Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Halfway

Today is Leap Day, but it is also the halfway mark of our engagement! Seven months ago (OK, technically it was seven months ago tomorrow, but close enough), Adam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and seven months from today, we will be married! These 14 months are really speeding by. Even though I'm excited to be married to Adam, I'm going to try to enjoy our engagement over the next seven months because I know it will go by quickly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Save-the-Dates revealed!

I've kept you guys waiting a long time for these. (We had some problems with the USPS getting everything delivered in a timely fashion.) Without further ado, here are our save-the-dates! We designed them ourselves with custom calligraphy from Sparrows Nest Script and they were letterpress printed by Nina at Tweedle Press in Rogers Park.

Hmmm...I wonder what could be in these boxes...
The unboxing! It pains me to blur them out.
We tried to get a couple of pictures showing the deep impression of the letterpress. They looked and felt fantastic!
Behind the scenes at our save-the-date photo shoot. Adam had fun playing with his fancy new camera.
I addressed all the envelopes with calligraphy that matched the save-the-date. It brought me back to middle school because I used a white Gelly Roll pen. Remember those?
Nina printed our return address on the back flap of the envelope. I was grateful to not have to write it out 80 times.
What guests saw when they opened up the envelope. I was too lazy to do envelope liners, but maybe I'll do them for the invitations. We'll see.
Ready to mail!
They were so pretty that I didn't want to send them out, but Adam made me. (I did mail one to ourselves, though.)
So there you go! Our save-the-dates! What do you think? I adore them and can't wait to start working on our invitations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Day Before "The Day"

Traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner. Adam's parents told us early on that they wanted to stick to tradition on this one, which was fine by us. One less thing for me to plan! They wanted a casual feel with good food and beer, so an Irish pub seemed to be a natural fit, especially with our shared Irish heritage, love of Saint Paddy's Day, and Notre Dame affiliation.
A few weeks before Christmas, Adam and I decided to head downtown and try out the Irish pub closest to the chapel. The Kerryman would've been a great space, but we weren't wowed by the food, which was a deal-breaker.
When Adam's and my parents were in town for the wedding dress hunt, we tried out our second choice: Fadó. The food was pretty good...except the fish and chips. That was kind of a deal-breaker because everyone would want to eat fish and chips. Plus, the space where we would've had the rehearsal dinner wasn't very conducive to togetherness and toast-giving as it was broken up into lots of different small booths.
The next night, after we finished shopping for dresses, we went to Rock Bottom. It's not an Irish pub, but it is a brewery, which fit the same casual environment we were looking for. After a delicious dinner, we decided it was a great fit.
(From left to right: Daddy Lamping, Adam's parents, Adam, me, Bridesmaid Lauren, and Maid of Honor MoMo)

The next day, Adam, his parents and I walked through the event space with their event coordinator. It's a big, beautiful room with a bar and big windows overlooking State Street. We'll even have access to the rooftop terrace if the weather is nice! I can't wait to spend the night before the big day with our closest family and friends, enjoying a delicious meal and locally brewed beer.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Register? I barely know her!

It took us two weekends, but Adam and I have completed the registry process! We started off last Sunday afternoon at the Water Tower Macy's. I do not recommend going there to start your registry. They got rid of their registry department recently, so they don't have a great selection. What they do have is not very well-organized. I felt very overwhelmed, so we didn't last very long.

The next day, we took advantage of having President's Day off and went to the Macy's in the old Marshall Field's on State Street. That trip was much more fruitful.

We registered for sheets...

...and a KitchenAid mixer.

We picked out gorgeous china, and our registry consultant set a full place setting for us so we could see what it would look like on our table.

We spent about 2 hours in Macy's that day picking things out. I have never spent so much time in my life thinking about place settings as I did that day, and I probably never will again. I felt like a real grown-up. Simultaneously, I felt like I will never be a real grown-up because I refuse to own crystal stemware and silverware that costs $300+ per place setting.

This weekend, we finished rounded out our registry trifecta by going to Target and Crate and Barrel. We didn't register for much at Target, but we did pick out a bunch of board games.
That was pretty much the only reason we registered at Target, actually. That and tailgate supplies for Notre Dame games.

Crate and Barrel was where we really hit our stride. We were in and out in probably 45 minutes (which explains the lack of photos), but we registered for all of our glassware and serving dishes there. Our Macy's registry is our "We're cook gourmet meals and have dinner parties" registry, and our Crate and Barrel registry is our "We like to have parties and booze it up" registry. Guess which one of these is aspirational and which one is true to life.

Even though I wasn't super excited about it, I had a lot of fun registering. Adam, on the other hand, LOVED it. He was in charge of the gun at every store (with close supervision. I had to talk him out of registering for a Blu Ray player at Target.), and knew exactly what he wanted.

Now I just hope they don't discontinue everything before September!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My J.D. and M.R.S.

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece on women, marriage, and education. The article discussed the growth in the number of college-educated women in the U.S., and stated that many women think higher education makes them less desirable to men. During the middle part of the 20th century, this was true. However, in a world where more than half of college graduates are women, men are starting to see the education level of their partner as an asset, not a liability. In 1956, a woman's intelligence and education were ranked #11 on the list of desirable traits. Today, it's #4.

Despite conventional wisdom suggesting women dumb themselves down to land a husband, college-educated women are actually more likely to be married than less-educated women. Once we get married, college-educated women tend to have happier, more fulfilling marriages. Accordingly, the divorce rate among women with a college degree is very low at about 20%.

The increased percentage of college-educated women also means that women are often the ones "marrying down" today. 30% of married women have more education than their husbands while less than 20% of married men have more education than their wives. I will be one of the 30% when we get married in September because Adam has a bachelor's degree and I will have a juris doctorate. But I certainly don't think I'm "marrying down." I think the most important thing regarding intellect in a relationship is not sharing degree levels, but sharing a level of intellectual curiosity. Adam and I both love to learn. It's one of the things I love most about him, actually. He constantly teaches me new things and challenges me, and I don't think that this is going to change when I get a piece of paper this spring that calls me a doctor.
Photo from The Guardian

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What do you have in mind?

I have a meeting with a florist this morning. He asked me to bring pictures of what I want. I don't really care about flowers that much and just want to keep the cost down, so I thought about not bringing anything. But then I remembered that I'm very Type A, so this is what I came up with.
Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
I love the clean, crisp look of white flowers, but green is my favorite color, so I couldn't resist adding a little bit of that in there. Other than the color scheme, I guess none of these bouquets really look that much alike, so I've decided to give the florist creative freedom. Check that off the list!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So Dressed Up

This weekend, I went to a bridal event at the Kate Spade store on Oak Street put on by So Dressed Up and our caterer, Jewell Events Catering. I grabbed my friend Julianna and headed downtown for brunch bites, Champagne, and shopping.
Photo from CS Nightlife
The store was set up with adorable displays for food and drinks. The macarons were my favorite!
 Those little pink boxes were our favors. They said "Kisses for the soon-to-be-Mrs." and contained little Hershey's Kisses inside. Adorable! And speaking of adorable, I love those flats!
They had gorgeous flowers around the store. I snapped a photo of this amazing bouquet to add to my inspiration portfolio. It's so pretty and modern!
I made sure to get in on the real reason for this event: shopping! I didn't buy anything, but I tried on these glittery heels and these sparkly earrings.
It was a fun event. I actually ran into a couple of people I know. One is my next-door neighbor and the other was friend of mine from law school. She also went to Saint Mary's. I knew it would be impossible for there to be an event at the Kate Spade store without at least a couple of Smick Chicks present!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Che Bella

One of the biggest weddings of 2011 wasn't even a real wedding. Yep, it was the Twilight wedding.
I am not a Twilight fan (much to my Twihard bridesmaid, Lauren's, dismay), so I didn't really care about this wedding. Everyone seemed to freak out about Bella's dress, but when I started looking at pictures of it, something else caught my eye.
I loved the vintage comb she put in her hair! I've never seen anyone wear a comb just above their veil like that. I think it's so elegant and unexpected.
Now, I'm not going to go so far as to order a replica of it online...

...but I have been perusing the internet for vintage pins, brooches and hair combs so that I can recreate this look for myself.
Etsy
Etsy
I could even go for a comb with colored stones for my "something blue."
Etsy
eCrater
Kate Ketzal
My brother Christopher is studying abroad in Paris this semester, so I'm going to have him keep an eye out at flea markets and shops for a gorgeous comb, brooch or pin. I'm also planning on raiding my grandmothers' jewelry boxes to see if they have anything I could use for my "something borrowed."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sticker Shock

In an effort to check items off my to-do list for the month, I started researching florists.

Did you know that a bridal bouquet costs around $150?
Richard Timothy
This is what my face looked like when I read that line of the email.
 
That is sheer insanity! It's just going to die in a vase at the reception anyway! Surely this cannot be my only option, right? Right?!? Sigh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine?

Happy Valentine's Day to my forever Valentine! Adam is in Louisville today for work, but we celebrated with a nice dinner on Sunday night at Sapori Trattoria, the site of our first date.

Wishing everyone a day full of love! xoxo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

RIP Whitney

I was sad to hear that Whitney Houston passed away tonight at the age of 48. Her music is timeless and has been a part of every stage of my life. I danced around my bedroom to her music when I was a kid, partied with my friends to her music at our favorite bar in college, sang her songs at the top of my lungs in my car on my drives between Indianapolis and Chicago during my first year of law school, and performed her music in talent shows and karaoke bars.

Our wedding just won't be complete without at least a few Whitney tunes, but there's one that's an absolute must-play. Thanks for the memories, Whitney, and for the fantastic music that makes us want to dance with somebody.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monograms and other sources of confusion

Matchbook Magazine
I love monograms. I think this obsession was engrained in me during my 4 years at a women's college where my classmates wore monogrammed bracelets, necklaces, and tote bags. Even our dining hall trays were monogrammed!

Over the past few years, I've been hesitant to buy anything monogrammed because I knew that when we got married, my monogram would change. Now that my new name is just around the corner, I want monogrammed everything!

But how do you monogram something if you have 4 names?

I like the idea of keeping my maiden name as a second middle name, but a second middle name complicates things. Obviously there's the monogram issue, but there are other issues, too. What would I list on forms as my middle initial? Do I have to pick just one, or can I list 2? I write my middle initial in my signature. Will I have to add my second middle initial? My new name isn't available as a Gmail address, so I'll have to add an initial. Do I add just one? Both? If I add both, will people be confused? If I have 2 middle names but only ever use the first one, what's the point of having the second middle name?

I hadn't really thought about all of these issues. It would be nice to keep my maiden name, but maybe it's not worth the confusion it will cause. What do you think? Should I keep it or lose it?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Target Bridesmaid Collection

Did you know that Target now sells bridesmaid dresses? I didn't either, but they apparently launched the collection in December. There are 9 styles, and they all cost $69.99. This is the perfect price point for my college student sister. She'd look fabulous in this!
I think it looks almost identical to this J.Crew bridesmaid dress, which costs $365.
Sure, it's polyester instead of silk chiffon, but she's only going to wear it once, so why spend more? Thanks, Target, for looking out for budget-conscious brides and bridesmaids!