If Only…

26 Jan

…we were having a wedding that would allow us to incorporate something like this:

{Tec Petaja Photography via Once Wed }

{Claire Eliza Photography via 1oo Layer Cake}

This would so not go well with our wedding theme, but maybe someone else can take advantage of this amazing inspiration! So I thought I’d share the pretty pictures with the ‘bee.

What do you think about this?

Guest Book(s), and The Gift Part 2

26 Jan

I’ve noticed a major downside to having a fairly lengthy engagement. And that is, you make many decisions early on in the engagement, thinking you’re being original. Then as the months go by and you continue to obsess over wedding blogs on a daily basis, you find that so many of these details are popping up in dozens and dozens of other weddings.

I’m not, however, going to let this discourage me from using the ideas I originally dreamed up. Not to say I made them up, of course. I was simply inspired before they made  it to the big time.

So what’s a prime example of this? The gorgeous and wonderfully “unique” wedding tree.

{Bleu de toi on Etsy}

I’m sure you’re all at least mildly familiar with this idea by now, and hell, The Oatmeals are still going to roll with it. I don’t care how many people have done it before us, it won’t take away from us having one all our own.

Luckily, Bridesmaid Oatmeal L is a freakin’ awesomely talented artist and has gladly taken on this project for us. I’d post a picture of her rough draft, but the reality is I don’t have one yet. She sent me a picture on my phone months ago but now I can’t find it. Bust. However, I assure you it’s going to be perfect. Now I just need to find a super cool antique looking frame to display it in…

You see the little names on each thumbprint up there? Well, we’re not going to do that. Thumb prints only. It’ll keep it cleaner looking, I think. So, won’t we miss out on our guests writing us well wishes? We’ve got that covered, too!

Remember this post about the most amazing gift ever received? That will serve as our main guest book for family and friends to write sweet little notes of looooove to us 🙂 And without further ado, here are really crappy pictures of the guest book full of our seriously awesome engagement pictures taken from Brother Oatmeal (really, these photos don’t do it justice, friends…)

{Really crappy photos taken by me, of SUPER AWESOME engagement photos taken by RCJones Photography}

And there you have it! I can’t wait to show you our actual engagement photos instead of pictures of pictures. Those are coming up real soon!

Are you having two guest books at your wedding, both accomplishing different things? It may be overkill, but it’s so, so “us.”

I’m excited to hear what ya think!

Maid of Honor Oatmeal Gets Her Dress

26 Jan

You may remember when I wrote about our wedding colors: navy, yellow, and grey. Here they are again.

Anyway, Miss PD just posted about different ways of setting her MOH apart from her other bridesmaids. This was something we wanted to do early on, but couldn’t quite put our finger on how we were going to accomplish it. As a reminder, my girls will be in navy dresses and yellow shoes, both of their choice. So, we were bouncing around a few options for a distinct MOH, such as:

A patterned navy dress:

{Source: Anthropologie}

A navy and white dress:

{Source}

We even thought about having her wear a different colored pair of shoes to help her stand out. But what did we ultimately decide on?

A completely different color dress! Grey, to be exact.

{Source: Banana Republic}

MOH found it online, and we moseyed on over to Banana this last weekend so she could try it on. Unfortunately, the only color available to try on was purple. But it looks fantastic on her, don’t ya think? Try your best to envision it in grey!

{Personal photos}

She went right home and ordered it off their website! I can’t wait to see it on her in grey with some super cute yellow shoes. Isn’t she the cutest MOH ever? I’m pretty excited about the dress; I think it looks fantastic on her, and it helps accomplish our mismatchy wedding theme!

Did you do anything to set apart your most special lady?

 

 

On Getting a Head Start

22 Jan

Speaking of name changing, I never really touched on what a process it’s going to be.  So I decided I’d get a little head start. No, I’m not going to start going by my new name…do you think I’m crazy? I did, however, “reserve” my new email address on Gmail.  And by reserve, I clearly mean that I just registered for a new one.

What?

I was afraid it would get taken by someone else from now until May.

This is what I was welcomed with upon logging on. I read that first email about importing your contacts from your old email, and I’ll admit that I’m already overwhelmed with the thought of changing all my email subscriptions, getting the word out to friends and family that I have a new address, and I’m sure a million other things connected to my old email. Not to mention, the official name changing process and all that entails.

I mean, God forbid I miss one mass email from Anthropologie or J.Crew. That would be tragic.

Any suggestions on making this process easier?

P.S. I haven’t even told Mr. Oatmeal that I did this yet. He He.

Let’s Get Real

22 Jan

Dear Weddingbee brides aka those living in wedding blog la la land,

I think it’s so important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What is a wedding all about? It’s certainly not about the flowers, the centerpieces, the shoes, the food, the venue. None of that really matters when you think about it. I know we spend countless hours obsessing over the details because, well, we’re women getting married and that’s what we do. But we need to be aware of the realities of this wedding world we live in everyday.

I’m not sure if many of you out there have come across this article, but I desperately wanted to share it with anyone following the ‘bee.  So here’s Janice, from Bellwether Events in D.C.:

{Kurstin Roe Photography}

Magazines and blogs feature many “styled shoots” to provide you with inspiration during your wedding planning.  But it is important to remember a few things.  The stylists on these shoots spend hours tweaking every detail and posing the models in the carefully selected attire and accessories.   The vendors participating in the shoots bring stockpiles of props in order to make sure that the feeling and message they wish to convey is perfectly executed.  The photographer often selects the location and times the shoot so that the lighting is exactly what they are looking for.  These photos are perfect!  Stunning!  Yet, I worry that they set unrealistic expectations, and also might miss the real meaning of weddings.

Photo shoots, in essence, are designed to have many options, unlimited time and no budgetary restrictions.  In other words, they are not reality.  Very rarely do they even depict a ceremony set up, which is the whole point of the day – the getting married part.  They are not designed to actually feed and entertain one hundred and twenty guests.  Your wedding photographer doesn’t have unlimited time in perfect light with you and a box full of props and accessories.  So, your wedding photos are not going to look like what you see in magazines and on blogs.

If you decide to see each other before the ceremony, your photographer will be limited in time and location with this portrait session.  During the ceremony your photographer will likely be restricted to the back of the room and may not even be allowed to use flash.  By the time he/she gets to the reception room, some guests will have already put down their coats and purses, thus “ruining” the wide room shots.  When your people of honor give toasts, there will probably be something less than perfect in the background, such as an exit sign.  Tent poles are unattractive. Thermostats and outlets are eyesores.  You will not see these things in styled shoots.  These are the realities of real weddings.

{Kurstin Roe Photography}

But, do you know what real wedding photos trump the styled shoots on?  Emotion.  You cannot fake the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time, or the pleasure a mom exudes when her little girl is getting married.  Styled shoots will never capture the perfect combination of elation, excitement and terror that is the Hora, or the pure joy of a bride dancing with her father to their special song.  As much as I like to “ooh” and “ahh” over pretty pictures, what brings a smile to my face is the photo of a couple singing their face off to Journey.  These are the moments you will remember and cherish.  These are the photos that will get framed and hung on the wall or inserted into holiday cards.  Not the photo of your table centerpiece or your escort card display.

While it is important to collect pretty pictures from blogs and magazines to help explain to your wedding team what you want them to do, please don’t get distracted from what really matters:  getting married and celebrating afterward!

I needed this article, and maybe you did too. It’s so easy for us to caught up in the little details and lose focus of why we’re planning a wedding to begin with. It’s reassuring to know that most of the inspiration we find on wedding blogs is just that, inspiration. Not many of us have unlimited budgets, allowing us to execute the picture-perfect wedding of our dreams. And really ladies, that’s okay.

I wish I could be more like Mr. Oatmeal, who said this to me in the beginning of our engagement: “We could go to the courthouse tomorrow and get married and the end result is the same for me. I’m still going to be your husband, and you’re still going to be my wife. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else in between doesn’t make a difference to me. I know how much the details mean to you, and that’s why I’m letting you do it. It makes you happy. I just want to be your husband.”

I love that man, and I couldn’t argue with that. But of course, I still obsess over the little things that might make our pictures prettier, but won’t make a bit of difference to our marriage.

The wedding is only one day. A marriage is what is left after that joyous day is over. I just needed to give myself some perspective, and a realistic expectation for that day in May.

So, hive, I hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me.

***This article was taken from United With Love

The Anniversary Box

22 Jan

I came across something a few months ago that just made my heart melt, and I instantly knew we had to incorporate this into our wedding. It’s called The Anniversary Box and can be found at Happily Ever AfterWords. Here is a description of it, taken from the website:

The keepsake box contains cards and envelopes labeled with the anniversary years 1 through 50. Given to friends and loved ones at any event surrounding the wedding ceremony, each piece of this fine stationery becomes a place for their thoughts — preserving a special written message to be kept in the box and read by a couple on the anniversary year indicated.

{Source}

While this is very beautiful, I can’t see spending $95 on something I could make myself (and make it more my in tune with our wedding style). So here are a few ideas I’ve had so far.

{Source}

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{Source}

Okay, okay…I know most of these are pretty expensive, and when you factor in the cost of the cards and envelopes, it would probably end up as much or more than the original one. But, if this is something we’re going to keep around for 50 years, I’d like to like it.

And in case you were wondering, here’s what I had in mind for the cardsenvelopes, and a little something to note the anniversary year on the envelope.

We’ve thought about distributing these during our rehearsal dinner since that’s when our closest friends and family will all be together. Isn’t this such a special idea? Both sets of Oatmeal parents celebrated their 30th anniversaries this year, and my grandparents just celebrated their 57th this month. The thought of opening up a sweet note from my grandparents on our 50th brings tears to my eyes.

What do you think? I know that it is stepping outside of the “box” (I couldn’t stop myself) a bit, but it seems so special!

So, hive, have you heard of this before? And did you incorporate anything extra special into your big day?

Wedding Hair

20 Jan

I think wedding hair is one of the more important things to consider surrounding the big day, and I’m certainly not an updo kinda gal.

Why?

First off, I have a small head. My brother used to call me kumquat head, probably because that’s the oddest thing he could think of. I also have a small face. Somehow it’s not that obvious to others, but I know the truth every time I try on a hat or take a picture with my face right next to someone else’s. Secondly, I have weird forehead hair, and it’s oddly shaped to boot. And lastly, my ears stick out a bit. It’s not ridiculous, but I notice it.

Now before you go on thinking I’m being too critical, please tell me you have little things about yourself that you, and probably no one else, would ever notice. I can’t be the only one.

So where does this leave me for wedding hair? Well, I came across this and thought it was so perfect.

{Source}

I mean really, it’s stunning and gorgeous…on her. This lovely bride probably has a normal sized head, and a perfectly shaped forehead without weird forehead hair. Alas, this look wouldn’t work for me.

I wear my hair down almost exclusively. I associate my hair up with working out, and that’s not a pretty look for me. So here’s how I look, at any given time.

{Me, Mama Oatmeal, Grandma Oatmeal}

{Maid of Honor Oatmeal, Me, Bridesmaid Oatmeal}

{Happy Birthday to Oatmeal with bangs}

{Future husband and myself}

{Pops Oatmeal, Me, Brother Oatmeal}

{Most recent picture I could find, with good friend Oatmeal, lover of all things paper like me!}

Now that you have a good idea of how I like my hair, how am I going to do it on May 14? Here’s what I’ve come up with.

{Source}

{Source}

What do you think? I’m convinced that Katie Holmes got it right with this look. Can’t wait to show you how my hair trial went!

Are you a strictly hair up, hair down, or somewhere in the middle kinda gal? Are you following those same rules on your wedding day?

*Personal photos unless otherwise noted