Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jen's Bridesmaid Dress: Part One

So, yes. Bridesmaid dresses. In brief, I'm not really a fan of what's out there. Pastels. Odd satin arrangements. Strange bows in strange places. No sleeves and necklines that are in serious need of straps to hold them above-bosom. The look of "hey, this is totally unwearable, but I'm wearing this frock to match the bride's color scheme."

Yeah. Not a fan. Fortunately, there are other options, my color scheme is browns and whites and ivories and greens and all things rustic, and my priority is to work with a color and style of dress that makes Jen feel pretty and comfortable.

The first dress we found--and that is currently on its way via air mail--is J. Crew's "Cecelia" gown in expresso. It's just lovely. Sleeved. Fitted. Flowing. Natural. If the dress looks as good in real life as it does online, I think we have a winner!

We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Purchased Chris' Ring Today!!

So Chris' Celtic ring is on its way from Arlington, Ireland, and we hope to see it soon!

We decided on the Platinum bland to ensure its longevity and endurance, especially since Chris is always lifting heavy objects, cooking, or banging his hands about in his Chris-erly way.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that it fits, but it if it doesn't, Sine Trevor--our Irish jewel maker--will fix it up for only a $35 fee.

With any luck, we'll have the ring by St. Patty's Day!

Another item crossed off our wedding list, and so many more to go.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reception Decor: Trial Runs, More Brainstorming

So, yesterday Somer and I headed out to Michael's to do a bit of exploring, buying, and general brainstorming about materials and concepts for the Carriage House.

The most successful part of the evening was when Somer fashioned an adorable floral pom pom from tissue paper, which we thought would look just splendid hanging from the "dance hall" portion of the House. They're so simple to make and easy to pull off--it would be so festive to have them hanging from the ceiling in ivory and white and perhaps even a twinge of some other color. However, we'll have to make sure (the next time we visit Oatlands, which will be late March when they reopen) that the House has ample rafters and beams from which to suspend them.

Two other ideas we toyed with were favors & favor boxes and eyelet sleeve votives.

For the favors, I'm exploring the idea of handing out tarts of all different fall flavors--apple, blackberry, cranberry, pumpkin, pecan. The tarts would then be boxed in brown bag paper, or perhaps just brown boxes, wrapped with twine and perhaps layered with dead twigs, eyelet, lace or some other lovely fabric. A tag on each favor box would register the name of the type of tart inside. Another option, would be to serve only apple tarts, calling upon Leesburg's own Mom's Apple Pie Bakery to do the baking--which would be lovely and quaint, with Oatlands right around the corner! However, this would restrict us to an apple-type motif, rather than a general fall theme. I'm not keen on restricting things to just this, but we'll see. I'll have to let things churn a bit more.

As for votives for the reception tables, we have two options: one is to use eyelet or lace trim around glass votives or all shapes and sizes; the other is to use fallen leaves. Both are lovely--perhaps a mix? This is where things get tough--where we need to streamline, keep things consistent and simple. I know this is a wedding and not a novel, but when writing a novel I've learned that the most powerful concoction is one where tight, streamlined and consistent images run throughout, playing on and off another. The concept of the wedding is similar--pick a few threads and a few colors, and develop them three-dimensionally. Some may disagree with me on this aesthetic, but it's never steered me wrong in terms of decor or in writing!

Overall, the themes that seem to be shaping are as follows:
  1. Dead tree branches, twigs, wood
  2. Eyelet fabric, scraps
  3. Ivory, brown, white colors
  4. Twine and clothesline
  5. Autumn flavors--variety of pie flavors for the favors, and touches in our reception dinner (cranberries, pumpkin breads, cornbread)
These five motifs come together to suggest rustic, a touch of vintage, whimsy, and autumn themed-wedding, that is focused on being "homey," warm and cozy with a whirl of imagination.

However, to make this theme more dimensional and to give it "texture," I'm wondering about how and whether to incorporate the following:
  1. Another accent color--pink, green, yellow?
  2. Leaves?
  3. Apples?
  4. Wheat--on table, wreaths?
  5. Corn husk vases
  6. White pumpkins
More thoughts to come!! And thank you, Somer, for all of your craft-making magic!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seven-And-A-Half-Months And Counting

It's been almost a month since I've last written--between post-holiday recovery, the semester starting, and life in general, I've been out of commission with blogging! But the wedding planning still continues.

Last month, we booked a day-of wedding coordinator and decorator (Kate at ATrendy Weddings, Inc.), reserved rehearsal dinner space at LightFoot restaurant (thank you, KaJe and Jerry!), and have unearthed many, many more decorative ideas for the reception.

So, as of today, we've got 7.5 months to go until the big day, and though we've made a pretty big dent in the wedding process, we've got oh-so-much more to do.

At the 7.5-month mark, we need to focus on the following for the next 1-2 months:
  • Bridesmaid dress for Jen
  • Flower selection
  • Creating sample/test decorations for reception
  • Stationary
  • Cake decor
  • Honeymoon/wedding night reservations
  • Finalizing wedding musicians
  • Register for gifts
What's interesting is that the first five to-dos are all dependent on color--the theme that will tie everything together. Based on our linen selection, it seems that we are focusing on whites, ivories, browns, and natural organic flowers and greenery. I'd like to thread that through everything, I think--dead tree branches, eyelet, ivory ribbon, lace, rust, and candlelight.

We have much to do! But we're going strong, and hanging in there.

Next steps:
  • Continue to check-in with Bell/Blake duo while searching for musician alternatives.
  • Make a trip to Michael's and G-Street Fabric for supplies to test out votives, signs, and possibly invitations.
  • Make trips to stationary/paper stores.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Reserve appointments at 2-3 boutiques for March when Jen come to visit.
  • Revisit Oatlands (once they reopen March 23) to test out linens, chairs, and some preliminary decorations.
  • Write Katherine Farley (at Oatlands) about using their branch/light decor.
More to follow!