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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Glass Slippers

Eh, who the hell am I kidding. I'm no princess bride. And I don't want to be.

But the "glass slippers"? The perfect shoes for the wedding day? They have been a challenge.

Michael and I are the same height, so I knew from the beginning that I wanted flats. Not to mention that I just like flats, especially on a day when I will be on my feet constantly, will be carrying extra weight (my dress), and I just want to be somewhat comfortable. I also want sandals because it's June and I don't want hot, sweaty feet stuffed into shoes.

First, I found semi-cute flip flops at Target on clearance at the end of the summer--for something like $5. I bought them up because I figured I couldn't really go wrong. Even if I ended up buying something else, they were only $5. Well, when I had my first dress "fitting" when it came in, I knew pretty quickly that I would not be wearing these shoes. They are really uncomfortable. I don't like having a plastic strap over my feet, I have decided. It was really bugging me, even only having them on for ten minutes.

Thus the search began again for wedding shoes. I've scoured the internet for exactly what I have in my head, but haven't been able to find it as of yet. I would really like PLAIN flip-flops, with some kind of fabric strap, and comfy soles. These are actually perfect, except that they seem to offer a little too much "lift" in the soles, and I think they would be the equivalent of me wearing like a one-inch heel. Not to mention they don't have them in my size (I'm a big, honking size 9). I'm tempted to order the size 8's and give them a try, though. Stranger things have happened.

I went ahead and ordered these:

They have free shipping both ways--so if I have to return them because they don't fit, I don't like them, etc., it really cost me nothing to try them out. Very nice perk. So I figure what the heck.

I do have to get this figured out soon, however. I need to decide whether I'm going to be able to get away without a hem, and if not, I am going to need to get said hem. Which means the shoes are a must.

I wish my feet didn't make this so difficult on me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Conversation with our priest

I work at a Catholic college, and Michael and I attend Sunday mass there. We absolutely love the priest. He's very traditional in his some of his views, yet liberal in other ways. In his homilies, he often brings in real-world examples of things and makes it entertaining. For instance, he's taken stories from the Bible and compared them to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or experiences he had while working with prisoners at a state penetentiary. Our favorite homily was probably one in which he did an impression of Yoda.

Anyway, we decided early on in our planning process that we wanted Father Joe to officiate our wedding ceremony. However, the chapel at the college is too small, so we went and found a Catholic church that would allow us to bring in our own priest. I talked to Father Joe sometime back in the summer, and he agreed to marry us at the church. I gave him the info, and since then, I've e-mailed back and forth with him a few times to ask questions and make sure he knew all of the details. Father Joe can be sort of scatter-brained, so I recently told Michael that in the next few weeks, I really wanted to check in with him to make sure he still had the wedding on his calendar, and to see when we should meet to discuss the ceremony.

This morning, I was sitting at my desk and I guess Father Joe had a meeting with someone over here. He swung by my door and said, "Hey Heather, are you all ready to get married?"

Me: (relieved that he remembers) "Yes, it's coming up quickly!"

FJ: "Where is it again?"

Me: (laughing inside) "[Name of town]."

FJ: "Oh, yes. St. Bridget's?"

Me: "St. Patrick's."

FJ: "Right. I knew it was one of those."

Me: (still silently laughing)

FJ: "When is it? Sometime in June?"

Me: "June 21."

FJ: "OK, great. I'll make sure I'm here in town."

Me: "That would be good."

Gotta love it. I really hope he shows up on the wedding day. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bridgit & Scott

Here is my latest completed project... an aisle runner for Bridgit and Scott, who will be married on March 8. Love the big "W"!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kicking myself.

I'm officially having my first regret of wedding planning. Hopefully this is the only one.

I've never been a big fan of wedding videos. I don't think anyone really likes to watch them more than once, and I thought spending $1,000+ on having someone come to our wedding and film it was stupid. We spent a lot of money on a good photographer, and figured we'd have our moments captured in awesome, photojournalistic photographs.

Well, about a month ago, I had a change of heart.

I guess now that it's getting closer, I'm getting more emotional about it all. And I think that years down the road, there actually will be value in having it all on tape--the vows, the best man/matron of honor speeches, our crazy families, the dancing, etc. When I was on the fence about it all, I started asking around. Someone said, "Well, what about your kids and grandkids? It'd be really special for them to have a video." Someone else chimed in, "Wouldn't it be nice to have your parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, all on tape to have long after they're gone? All happy and dressed up?"

All good points. Damn you, voices of reason.

So I began the search for videographers. I want a good one. I don't want some crappy video. But I also just want the basics. I want there to be some basic editing so we don't have to sit through six hours of boring to see the highlights. And I'd also really like the "recap of the day" feature, where the videographer slices video pieces of the day together, set to music. You get to see the whole day in like 3-4 minutes. Perfect for most people who want to see your video.

And our last requirement? We'd like it to be $1,000 or under.

Oh, and... available. This person needs to be available.

And that last thing--well, that's what is causing all of the problems. 'Cause, you see... we have less than five months to the wedding. So all of the people I've found who have great websites and great video samples on those websites? Well, they're booked. Of course they're booked.

I'd like to give myself a swift kick in the ass for not realizing I wanted this sooner. We could have booked this last summer and found someone without a problem, I imagine.

But now? Noooooo.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Halting orders... to get married!

Today marks five months until our wedding. With that comes a huge reality check.

I started organizing my "to-do" list today and it turned out to be quite overwhelming. While I have a huge jumpstart on a lot of things, I still have tons and tons of things left to do, including several DIY projects. Also, as we approach our wedding day, things are going to get busier in general--meetings with vendors, showers, bachelorette party, etc.

As a result, I'm going to have to stop taking orders for projects for other brides. I already have quite a list of projects to complete, and I will definitely honor those who have already placed orders. I've done some calculations and some estimating and I can handle what I already have. It's disappointing for me to have to do this, but I have to be realistic in what I can accomplish and the fact of the matter is, I have to build in some time for myself to do things for my own wedding.

I've decided that instead of announcing this now and just suddenly halting orders--I will continue to accept new orders through January 31. So if you are a February-July 2008 bride, and you'd like to order a banner, aisle runner, monograms, etc., you should e-mail me ASAP (roadtotheaisle@gmail.com) to get on my order list.

I do, however, plan to start back up on projects after the wedding. So, starting February 1, I will only accept orders from those who are getting married on or after August 1.

I appreciate all of your business, and I appreciate your patience through this period of time... it's coming quickly, and it's getting real--I'm getting married!

I really like helping other brides, and will continue to answer e-mails with any questions anyone might have about DIY projects I have done.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding my hiatus, please e-mail me.

Best of luck to everyone who is planning!

Here comes an aqua bride

Well, she calls it Tiffany Blue. :)

This was a last-minute, rush order placed last week for a bride that is getting married this Saturday!

I'll be shipping it out tomorrow. It would have gone out today but I forgot it was a national holiday (Happy Martin Luther King Day!).

Mary, tell your bride I wish her luck!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dresses for the girls

I finally placed the order for the bridesmaids' dresses on Friday morning. That was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I waited as long as I possibly could to order because one bridesmaid has been trying to get pregnant, and then others have been trying to lose weight. Now, with only five months left to go, we had to buckle down and do it.

The girls were all great--they went and got measured when I asked them to, and handed in their measurements on time. I feel so lucky for that. I know there are many brides out there who have trouble with this sort of thing. My girls? Fantastic.

We picked out the bridesmaid dress all the way back in July. When I saw it in the store, I liked it, and the sample dress is also responsible for the color we ultimately chose for the wedding. I had gone in thinking that I was going to have a red wedding--red bridesmaid dresses, red and white flowers, etc. and I came out with a completely different feel for everything.

Here is the dress:

I absolutely love the aqua color. Now that we've been working and planning with this color for a while, I'm so thrilled with it. It'll give the wedding a nice, summery feel, which is perfectly appropriate for a June wedding. I like the tea-length, and the girls do, too. I think they are more flattering than long dresses, and it'll keep the girls cooler. It's also a chiffon material, not satin or anything.

We're going to go shopping to find silver shoes.

Perhaps the best thing about this dress is its price. It was around $160 in the bridal shop, which we thought was good, but I was able to find it online at Lee Philip Bridals for $106. Normally there is free shipping if you ship the dresses all to one address, but we had to send my cousin hers in Virginia because it's likely we won't see her before the wedding. So with the shipping split between everyone, the total cost of the dresses was $110 per girl. Yay! Of course, they'll all have to get alterations, but I'm happy we started with such a reasonable price.

They're scheduled to arrive in 12-16 weeks (end of April/early May), but we're hoping they come in a little faster. We'll see.

Now I'm just praying that everyone was measured correctly, we interpreted the size chart correctly, and when they come, they fit everyone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Tonight, I worked on the seemingly endless task of making my pocketfolders for my invitations. I've been trying to do 10 of them at a time whenever I get the chance, but unfortunately, the last few weeks, I have really had ZERO chances. So tonight, I buckled down and actually tackled 20 of them.

After I was finished, I looked at my pile of paper and momentarily thought, "Man, I am barely getting anywhere with these things! Look at that paper and how many I have left to do still!" And then it occured to me to count the ones I had finished. So I quickly counted up the pocketfolds that are complete, and surprisingly (but at the same time, not surprisingly--I've worked on them quite a few times!), I have 91 of them finished. I only need a total of approximately 130. Then, I looked back at my pile of custom cut paper for the pocketfolds, and I realized--there is no way that is only 40 sheets of paper. I went ahead and counted the sheets and not only do I have the 40 for the remaining 40 pocketfolds I need to make, but I have 50 additional sheets!

Jackpot! I'm not sure if it was intentional or unintentional on the part of Anchor Paper, but thanks, Tom!

With those extra sheets, coupled with the big scraps I have from the custom cutting Anchor did, I think I have enough paper to make the covers of our programs. By my count, I have enough to make approximately 75 programs--if we only hand them out one per couple or family, I think that will be plenty (200 guests invited). I had planned on ordering more paper for them--again cut to a custom size to save me some time--but if I don't use all this extra paper for programs, I'm not quite sure what I'll use it for. I'd hate to see it go to waste. So we'll see what happens. Tom might've just saved us some money.

Not only am I happy about the discovery of extra paper, but I'm also ecstatic that I only have 40 pocketfolds to go. It's a huge relief. Then onto the next stage of the invitation process--finalizing the design of and printing the inserts.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bride Banner x 3

I somehow managed to churn out three handpainted banners this weekend. I got into the groove and certainly felt pretty accomplished by Sunday night!

Ann, Colleen, and Carrie -- If all goes well with my life tomorrow, I'll be making a trip to the post office to mail your banners out. And here is a sneak preview for each of you.

First is Ann, who is getting married on January 26! Her friend squeaked in a last-minute order for her and I'm glad I was able to get it done so quickly. Here is Ann's finished banner:

Next is Colleen, who is getting married in March (the 8th, I think?). Here's your sneak preview of your banner:

Finally there's Carrie, whose wedding is at the end of March (the 28th or 29th, I think). I rarely get orders that request one of my more "print-like" fonts. The formality of a wedding usually leads people to select the more script-like fonts, but Carrie decided on the Harrington font. I absolutely *love* how this came out. It was fun to paint, too (something different!). I hope you like your banner, Carrie--your aisle runner will be coming soon!

As always, people can e-mail me at roadtotheaisle@gmail.com if you are interested in having me complete any crafty wedding projects.

I'm off to bed!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reception Coordinator? GONE.

Well, we've hit a snag.

On Friday, I e-mailed our reception coordinator to schedule a time to go in to taste some of the food so we can finalize our menu selections. We need to finalize the menu selections so that I can finalize the RSVP cards, and maybe FINALLY get going on our invitations (even though I'm still not done with the pocketfolds--yeah, I'm a loser).

On Saturday morning, I wake up to find an e-mail from said coordinator. Only the e-mail informs me that as of the first of the year, she's no longer working for our reception venue. That's just fabulous. First problem with this situation: I feel like we should have been notified of this change prior to me e-mailing her. Second problem: Part of the reason we booked this place is because we loved the coordinator so much. We were completely confident that she would do her best to make the reception go as smoothly as possible. She was also extremely flexible--was willing to bend a few rules here and there, throw in a few extras, etc.

In her e-mail, she explains that I should contact the GENERAL MANAGER (note, NOT a new coordinator) for all future inquiries about our wedding reception. Great. So I e-mail the guy and express my concern over the fact that the coordinator is no longer there. I explain that one of the major reasons we booked there was because of her, and said that I hoped we can count on them to assign someone else to our wedding in the same capacity as the former coordinator. I also explain that we'd really like to set up a meeting, especially now that we're dealing with someone new. Not just to taste the food and select the menu, but to make sure we're all on the same page, and to nail down a few other details (linens, centerpieces, setup, decor, etc.). I know it's the weekend, but these people work on the weekends--and I have yet to hear from them.

This makes me very nervous.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Beyond the wedding

I was on such a roll back in December. I was getting a lot of wedding-related stuff done, blogging frequently, etc. But it seems like as soon as midnight struck and it became 2008, things have shifted.

I'm starting to definitely feel the crunch now that we are almost at the five-month mark. There are a lot of projects and tasks that I have yet to even start, and several that I have to buckle down and finish. However, I'm starting to look at life beyond the wedding... and that has been keeping me busy.

I've come to the realization that what I'm doing for a living now... I don't want to be doing for the rest of my life. This is the second time this has happened, so I'm starting to think that I have to believe it's true. Almost two years ago, at my first job, I was totally burnt out and knew I needed to make a change. At that time, I considered that maybe I needed to make a complete career change. But since I had only had one job out of college, I questioned my judgement and thought that perhaps it wasn't the career that was the problem, but maybe just that specific job. I applied to grad school, but also applied to a job that sounded interesting. I was offered the job, so I took it--and with it I found a new sense of success. I took a slight pay raise, I found it exciting to learn the ropes at a new place, meet new people, and more. The benefits and the vacation time are all great, and I like everyone I work with. So to say I hate my job, or even dislike it, would not be the right thing to say. I'm happy where I am right now. I just know I won't be happy here in the FUTURE, if that makes sense. Because this is all about looking toward the future.

The hours are really conducive to having a family. Everyone is flexible here, and family is the number one priority for most, so it's not like that is a problem. But there is that little issue about personal success, happiness, and satisfaction and I don't think I'll have that for the long run. And the pay? Well, my income is limited, let's put it that way. I worry about us being able to afford the type of lifestyle we're going to want to live--nothing outrageous, but we want a house, kids, modest vacations, etc.

I'm beginning to look into my options and am contemplating going back to school starting in the fall. Right now I'm working on research and finding out as much as I can about the program(s) in which I am interested, and then applying. Because after all, the first step--I have to get in. And then I need to wait for the financial aid award letter to see what kind of damage that brings with it.

To go back to school, we'll have to push back kids a few years. That's probably the most disappointing part for me. I've wanted to be a mommy since I was a little girl. I just always kind of figured we'd be married for two years and then have our first baby. Now, that'll have to change. I'll likely be at least 30 years old before we have children. I'm trying to convince myself that it's actually okay. I know in my head that it is... but that pesky heart, I tell ya... it really wanted them sooner. :)

Right now, I'm just trying to relax a little and not stress so much over it all. Things will work out the way they are supposed to.

I just wish this stuff wasn't keeping me up at night.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Busy Brendan

We had the pleasure of seeing Michael's sister and brother-in-law, and our nephew, Brendan, again yesterday.

One of the cutest things ever?

Yep, no doubt about that.

The only problem?

He's already a bit of a smartass. :) I guess he had about enough of me taking his photo.