As if I hadn't taken enough beatings yet:

I went to the post office yesterday to send my invitations out and ask if they could be hand-cancelled to keep them from getting caught or crumpled in the machines. The guy took one look at them, and said, "nope." Apparently, you need to stamp something on the envelope to indicate that they should not be put in the machines, and since they are black, the stamp won't show up.



Just got back from my second dress fitting. I'm practically in tears - not good ones.

I'm just too damn tall.

We didn't touch the hem at all, and there isn't any room for it to be let out. But it floats about 4 full inches off the ground. It looks awful. Everything else about it looked and felt great. But I can't get past the bottom. There is an easy fix to this, but it's not going to be "easy."

I need new shoes. Specifically, they have to be all but flat.

I've dreamed my whole life of wearing heels down the aisle, it's weird I know, but it's been one of my things. I don't want to walk down the aisle in flats. Kitten heels are going to be the only way to go, but they've got to be teeny tiny.

I'm so overwhelmed at this point. I just don't want to have to take something else on. And I don't want to have to give up my heels. And... the dress looked awful. I couldn't see past the shoes - without the shoes, it was beautiful. But I'm so worried that I won't get the right ones now. And I want colored shoes, but my mother is trying to convince me to get white so they won't be so noticable. Grr. I don't want white shoes - who wants boring white shoes? Why would I want my shoes to blend in with my dress??? I want my shoes to be noticed. I just want my dress to fit, too. Hmph.

I'm going to go cry now. I feel let down by my own decision, and I feel unsupported in my choices, and that makes me sad.


borderline magical

It's going to be over so soon. By the time I finish this post, there'll be 50 days left. I've been so wrapped up in the planning, the doing, the not doing though I should have. And I've forgotten that I meant to keep track of this time because it'll never happen again. I am engaged to be married to the most amazing person I've ever met, the best friend I've ever had, my most kindred spirit, but only for 7 more weeks. My engaged will come to a bittersweet end in 1,115 hours. And I'll have forgotten what it was like by our first anniversary because I had my nose stuck in a stack of invitations and a pair of running shoes, not to mention earning paychecks.

What an absoutely tragic way to have spent the last 11 months (to the day).

I need to keep you better informed, if not for your sake (because, let's face: you've all gotten along fine without me) then for my own. I'm an incredibly romantic and sentimental person, but only in retrospect. I'm the one who always says, "Man I wish I had brought the camera for that." In these last two, busiest, but most important months, I need to keep better track of how I feel right now. What other time in my life will I more want to be able to recall those emotions?

Tomorrow is my second fitting. My mother goes with my this time so that she can learn to do the French Bustle in the back, in the absense of any bridesmaids living close enough to be there. I - can't - wait. During the first fitting, seeing the dress in the mirror with all of the pins holding it so close to my body, fitting every curve as if it were designed around my (lately ever slimming) figure - it was borderline magical, and I'm glad I was alone for it. I'm not good about sharing these sorts of things with people I am not either incredibly intimate with (fiance, best friends) or perfect strangers to. But the image in that mirror - the way my skin prickled with goosebumps in strange, morphing patterns... it was the first time I actually felt like I was getting married and not - how did my fiance put it? - "just being the hostess of a huge party."

That was two weeks ago, and tomorrow, we'll see the result. Of course, last time I was there, I was hours before starting my period, and not quite back in to my running rhythm after that months long hiatus in the winter. For all I know: it may still not fit at all. Wouldn't that be a joyous surprise?

One last thing: I'm ashamed of the angry, vengeful, stubborn woman I started out as at the beginning of my engagement. I started this blog in great part in order to have a place to vent about all of my frustrations coming from whatever direction they came from so that I could compose myself well in public. The intent was not to be gracious or tactful, but honest and cathardic, but in treating this blog that way, I was made to see myself for who I really was and how I really felt about people.

I don't want to be that woman.

I'm learning more and more, as this day draws closer and more people do irritating things, something I should have learned years ago as a child. Such a simple concept: just because I have a right to feel hurt, or upset, or angry, doesn't mean it makes me a better person if I exercise that right.

For that reason, I am going to consider going back through my old entries (all 3 of them) and editing the less gracious parts out. I don't want to be the type of person who has to hide a part of her life from those she wants to share it with just so she can vent. I want to be gracious and forgiving, not angry or vengeful. Just like a bride ought to be.

I mean, how quickly I forget how much I have to be thankful for. I may deserve to be upset by any numbers of things that happen as a direct result of this wedding, but in compassion, I should always remember that no one else has the privelege of marrying this amazingly supportive and loving man. And for that, the entire rest of the world deserves my deepest and profound sympathies.



I've been kicking around so many ideas for a processional, and thus far come up pretty dry.

All of the music at our wedding will be chorale music - Maurice Durufle's chamber music, etc. - so I've been trying to find something like that to walk down to, but there just doesn't seem to be anything that fits.

I invested in a notebook with my tax refund and took it to Starbucks last night to test it out in public (because I could, lol) and I heard the most beautiful song. It's a cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" and it's sung by Jem (I don't know who that is). If anyone is interested in getting their hands on a copy of it, and I believe you will be, I've been told that it is available on SBucks's latest Valentine's Day CD, "Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs." Anyway, I sat in the comfy, overstuffed chairs listening to this song over a sleepy Grande chamomile tea, and I swear to you, I saw our lives flash before my eyes. The night we met at a Ska concert in high school 10 years ago, our first Valentine's day together, every moment we took care of each other when we were sick, the first time we make love on our wedding night (have I mentioned that we're both still virgins and have never been happier about another decision?) putting our son to sleep at night, comforting our daughter the first time a boy breaks her heart, watching them go off to college and create families of their own, growing old together and marveling at how surprising and yet predictable life is.

I've come across a lot of loud, boisterous songs with much fanfare and pomp and circumstance to walk down to, and I'm just not comfortable with any of it. Is it crazy, in the midst of all of the traditional solemnity of our ceremony, to even consider this?


Regitries, etc.

I ordered my wonderful, fabulousity-in-fabric dress about four weeks ago, and it had already arrived last week! The benefits of being one of the first (if not the first) ever women to order it, I suppose: already in stock. Nice. I picked it up, turned down a $500 flat rate for alterations (I felt like that was a bit of a rip, was that a mistake?) and now, I am in desperate need of a tailor. Aah! I thought I had 3 more months to find one, this all happened so quickly, and I wasn't ready to lock myself in to $500 when I hadn't done my research yet. And they wanted me to come get the dress within the week. What was I supposed to do? Oh well. We'll see how that turns out.

The FFG and I registered at Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond a couple of months ago and let everyone know that what we really, really want for Christmas are things for the apartment. We already know that all of our siblings have foregone that advice for some entirely different - Lord knows what.

I hope my sister-in-law didn't get me another purse.

Is it wrong/ungrateful for me to be disappointed if people buy me things we really don't need/probably don't much want in lieu of the necessities we've registered for?

Is it wronger/ungratefuler if I take back the new purse and buy a toaster?


Great Things Are Happening

Friday: ordered my dress.

Sunday: booked our church.

Life is getting sweet.

Purchasing my gown was an incredible experience. I had tried on a number of gowns during several visits and found a few that I liked, all by the same designer. I knew two things going in to the store this time around: 1) I would order a gown before Thanksgiving (so, within the week), and 2) it would be an Allure Bridal. I did not know several things going in to the store, e.g.: Allure Bridals was having a trunk sale at the salon that weekend, Seth Kruger (from the design team) was there to represent, and his plane had landed within the hour. Our timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Racks of new gowns cluttered up the salon, something I had never seen in the quarter mile long building. So, with my older sister in tow, I dove in head first, bound and determined to find something better than the mediocre dress from my last trip that I was about the settle on. Sure, it's lovely - it looked even better on me than it does on the model. But, it wasn't "it." Something was still lacking. Still, I needed a gown fast, and if nothing else worked, it would do in a pinch. One thing I was sure of though: this label designed gowns with my body in mind.

As we tore through the racks, Brenda (our designated consultant for the day) and Seth pulled gowns that I asked to try on. I got to the end of the racks and was about to stop (I had four gowns already) when one more caught my eye. It reminded me a bit of a dress that Carrie wears in all of those Sex and the City promos, and when I commented on that to my sister, Seth snagged it from the rack and took it to my dressing room. I tried on the four other gowns, fell in love with the first one, and finally I tried on the "Sex and the City" gown. I was so in love with gown #1 that I almost took this one off immediately. But, I gave it a fair shot, and it kind of grew on me. Not wanting to be so torn at the last second when I almost thought I had picked one out, I decided to try #1 back on, so I could prove to myself what a statement it made in comparison.

It was a flop. It was as if it wasn't even the same dress anymore, like someone had switched it out. Dumbstruck, and a bit bewildered, I tried on the "SatC" dress again, and - voila! Instant glow! My sister actually started to cry when I came back out in it. I couldn't believe the complete 180 I had just done. When Seth and Brenda came to see, they both agreed that they favored this one over #1, and Seth insisted it was the better choice of the two because it drew the eye up to my face rather than down to my feet (where the bubble hem was). But here's where the story gets good...

The "SatC" dress is a Fall 2010 model, so it won't even be available until after my wedding. You can't even find a picture of it on their website yet. Most likely, I was the first bride to order it, and when I walk down the aisle with it on, no one will be able to say that they've seen it before. Plus, I found it at a trunk sale, so that = instant 10% off. And, of all of the gowns I tried on and liked to date, it was the least expensive one before the discount. Do I feel smug, or what??

Okay, so by now you're wondering what it looks like. Well, I don't want to post pictures of me that we took in the salon, and I could only find one professional picture of it from a runway show, since it isn't available yet. And, since I have a certain fiance who views this blog from time to time, I certainly can't just post the picture here. So, instead I'll give you a link to the photo so you can go see it for yourself, though I fear it may kill the FFG not to peek.

BTW: the "Sex and the City" link was made in reference to the flower on the shoulder.

As for the church, the exterior is but a shadow to the beauty that lay within...


photography i dig

We did our engagement photos this past weekend, which would have been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, had I not suddenly come down with the flu the day before and been retaining water at the same time. As it was, I was miserable and have been miserable since because I don't feel like I gave my best for these pictures. Paul is a friend of the FFG from college, and he's a wonderful photographer, so I trust him implicitly with the finished project. I just wish I had been feeling up to giving more energetic and creative poses.

Because I am a control freak, I feel the need to prevent this calamity from happening again in the future in whatever way I can. Now, there really is no way to predict or prevent a sudden and unexpected illness, but I feel like if I do enough research and record it all down, it will make me feel like I've accomplished something and at least give me the illusion of control. Natch.

I love these. But I worry that I love elements of the wedding, not just the actual photography. And, again, my fear is that even good photographers need something to work with.

These guys are darling, and totally exactly what engagement photos should be. I, unfortunately, am a little too tall and curvy to be this cutsey-buttons.

Thanks to the $10,000 bride, I do love this guy, however I sometimes feel that he could back off the filter usage a notch or two. I doubt she would agree.

Cutest. Picture. Ever.


Making Progress

It's been a little cold in this blog this summer, but like the temp outside, things are finally going to heat up for a while...

We're making progress with the reception site. We're still planning on Shinto, and - now that we have the guest list under control at around 80 - they're going to come in right on target. That includes food, drinks, and rentals - woot. We're still in the process of finding a church in the area. I'm thinking of becoming Catholic again.

What? I dig stained glass.

Seriously though, there has to be something around here with a classic church look that doesn't cost a small fortune. Do you know how out-of-place prerecorded Liturgical Latin sounds at a Non-Denominational church?

So I'm a music snob. Sue me.

Okay, but moving on... the Frugal Fabulous Groom and I are slowly, but surely, checking things off the list. Recently, we were able to tentatively secure the talents of a friend of his who is somewhat of a shutterbug. He's not a professional, but he's done photography for a few of his other friends' weddings in the past year, and they've all been quite happy with the results. He's promised to send us some of his work so we can talk. Admittedly, as much as I obsess over a pretty picture (I'm very visual), I'm sort of not picky when it comes to photos. I appreciate artistic vision in all its forms. And I'm excited to see what his particular form is. :)

I've made some headway on the dress. My mother and I are going shopping this week (after I get my hair done, of course) to see what we can find, but after being out a few times already and doing a lot of research online I'm finding a lot of promising options. My current love is just a touch above my price range, but it's hard to find glamour for $700. I may not mind spending the extra hundred bucks, if nothing else turns up. Looky! --->

Really, you should see the whole thing in person; it's to die for.
On a more vain note: for the first time in my life, I've been working out regularly without fail. I'm going on 7 weeks. I've never been over-weight, but there are certainly areas I would love to see with a little less shape to them, if you know what I mean. And, let me tell you: 20 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week will perform miracles. I've lost about 6 pounds, and my pouch is finally flattening out after 11 years. Snap.



Wow, things have been rough lately.

The Frugal Fabulous Groom and I have been tired and depressed lately. We've had a hard time realistically planning a wedding for 100 people, and it just doesn't look like it's going to happen at this point. His dad is still without a job, my dad is only working 3 days a week starting in August, FFG was recently promoted but that just means his commission goals are going to be harder to reach, and I still only work 9 months out of the year. So, $10k is not only hard to come by for us, but it hasn't looked like it's going to be enough.

So, we've decided to pair down the guest list. This really is the easiest way to make things affordable. We are now planning to pay for 80 people for less than $10k. And when I say, "less than," I mean that the budget is $10k but there are certain little extras that we are willing to do without if push comes to shove, and that I have over-budgeted for a few items, should we so happen to come in to the money to pay for said items - but they could certainly be done for a lot cheaper. All that to say: we may be able to scrape by on $8500, if need be. And wouldn't that be wonderful? Let's give it a try, and not sacrifice our relationiship instead, shall we?

On a lighter note: one of my Frugal Fabulous Bridesmaids was in town this weekend, and we had a blast together! She got a chance to see our venue, and we went dress shopping together, during which I may have found my dress! Also, my Matron of Honor called me yesterday, and I have been informed that we will need to add one more "little person" to our guest list...



A Blogger Darkly

Hey everyone.

I know I've kinda gone dark lately. It's not on purpose - mostly I just haven't had the time to blog, nor anything to blog about, since I haven't made much progress on anything lately. The FFG and I met with our premarraige counselor on Saturday morning for the first time. That was a lot of fun. Beyond that - nada.

But, here's a little treat for you: our reception venue has posted a couple of videos to their website! One is a commercial, which gives you a really good idea what the place has to offer. And this one gives you a sense of what it's like to be there. It's done in slo-mo at first, so you can actually see the tricks they perform, but then they speed it up. If anyone is a pyro like me, there's lots of fire (lol). Watch for my favorite part: the onion volcano...