Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I do, I did, now what?

A few years ago, before I was even remotely interested in marrying someone else, I picked up a book called "What Wendell Wants: How to tell if you're obsessed with your dog" by Jenny Lee. Since I was, at the time, obsessed with my dog, I read it. I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. Holy cow it was funny and definitely me. Well, I liked the author, so I picked up another one of her books called "I do, I did, now what? Life after the wedding dress". I read it and couldn't really relate to it, since I was then angry and bitter and didn't think I'd ever get married. I liked it, though, but I put it down and forgot about it until my sister was planning her wedding. I gave it to her, and I am pretty sure she read it, but I don't know what she thought of it. Since I'm planning my own wedding right now, I decided to re-read it, so I got it back from my sister.

Wow, is it a perfectly suitable book!

It's not about wedding planning, and it's not about how to have a perfect wedding. Or even a perfect marriage, really. I gathered that a lot of it is appropriate venting about her husband and how she copes with it all. And she said in the book that no one really told her what it was like to be married. She'd ask people and the subject would change. So she wrote the book in order to let people know what it's like to be married.

My favorite section is the one on housework. She writes specifically how her husband is very messy and does things like leave the condiments out of the fridge so they can gather bacteria and spoil. She writes about her methods to change that, like leaving little notes on the condiments to be put back and how that didn't work. So she stopped buying him condiments. She writes about the messes he made, like leaving a half-eaten apple on the couch for days, and how she didn't want to be a nagging wife but she didn't want to be his mother adn pick up after him either. So she decided to beat him at his own game and became very messy herself. After the piles started gathering, he caught wind of it all and decided to clean up a bit more.

I'm not a messy person, but I'm not overly clean either. I don't like clutter on the floors and I don't like shoes on the floors. Otherwise, I can let a mess sit there a bit before I clean it up, but I always clean it up. Jared seems to not mind clutter at all, and things just pile and pile until it drives me crazy. So I started picking up his shoes, which were always left out and would collect into multiple pairs of shoes, and putting them in the dog's cage. When he can't find his shoes, he knows where to look now. And just recently, b/c I got tired of picking up his pajamas off the floor when the hamper is RIGHT THERE, I just took them and hid them. He came home one day and wanted to put on his pajamas but couldn't find them. I told him I hid them. He didn't like that. He was actually very angry.

But I can tell you, his pajamas have made it into the hamper every night since.

I'm telling you, I am taking a lot from Ms. Jenny Lee. I like her style.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heaven help me, I've discovered another blog to love

I sometimes wonder what I'll do after the wedding. What on earth will I browse online now? I've set my StumbleUpon bar to search only wedding websites and multiple times I've gotten the screen that says "You've seen all of the wedding sites there is to see. Stumble on something else!" But thank God, it gave me one more stumble. And I stumbled on this blog. Oh it's lovely. Down to the last detail. (Yay puns!)

It's right up there with Style Me Pretty. Yes, I'm cheating on SMP.

I've been searching through the pages, and nothing compares to this wedding.

They're green. They love their dog. They have focused on ways to make their wedding different. I like these people.

Now, I'd love to have an ultra-green wedding. I would love everything to be recycled material. But unfortunately, we can't afford a lot of the materials. We are using everything plastic, but I guarantee we will be recycling everything we can and I will have a recycling committee on hand to take care of those things.

And I very much wish Sheila weren't such a wonderfully spastastic dog so that she could participate in our wedding. We'd hoped that she'd be able to but we don't see it happening.

Either way, I'm in love with this site I've just discovered and this wedding I've found. Back to browsing all of the pages of ELD blog.

But first!

Here are some pictures that I just love of the wedding (notice the dog? I love that dog):
what a lovely shot

Is there a more perfect day to get married?
The dog shot! Oh my gosh!
Yes, please!
Our dog Sheila is NOT capable of this, but I can dream
Again, not a Sheila thing, but so sweet! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My last name

My last name is 9 letters. It's at the beginning of the alphabet (B) and it's usually mispronounced. I'm not sure why. It's pretty easy to read. There are authors who share that same name. It's not common but it's still not so uncommon that it's unheard of.

I have mentioned before that I have a major fear of being typical. Well, the "typical" bride changes her name to her new husband's name. I, being so untypical and rebellious just for the sake of saying i'm not typical, never wanted to change my name. I've always said "I'm not property" and "Why can't he take MY name" and all the other wannabe feminist musings, but really all it was was that I didn't want to be like everyone else.

So before Jared and I got engaged, I told him I'd never take his name. Yeah, pretty mean, and he still wanted to marry me. But now it's closer adn closer to the wedding (3 months tomorrow...eek!) and I can't wait...again, I CANT WAIT...to take his name! Oh man, I'm so excited to take his name. I want everything to be "Mehgan C***" now. I want to go ahead and change it on Facebook. I want to get all of my legal documents changed already. I want to change my email addresses to include my future last name. I want to be a C*** (ha, it looks like I'm typing obscentities there...)!

His last name is 4 letters and still at teh top of the alphabet. It's also common but not so common that everyone will have it. It is the last name of a famous musician, so we get a lot of jokes about that, but I don't care. I want that last name! I want to wear it proudly and say "Why, yes, I AM Mehgan C***. Nice to meet you. I am Jared's wife. Yes, yes, we had a lovely wedding. Did I tell you my new name? It's C***."

I just feel so detached from my current last name. I was typing it the other day on a site and had to look for a second to see if I spelled it right. Then I really started looking at it. Every letter. Sounding each letter out. Obviously I've spelled my own name for 28+ years and know how to spell it and how to say it. But it just doesn't seem me anymore.

Let me explain. I'm not completely attached to my family. I love them. I really do. But we're just not close anymore. Once my grandparents on my dad's side died, it's like we all went our separate ways. We still communicate and what not, but with the exception of some cousins, my relationship with my family doesn't extend beyond Facebook friends and Christmas cards, as much as I love all of them. My grandparents were the glue, and they're not here to hold it together anymore. My sister has her husband's last name, my grandparents are gone, my dad and I are not close anymore, and a few cousins I'm still close with are the only ones who hold the name anymore since they're male. My grandparents were married 61 years, and I have a few uncles adn aunts who are married long-term, but I'm just not a B******** anymore.

Now, Jared's family is another story. They are all close. They love each other. His dad is an only child and so his grandparents have just 2 grandchildren (my fiance and his sister). But the thing is, they're close. They have a lot of love in their family, even though that side is small. And his grandparents have a nice happy longstanding marriage. My fiance's parents are lovely people who have a great marriage and are married I think 27 years now. I, being the superstitious person I am, feel like it's almost good luck to adopt his last name so that we'll have a blissful marriage. And I'm glad to do that.

So I can't wait to go through the long and tedious process to change my name. Sitting at the Social Security office and DMV to get things switched over. Making a new email account. Changing my bank account. Oh, it's goign to be fun and blissful.

And I have to admit, I already made a Skype account, since I just got it, with my married name. And it felt great. I even put my Skype name as my status on Facebook yesterday so people can contact me there. That was a good feeling.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do-it-yourself card box

I'm not crafty at all. Like, at all. I can't even spin yarn balls (more on that in another blog). I've never been creative and I have difficulty figuring out how to make things even with simple instructions. But I found something that I loved! A DIY card-box, for when the guests brought a card as a gift or as a wish-you-well and need somewhere to put it. I got the idea from this post, but we had to change it up a little bit. We bought cheap Dollar Tree picture frames and when Jared tried to screw the L-brackets in, the frames started to crack! So we improvised with a glue gun instead and it worked just fine. Next we used foam board to sit on the L-brackets. I covered the top of the foam board with a cute piece of green fabric I found at Wal-Mart (did you know they sell just "swatches" for like a buck? That was perfect size. I even had some left over...I'll figure out what to do with the rest). I hot glued everything I could, even the fabric onto the foam board. On the bottom, I just rested of the foam board on top of the L-brackets so the cards would have somewhere to land. It was really super simple! I have one piece left to finish. I'm going to try to find a lazy Susan so I can put it on the bottom and it'll spin around, like in the Road to the Aisle blog.

I spent less than $20 on this. 4 frames from Dollar Tree ($4), 4 mats ($5), 4 pictures ($1), 4 sets of L-brackets ($4), a cork board ($1), and a piece of green fabric ($1). I don't know how much the lazy Susan will be but I'm guessing not more than a couple of bucks!

The pictures we used were sort of fun. They're from our engagement shoot that our friends did. The one with the date in it was when we were trying to take a cute picture with our date in the background and Jared's phone rang. It was funny that our friends kept snapping pictures and the looks on our face b/c we didn't recognize the number. The other picture of us laughing is from Jared making some sort of inappropriate joke while we were trying to pose sweetly on a lawn. Then I love the picture she got of my ring...I didn't even know she took it until she sent it to me! It's the only "close up" I have of my ring so far. And the last picture is just one of my favorite pictures of us...it's just sweet :)

So here are the pictures of our card box. I'm pretty proud of it. Actually very proud.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Can you have a wedding on a budget of less than $5,000?

Someone posted a thread on a wedding forum I go on and asked this question. So far her guest list is at 47 people. A lot of people are saying DIY stuff and have a smaller guest list. Here was my response. I think it can be helpful to any bride out there who is on a very tight budget.

We have a guest list of 170 and we're trying to keep it under $3000. Definitely possible! We're doing great so far. It's all about priorities and the big picture.

By big picture I mean this: are your guests or even you going to remember 1 year, 5 years, 10 years down the road that you had fake flowers over real flowers? Didn't have favors? Had a friend taking the pictures? Probably not.

Here's what I recommend, even without having a smaller guest list to cut costs!

Brunch is much cheaper than dinner. Plus you can get away with not having alcohol (since it's so early in the day) but if you must have alcohol, mimosas and sangria are perfect brunch drinks that don't break the budget.

Call in favors from friends! If you know someone who loves taking pictures and has a nice camera, see if they're willing to do your photography as a gift to you! You can save sometimes thousands that way...photographers in my town go up to $1500 for 6 hours of shooting the day of. That's most of our budget! So we're getting it for free from a friend and his wife who are gifting their talents to us.

Network! Ask around about bridal shops, flower places, music, etc! A girl I work with told me about a bridal consignment shop. I was iffy on buying a used dress (I'm superstitious) but it turns out "consignment" to that shop meant inventory buy outs, so I got a BRAND NEW dress, valued at $2300, for $200. AND I asked the shop owner about alterations. Got my dress altered almost completely for less than $50 because of a lady she knows.

Consignment and thrift shops are awesome. You can get great stuff there. I got all of my centerpiece vases for less than a buck each at Goodwill.

I'm saving money on my hair and makeup the day of the wedding by having a friend do it for me with the makeup and hair stuff I already own. No need to buy extras.

Our friend's dad is a notary (all you need to marry you in our state) and he's marrying us for free.

We're having our wedding at a state park. The venue cost for the WHOLE day, including ceremony and reception with tables and chairs included? $160.

My shoes were $20 brand new. My necklace and earrings for the day of were $4 (yep. But I didn't see it as a priority though so I didn't want to spend a lot there).

I paid $50 for my bridal portraits from a professional photographer (and by professional I mean someone just starting out in the business...much cheaper prices than "seasoned" professionals and pictures just as great)
Our invitations were from VistaPrint and we got 100 of them for FREE. Sign up for the emails on VP b/c they send around free stuff all the time. Our invitations are awesome and were free. FREE! Can't beat that! Well, we did pay shipping, but who can really say they got invitations for $6 for 170 people?

If you do Save the Dates and RSVP cards, go postcard style! The postage for that is 28 cents as opposed to mailing an envelope for 44 or something cents. Our RSVP cards (bought off of VistaPrint) were free and they're postcards and we're saving a whole lot on postage. Same with the STDs...bought them when they were free (told you they have a lot of free deals on that site) and they were postcards so postage was much cheaper.

Make your own food. We're doing a brunch reception with NO caterer at all. I work in a restaurant and so many of my coworkers have offered to be our "staff" that day and help make the food. But you don't need to work in a restaurant to get that kind of help. Family and friends are usually willing to help with it. We're having all sorts of food with the help of our family and friends, so it'll be much cheaper than paying for a caterer.

I have an app on my phone that sends you coupons. Watch for coupons. I got a coupon for Party City that was 50% off of one item. No lie, and I know this sounds bad, maybe a little trashy, and probably a little dumb, but I printed off like 5 or 6 of those and went to Party City two different times and used all of the coupons. I went through the line as many times as I had a coupon (luckily there was no line, and the kid behind the register was fine starting a new transaction for me each time...b/c it was Christmas time). So I bought all of our silverware for our guests (the plastic kind that looks real) and spent $15 on all of it as opposed to $30. I looked stupid going throug the line that many times but hey, I saved money!

Same wth Hobby Lobby and Michael's. They have coupons like that all of the time and I've saved a bunch that way too.

That's all I can think of right now. If I think of more, I'll post again! But it's totally possible to have a wedding for so much cheaper than $5000.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pictures, again.

I've been trying to compile a list of all the types of pictures I want the day of the wedding. As I said before, the pictures are the whole reason we're not just eloping. We want the memories and the pictures to look back on. So they're extremely important to us. I'm a bit photo-obsessed, definitely.

So in compiling this list, I've realized the ceremony pictures and the pictures of us seeing each other before the ceremony are the ones I want most. So people dancing, pictures of the centerpieces...all of those I could do without (though I want pictures of those too) as long as we get a billion pictures during the ceremony.

 I'm really set on making the ceremony sweet, fun, sentimental and very us. Jared is on board with it too, luckily. I've been to very long weddings (like Catholic masses) and very short weddings (vows, rings, kiss, done) and we both want a memorable and sentimental wedding. We want emotion, damnit! We want to laugh, cry, fall in love with each other all over again. We want it to be fun and memorable for all, though, not just us.

We've pretty much got an itinerary of how the ceremony will go. And I'm so excited for it. That will make all of the planning worth it to me. (And you all know how much I hate planning this damn wedding)

Here are examples of some of the pictures I'm set on. I pulled some of them off of a wedding forum I'm on and some are from Google Images. I don't know who the photographers are, but these pictures are very much NOT mine, they will never be mine, I didn't pay for them nor have I been paid for posting them (so there goes my copyright get-out-of-jail-free card). Of course the list goes on and on and on and on...my poor friends who volunteered to be our photographers! I still want all the normal pics...like my BMs together, the groomsmen together, pictures of us individually, pictures wiht the parents...etc. But some of these are my favorites :)
Ok seriously, how awesome is this?

I love feet shots
A sweet shot of the couple
The first look! Oh I can't wait to do this one
I like angles.
Details like this are so sweet
Another first look shot! I LOVE THIS
I want the faces of each of us seeing each other before the ceremony for the first time
A great moment
The perspective here is awesome
I love the idea of "diving" into the dress
Very cool

Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 months.

Yep, 4.

And I'm starting to freak out a little. Just a little.

Ok a lot.

I had one bridesmaid tell me today that I'm allowing everyone to have too much freedom to choose what they wear and what not. That was sort of a wake-up to me. She said I'm the bride, it's expected of me to make decisions, and since there are 6 of them, I can't try to please everyone. I'm really grateful to her for knocking some sense into me.

But still, the people-pleaser in me wants to still step back and let them decide. But it's seeming to be a difficult task, with everyone having their own input. I feel like someone is going to be unhappy and I don't want anyone at all to be unhappy.

I don't know how to be assertive, especially when so many people are involved. I always want equality, and though I do have a hint of control-freak, mostly, I want everyone to be pleased. But it's coming time for me to make some decisions on my own and stop asking for opinions.

Things like "What do you think of these flowers?" and "What color shoes do you want to wear?" shouldn't be questions I ask of anyone except of myself and Jared. It's our wedding, yes. We know what we want, what we want our pictures to look like. We know how we want our wedding to go. So we know it's not up to everyone else. But it also doesn't help that Jared always says "That's up to you, baby." I swear he's going to have that etched on his tombstone. "Jared, do you want to do a first-look picture before the ceremony?" "That's up to you, baby."

I don't want it to be only up to me.

I just really hate wedding planning and we're in crunch time. The invitations are going out in a couple weeks. Then we'll get RSVP cards back (I hope!). Then we'll have to start buying dishes and planning food.

Money, money, money. Where will it all come from? How will we get it all done.

Someone give me an Ambien, plan and pay for our wedding, and wake me up on April 9 just before I have to walk down the aisle. Please?