Lauren thought it was a great idea, and we're thrilled to have these gorgeous images to help us remember our honeymoon.

Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?
It was so cold!
I was inspired by Mrs. Wizard for this shot.
We found this giant piece of driftwood on the beach. Lucky us!
 This is one of my favorite photos. It's a Christmas card shot for sure. Let's check it out in black and white, too, just for fun.
 We each got a couple of individual glamor shots.
I am SO glad that we did this. It was so relaxing and fun, and the photos turned out beautifully. Boston readers, if you need a photographer for anything, Lauren Methia is your girl!

This post concludes my honeymoon recaps. Did you miss anything?
We fly to Boston and visit some local establishments.
We explore Boston and I get some big news!
We head to the Cape and eat the best fish and chips ever.
We spend the day (and way too much money) in Chatham.
We fall in love with Nantucket.
We make friends with the whales.