Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Birth of My Invitations

From the time they were conceived as an idea in my mind, until I gave them wings to fly across the country, creating these bad boys has been the project most resembling the child rearing process to me. 

At first, I thought invitations were "nice."  Other people's invitations were just lovely, but they seemed like a really big committment.  They were something that I always wanted, but didn't feel ready to take the next step. 

After some soul searching, I came to the realization that it was now or never to start trying.  I explored the different options, trying to figure out what was right for us as a couple.  I even borrowed one to get used the feeling of holding an invitation in my hands.

When my invitations arrived at my home, I lovingly tucked them into their box and thought of all the cute ways I could dress them up.  I hand cut belly bands, experimented with wax seals, and hand cut envelop liners.  I dressed them in their Sunday best, ready to face the world.  In one last act of motherly love, I kissed them each (and no, I didn't die like Susan on Seinfeld) and set them up with some mail money.

Today was the day I drove them to their big world stage debut. 

Goodbye little invitations!  Safe trip! 

Mommy loves you!

Were you attached to your invitations?  Or were you relieved when they finally left the house?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Finds - Winter Crochet


After some chilly, rainy days, I've broken out my sweaters from storage and feel ready for some warm, crocheted goodness. And Chili. But unless I were to post a whole Friday Finds on how you have chili incorporated into your wedding, we'll be sticking to crocheted items.

  Clockwise from Top L:
Poipen - Ivory Crochet Bouquet
Binkaminka - Ivory Snowflake Bridal Fascinator
Stunk Boy Creatures - Owl Wedding Cake Toppers
Ali Bali Jewelry - Pearl and Silver Crochet Flower Pendant

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Little Blue Book

This is my little blue book - full of wedding vendors, to do lists, and inspiration.  It has been my constant companion, even through my seasonal purse change.

My dear Aunt sent it to me shortly after my engagement and inscribed the first page with a note and a verse from the Bible.

You can also see all the junk that fell out of the front including a handwritten list and my makeup artist's card.
My aunt also tucked in this little card of advice about God being involved in your marriage and playing a role in cementing your bond as a couple.  It serves as a reminder that we're not alone and that God is there for us.

It has handy dandy tabs for appointments, ideas, to dos, books & mags, budget, and shopping.  As you can tell, the budget and shopping tabs are starting to wear a little ragged . . . Hmmmm.

This is an example of the type of item that I track in this little book.  I was scrolling through and instead of bookmarking each of my favorites, I just jotted down the name so that I had easy access to them later if I wasn't in front of my computer.

Some things still don't quite make it into the book - like this note to call a vendor.  It did, however, make it to a sticky note which got stuck to the back of my little blue book.  So I consider that a half success.

Do you keep a notebook in your purse for spontaneous wedding thoughts?  Do you use your smart phone or another electronic form? 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Following a New Blog

I'm following a lovely new blog that was introduced to me via Ms. Mouse from WeddingbeeSouris Miriage is aesthetically pleasing, honest, and refreshing.  Enjoy! (Linked on the right under My Blog List.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Behind the Veil

My master's work involved lengthy research on veiling in the Middle East. My choice to veil is much less political, and not even entirely religious. I love the look of it actually. Regardless of the symbolism, the veil appeals to me as delicious and delicate. Take at a look at these gorgeous photos by David Schwartz (a top tier local photographer): Maya and Eric.

Right. So a veil it was. Like pretty much all my other DIY endeavors, this idea started with sticker shock and was followed by a little: "I could do that." I searched around on the internet a little and found bridal illustion tulle at Save on Crafts. It was about $40 for 50 yards of it. I specifically ordered the 54" width in ivory. I figured I could completely goof at least 3 veils with some yardage to spare.

I had to enlist the help of my friend, Christine, and she was the perfect person to help fashion my veil. Christine sews a little and is very conscientious. She carefully laid out my train and arranged the tulle.

Since the tulle was so sheer, she laid colored tissue paper down to help see where she was cutting.

While she cut, I gathered the tulle at the top of my head and allowed for extra on the front end for an elbow length blusher.  After she finished cutting, we went into the hallway of my apt. building for a couple full length shots.  I hadn't seen any of my neighbors in about 3 weeks.  As soon as I walk out in a gown and veil, all three of my closest neighbors start coming in and out with groceries, garbage, and their dog.  Haha, "Hi guys."

I just gathered up my train and let them pass.  I wish the pics were better, but we couldn't get started until after work hours, so by the time we finished cutting, it was well past sunset.

One last look at the front and my chagrin at the busy hallway!

To finish the veil, I followed Mrs. Beagle's and Mrs. Perfume's tutorials to add the comb.  I ended up sewing it on and then having to do it over because I sewed the comb in backwards.  Check twice, sew once ladies!  Learn from my mistakes.  I'll show you how I finished it with a bit of ribbon around the rough edge of the comb when I try it all on together at my final fitting!

Are you contemplating making your own veil?  Which lengths do you like with your dress?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two Become One

After the wedding weekend in RI, and thinking about this post from Meg, I'm particularly struck by what it means for "two to become one." I wonder if I'll lose myself, I wonder if I'll compromise myself, I wonder if myself is exactly the person that I want to be grow into something new. All of these thoughts swam and churned in my head.

Blogging has forced me to gather my thoughts about trivial things like feathers and tulle, so why not use it to gather my thoughts about a philosophy about who I am and how marriage will change that? Right.

1. For me, it all starts in Genesis. And why not? It's the beginning. Gen. 2:24:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
This is the verse in between when God created humankind and when they were naked and not ashamed. I had a Sunday School teacher who pronounced it nekked. That still tickles my funny bone. Back to the point, two becoming one is illustrated here by leaving the tents of your families and starting a new family.

2. The relationship becomes more complex in light of the relationship between Christ and the church. Ephesians 31-33:
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

3. I think (Disclaimer: I'm not a divinity expert), that one aspect of two becoming one quite literally refers to the intimacy of sex. In this sense, two becoming one is something I'm really looking forward to. See this post for more on that.

4. I think another aspect is that you no longer get to only focus on yourself in a marriage. When you're single and unattached, you get to make decisions that benefit you solely. When you're in a marriage, you have to make decisions that benefit you as a team. It's about going from two individuals, moving in all sorts of directions, to being one team, moving in the same direction.

5. Future sister-in-law Palindrome said to me something about how I make her brother a better person. I feel the same way about him making me a better person. This kind of intimacy, experienced when we're together (and which I hope deepens after were married) is one reason why I don't think "becoming one" is a negative thing. I'm not losing myself in a marriage, I'm gaining a life companion who challenges me and encourages me. It sounds cheesy, but there's a sense of completion in that relationship - the sense of completion that we will know in full when we're with God for eternity. Our earthly marriages reflect just a taste of that.

What do you think? Is "two becoming one" a positive or negative thing for you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Live Tweeting from RI!

Check it out over the weekend - I'll be live tweeting from the wedding I'm attending at Oceancliff Hotel in Newport. Here's a peak at the website:

The events kick-off tonight with the rehearsal/welcome dinner!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bust Altering

The number one alteration The Melinda had to endure was in the bust area.  It had to be taken in.  Way in.  I contemplated Take Outs, built in bras, water bras, etc.  I settled for exactly what my momma gave me.  Outside of the disheartening pinning up top, the dress fitting was one of the more fun parts of wedding planning for me.

After struggling with DIYs that weren't going right, our seemingly never ending search for entertainment,  and  figuring out the final guest list, I reveled in putting my gown on.  I feel like a bride when I'm wearing her.  I feel like it will all be worth it.  I look forward to the Future Mr. Palindrome's anticipation of seeing me for the first time.  I think about dancing with Dad in the dress.  I think about the dress hanging next to Palindromother and Grand Palindromother's dresses for the next generation.

That's the sentimental and calming part of trying on the gown again.

The nitty gritty part of trying on the gown again was in separating the two pieces, fitting the underneath part, and then hemming all of the layers to the correct length. 

I won't see the dress again December for the final fitting.  I miss having her hanging in my closet.  The rest of my little studio apartment does not miss her taking up half the apartment.

Did you enjoy the fitting process?  What kind of feelings does your dress give you?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Take the Edge off Your Monday

You've probably seen these cupcake pops from Bakerella before:

Maybe you saw them on Pioneer Woman, or maybe even Martha Stewart's TV show.  (Sidenote: Is it bad that I look forward to maternity leave so that I can watch all the fun daytime shows like Martha Stewart, Price is Right, and Oprah?  I feel like I'm missing out on a whole aspect of being a woman by missing these shows.)

Anycupcake, you may have seen all that; but have you bridal nuts out there seen this?

Go visit her original post.  Read all the way to the bottom.  Then report back here if you plan on making these as your wedding favors.

Sheesh, I'm feeling bossy on a Monday Morning!  Props to my friend H who alerted me to the new Bakerella awesomeness.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Winner!

Thanks to all for participating in my Tea Favor Giveaway!  The future Mr. Palindrome is sitting here watching the Oklahoma vs. Texas game and was very confused as to why I was making him choose a number between 1 and 5 and what the heck a Tea Favor was.  He chose #2 when I kept saying, "PICK A NUMBER!"

Congratulations to Maria of The Carosello Wedding!  I've emailed you about claiming your prize :)

I have the next giveaway planned and my picture taking will kick into high gear as I pick up the charger for the camera this weekend too :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Finds - Leafy Greens

TGIF! I went for leafy inspired greens today. Leafy greens are nutritious too! :)

Clockwise from Top L:
Dandyapple - Sweet Little Flower Bobby Pins
Viva la Violette - Leafy Invitation Set
Silver Garden - Wide Leaf Textured Silver Ring
Blue Sky Pottery - 7 piece Lettuce Leaf Set

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

*Sale Alert* - 20% off!

I ordered my invitations from eInvite and cannot wait to show you how they turned out.  Until the big reveal after they've been mailed out, feel free to order your own for 20% off by entering FF20 at the checkout through November 17 (on select products). Here's some inspiration for you:



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TJ Maxx and I are like *this*

My name is Palindrome "Impulse Buyer" Bride.  I've got the shopping gene and it's a strong one passed down by grandmotherdrome to motherdrome to me.  TJ Maxx, Ross, DSW, Marshalls, Home Goods . . . I imagine a piece of heaven to be similar stores where you find a bargain everytime you walk in. 

Thankfully for my overtaxed personal budget, the wedding budget has allowed me to satisfy some impulse buying without any guilt.  For example, I was wandering around TJ Maxx at the Janaf Center (a tad on the sketchy side, but they have surprisingly good stuff) and happened to spot these little guys:

I had candleholders on my list of wedding items to buy.  I like lace.  I like vintage.  Black is in my color palette.  I held my breath and checked the bottoms for prices.  Clearance! Cha-ching!  I grabbed the trio and walked out that night with about $10 less in my pocket and these beauts swinging in a bag from my arm. 

Can't you picture them on my guest book table?  Or maybe by the seating chart?  I can't wait to see the candles in them and how the lace looks with the warm glow!

Are you keeping your eyes out for wedding items at your regular haunts?  Have you had any success stories at a discount store?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tea Favor Giveaway!

I know that I taunted you with a look at my hometown bridal shower. Tonight, I'm offering you no more than another taunt, with a small look at the lovely favors my mom made all of the guests.

A collection of yummy teas is packed in a faux cut glass candy dish and wrapped with a silver bow and demitasse spoon.  The perfect take away for our high afternoon tea.

To make up for my lack of reporting and gift opening pictures, I'm giving away the very favor pictured!

To enter, please leave a comment below with your favorite tea time edible!  The contest will open until Thursday at 7:00 pm EST.  The winner will be announced on Friday morning.  One entry per person please.

Palindromaid S and her feminine vintage look

Palindromaid S just received her custom dress to pull her vintage look together!

Clockwise from the Top
Dress: Monica Freng (Etsy seller: MoniRose)
Earrings: Swarovski
Necklace: Macy's
Shoes: Macy's

I was really eager to hear about her experience with a custom dress, so I weberviewed her! 

Q: Why did you decide to have your dress custom made?
A: Once you told me the parameters for choosing a dress, I was thrilled with the challenge of finding the perfect one. Unfortunately, I have champagne tastes on a beer budget. So if I did find a dress I loved, it was hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars more than I was willing to spend. There were lots of Okay black dresses, but none really struck me as special for the amount of money they cost. Finally, I was perusing Etsy (which you introduced me to) for jewelery when I noticed the Alchemy feature. Commission someone to make a custom dress for me at and I get to pick the price? It sounded like a dream!

Q: Were you nervous about posting an alchemy request?
A: I was a little nervous! But I knew that if no one came forward with options that I liked, then I wasn't going to be forced to pick someone to work with. I had the freedom to drop the idea. I was also nervous about being fair - I didn't want to insult anyone by asking too low a price for the dress or drive anyone away from making bids. Also, I knew there was a bit of risk in the final product not being the quality I wanted. Nevertheless, I took the plunge.

Q: How did you decide which vendor to ultimately work with?
A: I had nine people offer to make me my dress. All the info I provided was my dress size, ideal price, and a photo of the dress I wanted made/replicated. I declined some of the offers right away because the estimated costs were too much. For the remaining contenders, I asked for portfolios of their bridal/evening gown work if they had not provided me with them and noted whether they were easy to communicate with, meaning they were careful to address all my comments and questions. I finally chose to work with Monica because of the beautiful work she had done in the past (I was thoroughly impressed that she amde her own BEAUTIFUL wedding dress, as well as all the dresses for her bridesmaids) and her openness in her e-mails.

Q: Describe the process of working with the seamstress.
A: Working with Monica was very easy. We had discussions about types of fabrics that would fit in my budget and provide similar drape and flow as the dress in the photo I provided as a guide to the design. Then we had discussions about the ideal color combinations, given the color palette you provided to the bridesmaids. She then sent me a list of measurements that she would need. I got a neighbor to measure me, sent the numbers to Monica, and that was pretty much it. She gave me plenty of updates regarding when she purchased the fabric, when she started the dress, and when she anticipated sending it to me.

Q: How did the dress fit when you received it?
A: I was nervous putting on the dress. What if it was all wrong!? But my worries were for nothing. It all fit pretty well. The bust needs to be taken in a little but that's much easier than having it be too slight. Also, if I could, I'd have the dress be about a half an inch longer. However, I realize those are my own measuring issues and not the fault of Monica in any way, shape, or form.

Q: Would you commission another dress in the future?
A: Yes! I love having clothes custom made for me. It makes me feel unnecessarily special. I've had custom made dresses made for me before, when I was in Asia for part of my study-abroad. It's something fun to do once in a while if the price is right.

Q: Do you recommend the seamstress you worked with?
A: Absolutely. I've loved sharing updates with my friends about how my dress has developed. Monica was easy to work with and none of my questions were ever too stupid for her to address. She did great work for a fair price. I've already been recommending her to friends who are in need of bridesmaids dresses in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Finds - Au Naturale

TGIF! With a heat wave in the 757, I can't help but be drawn back outdoors. It's not time to hibernate quite yet!

Clockwise from Top L:
Weegreenspot - Green Tea with Lichen
April Hiler Designs - Firefly Lantern
Dash of Magic - Rustic Oak Chalk Board
Family Attic - Wedding Sign

I'm in love with Jim

I mean, I love the future Mr. Palindrome.  But in my fictitious life, I love Jim.

Enjoy this extra clip from NBC.  Not only do you finally find out if Jim is a boxer or briefs guy, you also get to see Pam's budget savvy wedding planning tips:

You can also visit their wedding website here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You Need to Know about This


Wordle: Palindrome Bride

So fun.  So applicable to a myriad of wedding items.

Try it! and send me what what you come up with :)  I'll feature yours, right here on Palindrome Bride!

Tossing Tradition

 I've been the single girl, hoping to catch the bouquet, enough times to know I don't want to partake in the tossing tradition at our reception.


Instead, I'm tossing tradition and considering some the Martha Stewart suggested alternatives:
  1. Save your bridal bouquet and throw a special "fortune bouquet" composed of a dozen or so small clusters of flowers bound together with a ribbon that you untie before you throw. Each mini bouquet is bundled with a different romantic fortune.
  2. If you prefer, toss out the toss and try this custom popular in Finland instead: The bride is blindfolded, and the unmarried women form a circle around her. While music plays, the bride slowly turns in place in one direction and the women walk, arms linked, the other way. Everyone stops when the music ends, and the bride walks forward to hand off her flowers to the person directly in front of her.
Another idea, inspired by Miss Bruschetta, is to gather all of the guests on the dance floor and have both the Future Mr. Palindrome and I shower our guests with gift cards or scratch offs.  The Opera House has a great balcony on the third floor that overlooks the dance floor.

Since I would have to make/buy another bouquet and garter for the toss, I think it'd be more fun for everyone if I spent the money on something more useful for the recipients. 

Is my practical side getting the better of me?  Will people miss the traditional toss, or will they be glad the tradition was tossed?

Monday, October 5, 2009

One lump, or two?

I took a blog break over the weekend to soak in my wedding shower. We had a spot of this:

Then a little spot of that:

and 1386 tea sandwiches later, my shower was over. More photos, stories, veil making updates and give away later this week!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Following a New Blog!

Today, I ran across Clare over at Bells, Bouquets, and Galveston Bay.  Clare's site is chock-full of really good technical instructions for websites and color palettes.  Check her site out using the link above, or the newly added link on the right side bar.

Friday Finds - Hail to the Redskins!


The Redskins will always be my #1 home team.  Doesn't matter who they tromp, or who they're tromped by - I'm a Skins fan for life.  Since it's football season, and my team's colors are perfect for autumn, I'll give you a little taste of sophisticated football inspired wedding items:

From L-R:
Garters by Kristi: Washington Redskins Inspired Garter Set
Blue Flourish: Boutonniere - Wedding Tweets
Southern Girl Wedding: Meant To Be Bridal Bouquet
Fleurette: One Little Miss Sunshine Cheery Saffron Yellow Flower Headband

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Magic of Macy's

At times our registry experience was magical, at other times it was not.  I had visions of us happily flitting about the store, the future Mr. Palindrome delighted to be holding the clicker, and after a full day of registering, we would eat junk food in the mall food court with smiles on our faces.  Seriously.  Where do I come up with this crap?

Our real experience went something like this:
After a long morning at my outdoor graduation, we went to the Greenbriar Mall Macy's.  We waited for 15 minutes for a representative to show up in the china department.  It took about 45 minutes to set up the registry.  This also included the time to open a Macy's credit card account so we could take advantage of the Star Rewards system.  We didn't think too hard about this and learned the hard way - do not open a credit card (even at a dept. store!) when your loan request for a mortgage is being processed.  We finally got the clicker and walked aimlessly around because we had no idea what to register for when we didn't know where we would be living.  After registering for a roaster and some mixing bowls (and wasting another 30 minutes), we gladly handed the clicker back and vowed never to come to that Macy's again.  It's small and definitely not worth registering at because their selection is quite limited.

I have been using the online system exclusively since then.  There is a big draw back however.  I have repeatedly run into the problem of the registry site, which is run through Wedding Channel, not matching the Macy's website.  I'll find something I like, I'll try to register for it, and it will not be available to assign to my registry.  Leave it to me to find the 10 things that you can't register for, but it's definitely annoying.

The reason I keep the registry open is twofold.  The first part is that it's the only brick and mortar store where we registered.  The second is that when items are purchased online, Macy's makes a donation to the charity of our choice (Special Olympics in our case)

Have you been happy with your registries?  Did you have a smooth experience?