Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wedding Dress: Initial Sketches

I'm thrilled that I have a friend wiling to design and sew me a wedding dress. Because the whole atmosphere of our wedding will be rustic and informal, I didn't want a very formal wedding gown. In looking around online and in magazines everything I've seen that I like would cost our whole budget. And anything I can afford is either incredibly plain or too frou-frou.

My friend Emily offered to design and sew my wedding dress. She's just graduating from the SCAD fashion department and looking to build up her portfolio. We met about a month ago so that we could talk about dress ideas, look at tear sheets from magazines and about what forms would work on my body. We went to dinner just before Christmas so that she could give me some initial dress sketches. All of the dresses have a similar A-line, floor length skirt and all incorporate a lace overlay for the bodice. Mostly we're thinking about variations of neckline, waist line, back detailing and sleeves. At the moment, the last dress is my favorite. We'll be meeting some time in the next couple of weeks to decide on the alternatives and then Emily will work on a final design drawing.

Favorite Christmas present

Ron and I decided that aside from stockings, we'd make each other gifts this year. Here's what he painted for me. (There's a little glare because I didn't feel like taking it out of the frame.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Aw Shucks

This is one of my favorite pictures. Andrea and I at her wedding in October. Their wedding reassured me that it's possible to host something that is totally genuine to who you are and still ensure that everyone has a great time. I will go on record as saying this was the best wedding I've been to and it only partly had to do with the fact that it was because my best friend was marrying a really incredible guy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wedding Location

Photos of my parent's yard and view from the house. They live on the side of a cranberry bog (you can see the red berries ready for harvest in the second photo) and just at the bottom of their house is a pond with an island. We're planning to have our ceremony on the island and we'll be walking across the bridge/aisle to our guests. These were taken this past October and if we could get beautiful weather just like that we'll be so lucky.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Something for myself

Most times I make things they are meant for a gift or to sell. I very infrequently make myself something. So this year I'm knitting myself a sweater. I chose something that is really meant to challenge myself - I've never knitted a full sized sweater & I've never done cables. I've finished the back and am almost done with the left front side.

I'm making the Drop Collar Cabled Jacket published in the Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine (Fall/Winter 08). It took me a few tries to figure out the pattern, but now it's knitting along pretty quickly. I'm using Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton yarn in pistachio which feels sooo comfy. I had to adjust the pattern a little bit to obtain gauge but hopefully it won't come out too badly.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photos of the Table Setting

Alright so keep in mind that if we do the disposable, we'd do the white and not the unbleached. Also, I included a sample of one of the napkins even though I haven't finished the edges yet. It can at least give a sense of the more casual feel that we're going for. I feel like I can pull off using the plates and they'll look alright especially since we're going for a more casual picnic/clambake for food. Still ultimately, aesthetically I'd really prefer the real dishes.

I agree with some of the comments regarding the environmental impact. I think that now we're really thinking about cost. We've really committed to trying to stay in our budget of $6000 and saving several hundred here means we can use it somewhere else.

Still haven't decided yet. Based on the pictures, any additional thoughts?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Biocompostable Disposable vs. Rentable Reusable

Current wedding planning dilemma. Dishware. I honestly didn't think that I'd be thinking so much about it. We're balancing aesthetics, environmental responsibility and cost. We're weighing two ideas - using disposable, biocompostable dishes or renting dishware that is reused frequently by the caterer and just needs a wash (something like this).

Ex. Disposable plate = $.15/each ; rental plate = $.45/each. That doesn't seem like all that much, but when you total it up for dinner plates alone that's $15 vs. $34. Then you tack on salad plates, dessert plates, bowls and it starts to make a difference.

Environmental Responsibility:
I think that the rentals probably win out on this one since they are reused very frequently and have a long life. They are probably some sort of ceramic which at least won't degrade into something harmful. Really we're looking at the use of water to wash them. If we go the disposable route, I do think that this is a great alternative that I won't feel too guilty about.

This is really where I'm torn. We're going to rent silverware and not disposable primarily because I just can't get behind it going that casual. We're borrowing wine glasses, but will have to rent drinking glasses and mugs (again I just can't do plastic). These particular plates are actually pretty nice looking. We got a sample pack in the mail yesterday and they are sturdy and have a nice flat finish, but in the end they are disposable.

I think that I'd rather have real dishes, but I really am weighing the costs. We tried a sample place setting at home and they didn't look too terrible. Ron's of the opinion that nobody notices dishes anyhow and that even so they fit with our Harvest picnic theme. He'd rather spend the extra $100 on something else. I'm torn - on the one hand, it's not that much money for an upgrade ; and on the other, we are trying so hard to not go into debt for this that I feel like every bit saved if we aren't compromising what we want is a good thing.

Later I'll try to post a photo of the sample place setting.

Friday, December 5, 2008

a boost from my prior post

I was just tooling around visiting some of the very few wedding-related blogs that I allow myself. Sara at 2000dollarwedding had a link to this article in the Telegraph. The author writes,

My enjoyment of weddings has, for the most part, been in inverse proportion to the amount spent on them. The most romantic affairs have almost always been the cheapest, because then the focus is solely on the love between bride and groom.

I can't help thinking this recession will be good news for the affianced. It provides an ideal excuse for a budget wedding or, indeed, a Budgens wedding. It's insanity to blow your savings on a "big day", when most of us have a socking big mortgage.

Man, does this really support our idea for our own wedding. I hope that our guests are overwhelmed by the romance and don't proclaim us totally tacky!

lesson in planning a not-so-big, nontraditional wedding

We'd been talking about our wedding before we even got engaged. I thought that I had a really good sense of what we were going to do. I've been taking note of things I loved at other weddings and things that aren't so much our taste. We've thought a lot about what's important to us as a couple and each of us individually (thankfully we're really on the same page). Here's what we envisioned - 50 guests having a fall picnic at my parents house; a day where we have the time to have an actual conversation with each guest and still time for ourselves together; capitalizing on the talents of our friends/family members to create something where everyone truly feels a part instead of us putting on a performance. And we wanted to do it all on a budget of $5000.

Here are some things I've come to realize:
1. It is incredibly hard to narrow a list to 50 people. We're currently at 64 adults and 18 children. Do you count the kids as another guest? They don't eat as much, but they do require a seat at the table. How do you cut the list without actually offending somebody that you really would love to have there?
2. Friends and family who are willing to travel to see you get hitched are awesome. Especially in a terrible economy.
3. Our budget is already up by $1000. Feeding people is expensive. And since we love food, it's an area we're not willing to scrimp.
4. People have offered up themselves to help in ways that are just incredible. My mom has perfected the art of googling for environmentally friendly party supplies, we've had three volunteers to help with photography, a friend who will officiate, two friends who will perform for our first dance, a friend who will do a reading, another friend who will help bake pies.
5. If you stop yourself from reading wedding magazines and websites it is a lot easier to keep your perspective about budgets and stay true to your own aesthetic.
6. It really helps to be very very organized. It's a good thing that I'm a cataloger professionally.