Monday, November 30, 2009

Missing my Pap Pap

I was reading Post Secret over coffee this morning (as is my normal Monday Morning Ritual).  The response to the 11th post card down was so touching as the reader described how her father was with her when she walked down the aisle.

I'm blessed to have my father still with me to walk down the aisle.  The future Mr. Palindrome and I are also extremely lucky to have 6 grandparents joining us for our wedding.  Between the two of us, we each have only lost one grandparent and we feel extremely blessed to be sharing our day with so many of our grandparents.  While I'm grateful for the abundance of love that will surround us, I still am sad that my grandfather, Pap Pap, has passed away and won't be with us. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Pap Pap, Dad and me.  Although whoever took the picture cut off part of his head, it shows his enormous height and his signature glasses.  we always joked that I grew to be one of his tallest granddaughters.  This is always the image I think of when I consider the impact these two men have had on my life.

I knew that I wanted to bring a memory of him to the wedding, but didn't really have any ideas for the concrete execution.  As I was reading through WB archives, I came across several lovely ideas from Mrs. Magnolia, Mrs. Crabcake,  Mrs. Hot Cocoa.  Using their inspiration, I decided to incorporate a photograph on my bouquet and explored several options - scrabble tile, glass tile, small metal picture frame, etc.  Then I remembered that my Pap Pap and grandma had given me a locket for my 13th birthday.

The crap photograph is courtesy of my Blackberry, which, due to a set of unfortunate happenings, is the only camera I have to this week.  Note the ever lovely Mrs. Dumpling and her cutie patootie in the background as I watched Bee TV.

I'm going to add the photograph and nestle it into my bouquet so that on my wedding day, I can hold on to some very fond memories of our relationship. 

Are you carrying a memory with you on your wedding day?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Making the list, and checking it twice

The future Mr. Palindrome and I were watching football on Thanksgiving day (a tradition right up there with eating turkey) when he turned to me during the commercials and said, "I don't understand why anyone would go shopping on Black Friday." 

I fell off the couch, died a thousand deaths, revived myself and ask him if he were serious.

"Yeah, I mean, it doesn't seem like they're having that good of sales.  And it's crowded."

I fell off the couch again.  I was out cold for a few minutes.  This.  This was. This was blasphemy!!!  If my parents taught me anything, it was that Black Friday is pure magic.  You eat turkey, you watch football, you watch Miracle on 34th Street, then you go to bed early so that you can up with the alarm and get some doorbuster action!

Growing up, I'd wait for my parents to come home from their early outing, anxious to see if I could catch peeks at potential presents.  They typically completed the vast majority of their Christmas shopping this way.

I've been following suit for the past few years.  It just feels so good to get it all done before December even starts!  You can put up your tree and stash the freshly wrapped presents beneath it to enjoy for the next month.   Something about it just satisfies my inner longing to start celebrating Christmas.

This year, since I'm in wedding high gear, I decided that Black Friday was THE DAY to finish all of my Christmas shopping.  I marathoned it for 5 hours (at the lovely South Point Shops in Durham! Woot Woot!).  My feet were sore, I had a caffeine headache, and I had to run out to the car to drop off handfuls of bags a few times, but goshdarnit!  I crossed off every single last person on my list.  Yesterday, I wrapped them while listening to carols and now the only part left is the distribution.  The only part missing was a little dusting of snow!

Have you pushed up your Christmas shopping to work around wedding planning?  Or better yet, were you able to take advantage of any Black Friday sales for wedding supplies?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hair and Makeup Trial, Take Two

I confided in you all a few weeks ago that I was having second thoughts about the translation of my wedding hair/makeup from inspiration to execution.  I had only given my stylist one photo to work with and then just went with whatever suggestion she had in the moment. The photo I had was torn out of a wedding magazine months ago and looks a little like this:

I'm not sure what I thought  it had to do with my theme (vintage) or season (winter) . . . but I got a dewy make up job with pink lips and a half up do that I felt like I do myself for fancy occasions.  All because I'm not good at saying that I don't like things.  I took courage from friends and decided to try again.  I made another appointment and this time sent ahead several inspiration photos.  I also had them available at the appointment.  Here's what I brought:

Sourced from via Moodboard

I knew what I wanted and I was going to ask precisely for the look: Hair all down and focus on red lips (similar to Miss Hamster's inspiration).  We did the hair before the makeup, so ignore my monochromatic pastiness for the first few shots!

I wanted to try on both of my veils (cathedral length for the ceremony and birdcage for the reception) to make sure having all of my hair down worked with both.

Making the birdcage veil was completely an impromptu venture on my part.  I had some leftover tulle from the cathedral length veil laying about and I just started to play with it.  I was twisting it around my fingers as I talked on the phone and then it just sortof started taking a birdcage type shape.  More on this process to come!

I'm glad I remembered to wear a button down shirt.  It's just like me to forget and wear and turtleneck.  For the wedding day, I was gifted a beautiful silk robe from my dear friend Hannah that I plan on wearing.

I'm going to add some layers to my hair at my last trim before the wedding so that it's not SO. STRAIGHT. ACROSS.  Seriously, that straight line is like a wedding day ruler. 

There we go!  A smile!  I liked this look a lot better.

A more serious face so you can see the lip color a little bit more. 

Luckily, friends of mine threw a small shower/bachelorette for me that night so I could test the hair and makeup in real life.  I got my dance on and was out until way past my bedtime.  As we were leaving downtown, my friends were amazed at how well my hair held up.  It was a pain to comb out the next day, but I was really pleased that the curls didn't fall.  To keep my pouty red lips fresh, I'm going to purchase a tube of this particular color to keep in my clutch (which I just finished sewing and can't wait to show you!).

Did you have to do a second hair/makeup trial?  Did you test your wedding day look for longevity?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

With this Token

The future Mr. Palindrome isn't really a ring person.  He even jokingly asked if we could exchange wedding watches.  I was on board, but in the end we decided on a ring as our token of love and affection.  I gave you a sneak peek here, but that was just the beginning of my little photo shoot.  My engagement ring must have told the wedding rings about her shoot, because the wedding rings just pleaded with me to get in on that action.

The future Mr. Palindrome's ring is a solid 4mm 14k white gold comfort fit band.  Plain vanilla for him.  Mine, on the right, was custom etched to match the antique wheat pattern on my engagement ring.

The band for my set is a little bit thicker than the band for the engagement ring.  At first I wasn't sure that it was what I wanted - for some reason, I thought they should match precisely.  However, after I tried them on together, I liked the whole look.  Since the diamond covers part of the band, it actually looks really natural with the band.

The future Mr. Palindrome purchased my engagement ring around last Christmas.  We were so pleased with the quality of product and service, that we decided to return for our bands.  It took me about 30 minutes to order mine.  It took the future Mr. Palindrome about 2 hours to try on plain bands.  Then it took another 2 weeks to make the final decision.

Since the shop is in Virginia Beach, I picked up the rings after work last week.  I've had a few, "Wow, this is it!  I'm getting married!" moments, but this one was so tangible.  Holding the rings and thinking of the vows was so surreal.

For those interested in the details, we worked with Randy at Long Jewelers off of Virginia Beach Blvd.  The future Mr. Palindrome went to over a dozen different jeweler's shops in the area before settling at Long's.  He said he was impressed by the quality and selection of the diamonds.  He also said that he was given an even better deal when he paid in cash.  Randy even worked on a deal for us with the bands.  In short, we highly recommend Long Jewelers and can't wait to show off our new hardware!

Did you buy your rings from the same jeweler?  How did you decide where to purchase your rings?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Your Hand or on its Stand!

 My dad used to always tell me, "On your face or in the case!"  I suppose you have to start drilling it in after the 4th or 5th pair of lost/crushed spectacles during the 4th grade.  Turns out, the same idea really applies to rings.  It took me a minute to figure out another rhyme for the ring concept, because it had to rhyme in order to make my life complete today.  If you're going to apply the "On your hand or on its stand" wisdom to your rings, there's no need to be stodgy about it.  I have a darling stand from Providence Art Glass . I had been wanting to buy one, long before I was engaged, and my bling was the perfect excuse to indulge. Motherdrome and Fatherdrome decided to surprise me with it at my shower. I loved it so much that I immediately ordered it for two other friends who were also recently engaged.

This red version is the actual piece I own.

I purchased this fun one for a friend getting married this June.

And this blue beauty I specifically ordered for Palindromaid of Honor E to compliment her gorgeous engagement ring bejeweled with sapphire side stones.

Above photos sourced from Providence Art Glass's Etsy Shop

Photo courtesy of Palindromaid Maid of Honor E.
And here's mine in action with our wedding rings (more to come on those soon!)

Do you have a special place that you keep your rings when you take them off?  Have you ever had to learn the hard way to keep your rings in a safe place?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lookin' Good, Good Lookin'!

I must have said that about 10 times to the future Mr. Palindrome during our engagement shoot.  Hubba hubba, that stud is going to be all mine!

You may notice that his hair is actually quite short.  The future Mr. Palindrome experienced what we women have been experiencing for years.  He went in for a trim and came out with nearly a buzz cut.  An  hour before our shoot.  One. Hour.  He was actually quite distraught as it had taken 4 months since getting out of the Navy to grow it out to a more civvie length.  Our photographer, Sam, did an awesome job reassuring him that it looked great.  I'll narrate the rest of the pics with the actual conversation we had while Sam was shooting.

The future Mr. Palindrome: "I can't believe this happened."
Palindrome Bride: "I can believe it, I told you to get it cut earlier this week."

The future Mr. Palindrome: "I mean he just kept cutting."
Palindrome Bride: "We've all been there. Welcome to the world of long hair."

The future Mr. Palindrome: "Was it because it was a male hair dresser?"
Palindrome Bride: "No. It's hair dressers in general."

The future Mr. Palindrome: "Do you think it'll grow out by the wedding? Is there anything I can do to make it grow faster?"
Palindrome Bride: "Prenatal vitamins."
The future Mr. Palindrome: "Seriously? Where do you get them?"

All photos courtesy of our awesome photographer, Sam Hughes. And a special shout out to Doumar's and their great staff that put up with us shooting around dinner time!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Finds - Bride to Bee

TGIF! I was inspired by this gorgeous soap to branch out and do a full on hive-centric Friday Finds this week. Imagine the soaps as favors or in the bathroom goodie basket!

Clockwise from the Top L:
Beautiful Soaps - One Dozen Pure Wisconsin Beeswax Cappings
Kim Art - Yellow Poppy Seed Hairpin
Threads and Flowers - Pink Flower Hankie
Yummy Suds - Oh Honey Beehive Soap
Cheer up Cherup - Honeycomb Love Wedding Invitation

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pew Sprucing

I adore the inside of our church. The walls are a soothing green and the dark wood pews maintain a very elegant atmosphere. It's a reverantly decorated church, yet very comforting. To me, it feels like home. Since the church will still be decorated for Christmas on our wedding day, we haven't planned much in the way of other decorations. In fact, I had let it fall off of my radar after I finished the Unity Candles.

Then my coordinator, Miss P, emailed me and casually mentioned these bad boys from Victorian Petals at the end of her note:

Be still my beating heart!  The feathers!  The romance!  Me gusta.  Her idea was to hang them on the pews as the finishing touch to the ceremony decor.  I was all over it.  Then she emailed me and said she thought we could DIY!  She found some materials on Save-on-Crafts (the place I bought my Bridal Illusion Tulle as well):

And then, she offered to make them herself since I have so many other projects on my plate!  I {heart} Miss P!  I ordered the supplies and had materials sent directly to her (enough to make 12 of them).  I love how we can work together like this.  I toss ideas to her and she helps me make the dream a reality.  Or in this case, she found an awesome idea and is taking the lead on executing it.  With all of the other stresses in my life right now, knowing that she's thinking of the details that I'm not, really takes a weight off of me.

Are you decorating your ceremony space in a significant way?  What elements from the space itself are you keeping in your decor?

PS - Save-on-Crafts also had this baby in their online catalog for $2.99!  Unfortunately it wasn't available at the time I purchased my supplies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wisdom from Meg

I like thinking philosophically about what marriage means to me. I like critiquing the wedding industry and avoiding the black hole of unrealistic expectations (even though I sometimes fail at this). I like smart women. That's why I read A Practical Wedding.

As I was catching up with last week's posts, I ran across Michelle and Josh's story. Michelle's words reached out of the computer and gave me an empathetic back rub:

What made our wedding sane was that we got married. I was really good at having the occasional 'let's just elope' freakout, but thankfully Josh was even better at the 'at the end of this, you will be my wife' speech.

It's been a rough few weeks as we've headed into the homestretch and have found the million loose ends that need to be tied. I had a 'let's just elope freak out' recently and this is what the future Mr. Palindrome wrote to me:

One overall thought I have about the ceremony is that I want you to remember that the most special thing about the ceremony is that you and I will be getting married in front of people we love in a place that is special to us. Everything else is just material.

That's why I love him and that is why I'm marrying him. Tear.

So here's to remembering what is important about a marriage and what's not worth going insane over (heel height, reception dresses, band stages, and sold out feather boas). You'll be getting married!!!!!

Winner of the Magnet Giveaway!

Sunday came and went. I was a bad blogger and just let the giveaway slide with out any commenters. Then Christine commented and I decided to award her the giveaway as the first commenter!

Congratulations Christine!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Engagement Outfit

After drooling over some gorgeous vintage inspired engagement shoots, I knew that I had to incorporate some vintage styled clothing into a few of the Palindrome's e-shoot pics.  I combed through Etsy trying to find a dress with the right measurements and the right price tag.  Here are some of the dresses I tagged along the way:

I decided that I really loved the nautical look of the polka dots and when I bought the red dress above (for $24!!!), I was working under the assumption that I could coax the future Mr. Palindrome into a pair of his service dress khakis, with that cute garrison hat - how romantic and how vintage, right?????? Like straight out of a WWII Hollywood flick!  I commenced with a search for the perfect red shoes to go with the dress and found these knockouts:
I wasn't 100% sure about buying vintage/used shoes and so I sat ton them, checking them daily until one day they disappeared.  I literally was searching for them with my credit card in hand, ready to purchase.  Instead, I set about a frantic search for a replacement and enlisted the help of Palindromaid L.  She deftly found these awesome pumps:

The Nine West Tampest pumps fit perfectly with the polka dots of the dress.  They look killer and unfortunately feel killer as well.  Like many women who have gone before me, I prioritized the look over the feel and wore them for my engagement shoot anyways.  My feet hurt for one day, but my pics will last a lifetime.  Who am I? I don't know, but I hope after the whole wedding thing is over that the sensible shoe wearing version of myself reappears.  My bunions will thank me later.

As I mentioned before, I was all set to have the future Mr. Palindrome wear his uniform, but we ran into a slight problem.  He had been growing his hair out since he got out of the military this past summer.  Turns out that business school doesn't care as much about hair length and he started wearing it either under a ball cap or in more of a Mad Men style with a side part.  Wildly out of regulation hair just wouldn't do with the uniform.  I looked back at some inspiration pictures and decided to browse for a vest for him.  I bought a great blue button up shirt and charcoal wool vest at H&M for about $70.  Then I walked into American Eagle looking for leather flip flops on sale and found the exact same men's wear on sale for $35.  I was hugely embarrassed to walk back into H&M to return the clothes I had bought 5 minutes before - but c'mon, half price?  Budget Bride got the best of me.  Anyvest, come to momma, my vest wearing man!

We finished the future Mr. Palindrome's look off with a pair of gray slacks that he already owned.  We didn't wear our vintage outfits for the whole shoot, so we picked out some causal shot outfits the morning of the shoot.

Are you coordinating a special outfit with your fiance for your engagement shoot? 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Felted Fun

I ran across these darlings from The Felted Pair during my daily Etsy troll:

So appropriate for the hive!  Can you imagine this on top of some delicious lemon buttercream or vanilla buttercream?

Why hello lil' tweetie pies!  These just smacked of the Dachshund's palette!

And this . . . well, this is for my other wedding.  The autumn wedding I have all planned out in my head with pumpkin centerpieces and pumpkin pies.  I have about 5 alternate weddings planned, if anyone is looking for ideas! :)

Do you find yourself planning alternate weddings to accommodate lovely little items that just don't fit with the style you chose?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My (Invitation) Babies

I sent them off with a kiss and tear.  Since they've made their way by land and sea to our guests, it's now time to introduce them to you!

The outer envelope serves as the preview, or even the trailer if you will.  We had planned on my grandmother addressing them, but for various reasons I ended up testing one myself.  Not half bad, so I went for the whole shebang and addressed them all myself.

Don't judge my writing based on this example of the inner envelope.  I goofed a bunch and had plenty of back ups for guests' invitations, but I couldn't bear to waste another envelope for my scrapbook invitation.  I didn't actually use a specific calligraphy style, I just embellished my  nicest cursive and wrote the addresses using a felt tip calligraphy pen in the smallest size (fine).

The envelope lining was a DIY project that I really considered abandoning a few times.  In the end, I'm glad I did it, but if I had it to do over again, I would have paid the extra moola to order them with the lining.  Many of you mentioned your preference for the Flawless invitation from this post, and you'll be happy to see that I cast them as the main character in our invitation suite.

The bellybands and wax seals are DIY additions.
We asked our guest to RSVP online which presented a problem for a few of our elderly guests without internet access.  To accommodate these guests, we included a Map inspired post card where they could record their RSVP.
The semi-DIY route was definitely the right choice for me.  I was in love with raised lettering, but for the suites we could afford, they seemed too simple (even nekkid!).  The DIY touches took the invites from drab to fab and with all of the positive comments we've received, even the amount of time we spent on them made it all worth it.  Special thanks go to Motherdrome, the Grandmotherdromes, Palindromaid of Honor E, Palindromaid J and Palindromaid S!