Friday, August 31, 2012

Making It Up

After I decided to nix my hairdresser, I also decided to nix the makeup artist. The main reason for this was because the makeup artist works with the hairdresser, so I wanted to free them both up to book another wedding. The other reason is that I want to look like myself on my wedding day. Plus, if going the DIY route is good enough for Duchess Catherine, it's good enough for me! (My motto in life is What Would Kate Middleton Do?)
Lela London
I knew I'd need to beef up my makeup bag for the occasion because I typically only wear blush, eyeliner and mascara.

My biggest concern about doing my own makeup is that I need it to stay put all day long. To achieve that, I bought a good primer. Instead of $40 for the full-sized tube, I bought this starter kit from Ulta for $19.
It includes face primer, eyelid primer, mascara, eyeliner, and lip gloss.

A few months ago before my law school formal, I went to Macy's in search of foundation. I didn't buy any, but I got a sample from Lancome. I used it for my bachelorette party and really liked the way it looked and felt. After testing out a couple other brands, I decided to pony up the cash and buy Lancome foundation.
To set it, I bought Maybelline powder (because I already spent $44 on foundation and refused to spend the same amount on powder).
I also bought false eyelashes for that extra oomph. Everything else I need, I already owned.

Stay tuned for a tutorial to see how it all comes together!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Moving Day

Sorry I've been MIA lately. I've been moving. My lease was conveniently timed to expire a month before the wedding, so Adam and I are officially roommates now! I've lived alone for the last 4 years, so it's going to be an adjustment living with someone again.

I'm going to miss having my own space, even if that space is a cramped 168 square feet.
Pictures taken right after moving in 2 years ago. Miss it already!
I'll miss my location. I'm moving about a mile north, and in the city, that's practically another world. My old apartment was one block from the Lincoln Park Zoo, and I had a great running route. I'll miss you, Lakefront Path!
The Easy Run
I'll miss Friday nights alone in my bed with ordered-in Thai food and Say Yes to the Dress.

But there are lots of things that make me excited to move into Adam's place. For one, I'll have a lot more space. 800 square feet! Practically a mansion! And I can stop hauling my stuff back and forth between apartments several times a week. I'm excited to cook dinner together every night in our kitchen and not have to take the bus back home afterward.

Mostly, I'm excited that my roommate is pretty awesome. I get to have a sleepover with my best friend every single night. What's not to love about that?

How did you deal with moving in together? Was it a tough transition?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trials and Tribulations

A while ago, I hired a hairstylist to do my hair for the wedding. I'm not very good at doing my own hair, and I also wanted to feel pampered on my wedding day. A couple of weeks ago, I had my trial.
It was pretty, but a little too simple for the wedding. It didn't feel special, and I didn't feel special, which isn't how I want to feel on my wedding day.

Fortunately, my friend A used to do a lot of behind-the-scenes work for theatre in college, including hair. She offered to come over and try to style my hair.
It was MUCH closer to what I wanted. It had more volume, and I liked the way she got it to all twist to where the comb is. We'll need to make it more secure with bobby pins the day of, but I really like it. Plus, it'll be fun to have my friend do my hair!

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Suburban Sunday

Adam and I are city dwellers, but this Sunday, we ventured out to Schaumburg to get decorations for our reception. Why Schaumburg? Because it's home to the happiest place on Earth.
We stocked up on tealight candle holders and picture frames for our table numbers, seating chart, and family wedding photos.
For everything, we only spent about $120. That's pretty good considering we bought enough stuff to outfit 16 tables!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lucky Numbers

We're doing assigned seating at our wedding, so guests will need to find their seats in an easy way. This is why some genius a million years ago invented table numbers. But, of course, modern brides had to go mess it all up by getting creative. There are so many options nowadays for designating which table is which.

There's the simple, traditional option:
Martha Stewart Weddings
Photo by Shannon Lee Images via Style Me Pretty
 Or the use of photos:
Martha Stewart Weddings
Glendalough Manor Bride
 Or you can choose not to use numbers at all:
Photo by Joey + Jessica Photographs via Style Me Pretty / Floral and Event Design by Salt Harbor Events
Miss Cauldron on Weddingbee
WeddingMonograms on Etsy
What style is your favorite?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In my life, I love you more.

My dad loves music. He is a high school math teacher now, but when I was little, he was a radio DJ. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of waking up at 4am to go into the station with him and do the morning show. I would help him pull the cartridges of the songs he had to play, and I was sometimes allowed to announce the weather forecast and answer the phones to pick lucky caller number 9. He used to make me mix tapes, too. My favorite has all Mariah Carey on one side and all Amy Grant on the other.

More than any other artist, my dad loves the Beatles. He has a huge Beatles record collection, including a Japanese version of their debut LP. When it came to picking a father/daughter dance song, it was a no-brainer that we would dance to a Beatles song. Surprisingly, my dad didn't want to pick and let me do the honors. After a bit of research and lots of listening, I chose In My Life.

John Lennon wrote this song about his childhood, so I think it's particularly fitting that my dad and I will dance to it on my wedding day, a coming-of-age moment.

What's your father/daughter dance song?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Good Investment

It's no secret that weddings are expensive. Some people refuse to deal with the WIC and decide to just elope or have a city hall wedding. I think that's a great option for some couples, but Adam and I really wanted a wedding. All the money and all the planning is worth it, I think, because I see the wedding as an investment.

I know I'm not going to see little to no monetary return on what I'm paying to vendors for the actual event, but I know I'll see a return on the memories we create that day. Our wedding day is something we'll look back on for the rest of our lives and remember the feelings we had and the people we shared them with. We'll look back on our pictures and video. Someday, I'll pull my dress out of the closet for my daughter or granddaughter to try on. Maybe she'll decide to wear my veil or some of my jewelry down the aisle. Most importantly, we'll remember the time we spent with our family and friends getting ready in the morning and dancing together at night. Our wedding will give our nearest and dearest the chance to say something sentimental and then raise a glass in honor of us and our marriage.

Without a wedding, we wouldn't have these things. So, sure, it's a lot of money to spend on one day, but we know that one day will pay emotional dividends for years to come, and that makes it all worth it to us.

Do you think of your wedding as an investment?

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's like rain on your wedding day

The weather in Chicago lately has been cool and rather fall-like. It's such a welcome relief from the heat, and I love it.
It's also making me excited for the wedding! After sweating through a dress fitting on a 90-degree day, I'm hoping the weather will be nice and cool on our wedding day. If we follow history, everything should be just lovely. The average high on September 29th in Chicago is 70 degrees, and the record high is 85 degrees.

I hope it doesn't rain just because it makes everything easier, but I actually love rainy days. Plus, it's supposed to be good luck. If it does rain, I'll make sure we're prepared with:

Alternate indoor photo locations
Adam and I love our city and it's gorgeous skyline, but if it rains on our wedding day, we're lucky that the architecture is also beautiful on the inside of buildings, like Union Station:
Heather Parker Photography
and the Sears Tower's Skydeck:
Angel Eyes Photography
They make for cute photos, and you can sing Rihanna, which is always fun.

Anika London
100 Layer Cake / photo by Edyta Szyszlo
When I lived in Ireland in college, I discovered wellies. My Hunters are now a rainy day necessity, whether I'm wearing jeans or a wedding gown.

Elizabeth Anne Designs / photo by Leslee Mitchell
Carmen and Ingo Photography
What are your thoughts on rainy wedding weather?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Showered with Love

Last Saturday, my family threw me and Adam a wonderful shower. I've written about it before, but it was a non-traditional shower in that it was for both me and Adam and both male and female relatives were invited.

My aunt and godmother hosted the shower at her house. My sister/maid of honor, mom, brothers, cousins, and aunt spent lots of time decorating and setting everything up, and I think it looked beautiful!
My sister got crafty with those crepe paper chandeliers, and my cousin E made the string balls on the ceiling. Her two sons (one of whom is my godson and our ring bearer), ages 5 and 7, helped her make them!
My crafty cousin B set out a mason jar with brightly colored tongue depressors and a frame stating "Jot down ideas for date nights." Upon seeing this activity, my aunt said, "Why do they need ideas for date nights? They're getting married!" Silly Aunt P!
Fittingly, a bumble bee made an appearance!

We ate delicious food, like lemon cupcakes with blueberry filling and mini cheesecakes...
...ham and chicken salad sandwiches, veggies, fruit salad...
...and a baked potato bar! Potatoes are my favorite food, and my mom knocked it out of the park with this idea.
Life-sized Jenga was a big hit...
 ...and the little ones (with some help from my brother A) occupied themselves with Legos while the grown-ups partied.
After snapping a quick photo of me and Adam... was time for games! We played two games. For the first game, I had to leave the room while my cousin B asked Adam 10 questions. When I was allowed back in the room, I had to answer the questions. Guests had to guess how many questions I would answer the same as Adam.
I got 6 right. Not too bad.

Next up was a version of the Newlywed Game for all the couples in attendance. The photos from this game prove that the guys had fun at our co-ed shower.

I even got to meet my new cousin, Baby D! Such a cutie.

After games were played, we opened this pile of presents.
 I don't have any pictures of that, but we got a few really thoughtful gifts. Adam's parents gave us a frame containing a photo from their wedding and photos from both of Adam's grandparents' weddings. My gramama, who was unable to attend because her doctor thought she might have tuberculosis,* gave us a pair of matching shamrock aprons that she and my grandad used to wear together in the kitchen. My grandad passed away 3 years ago after 58 years of marriage, so it was really special to receive those much-loved gifts.

After the gift portion of the shower, we all changed into our swimsuits and jumped into the pool! I had a great time and couldn't have asked for a better shower.
Major thanks to my sister, aunt and two cousins for hosting the shower! Adam and I felt so loved. We really can't wait to see everyone again at the wedding!

*She does not have tuberculosis, but she was under quarantine for 5 days while she waited for blood test results. Pretty crazy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You've Got Mail

Having a rapidly approaching wedding date means that checking our mailbox has gotten even more exciting. It's so much better than getting bills and junk mail all the time! Just yesterday, I got a very special book:

...a big box from Target...

...a tiny envelope with Bee love inside...

...and a bunch of envelopes that look like this!

Yes, those are RSVPs! Which means that an invitation post is coming up very soon.
Can't wait to see what the mailman brings today!