Monday, September 28, 2009

Deep Breaths

I love every minute of wedding planning. Yes, there are the mental roadblocks and the endless hours searching online for the perfect item and the stress of making sure every detail is in place. But, I love every detail. I love the research. I love it all!

However, I do have to admit that with the rest of life in the mix it can get a little (ok, a lot) overwhelming. With work, family, friends and just life in general getting in the way it can be a bit daunting to plan the most amazing wedding ever on top of it all. This past week I had two major events for work, had just arrived home from an extremely fun (but long) road trip, had no internet for four days straight, an engagement party the following weekend, impending knot deadlines, and no posts ready for the blog. Also, my hometown church sent the wrong letter to our wedding location so I need to once again ask them to revise it. To top it all off I tried on more dresses and I am now more confused then before and the clock is ticking.

I finally hit a point this past weekend where all of the blogs piled up in my Google reader, the Knot To-do list staring at me with big red alarm clocks screaming, "You are LATE LATE LATE," and my pile of unread wedding magazines on the coffee table all got to be too much. It was no longer fun, it was no longer thrilling, and I was feeling very discouraged. The funny part is that I wasn’t even that upset about all the to-do's and tasks awaiting me. I was upset that I was, for the first time, feeling as though these tasks were work. I was upset with myself for having so much piled up and not really knowing where to start.

All this worry created a nasty knot in my shoulder which Brett had to massage and a heating pad was in order to melt away the tension. So many other brides before me have complained about wedding planning being a pain or a chore and I always said it would never be that way for me because I enjoyed it all too much.

Note to bridesmaids: remind me to book one of these the week of the wedding or this stress knot thing could get ugly!

Then as we were driving home last night it hit me, it's ok if the wedding planning is a little too much at times. It is ok to fall behind a little, and it is ok if I don’t love every little second of the process. Some things might not be fun. The red alarm clocks can wait. I will get to the 200 posts in my Google reader. I will post on this little blog and move on from the missed entries. I will find a florist, the DJ will get booked, and (cross my fingers) I will find the perfect dress. Sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and realize…it will all be ok.

So tonight I will be vegging in front of the TV, watching the new fall line-up, eating a big bowl of ice cream, and enjoying my 200 posts piled up in Google reader. I am not going to worry about getting through all of them, just enjoying the ones I do read. I will move through this one little task at a time.

(Wedding Paper Divas)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wedding Slide Shows Redone

Calling all clever brides. I need a modern and unique twist on the overdone wedding slide show. Brett really wants a slide show with adorable baby pictures, mysterious childhood pictures, and awkward teenage pictures, plus some of the hundreds of pictures of us at dances, bonfires, vacations, and everywhere in between. While I know that this is a fun thing for everyone to see, I see it at every wedding and you know me, anything at every wedding is not something that will be at mine. So you clever, crafty and resourceful brides out there, I need your help.

Maybe it will even include this family favorite from our first Christmas card.
Yes, we are joking!!! And yes, Brett is wearing a woman's sweater. He does not have freakishly long arms.

So far I am thinking we might include:
1)Clips of interviews about us from people close to us or those in the wedding
2)A cartoon picture time line of “our story” like you see on invites strung thought the slide show for those who don’t know how we came to be
3)A run down of the wedding party and how we know each member (short rundown)

That’s all I've got and I am not sold on any of the ideas yet. Any ideas?

(Example of a relationship timeline)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zoom Zoom

(Tana Photography Via With this Ring)

I love the nostalgia an old car brings to wedding pictures and it just so happens that Brett’s dad still owns his convertible from when he was in high school! It is a cross between baby blue and sea foam green. It's perfect for getting us around for pictures and for capturing some cute memories. The kicker…Brett’s parents took wedding pictures with the car at their wedding! How fun. I can’t wait for my very own classic car wedding pics!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Roar of the Lion

This past weekend the future hubby and I went on an old fashioned road trip and it was amazing! Brett has been a fan of Penn State since he was a tiny boy. No, his dad isn’t a fan. He actually didn’t know anyone who was a fan but he remembers liking the Nittany Lion and his roars after touchdowns.

We have been talking about going to a game for almost as long as we have been together. So finally this year I decided it was time to "just do it," as Nike says. So I bought tickets to one of the games (we cant afford $300 a pop for Ohio or Michigan tix so we settled for Temple). Even though the game wasn’t an intense rivalry or a nail-biter it was a blast!

We left Thursday after work and arrived in Cincinnati at two A.M. tired and ready to stretch our legs. I didn’t get up as bright and early as Brett would have liked (those darn black out drapes in hotels get me every time) but after some Dunkin’ Doughnuts coffee and a glazed, fried ball of dough I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

The four hour drive to Penn State flew by compared to the long drive the night before and we arrived in College Park excited to try some Paterno Peach ice cream from the famous creamery. The wait was a bit long but well worth it! That night we stayed at a campsite about ten miles away and shared our resting place with about four hundred sequoia bugs. I don’t know if you have ever heard one of these little buggers but they are LOUD and sound like a little baby chainsaw. I woke up freezing and tired from the constant drone of the bugs but excited for the game. It took an hour of stop-and-go traffic even at seven A.M. but we finally got to the game and the tailgating and game were like none other!

Brett even got to see Joe Paterno and he was like a child seeing Santa Clause. “Have a good game Joe!” he yelled as Joe walked right by him. Brett tried to buy every Penn State hat, shirt, sign, magnet, and glass he could find but luckily I vetoed a few.

On the way back we saw a Pittsburgh Pirates game for ten bucks each. We sat in the second row and could almost touch the players (something we are not used to in Milwaukee). The game wasn’t great but the stadium was very cool. You could see the skyline from our seats and it gave us another cool location for our table numberr pictures (post to come). That night we stayed in Indianapolis, the home of my (yes my) Colts and Payton Manning and the Hyatt there is amazing!

Anyway, long story long it was a great weekend where I managed to relax, not have a plan, and laugh a lot with the future husband. I am sure there will be many more of these little road trips to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ten Groomsmen ... TEN?!?!

I never thought that one of our wedding planning “issues” (I won’t call it an argument because we don’t fight over the wedding) would be selecting groomsmen.
(Photo by Gabriel Ryan Photography Via Green Wedding Shoes)

I have a few very close friends that I want to ask to be in my wedding. It is a very important day to me and I only want people involved that are going to be supportive, fun, and totally enamored with me all day. Alright, the last part isn’t essential but a bride to be can dream, right? I have always known that Brett would have more attendants then me. After all, I have never really been a girls girl and most of his friends are mine as well. So who cares if there are more men then women as long as everyone involved cares about each of us?

You are crazy! How is an uneven number going to work you ask? The Cathedral alter is in the middle of the church and I plan to have all of our attendants stand in a semi circle behind us with ladies and gents intermixed. Most people who hear this plan look at me like I have lost my mind. I guess people think it is crazy not to have an equal mix of men and women, but it really doesn’t bother me.
(Another great snap shot by Gloss Photography Studios)

What does bother me is that Brett wants to have ten, count them ten, groomsmen! That is about double the number of bridesmaids that I am going to have. I was hoping he would pick around (ok, exactly) eight because it seems like a more manageable amount for pictures (the top picture I posted has 8 groomsmen and the bottom has 7 and they look big!), getting down the aisle, seating at the head table, the list goes on and on. I guess each of my maids could be pimp and have a guy on each arm to walk them down the aisle. Although, how would they carry the flowers? This would probably look a bit weird. Maybe I am being the crazy one now; maybe I should just suck it up and let him choose whoever he wants. I don’t know why I feel like 8 is better than 10 or why I even have a number in my head but that is just what I had pictured. But don’t fear, we will figure it out, and I will keep you posted on the groomsmen drama!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Little Bling Bling

I thought we could all use a little sparkly to carry us through this Friday afternoon. Thank goodness the weekend is almost here! Last night when I came across this company I hit Brett in the arm gasping “guess what?!” When he found out what all the excitement was about he was less then enthused but I was still on my diamond high.

With more and more brides trying to reel in the wedding budget many of us don’t have big bucks to spend on real jewelry for the walk down the aisle. Well this blogger has a great solution! You can look beautiful, even on a budget.

Photos from Evoke Photography blog

Adorn Inc. will assure that you are dripping in diamonds for your big day. You can act like a celebrity and rent your jewelry for the day. So, you might not want to go as far as Heidi Montag and cover yourself in the stuff but some fancy chandelier earrings might be nice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photos with Gloss

This little bride believes that photography is one of the most important parts of the wedding day. I personally would DIY to the high heavens if it meant getting my perfect photographer for my big day. Your pictures will be how you remember the smiles, the tears, the mishaps, and the looks the two of you exchange. The photos are what you will pass down for generations. It is what your children will laugh at when they see mom and dad in oh-so dated attire (remember laughing at your dad's ruffly blue leisure suit and mom's puffy hair).

So without further ado I share with you one of my favorite photographers. Here are the amazing Milwaukee pictures from an equally amazing husband and wife team: Gloss Photography Studios.

Don’t these pictures give you the tingles?

A Milwaukee Wedding would not be complete without a picture with "The Calling"

Ahhh the lighting … sun spots get me every time.

All pictures courtesy Gloss Photography Studios.

Don’t worry you will be seeing more of Gloss to come.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Testing Testing

I bought a fondue set last year giddy with excitement planning all of the fabulous parties I would have and all of the delicious recipes I would make. My mouth was watering at the prospect of melted cheese and chocolate. Now, it has been a year and not surprisingly I have never used the darn thing. I have been contemplating getting all of my bridesmaids together to meet, girl talk, and possibly start assembling invitations and was thinking that cheese, chocolate and wine (for those 21+ and not pregnant) would be fun. On second thought there might not be much wine because that only leaves three of us. I was even considering getting the moms in on it. I don’t want to be too demanding or take too much time from those in my wedding party but I would love for everyone to get to know each other just a bit.

So, what do you ladies think?

Are you asking yourself why this is a test? Well…my naughty attendants who don’t read this little blog will be busted!! Just kidding. It is because we will be testing my fondue set, fondue fixins' and maybe some wine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Milwaukee Bride

There are so many amazing venues in Milwaukee that it makes picking just one really hard. Not only is there a lot to choose from but you can fulfill any decor wish list with the huge array of different types of venues. Milwaukee is home to halls that are chic, rustic, sporty, and traditional. The sky is the limit in this town and before this bride-to-be found her perfect venue she looked at A LOT of others. For all of you Brew City brides who have not yet set a date here is what I found.

Now I bring to you my favorite Milwaukee venues to party down at after the I Do’s have been said. Each are distinctively different and uniquely Milwaukee.

Urban Chic: Cuvee
This Champagne bar is tucked away in Milwaukee’s third ward and is packed full of charm. The walls are flanked with long windows that overlook the ward's quaint streets. Cream city brick fills every cranny, and gives the high ceilings and wood floors a rustic, industrial feel. This venue is so classy, so sophisticated and so different. And the best part? It’s still somewhat a hidden gem and since most people haven’t been here your wedding can be all new to your guests.

(Picture from Cuvee Website)

Classy Lake Views: Pier Wisconsin
If you are looking for a black tie affair with lake views all wrapped into a modern setting look no further then Pier Wisconsin. This is an amazing facility on the shore of Lake Michigan. It is also catered exclusively by the Bartolotta Restaurant Group which means the food is tasty too. The view alone makes this place a great find.
(Picture from Bartolotta website)

Sporty Sophistication: The Metavante Club
If you love the Brewers (no Cubs fans here) you will love the Metavante Club at the Brewers Stadium for your big day. This venue is not what you would expect from a baseball stadium; it is beautiful and the view is amazing. Everything in this space can be customized including a personalized message to your guests on the Jumbotron. You won’t find plastic silverware here. Glass, marble and stone create this space which is modern and sporty. You can even have the famous Klement’s Sausage Racers join you for your wedding pics!
(Picture from the Brewers website)

Classic Downtown: The Grain Exchange
The Grain Exchange is a classic venue smack dab in the middle of downtown. As guests enter they are greeted by chandeliers and a beautiful staircase. The space includes a balcony that overlooks the amazing dining area where guests will nosh on Bartolotta’s Catering. You won’t feel cramped in here because the ceiling seems to be miles away and is intricately painted in a Victorian fashion. The classic paint technique continues down the walls and outlines the large windows. Traditional brides: Eat your hearts out.
(Picture from Bartolotta web site)

Amazingness to Spare: Milwaukee Art Museum
Brides with a sky’s the limit wedding fantasy look no further, the Milwaukee Art Museum is your venue. This spectacular venue is not for the bride on a budget but every wedding I have seen here has been breathtaking. The architecture of the building alone is the only decoration needed. Amazing views make this space that much better. So if you are an artsy bride take a look.
(Picture from the Milwaukee Wedding Blog)

This city is full of great food, entertainment and fun things to do…who knew it was chalk full of amazing wedding sites, too?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alright, So I Am a Little Crazy

As you all know the linens have been something that is very important to me and also a difficult project. I think I have solved the problem, though. I could not decide which linens I wanted to go with because I could not picture it in my head. I am usually a pro at knowing how things will turn out and being able to visualize the result but I just couldn’t this time. So, I made a picture board and NO I am not great with all of the fancy computer programs yet but I will be. Someday I will be able to draw up fancy plans for clients on the computer.

But for now you can all get a chuckle because:
A. The picture below looks like a 2nd grader's art project.
B. I was crazy enough to even do this.
C. I was nutty enough to actually post it for all to see.

So on this beautiful Friday afternoon enjoy my reception hall and how it will look on the day that I tie the knot.

(How Goofy)

I am going to switch the centerpieces around so that the more detailed ones are on the simple tables.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cake Stand

Aren't these cake stand wrappers adorable?

I want one or two for my dessert table. What fun on a Wednesday afternoon!

(All pictures from Paper Orchid)

On another note this adorable cupcake wrapper would be perfect for a baby shower.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hotel Catastrophe

So maybe it's not a catastrophe but it felt like a mini one Saturday night at 11 P.M.

This weekend I excitedly logged onto Expedia knowing that my wedding date would finally be available to book hotels online. It was then that I found out that my wedding is (dun, dun, dun) on EAA weekend! For those of you who are not from Oshvegas, EAA is a week long flight show where people from literally all over the world invade the small town in Wisconsin. This normally would not be a big deal, other then the fact that it ruins my entire wedding!!

Ok…deep breaths. Brett would tell me to get a grip right now. It really isn’t that big of a deal but it does make booking a hotel, finding a flight, or renting a car difficult and expensive. I originally wanted to book a block of rooms at another (cheaper) hotel in Downtown Milwaukee to give guests the choice of staying at the reception venue or the more economical choice. But because Oshkosh is so small and has only about 2 hotels people spill over into Milwaukee and every downtown spot is booked! At least we reserved a block of rooms at our hotel at a discounted rate (which is still steep but better then the $280 they are charging regularly that weekend). Now I am worried that the price will upset out-of-town guests, especially those standing up in the wedding that will need to purchase a suit or dress, and pay for a hotel for one or two nights. So my little brain is working on solutions. I haven’t thought of much yet other then letting people sleep in tents in our back yard. Which would normally be weird in a semi-big city but during EAA people in Milwaukee rent out their back yards for people to camp in, so not as weird but still not a good solution. Ahhh what to do…

(Source: Rick Aguilar via Dettagli Weddings)
At least this picture makes me feel a little better. The air show is an hour and a half away by car but somehow the jets turn around here in Milwaukee throughout the weekend. Maybe I will catch a picture with one.