sane wedding planning

wedding related ramblings revolving around sanity and practicality, with a little bit of geekery and crazy just for fun!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Catching up ... check out the shoes!!

I've been pretty lax in the blog-o-sphere the last couple weeks, what with my vacation, a wedding show, sending the husband away for the holiday weekend and numerous other excuses. So today I am going to share my favorite blogs as I try to wade through the 458 sitting in my google reader. A big thank you to those bloggers out there who weren't slacking on their writing quite as much as I.

Since it's Tuesday, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate the shoes I've seen in these blogs. Ooooh, and there are some awesome ones. I will start with these, which remind me of the two weddings I'm working on with a blue and green theme - how much do these rock!? Bridesmaids, moms, even a little color splash for the bride. Cute cute! Click on the picture to link to them directly, or click here to read the blog that featured them originally.


And to keep with my designer theme, because I am now officially addicted to designer shoes, check out these Christian Diors I found on the Magnolia Rouge blog. Click on the picture to do the whole sticker shock thing. But wouldn't these be great for a sassy bride? I love them.

I found a few other gems as well, so follow along for some link love. (Click on the word 'here' in each bullet)
  • Look no further, bridal perfection is here 
  • Some serious blingy love is right here 
  • You know how I love my Jimmy's; click here for some ballet flats to love
  • This shot here is a for the kids out there, click here for the cutest little cowgirls EVER.

And finally, to commemorate my new found love for Tom's (thanks to my trip to San Fran, one of the girls introduced me to them and they pretty much rock), I found this picture to share on Swatchbook Weddings.

The gold ones are sold out now, but there is a whole wedding line to choose from. And the best thing about Tom's is that for every pair of shoes you buy, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need. Love that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A little pampering is good for the soul

One of the things I love about my job is getting to know other local vendors and seeing them in action. Yesterday I got to check out the team at Kathy Evans Beauty Studio in downtown Kirkland and I’m hooked!
Kathy and I met at the Weddings in Woodinville tour last January. She impressed me with the fact that she was down to earth, friendly, and not all fussy and haughty like some of the other make-up folks I know, and I decided I wanted to get to know her better. Not all vendors are responsive to these “off hours” meet-ups, but Kathy invited me in to her studio so I could look around, meet her team and see what she does for clients.
I was lucky enough to experience the full treatment at her studio and I want to tell you about it, because it pretty much rocked. I am not one to get my hair styled and make-up done on a normal basis. Sometimes I am not one to put on make-up and style my hair at all; I don’t like to fuss over myself, it’s just not my style. Normally, walking into a high end salon is a little intimidating. But not here, folks. Kathy has created a space that is welcoming and comfortable. It’s a high end salon and you feel that when you walk in, but it’s a high end salon that you are invited to be a part of, one that you know you will walk out of feeling like you, only better.
The one thing that stayed with me from our first meeting together was when she talked to me about her clients and the experience she wants them to have. She isn’t one of those make-up artists that will pile on the make-up and make you look like someone else. If you are someone that normally wears very little make-up, you are not going to leave her salon with that stage make-up feel because that just wouldn’t be comfortable. You are going to leave looking and feeling like you, but a more dressed up version. She really listens to her clients; she interviews them as much as they interview her so she can get a feel for who they are.  There’s even a questionnaire.
When I first got to the salon for my pampering, I sat down with Sandra to have my hair styled. Ummm … heaven. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than having someone do my hair. I love the scalp massage when its getting washed, I love that I am not the one fighting with the hair dryer and the flat iron and the product, and I especially love that when all is said and done, my hair looks awesome! The product she used was light and smelled great! My hair didn’t feel all stiff and “done”, I could still run my hands through it. I still looked like me, just with slightly bigger hair. Big in a good way, it looked awesome and fun and sassy – exactly the look I always TRY to achieve.
I sat down with Kathy next. I just love her. She is so easy to talk to and she genuinely loves (and is great at) what she does. She doesn’t sell any of the make-up she uses, which I like. To me this speaks to the fact that she really knows all the products out there and is going to use what works best for each individual person; she’s not limiting herself to specific brands. And because she knows it so well, she can tell you where to purchase particular items if you so wish - I loved the tinted moisturizer she used on me and am going to run out this weekend and pick some up.
The time went by quickly as we sat and chatted. Kathy is easy to talk to and easy to relax around. It was fun to sit in the chair and let her do her thing, it was easy to trust her. She helped me feel comfortable, confident and relaxed, and I frankly looked pretty awesome when all was said and done.
We had hoped to have a photographer there to document the process, but at the last minute she was unable to join us. I didn’t think to have anyone take my picture at the studio, so here is a super classy self portrait.

Thanks to Kathy and the team over at her beauty studio. What a fun afternoon! And to those of you in the greater Seattle area, the next time you have a reason to kick your look up a notch (a wedding perhaps?), I highly, highly recommend you check out the lovely ladies over at Kathy Evans Beauty Studio because they pretty much rock.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding Voices: Michelle

My friend Michelle recently sent me this story about her elopment a few years ago. Her story goes to show that everyone can get married their own way, with their own style. I love it, and it's such a good reflection of her. Thank you so much for sharing Michelle!!

We are kind of low-key, private people, we tend to not do standard things, and maybe we’re also a bit cheap. The idea of a big, traditional wedding didn’t appeal to us at all. Neither of us was keen on being the center of attention, dealing with the drama of invites and wedding party choices, the stress of putting on a big production, being inundated with gifts at a time when we were trying to consolidate two households of stuff, nor spending a ton of money that could be put towards other more practical things. I’m kind of a tomboy, so wearing a dress at all, let alone a wedding dress, seemed inconceivable.

We wanted to be married, without a lot of fuss. Vegas didn’t seem like a good option, as it seems to come with a certain implication that you did it on a drunken whim. We initially researched getting married on a cruise, but it turned out that getting a marriage license in an out-of-state port-of-call is complicated, and cruises charge a lot for the service of arranging things for you. Apparently the old lore of just getting a ship captain to preside over the ceremony doesn’t work in modern times!

We happened to look at the website of Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, and our eyes were caught by a link that said “elopement package” (which they no longer seem to offer). It was just what we were after: all we had to do was show up with a marriage license and rings, and they handled the rest. The package included a suite in the hotel, a wedding cake and bottle of champagne delivered to our room. They booked a “wedding officiant”, and she brought two witnesses. Our appointment with her was on Saturday afternoon. We drove up and rode the long and beautiful ferry ride over on Friday morning, and spent that day and most of the next just exploring the island: driving around, swimming in the pool at the resort, walking the boat docks, doing the Rosario resort historic tour activities, checking out the shops and beaches and eating out.

We didn’t even change clothes for the ceremony, just wore our shorts and t-shirts. I think we were both still nervous, despite not having a crowd to watch us, so I felt thankful for the privacy. Our little ceremony was outside on the classic bridge at Rosario, amongst the lawns and ponds. It was sunny and hardly anyone was around. It took just twenty minutes or so, the officiant, Sandy Playa, did a nice job of offering a simple but meaningful set of vows; her husband played a little acoustic guitar for ambiance, we signed our paperwork, they took a couple of snapshots of us, and they were on their way.

We kicked back the rest of the weekend, with no pressure, no place we had to be, and nobody to whom we were accountable. Rosario and Orcas Island are both big wedding destinations, so there were multiple huge and expensive wedding happening while we were there. While we drank martinis on the patio lounge chairs by the pool, we sat back and watched brides struggling through soggy lawns in high heels, hovering mothers, the drunken guests, sweaty, swearing boaters coming in from the mooring docks unawares of weddings in progress, island deer wandering through begging for food (and a dead one in the resort driveway Sunday morning!), and stressed out wedding planners arguing with wait staff on the sidelines. We sat back and laughed and knew this was the right decision for us. Some people love a white wedding, and I applaud them for doing what they want; but me, I just like simplicity.

We told almost no-one in advance that we were going to do this, but none of our family and friends were too surprised when we got back and told them. That’s just our style. Since we live in a small town and did several pre-marriage errands locally, we thought for sure we’d be spotted looking at rings and someone would make an embarrassing fuss. But nobody was the wiser.

We didn’t want to mess with photography on our wedding weekend, so later, I had a photographer come to our farm and take some portraits of us in our “native environment.” Phil Maland is a coworker of mine at Philips and just does portraits as a side hobby/business, but he is really good and charges modest prices. Below is one of my favorite photos of us on our tractor.

 I can’t remember how much we paid for the Rosario “elopement package” but in retrospect we probably overpaid a little in our desire to keep things simple for us. The hotel and buildings at Rosario are sadly very run down, so our room wasn’t that nice even though it was a suite. If we had done a little more research, I think we could have found a classier place to stay on the island, booked our own wedding officiant, and probably saved a few hundred bucks. It might have also been wise to have investigated the officant a little more too- we got lucky in that she was great, but she might not have been! But overall, it was really, really nice to be able to “just show up”. We totally enjoyed the weekend of relaxation and have great memories of the time spent and just doing things “our way.” And the twenty thousand dollars we didn’t spend on a wedding is now a big, brand new red barn on our farm!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Snohomish Wedding Tour

What a fun day at the Snohomish Wedding Tour! This was my first wedding show as a vendor, so I went into it not knowing what to expect. It was pretty fun – not nearly as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. I’m not terribly comfortable when trying to sell my own services, I always prefer word of mouth and testimonials do that. I tried to just be myself and chat with couples, figuring if they are looking for a planner and we hit it off, well then these are my people and we’ll have a blast working together.
I met some pretty fun couples. I tweeted earlier about a bride who is getting married at Timberline Lodge – I totally want to go to that one!! Seriously, I can’t imagine it could be more heavenly than watching the happy couple say I do up at the Magic Mile, then strapping on my snowboard for a ride down. Granted, they are getting married in the lodge not right on the mountain (hmmm, maybe not??!). But still. It’s fun to think about!
I heard some great engagement stories and I am crossing my fingers that they email them to me so I can share them with you all here on this blog. One oh so savvy groom-to-be planned ahead on a trip to Teatro Zinzanni; another one got all the brides friends involved, had to get the security guards okay … well, the best part of the story was listening to these two tell it because they were just so darn cute about it!
One of my favorite moments today was when I was chatting with a cute woman in her 60s who was touring because "someday" her daughter was going to get married and she wanted to be prepared. She said she goes to lots of wedding shows, but has never told her daughter. Love it!!
Though I am obviously hoping to get a few more happy couples to work with as a result of the show, it was just too much fun chatting with all these cute, giddy newly engaged couples. All in all a fun day for sure! A special shout out to all the vendors I worked with today - it was cold, but we had a good time!
Be sure and check out Blue Wing Photos facebook page, she's going to upload all the photos from her photo booth - what a hit that was!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cutest Flower Girl EVER

Check out my little cousin Samantha, she was a flower girl in a wedding recently and the pictures were just too cute not to share with you all. Love her!! And that dress!! Are those pockets in there?!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Amazing Wedding Music Video

Every once in a while I just feel the need to jump up and down and scream YES YES YES! Nailed it!!
You guys, this video freakin rocks! I stumbled across it on Martha Stewarts Bride blog (which I will link to below) and watched the whole 4.5 minutes. I read a lot of wedding blogs, I see a lot of pictures and videos each day. I will admit to skimming more than reading certain things, and normally a wedding video filled with people I don’t know doesn’t hold my attention for long. But when you make a music video out of your reception, and sing along to some Black Eyed Peas …
Nailed it!!
I am a sap when it comes to weddings. I tend to mist up at one point or another during the ceremony so I always carry Kleenex with me, not to mention waterproof mascara. Watching this awesome video was so much fun, and the sappiness caught me by surprise. I had to wipe my eyes, but then I got right back to the grooving. Seriously, take 5 minutes out of your day for a smile and some toe tapping good music that EVERYONE will be able to sing along to. Do it do it do it.
Click here to visit Martha’s blog and read the story behind the video first. Then watch the video. It’ll make you smile, I promise!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shoes that make me swoon

Oh my GAWD you guys!! I think I found a pair of shoes I might love MORE than my Jimmy's. For real! Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to actually buy them! Check them out.

I'm pretty sure I would wear these EVERYWHERE. I love them. I love the flower details, I love how they are so feminine and pretty. Sigh. I want them. But how do I order them? Click here to visit the Pretty Ballerinas website and tell me if you can figure it out. I emailed them, I'll let you know. Crossing my fingers that I can actually afford them. **UPDATE** You can buy them through their store in Canada. These babies retail for $265 + tax and shipping. Sigh. I wish I could afford my shoe habit.

My friend Spicy over at Celebrity Smack has been tweeting about these awesome shoes from Mojo Moxy and I am doing my best to win a pair. How awesome are they?

Continuing my designer shoe fascination, I stumbled upon these beautiful Badgley Mischka's over at My Glass Slipper. I'm slowly getting hooked on this brand, I pretty much love everything I see. Check out these lovelies.

They are just regal, aren't they?

On the more affordable front, take a look at these I found, of all places, on Amazon. Who knew? I think I love the brand name (Bordello) as much as I love the shoe itself. And check it out in red too.

Finally, because I was curious, I bring you one of the world's most EXPENSIVE shoe. These babies ring up at a nice round $1million.

Hmmmm. Not sure I see it, but I hope they are REALLY comfy.

I hope you're having as much fun as I am with this shoe thing! Happy Tuesday.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What about the groom's attire?

I had a fun conversation with one of my grooms-to-be and his family this weekend. They were discussing the fact that, though they know they have to wear a boring old tux or suit, "wouldn't it be fun if we could wear ..." and off they went, dreaming up their perfect attire.

This has inspired me to find some groom fashion for you today. So check it out, here are some funky, offbeat grooms having a little fun with their wedding day attire.

This morning on OBB's Monday Montage, it was all about blue. Check out the awesome, comfy casual look this groom and his dudes are sporting. I love the khakis on the groomsmen!

This BMX wedding (again from OBB, they rock!) was most awesome. Check out the link, there are some pretty cool pictures, but my favorite is this one of all the groomsmen. Green tie, green shoes ... very chill.

Click here for a link to a great thread of pics from offbeat bride, they did an article a couple years ago on this very subject.

You guys, I so wish I was at this wedding. 80's night. Vegas. What more could you need? This one was written up on a few of the blogs I read, but I'll give props here, back to Offbeat Bride.

Over on Rock n Roll Bride, they featured this ecclectic group of friends, and they are all totally rocking this laid back look. Mostly I love it for the chucks. You just can't go wrong with chucks on the wedding day, right?

Finally, why not have a little fun with your outfit, create something a little more unique? Use this contest as inspiration and make your own Duct Tape suit!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fascinating Fascinators

Hair fascinators fascinate me. I love them. I love that they are trendy, only because it makes them easier to find (I’m not usually one to jump in to trends with both feet). I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you today.
First, if you are into this as much as I am, you HAVE to check out Erin at Serephine. I met her at the Weddings in Woodinville show and she is just too cute, and her pieces are amazing. This is the one that caught my eye today, but there is always something catching my eye when I visit her page.

I love the look of the Anthropologie wedding shop, BHLDN. It's a little pricey, but I am totally grooving on this headband.

Then there is my favorite artist haven, etsy. Check out this sweet little look from Etsy shop minelolly. I love it, and I love the price! I may have to add it to my little collection.
I have spent the last hour on etsy, looking at headbands and fascinators. It's addicting. So I'm going to walk away now. But I want to leave you wondering with me; can you tell me why these came up in my search for wedding hair fascinators on etsy? I'm not sure they compliment the wedding day wardrobe. Adults only on this link - don't click while the kiddies are around, you might have some 'splainin to do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shoes shoes and more shoes

I've been saving up some awesome shoe finds to share with you all since last week. I've yet to find a pair I love more than my beloved Jimmy Choos, but there are some effin awesome ones that come close.

First up, from Broke-Ass Bride, check out these babies. I do love me some bling!!

How much do you love them?? I'm thinking those would look great with this skirt; add a cute little wrap or cardigan and you'd be ready to leave for the honeymoon. Or a nice romantic dinner with your other half. Sweet!

Check out these sparkly awesomes from Not the Marrying Kind, with a credit to Southern Weddings Magazine. I can't find the shoe designer, but I love them enough to show you the picture.

Finally, take a look at these beautiful Valentino works of art on Aisle Candy. I love the sparkly bow at the toe, they sort of make me swoon. I might need these.

I couldn't find the exact pair on the Valentino site to link to, but this pair and this pair definitely caught my attention. If only I could afford to bring out my inner shoe diva.

Happy Tuesday lovelies!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wedding Voices: Katie & Jeff

Today is the first in a series of wedding stories; a sort of 'words from the wise' from folks who were married long ago and have the benefit of several years of hind site to reflect on their wedding day. Today's story is from Katie, who is about to celebrate her 14th wedding anniversary! Follow along as she strolls down memory lane, and even has a few bits of advice for couples planning their wedding in todays crazy wedding world.

Jeff and I got engaged May 25th, 1996. It was my 24th birthday, and exactly two years after I made a birthday wish that within two years we'd be engaged. He proposed to me at Columbia Winery, which is where the Spirit of Washington dinner train stopped for wine tasting. The funny thing was, I knew it was coming. When we first boarded the train, I went to sit by the window but he was trying to get me to sit in the other seat. I was annoyed, since it was my birthday, and he relented. As we sat down at the table, I put my left hand on his leg, and immediately felt the ring box in his pocket. I pulled it off, but he knew that I knew.

That proposal was a long time coming. We had been dating for four years, and our daughter was a year and a half old. Our pregnancy was unexpected, and we hadn't been ready to get married. But we worked on our relationship so that by the time we got engaged, we were ready. After he proposed to me, he said, "Now you can officially pull the wedding magazines out from under the bed." I had already been planning for a while!

Even though we already had a child together, I didn't feel that meant I had to give up the traditional wedding I had always dreamed of. We gave ourselves a year to plan, and set the date for May 31, 1997.

We were working within a very tight budget. We had just purchased our first home, and my parents were able to contribute some, but not a lot. I believe the entire wedding was less than $6000.00. We picked a church near where we had been living and after looking around, decided to have the reception at a nearby Senior Center. It wasn't fancy, but the price was reasonable and we could bring in our own food. And the view was amazing!

I found my caterer at one of the bridal shows. She seemed reasonable price-wise, and she allowed my mom to work some of her events as a server to help pay down the cost of the food. In the end, we regretted picking her because we had less than our expected number of guests, yet we still ran out of food, and when someone asked about more food in the back (a guest) she said, "that was all that she paid for." 

We didn't have alcohol at our event, mostly to save money.

We hired a DJ who had a videographer as part of his package. They recorded the wedding and a small portion of the reception, but it was only 2 hours of videography, so they didn't get much.

I got my cake from the European Bakery CafĂ©. The feedback from our guests was that it was the best cake they had ever tasted, and there was very little cake left at the end of the reception. I highly recommend them.

In the weeks leading up to my wedding day, one of my greatest stresses was the weather. I checked the farmer's almanac. I even emailed the local weatherman at King 5; he told me to relax and whatever would be would be. As it turned out, it did rain on my wedding day; they say it's good luck, and I won't disagree. Thankfully, it cleared up in time for the ceremony, and we were able to take pictures outside during the reception.

Speaking of pictures, our photographer was the best deal of all. He was just starting out and he did engagement pictures too. He took tons of pictures at the wedding and gave us copies of every single one. We decided to go the traditional route and not have Jeff see me before the wedding, which definitely makes things a little tricky after the ceremony. Keeping everyone in the wedding party close after the ceremony so we could rush through pictures and get to the reception definitely stressed me out. I see now why people don't do that often anymore. 

As for the actual ceremony, my greatest regret was not being in the moment as much as I should have been. I was so focused on everything going as planned, that I feel like in many ways I was going through the motions. I did start crying right before my walk down the aisle and that sucked. It was an ugly cry, and I cried the whole way down.

If I had it to do all over again, I would want to personalize it more. I'd want to simplify things and not worry so much about following protocol, make it a real celebration of the two of us. I would have made it more fun, less serious, because we aren't really serious people.

I think it's hard when you've grown up with ideas of how things are supposed to go. I watched Princess Di and Prince Charles get married, and I always thought it needed to be solemn and formal. But now I realize it's not supposed to be a show for the guests, it's supposed to reflect the two people who are making this huge enormous commitment. And it should be a party!
Katie and Jeff today, still happily married and adorable!