Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Come to momma strawberry!

Chocolate covered strawberries just scream luxury to me, so it was a delightful surprise to find a whole dozen of them waiting on my door step one night last week. My friend, and MOH, had sent them to me for my birthday, but couldn’t resist giving a nod to my upcoming nuptials.

Take a peak at these bad boys!

And if they looked like that (excuse the fact that I had already eaten three by the time I got to the future Mr. Palindrome’s house), can you imagine what they tasted like? Here, I’ll help give you a picture.

Seriously – these were the hugest, juiciest strawberries ever. I give them two thumbs up. And I give my MOH a huge round of applause for the perfect sentimental treat. Check out Shari’s Berries here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dress Dreams

I already have my dress. It’s a loooooooooooooooong story, which I will tell immediately after I find out whether I’ve been accepted as a Wedding Bee or not. It’s a tear jerker (sad and funny tears all at once!) for sure and I can’t wait for it hit the prime time, but for now you’ll just have to settle for these dreamy dresses.

If I were ambitious enough to sew my own dress, I would promptly buy this pattern:

NanasSewingBasket.etsy.com is chock full of vintage patterns. Can you imagine this dress in a champagne brocade for a Jackie O inspired cocktail reception? Come to momma vintage dress!

If I were ambitious enough to sew my bridesmaids dresses (and wanted to willfully impose my taste on them), I would promptly buy this pattern:

PatternPeddler.etsy.com also has a great collection of vintage dress patterns. I think these dresses in yummy silk would be amazing. Notice how the dresses on the packing match my color palette? Be still my fluttering vintage dress obsessed heart!

If I decided I were not ambitious, but still wanted the look, I would promptly order this dress:

Hello cutey-petooty-ness! Seriously. Thank you Amanda Archer for rocking my world.

I hope someone else enjoys these as much as me – and then sends me pictures so that I know these dresses found happy homes! Sheesh, you’d think they were puppies on the SPCA website . . . I might just have to myself from drooling over cute dresses, just as I did from the pound – who knows what you might come home with!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspiration from an old dead white guy

So Miss Snapdragon wrote about her van Gogh inspired wedding ideas and I really identified with her. Since I began to have serious grown-up dreams about my wedding, I've always associated my ideas with a particular painting. My van Gogh happens to be John Singer Sargent.

My favorite painting of his, "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," embodied what I felt like was a perfect, ethereal, Gatsby-esque, summer, dream wedding. I wanted fireflies, gardens, and those gorgous lanterns.


Since I'm decidedly not having a summer, garden wedding, I've gone back to Sargent for more inspiration.

I want at least one bridal portrait of me to feel like this:


I want me bridsmaids feel strong and beautiful in black dresses they love:


I want my reception to have a little of this!:


And perhaps for the cocktail recpetion lighting to have this kind of glow:


Do particular artists inspire your wedding style? Or has a particular painting inspired any aspect of your wedding?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where, oh where art my venue?

Choosing a venue has proven to be the most difficult process we’ve endured yet. I know that’s not saying much as the future Mr. Palindrome and I have pretty much only gotten engaged and started venue hunting. Seriously though, if the rest of the process is like this, I have a feeling I’ll be closer than ever to booking a trip to Vegas.

We went the tried and true approach of establishing the budget, finding the right mood, and researching costs. Dad and Mom Palindrome hunted and visited. Since the future Mr. Palindrome said he just didn’t want to get married in a “parking lot,” we narrowed it down to three venues for him to choose from:

1. Ceresville Mansion
2. Maggiano’s
3. Bucknell University (our alma mater)

Lovely choices, no? No, according to some involved (who shall remain nameless) in the venue selection process. We actually found that the cons at all of these places outweighed the pros and at the future Mr. Palindrome’s insistence (let’s just call him FMP from now on, eh?) we started from scratch.

We searched high and low. Our wedding guru, Miss P, searched high and low. And now we find ourselves in the same place one month later – trying to decide between three choices:

1. Fredericksburg Square

2. The Cavalier Hotel

3. Ft. Belvoir

Sometimes I feel like flipping a coin and moving on because this rates about a zero on my fun scale. How did you know that you had found your perfect venue? Is there such a thing as a perfect venue?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All is Fair

***Grey’s Anatomy Spoiler Alert (If you haven’t already seen last week’s episode!)***

Is all really fair in love and war? If you watched Grey’s this past week and saw Derek smash his mother’s ring, Meredith’s ring, out of the park, then it just doesn’t seem fair. Mr. Palindrome and I can sometimes not fight “fair.” When you’ve been together for four years and you reach an impasse during a fight, it’s easy to default to: “If that’s how you really feel, then we should break up!”

Now that we’re engaged, that last line really doesn’t pack the same punch. In the movies, they do it all the time – they take the ring off and slap it on the table, or they throw it across the room, or they hit it to kingdom come with a baseball bat. I’ve done it. I slipped the ring off and asked him what it really meant to us.

I’m not in a place where I have doubts about if Mr. Palindrome is “the one.” I know he is. But in a relationship that is headed towards a solemn vow before God, a forever vow, heavy duty introspection is a good thing. While taking off the ring is symbolic, I think it’s just as important to know why you’re wearing it and what makes you want to wear it forever.

Working through the moments of, “Are we going to make this work? Or are we going to walk away?” is the difference between a successful marriage and a failed marriage. It is not fun to have a serious fight or to wade through the feelings you keep deep in your soul, but it is necessary.

Do you think Meredith did the right thing by telling Derek she wasn’t going anywhere? Have you ever taken your ring off in an argument? How did you resolve the issue?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just like a Frat Party

Did you ever go to a fraternity party where the theme was something like Golf Pros and Tennis Gals* (*that not quite appropriate word for women)? CEOs and secretaries? Romans and Goddesses?

Sometimes, I feel like a wedding is just a big theme party. In all of my online puttering about, I’ve seen some fabulous and some not so fabulous themes.

Some themes are all out:


I was thinking of one in particular where the theme was Victorian magicians - there were parlour tricks, and everything was beautifully dark and twisty and elegant - all at the same time! I thought I had seen it on Once Wed or Snippet & Ink, but now I can't find it. Anyone remember this one and can refresh our memories?

Some themes are gorgeously subtle:


Deciding on my theme was difficult. Before we were engaged, I was telling the future Mr. Palindrome that it would be so fun to have a football theme wedding, with my beloved Redskins and his beloved Giants taking each other head on in a story that ends in romance. I pictured it all!

The Redskins Garter:


The football helmet Groom’s cake:


Table number Jerseys of our favorite players:


We could even have the reception during a big game!

Mr. Palindrome thought this was the cheesiest idea I’ve ever had.

In the end, I’m happy with the subtle Victorian verging on Deco vintage theme that I chose. But if anyone has a football theme wedding, will you invite me?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My own J-Lo: Part 2

The coordinators that I researched all basically showed three basic packages (with a la carte additions, of course!).

1. "Day of" - Usually complete wedding day coordination with a limited number of hours to consult with the bride and be present at the rehearsal.
2. "Partial" - "Day of" coordination with some understanding of a limited number of hours or responsibilities.
3. "Full" - the soup to nuts of wedding coordinating.

I got a really big kick out of how many coordinators named these packages kitschy names that went along with their business name. The whole Silver, Gold, Platinum was overused, and some were so funny because they were pretty forced. Without giving too much away and embarrassing hometown vendors, I’ll give you an example. I contacted, “Flower Wedding Coordinators” and their package names were, “Lilly,” “Rose,” and “Orchid.”

Once I had chosen my coordinator (who I’ll call Miss P from now on), we reviewed the packages in detail. My parents, the future Mr. Palindrome and I read the services and compared them vigorously. We found ourselves debating between Partial and Full planning. Since we haven’t booked a venue yet, most of our discussions revolved around the need of hiring a full wedding coordinator when our potential venue would provide one as well. My dad referred to this as “paying for the same service twice.” I saw it from a different perspective. I saw the wedding coordinator as acting as owner representatives. Yes, the venue may have a coordinator, but she’s working for the venue while my coordinator is working for me. I don’t want their coordinator having to involve me in decisions like where the presents should go after the reception – cue my coordinator!

The argument for the Partial package: My mom and I are very detailed oriented people and do event planning for our livings. My mom and I like being in charge. The cost was lower for the package. Ease of coordination so that no service was "paid for twice."

The argument for the Full package: My mom and I have full time jobs. Everyone involved in planning was definitively not excited to do many aspects of the planning (haggling with vendors for example). With the venue still TBD, we may very well be dealing with an out of town (OOT) wedding and the research would be very time consuming.

After some heated arguments, some tears, and a plan to move forward with kindness and renewed respect for all parties involved, I signed a contract for Full planning services. It’s already helped so much. Searching for churches near a candidate reception venue? Miss P! Calling references for another venue? Miss P! Keeping track of the budget? Miss P!

Love it! And I always, think of Franck when I tell people I hired a coordinator - I can't wait to pick out a kheck!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Own J-Lo: Part 1

Well, hopefully my coordinator isn't going to run off with my groom . . . but I'm very excited that I decided to hire an event designer/wedding coordinator!

Early in the process, we knew that we at least wanted "day of" coordinating services. My parents did not want to be worrying about the processional, paying the DJ, or putting out favors while their guests were left to fend for themselves. Deciding on the right company and the right package was much harder than I thought though.

I began my search with these considerations in mind:
1. I would most likely be an out of town bride.
2. I work full time, am getting my master's part time, and am very involved at my church.
3. The future Mr. Palindrome is starting graduate work in the fall.
4. My mom and I need an objective 3rd party to steer us right.

I looked through Wedding Wire to find planners located near my hometown. I chose several that seemed to match my philosophy and aesthetic. I also scoured local web-boards at The Knot and Craigslist. I contacted a total of 5 coordinators after my initial research. Out of the 5, only 1 contacted me within 24 hours. Then 3 more contacted me within 4 days and the last one never contacted me.

My decision on which coordinator basically came down to the person that I liked talking to on the phone best. If I'm going to be working with someone for a year on an event, I want to be comfortable with the person and feel like they really listen to me. As a professional consultant, I know that my clients look for these attributes. I love the fact that I get to be the client this time! My event designer immediately returned phone calls and emails. I also knew that the persistence she showed in booking my account would be the same persistence that she would use to keep all of the vendors in check!

In Part 2, I'll break down the packages and tell you how I decided what type of service was the right service for me!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oo Lala! The Palette is confirmed!

In the same Wedding Bee post that introduced me to COLOUR Lovers, I found Polyvore. I found the same little annoyances about setting up the account, but once I was registered, I was hooked! The site basically functions like PowerPoint or Photoshop where you can layer images, change the sizes, add text, add backgrounds, etc.

I found a few cons with the program:
- You are kind of limited to the products they had in the system (maybe if I played around with it more, I could figure out how to load other photos?).
- Some of the images are not very good, so they looked fuzzy or messy
- The search options are limited
- The color search doesn't really produce items of that color, but more items with that color somewhere on them . . .

Overall, it was a lot of fun and mixed up my usual routine of throwing pictures into power point. Also, it really made my palette come alive to me! I'm def. convinced neutral chic is the way to go!

Vintage Chic
Vintage Chic - by spwingal on


I recently saw on Wedding Bee a post about palettes. I have been trying to convince myself that a certain palette was the way to go and was about to take an outing to Home Depot to bring some paint chips together. But COLOUR lovers saved me the trip. COLOUR lovers website allows you to customize palettes and patterns. Even if you're done planning a wedding, it's great for decorating and for fashion.

I found it a bit difficult to navigate at first. You have to have the most recent Internet Explorer version (available here) and you have to register in order to save your palette. After the initial set up, the fun began. The palettes and patterns that other users have created are all visible - which is great for inspiration. Check out these lovelies!

Color by COLOURlovers

Color by COLOURlovers

See what I mean? Nice for your wedding, nice for a pillow on your couch.

This is the palette I created for my wedding. I know! It's super boring, but very vintage chic neutral.

Color by COLOURlovers

I think that this palette will work in almost any space, but will work especially well with my vintage idea. Narrowing the color palette is so important, otherwise I would just run myself silly with different color combos.

Palindrome goodness

The wonderful world of palindromes is my kind of geekery. As an English major, palindromes tickle my funny bone and satisfy my desire for symmetry. You may be asking yourself, "What the hey is a palindrome?" Merriam-Webster says this.

Therefore, my wedding date, 01/02/2010, is a lovely, palindromeous date. Palindromeous is probably not a word, but if I learned anything from that Shakespeare class I sat through, it is that making up words is cool and savvy. There are those who look things up in a dictionary and there are those who make up the words in the dictionary.

If only I were so clever to come up with a palindrome title for this blog, but you see palindrome is rather hard to be clever with . . . em, ord nil ap . . .not a lick of sense.

Blogging the Wedding

I decided to blog my wedding process for a few different reasons:

1. I found out that you have to have 2 solid weeks of wedding blogging to apply to blog on the Wedding Bee website.
2. I want to share wedding ideas freely without worrying about bothering friends/family/fiance.
3. I thought it be a good way for family, bridesmaids, and others to check on the progress and not feel like they're bothering me.

And so commences my little venture in bride blogging.