Monday, April 30, 2012


 Today, I turn 25. This is a big year for me. Over the next 364 days, I will:
  • graduate from law school
  • take the bar exam
  • get married
  • get sworn in as an attorney
  • start my first real job.
Based on this list, 25 is the year I become a real adult. It's scary and exciting and it's really happening. Here's hoping it's the best year yet!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Would You Light My Candle?

Because our reception venue has a list of florists you must use for any flowers and we've opted to not hire a florist, we won't have any flowers at our reception. But that's OK because what I really want is lots of candlelight.
Martha Stewart via Bravo Bride
Mrs. Lemon on Weddingbee
Elizabeth Anne Designs via Corey Ann Photography
I plan on using 40% off Michaels coupons, Goodwill/Salvation Army/yard sale finds, and probably a day trip or two to my suburban paradise, Ikea, to stock up on candles and candle holders over the next few months.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Perfect Bouquet

Remember how I didn't care about flowers? I'm a changed woman.
Photos by Kate Price Photography via Style Me Pretty / Flowers by Steven Moore Designs
This is the perfect bouquet, and now that I've seen it, I must have it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An early wedding gift

Adam's dad travels a lot for work. This means that he collects hotel and airline points like it's going out of style. He's a Marriott guy and he surprised us by booking our hotel in Boston for us! The first night of our honeymoon will be spend lounging in the lap of luxury at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston!

The hotel sits right on Boston Harbor. How close to Boston Harbor? Any closer and it would need to float.

Not too shabby, huh? The best part of this hotel is obviously the location. Being on the harbor is great, but it's also within easy walking distance of Faneuil Hall, the Freedom Trail, and tons of restaurants. I can't wait!

All photos via Marriott

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breaking Tradition

There are lots of traditions associated with weddings. Some people think a wedding just isn't a wedding without them. But Adam and I will be skipping a few traditions that aren't our cup of tea. Here are a few.

Father/daughter aisle walk
Photo by Andrew Collings Photography
This is something I've already discussed, but BOTH of my parents will be walking me down the aisle at my wedding, not just my dad.

Unity candle
Sonja's Brides
No one is really sure where and when the unity candle originated, but it was made popular in a soap opera wedding in the 1980s. We won't be incorporating this "tradition" because we figure that the act of getting married is already pretty symbolic of unity.

Wedding cake
Wedding Fashion
I don't want to disclose too many details about this, but our wedding cake isn't going to look like this.

Garter toss/bouquet toss
Photo by 5th Floor Photography
This is something that Adam and I disagree on a little. Adam abhors the garter toss. He doesn't feel comfortable going up under my dress in front of our grandparents, and I don't like that either, so we're definitely nixing the garter toss. I, on the other hand, always have fun going out for the bouquet toss at weddings and think it's a fun tradition. But it seems a little strange to toss the bouquet and not the garter, so I think we're eliminating the bouquet toss, too. But who knows? Maybe I'll decide to unofficially toss it into the crowd at some point.

Which traditions are you keeping and which are you nixing for your wedding?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marvelous Mantilla

This Badgley Mischka veil is gorgeous beyond words. It's making me re-think my vision...
Photo by Aaron Delesie Photography via Snippet and Ink

Friday, April 20, 2012

Take a seat

When we booked our reception venue, I assumed we would have round tables.
Photo by Studio This Is / Event by LOLA Event Productions

But throughout the wedding planning process, I've fallen in love with long, banquet tables.
Adam prefers round tables, and I agree that they're more practical in the space, but maybe we could mix and match the two?
Elizabeth Anne Designs
What kind of tables do you prefer?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I posted about blue shoes already, but I'm also considering doing metallic shoes. Again, it's a lot more rewearable than white or ivory, and what girl doesn't love a little sparkle and shine?

These Naturalizer shoes are cute, but more importantly, they look really comfortable with that thick heel. And the rewearability factor is very high.
These Caparros pumps are hot, but at 4 inches, the heel might be a little too high for a full day of standing and dancing.

And now for something sparkly! These Badgley Mischkas are super cute, but a little pricey and a little too tall. Also, I'm not sure how often I'd wear glittery shoes after the wedding.
Then there are the glittery Kate Spades I tried on at the So Dressed Up event. They were really comfortable, but they're also really expensive.
I love the sparkly brooch detail on these Ivanka Trump shoes.

Which ones are your favorite? Do you prefer metallic or blue shoes?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The eagle has landed.

My dress has arrived!
I had it shipped to my parents' house in Indiana, so I won't actually see it for another month, but it's here! And it arrived about 2 weeks early, making the total time between order and delivery 14 weeks. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cape Cod, here we come!

We booked our flights for our honeymoon! The day after our wedding, we'll be flying to Boston, and the next day, we'll rent a car and drive down to Cape Cod.

Our home base for the week will be the Platinum Pebble in West Harwich.
Trip Advisor
We plan on taking a day trip to Nantucket...
...and spend another day on a whale-watching tour.
Does anyone have recommendations for Boston hotels and/or Cape Cod activities/restaurants?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Put on my blue suede shoes

I really like the idea of wearing blue shoes as my "something blue." I think it's fun to have an unexpected pop of color under a long, white dress. Plus, I'm much more likely to wear them again after the wedding than a pair of white or ivory pumps.

I like these J.Crew beauties, but they're pricier than what I was hoping to spend.

I am drooling over these! They are probably the most perfect shoes ever...except for the $595 price tag. Bummer.
These Steve Maddens are cute and look pretty comfy.
I LOVE these Kate Spades, but they're pricey, and I don't think I'd wear blue satin heels on a regular basis after the wedding.
These are so cute, and the price is definitely right. They're very Kate Middleton with the bows, and the heel height looks like they would be pretty comfortable all day long.
So many options! Which one should I choose?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Veiled Meaning

Andrew Collings Photography
I love my wedding dress, and I'm excited to wear it, but it's not the thing I'm most excited to wear on my wedding day. I'm most excited to wear a veil. When I was a little girl, I was so excited for my First Communion so I could wear a veil, and I remember being so sad to take it off at the end of the day. My 8-year-old self couldn't wait for my wedding day when I would wear a veil again.

So I'm using this opportunity to go big. Or at least go long. I want a floor-length veil, either cathedral- or chapel-length, without a blusher.

I think I want a plain, raw-edge veil...
Shirley Renee Designs
 ...but I'm open to maybe doing something with lace on the edges.
What kind of veil is your favorite?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Who gives this woman?

I love my dad very much. He raised 5 young children all while going to college and grad school in order to become a teacher in his 30s. He's an amazing man, and I'm lucky to have him in my life.

But I don't want him to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day.

I am uncomfortable with the traditional, patriarchal implications of being "given away" by my father at my wedding. Though the tradition has become a sentimental one, at its heart, it's a transaction of property. I'm not a piece of property to be passed from one man to the next.

I've decided to reclaim the tradition by having both of my parents walk me down the aisle. Both of my parents have shaped me into the person I am today, so I think they both deserve the honor of walking their eldest child down the aisle.

But I'm not content with that solution alone. If I'm going to be "given away" by my parents, I want both of Adam's parents to walk him down the aisle, too. It took a little bit of explanation and convincing, but Adam is on board with this idea. We've decided that we will treat the aisle-walking as a symbolic transfer of the two of us from our birth families to our new baby family.

We're definitely not the first people to choose this option. It's Jewish tradition to have the parents of the bride and groom escort their children down the aisle. Not only that, but my parents did this at their wedding. I guess you can say that reclaiming sexist traditions runs in the family!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A florist-free wedding

Photo via / Flowers by Kloeckner Preferred Flowers
One item on my to-do list for this month was to decide on a florist. After suffering sticker shock from the estimate we received from the most affordable florist on our vendor list and a successful attempt at DIY bouquet-making, Adam and I have decided not to hire a florist for our wedding.

I promise we're not crazy! We've eliminated boutonnieres and will be having non-floral centerpieces, so all we have to do is make bouquets. During my trial run with my sister, it only took us about 20 minutes to make one bouquet, so this should be easy to do the morning of the wedding.

Because flowers were such a low priority for us, eliminating a professional florist was a good way for us to save a lot of money and make up for places where we've gone over-budget.

Would you ever go florist-free?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Sweet It Is

When it comes to cake, Adam and I are united in our dislike of fondant.  If we're not going to have the smooth surface of fondant, we might as well completely rebel from that look and go for something textured.
Photo by Frenzel Photographers via Style Me Pretty / Event by Joyful Weddings and Events
Photo by Jodi Yorston Photography via Style Me Pretty / Event by 2 Chic Events and Design
I'm loving this perfectly imperfect look, ideally with thick cream cheese frosting. Yum!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why did my wedding dress cost so much?

NPR put out a story about the cost of wedding dresses. A recently married reporter took her wedding dress to a fabric dealer and experience tailor to determine how much the materials and labor cost. Spoiler alert: She paid significantly more for the dress than those totals combined.

Interesting stuff. My wedding dress is certainly the most expensive item of clothing I've ever purchased, and my budget was on the low end of what most bridal boutiques offer. I could have bought a cheaper dress, but I chose to support an independent designer, and ultimately am happy with my decision and my dress. But I'm glad that NPR has chosen to shed some light on the price-gouging that occurs in the wedding industry and the power of the WIC.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Scent-sory Overload

At the Kate Spade event, I spritzed myself with a little perfume.
Adam liked it, and asked me why I never wear perfume. The real reason is that I'm too cheap to buy it. That stuff is expensive! But then it got me thinking about perfume. Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, so maybe I should pick out a special perfume to wear on our wedding day. I decided to do some research.
I love Burberry London. When I studied abroad, I used to put it on in the duty-free shop at the airport whenever I went on a trip. But that scent is already tied to the memory of traveling around Europe, so I think I'll have to pick something else for our wedding.

There's the classic Chanel No. 5. The French government estimates that a bottle of this perfume is sold every 30 seconds. However, despite my love of all things Chanel, I don't like this fragrance. I tend to prefer perfumes that are fruity and flowery, and Chanel No. 5 is neither of those things.
When I went to Ulta to test perfumes, my favorite was Coach's Signature. I loved how flowery and fresh it smelled. But it's only sold in an eau de toilette, which is a more watered-down version of perfume (eau de parfum is the concentrated stuff), so the scent wears off before the end of the day. If I could find this in a more concentrated version, I think we'd have a winner.

Do you have a signature scent? Did you wear it on your wedding day, or did you have a special wedding day perfume?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

May I Have This Dance?

Adam plays piano, guitar and bass, and minored in music in college. I have been singing since I could talk, played the flute for about 10 years, and was the director of my college a cappella group. We met in a musical. Clearly, music is very important to us. We hired a great DJ to control the music all night, but we have to pick out one very important song on our own: the first dance song.

I'm looking forward to a lot of things about the wedding day, but the first dance is up near the top of the list. I am really, really looking forward to that. I'm not a cryer, but I might cry...if we pick the right song.

We want something a little untraditional with some indie flavor. Here are a few options:

"The Luckiest" by Ben Folds

"Can't Help Falling in Love" by Ingrid Michaelson

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys

"This Will Be Our Year" by The Zombies

"First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes

Which one is your favorite? What's your first dance song?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pre-Cana in review

This Saturday, Adam and I went to Pre-Cana at Saint Tarcissus parish. It was an all-day affair with 41 other engaged couples.

In the morning, we discussed what traits make a marriage successful and how to communicate effectively. In the afternoon, we discussed goal-setting, money, intimacy and children. I enjoyed the discussion of goals because we had never written down a list of individual and shared goals before, but everything else I feel like we'd discussed on our own. I had a hard time with a lot of the discussion because I felt like it was judgmental and focused a lot on traditional, heteronormative gender roles.

Honestly, the best part of the day was our lunch at nearby Superdawg, a Chicago institution.
I think that everyone should go through some sort of premarital counseling, but I didn't find Pre-Cana to be the best possible option for us. But it was required in order to get married in the Archdiocese of Chicago, so at least it served that purpose.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Beautiful Contract

Marriage is a lot of things. It's a loving, committed relationship between two people. It's the creation of a new family. And it's a legal contract.

Jewish brides and grooms sign a ketubah, a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement, before their ceremony.  Historically, the ketubah protected the wife in the even that her husband died or divorced her. Today, the ketubah is more of a marriage certificate than a legal contract. More importantly to this non-Jew, they're gorgeous pieces of art that commemorate your wedding day and the promises you made to one another.
Quakers are able to get married without an officiant. A Quaker marriage is validated by marriage certificates signed by the bride, groom, and all the guests present. In other words, it is the guests who declare the bride and groom married instead of a single officiant.
Ampersand Ink
I love the idea of doing something like a ketubah or Quaker marriage certificate as a guest book. I think it would be a beautiful way to be reminded every day of our wedding, the vows we took, and the community of people who have supported us in our lives and relationship.

We could get our calligrapher to customize something for us that matches our invitation suite and stationery. I love this piece she did of the couple's vows.
Sparrows Nest Script
We could incorporate a photo of Chicago, like this Boston ketubah.
Rochelle Frank
Or we could add a fun 3D accent like this.
All Things Paper

Sunday, April 1, 2012

6 Months

Lane 6 Fitness
Here's what's on the agenda for this month.
  • get baptismal certificates
  • decide on a florist (for real this time)
  • book a trolley
  • start looking for wedding bands
  • make a hair and makeup appointment (I'm taking suggestions on this one! Anyone have a good salon?)
  • receive wedding dress!!! OK, so it's not something I have to do, but I'm excited about it, so it makes the list. Go make your own list if you don't like it.