Monday, April 25, 2011

The Why

I know I've been super quiet the last two weeks, and here's why.

When I first started this blog, it was rather unfocused (and still might be). Friends have described it as a personal/craft blog with advice and a wedding bent, but not something they see as a true wedding blog. I went and asked for opinions a few weeks ago when my application to become a Weddingbee blogger came back with a big N-O.

After spending some time thinking about it, I realized that I may have started blogging too early for the wedding, filling Down the Aisle with a lot of fluff that perhaps didn't have to be there. Is it possible for a blog to have too much fluff? I'm not sure. Do people like the asides and the fact that I talk about things that relate to the wedding, but aren't necessarily about the wedding?

I decided I needed to step away from the blog for a little while and let my mind work. I've been busy over at my Sewing/Costuming blog Lilacwire Sewing and Cosplay (if you care!).

What I've decided is that because Dr. Light and I have been SO productive on decisions, decorations, and such, I've got a gap for a little while of the real meat of the wedding. Our date isn't until October 29, which is six months away. Not only is that a lot of blog posts (which I truly love writing), but it's possible that it might be a lot of crappy blog posts.

I don't want to give you guys junk. Yeah, I could write crafting stuff until the cows came home - but that would make this a crafting blog that happened to have some wedding ideas in it. What I want is to make the wedding the bones and muscle of this part of this blog.

What I'm going to do is work on the wedding and prepare. I will blog lighter than usual, but I'm not going away. My plan is to give the wedding a chance to become more immediate. Let deadlines hit. Focus on the design and the timeline and give you more of what I feel is important. I hope that it's ok with you! I love blogging about these ideas because they've really helped me gain understanding and insight into how I want my wedding to go, but I don't want to burn out too soon.

There are so many exciting things coming up. Bachelorette parties, brunches, even decisions about the centerpieces. I want to share them with you. <3

Monday, April 11, 2011

A thought about details.

I feel like one of the hardest things about planning a wedding isn't the DIY or the anticipation. It's not the vendor choices or picking clothing. It's the fact that I've only been to one wedding in the last two years and sometimes I feel like I'm fishing around for more wedding experience.

Inspiration boards online are great, but they only do so much. There's something wonderful about being there and seeing the tiny details you might otherwise gloss over. I feel the experience of being a guest and watching the whole affair come together can help your own wedding be successful. For instance, the wedding I attended last year was great because I got to see how successful a receiving line could be - that face time with the couple was fantastic! I definitely want to do that at my wedding too.

My sister has been to something like four weddings in the past couple of years, and ever since I've been engaged, I've asked her to come back with reports of her experiences. What did the couple do well? What could have been improved upon? Were there any ideas that she thought were incredible?

She just got back from a wedding in Texas this weekend, so Dr. Light and I asked her to bring back a program and any other items that could help us get an idea of what other people are doing and how well it was done. Luckily, she had almost nothing bad to say aside from, "Get a seating chart!"

How do you handle the details of your wedding that aren't familiar to you? Have you been to enough weddings to feel like the planning process is easy?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Posing for Photos Tutorial - Part 5

So no doubt, posing is hard. Even after 10 years of photo shoots, I forget to follow my own rules sometimes. I tend to get a squinty left eye when I smile, like this:

My left eye, not your left left. Confused?

If I don’t consciously widen my eye when I smile for photos, I get so frustrated! It turns into the only thing I see, even when it's invisible to everyone else.

A lot of us have these ticks that pop up when we pose for photos, and they're one of the reasons why we hate pictures of ourselves, but those selfsame photos are ones your friends LOVE. And then they post them on Facebook and you're forced to untag yourself in a fit of sadness!

Your photographer won’t automatically know that you care how you look when you sit, or that you tend to put your hand on your chest when you pose, or that you always show WAYYYY too many teeth if you smile like your mom taught you. If these are things that you know you do, however, make a little list and ask the photog to watch out for them. Not all people with good photographic vision are equally good at posing their subjects in fantastic positions. It’s a work in progress for you both.

Learning to identify the things you want to change in photos of yourself is another reason to go in your backyard and take a bunch of casual photos like I mentioned waaaaay back in Part 1 of the tutorial. With enough practice, you may be able to change the behavior completely and never need to worry about it again.

Good communication is also essential to getting pictures that make you look good to your own eyes. Don't spend $2,000 on a photographer and never tell her that you need help with a pose or to watch and make sure you aren't doing something silly with your hands.

Remember, you are the master of your body! It sounds funny to say, but it's the absolute truth.

I'm finishing the posing tutorial here with one simple word of advice. Don't be afraid to mess up. It's not easy to be in front of the camera, but no matter who you are, you are loved. Your family will adore your engagement and wedding photos, and the more you do to prepare yourself for them, the happier you will be. And if you get one or two back that you dislike, that's why your photographer is taking a million pics that day! It will all be OK.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dyeing Synthetic Fabrics

There are some wedding dresses that would make great "event" dresses, especially with a bit of color added. White can be a hard look to pull off, and there are a lot of brides out there who want to change their wedding dress look so they can get the most bang out of their buck, so to speak.

One simple way to do this is color. A white dress easily becomes pink, blue, or green with the right kind of dye. Then an expensive investment may get use for years to come!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Growing Our Ceremony

I'm taking the view of our ceremony as an organic thing - a thing that needs nourishment and attention, lest it starve. I want our guests to feel like it was worth the entire drive from Denver because the ceremony is it, the moment the wedding is actually about.


Dr. Light once went to a wedding where his speech to the couple lasted longer than the actual ceremony, which timed in at about three minutes. That is really, really short to me. It sounds like they didn't have anything beyond their vows. Maybe it's the way they wanted it, but that's a ceremony that sounds like it received no nourishment.

Growing a ceremony takes ideas.

1. An officiant's speech. The officiant has a lot of power in weddings. Their initial words can set the tone to the wedding - will it be serious? Religious? Romantic? Funny? I've seen variations to all of these and enjoyed each of them, so it's an aspect that's very important to me. One of Dr. Light's best friends is our officiant, and I'm so excited to have him marry us.

2. A reading or a song. This continues to set the tone. I'm really lucky - I have friends who play as a trio right now, and I fully intend on asking them to do us the honor of playing a piece during our ceremony. Nothing too long, but I hope it will help our guests feel the love we'll be experiencing up there on the stand.

3. A unity celebration. I'm not a huge fan of things like unity candles or the vases filled with sand because they're just extra "stuff" to me. Slipping on the rings is our statement of unity. We won't have on of these, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

It's cute, but not for us.

4. Writing our own vows. I have this little thought that including vows, we could each tell the other one why we love each other. It doesn't have to last a long time, but it's a perfect reflection of why we're there. "Dr. Light, I love you because you drink milk with dessert." Ok, maybe not that, but you get my drift.

How are you thinking of "growing your ceremony" without it seeming stagnant? What have you seen at other ceremonies that you want to incorporate into yours?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Meet the Dress


I've been kind of dragging my feet on officially presenting my dress. I ask that if you are an attending member of the wedding and want to remain "spoiler free," also refrain from clicking the link.

That being said, let's meet the dress!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Posing for Photos Tutorial - Part 4

It's been a while since I touched on my Posing for Photos tutorial. Earlier posts:

Part 1: Some Introductory Thoughts
Part 2: Arch Your Back
Part 3: Keeping Your Chin Level

For this part, I will discuss prop use.

A lot of people bring props for their engagement shoots, which is a really great thing. Sometimes, though, it seems like the people getting their photos taken get lost behind the prop itself, like the photo becomes about the prop and not the people. This is certainly ok, but if if you find that you're constantly hiding behind your props, it's time to change how you're using them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trying on Dresses!

Way back in 2010, my mom, sister, and a few other bridesmaids joined me as I went to try on some dresses at an amazing shop called Little White Dress. I found my wedding gown that day, but I'm saving that for another post!

I found LWD through my dress designer's site. I was trying to locate anyone in Colorado who carried the designs, and came across two shops. LWD was the first one I called, and although they didn't have my style in shop, the lady who helped me, Rachel, told me she would try and locate it and get back to me.

A few minutes later she called back with bad news. The designer had sold their sample. We got off the phone and I stared at my computer for a minute, trying to figure out what to do.

The phone rang again, Rachel on the other end. She had located a sample to borrow in Ohio of all places. OHIO! I paid a quick borrower's fee via phone and they ordered the dress to come in. It was amazing of her to go to the trouble of finding a dress out of state for me, and gave me such a wonderful impression of the shop.

Armed with confidence in Rachel and her magic, we descended upon LWD and I tried on dresses. Here was everything I didn't pick.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Gifts for the Bridal Party, the second

Hey, Bridesmaids & Maids of Honor!

Don't look at this post!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A quick note

The half-size larger shoes are in and they fit so much better! Doing my due diligence on this issue was SO worth it!

So, anyone need a purple pair of size 9 Betsey Johnson Nelsons for $50?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cake Toppers Part 1 - Having a Cow

Last Friday I spent some time finishing up the cake topper that represents me. As you remember, I'd found an extremely cute pattern that I wanted to try and sew:

After buying the pattern, I realized that the stuffed animals were not tiny; they were at least 10-1/2" long. A bit too big for a cake, I thought, so I trucked off to a copy machine and re-sized the pieces by 50%.

That placed them firmly at about 5" an animal, and a fine size for our planned cake.

The pattern called for fleece, but I decided to pick up sheets of 8-1/2" x 11" felt instead. The fabrics are very similar in nature, but the felt sheets came in a wider variety of colors. I wasn't sure if Dr. Light wanted a brown or grey squirrel, so I just picked up everything. They were only 30 cents a piece.

The first thing I did was cut out my cow pieces according to pattern and start sewing them together. I admit, I'm not terribly good working with tiny things, but I did my best to remain diligent and not let my frustration get the best of me. It's hard to tell, but I decided to use brown spots for the cow's back.


Next was a lot of slow pinning, sewing, and turning the cow right-side out. I made her horns black so they'd stand out from the spot. The ears would come later after she was stuffed. I was unable to turn her tail and horns right-side out because they were so tiny, but the stitching hardly shows.

Squishy AND blind!

Next came the stuffing and sewing on ears. I chose to glue on some tiny black balls I bought for eyes, and after a moment of thought, I made a funny-looking veil for her, too.


I did some spot-fixing, as the fabric at her neck and belly didn't quite line up the way the pattern suggested. I'm sure this was my error and not the pattern's - felt can get pretty slippery with such small pattern pieces.

I'm so pleased with how the cow turned out. The squirrel's going to be much harder, as I don't have a specific pattern for it. I'm going to use the pig pattern and hope I can form the head into something less piggy and more triangular/squirrelly. And add a big, fuzzy tail.

Monday, March 21, 2011

If the Shoe fits....

I'm not sure I ever posted a picture of my chosen wedding shoe.

Betsey Johnson - Nelson

Back when I ordered the shoe, it was FLYING off Amazon's shelves - so quickly that when I got it, I knew it was a mite small, but couldn't order the next size up. I figured I'd deal with it since it wasn't that bad. The shoe was a size 9.

The other day, I checked Amazon's site on a whim and found that they had replenished their supply and immediately ordered the 9.5. It's worth having a shoe that fits properly. Having purchased a shoe that fit...sorta, I figured I'd post some advice for brides that are considering buying shoes online.

Buy two sizes and return one.

Seriously. I'm sure I'll be able to sell the 9, since whenever I post pics of it people get that cartoon tongue syndrome where their tongues roll out of their mouths and flop on the floor, but it would have been easier just to return the too-small size to Amazon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cake or Retirement?

Over the past few weeks, Dr. Light's been ribbing me about our retirement. As we'll be filing jointly next year, he's been trying to remind me to get my 401ks in order.

Yes, 401ks.


I have two orphan 401ks out there that I never rolled over after I left those jobs, and while they've been slowly collecting money, they are in separate banks under separate types of investment, and I really didn't have a good handle on my money. In fact, I'd say I have money fear, leading me on a long-time campaign of sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling "La la la" at the top of my lungs.

I know it's ridiculous.

One evening, Dr. Light pulled me aside to show me the retirement profile he'd done online, and basically laid it out for me that I needed to get my butt in gear, since without my contributions doing more than sitting where they were, I was holding us back. He wasn't being mean or rude, just honest about the necessity of where our money was going.

Well, I had the chance today to call the two companies that hold my 401ks, figure out what information I needed, and then open an IRA through my bank - USAA. Despite many frustrations such as having to call three different companies and talk to four different people and STILL not be able to access one account online (I'm looking at you, ING/Morgan Stanley - it's the future, people, get with it!), I think I finally am able to consolidate my funds and help Dr. Light and me enter our marriage with a retirement plan fully intact.

I must stick a little "YAY USAA!" in here because they were so super helpful and informative. I'm really lucky my dad served in the Air Force so I was able to have them as my bank, my car insurer, and pretty much every other money-related holder under the sun.

Even if USAA isn't your bank, I recommend that before you say your "I do's," you and your fiancée look at how your retirement or other funds are going to work together once you're married. Consider this another item on that huge wedding checklist that includes more fun things such as cake tastings. However, you can afford a lot more cake with a good retirement plan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Running in Circles

I am the laziest worker-outer ever. I mean it. I swear I'm gonna work out and do it for about two days, and then...nothing.

After I stopped doing the 30 Day Shred because my knees just can't take the squats, I pretty much haven't exercised. I'm coasting on my dad's genetics, and I know that's not really the answer since it doesn't get my heart going or help me stay healthy (and not just thin). I knew I needed to find something to get me motivated, but I wasn't sure what.

Last week my sister tweeted her intention to buy a video game after work, but then later reported she had bought something better. I checked her link and found this.

Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical machine that not only had great ratings but was affordable? I admit, I purchased it that day.

The little machine came a couple of days later because I'm an Amazon Prime member (totally worth it), and I immediately assembled it - and even THAT was easy. I hopped right on and gave it a ten-minute tryout.


- Easy to use, though if you have balance issues, put it in a doorway.
- The stride is not quite as long as a regular elliptical, but that doesn't really matter. I still felt it in my calves the next day and it got my heart rate up.
- I love that I don't have to watch a video or stare at the wall in a gym. Instead, I can pick this little guy up and put him in front of the tv, my laptop, or what-have-you and let the minutes whirl away very quickly.

I did my first real workout yesterday (20 minutes, will do more next time) and it was over so quickly! Because I'm a nerd, I put on Farscape (which I had not seen before), and I plan on making this my workout entertainment.

I'm very happy with this purchase, and with the wedding in mind, it's going to be a very simple and fun way to hopefully tone up a bit more and also make myself more healthy overall. If you have the spare money and this looks appealing to you, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gifts for the Bridal Party

HEY! Maids of Honor & Bridesmaids!

Don't look at this post, ok?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Honeymooners

About 2% of you are probably wondering where Dr. Light and I are honeymooning. Well, now's your time to guess. See if you can figure it out from the following photos!




No? Not clear?


Actually, I'm kidding.

I have no idea where we're going.

Dr. Light approached me one day and asked if I trusted him enough to let him plan a surprise honeymoon for the both of us. It took me approximately .0876 seconds to say yes, and there it was. He's been making plans at work, when he's off and I'm at work, and generally any time I'm not there to bust his secret.

It's kind of a mutual deal on our part to trust each other. My wedding dress is currently hanging in our guest closet behind a pile of orange vinyl fabric, and he's under strict orders not to look at it. The honeymoon information resides in the second drawer of his bed-side table, and I'm under the same orders to avoid it at all costs.

The dress lurking in its natural habitat.

I love that we have a way to both prove we're in this relationship with utter trust, even if it's something silly like a wedding dress or a trip. We want each other to have these surprises, and we're willing to maintain them for ourselves.

I also gotta say: it's awesome. I never thought I'd be that girl who got the chance to take a surprise vacation, to learn on the way to the airport that I was jetting off to any number of surprise destinations. I don't even know if we're going somewhere hot, cold, muggy, tropical, arctic, or temperate. I don't know how to pack. The only thing I do know is that I needed to update my passport, and that's been done for months now.

The only person who knows where we're going (aside from Dr. Light's travel agent) is my sister. She's under strict orders to never tell me, and she's keeping that secret tight. At some point we'll be getting together so I can show her my favorite outfits for certain climates, and at some point when we leave for the wedding, she'll put together a suitcase for me.

So why joke about Detroit, you might ask? Because Detroit is our code word for the undiscussable honeymoon. It's also a destination people don't really dream about for their honeymoons, which makes it perfect for our humorous discussions. We've already "planned" several exciting day trips, including zip-lining through burnt out car factories, learning how to buy a house for five dollars, and seeing the sights without getting mugged.

In any event, I'm over the moon to have something so major be in his hands. He's a great planner and I know he's put a lot of thought into what we're going to be doing. Dr. Light is a bit worried that he'll pick something I won't like, and I keep having to reassure him that unless it involves having my skin peeled off by tiny kittens, I'll probably be ok.

But seriously, this is so cool.

Would you ever consider letting your fiancée plan a surprise honeymoon? Where would you want to go? Would you plan a surprise vacation for YOUR fiancée and be able to keep it a secret?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nailed It

This weekend Dr. Light and I were running some errands at the mall when we stumbled across the MAC Wonder Woman makeup line. Have you seen this? It's retro and cute and AHHHH! In other words: I love it. I ended up buying the blue nail polish.

As I was purchasing it, I realized that I had given very little thought with what to do with my nails on that day. I'm not really a regular nail-painter, but nail polish helps me overcome one fault that plagues me all the time.

I am a horrendous cuticle picker. It's an outward reflection of my anxiety, and I've been doing it for as along as I can remember. It bugs me and I think it bugs Dr. Light too, as last night when I was discussing nail ideas with him, he pointed to my thumb and basically told me that I should make an effort to have my hands look nice for our wedding day photos. I couldn't agree more. (And I really don't want to post a picture of my cuticles here. It's just embarrassing.)

The layer of polish on my nails makes me aware that if I start to pick at my cuticles, I will probably wear the polish down a little - so it really helps keep me honest, so to speak. I've decided that in order to break this habit, I'm going to try and keep my nails nicely painted until after the wedding. It will also give me a chance to try out various colors that I may want to wear with the dress!

H49 & B56

I'll do my best to try a group of soft pinks and reds, nothing too outlandish. A lot of salons carry OPI, so I'll purchase some "starter" polish from that line and find some shades I like.

Does anyone have any good recommendations for polish that isn't too expensive, but is a reliable brand?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Friday of last week was a really tough day. It was just like any other Friday, except for the fact that I had decided to taper off my anti-anxiety medication, and I was feeling it a LOT. I think it accounted for the somewhat scattered "OHMYGOD bridesmaid dresses!" post, and quite a few frantic tweets.

A little history. I've been a very anxious person all my life. I'm not someone who can just take a deep breath and calm down - I wish it were that simple! Instead, I spent my life feeling tightness in my hands and not being able to really get perspective on how to handle the day-to-day crises life sometimes tosses our way.

In 2006 I elected to start taking Lexapro, a medication that targets anxiety rather than depression. It worked wonders for me. My boss at the time, my ex-boyfriend - they all commented on how much BETTER I was handling things - so I figured Lexapro was going to be my buddy for the foreseeable future.

Five years down the road, the Lexapro was still working great, but I started to feel like I was getting too few highs and lows. It was hard to get really ramped up and exuberant for things, and I missed it. I was also afraid that I would miss that excitement that should happen for the wedding and honeymoon.

So I'm taking it back. I saw my doctor last Monday and we decided to taper me off the Lexapro. She prescribed Wellbutrin for me, but I haven't started taking it yet. Wellbutrin is a different class of drug, so it shouldn't affect me the same way the Lexapro does. However, I wanted to see what life was like off the Lexapro; I wanted to remind myself how the highs and lows felt.

I admit, the thought of not being on anti-anxiety medication scares me a bit. I know I have the option of going back on it if I want to, and if the wedding planning starts really affecting my ability to sleep, I will. Until then, I'm going to try life drug-free and see if spontaneous giggles happen a lot more often.

I'm still tapering off the Lexapro, and probably will for at least another week. I hope there aren't any more really bad days (I don't even know how to describe the feeling, but it was weird!). So bear with me. And tell me YOUR stories if you've chosen to try and do the same.

Are you handling your wedding drug-free (if you've used SSRI type drugs in the past)? How does your pre-wedding anxiety treat you?

Friday, March 4, 2011


What do you do when you're sitting at your desk at work and you have that sneaking suspicion that you need to take your wedding a lot less seriously, drop the idea of matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses, and just go tell your girls to find their favorite season-appropriate purple dress?

Both from Modcloth

Or, or - what if it would make more sense to make the bridesmaid dresses? There are some great patterns out there!


Someone talk me off this ledge. Help, help, I need an adult!

What do you do when you suddenly start rethinking your choices?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unrelated, yet inspired

Over time, I've been saving pictures from blog weddings. They're photos that inspire me, photos that I think I'll show our photographer to give her an idea of memories I'd like to have. I don't have sources for these, as they've been saved over the last six or so months, so I will state right now: these aren't mine and I'm not claiming ownership. So there.

Also, most of these have nothing to do with our wedding style or theme. They are just...awesome.

Do you save photos that excite you for your own wedding, even if the subject of the photo is unrelated? What unrelated items inspire your wedding ideas the most?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh, chet!

About the time Dr. Light and I got engaged, DIY ideas blossomed in my head. I wanted to learn everything, DO everything. And I will still get about 90% of it done. However, one item that I wanted to DIM (do it myself) was our cake toppers.

We all know that Etsy can provide some of the most amazing toppers ANYWHERE. For example:




So. Adorable.

However, my desire to make our own cake toppers took form in the idea of little crocheted figures of our favorite animals. For Dr. Light, a squirrel. For me, a cow or a poodle.

Pictures like this were my inspiration:



They were so dainty and fun, and as a sew-a-holic, I love anything made from fabric or yarn.

So, I decided to teach myself to crochet. I bought some books. I had my mom work with me because I kept doing my loops the wrong way. I bought some big, thick yarn so I could see what I was doing and practice practice practice.

Do you know what I'm going to admit? I still don't know how to crochet. It's 8 months to the wedding, and I've realized that crochet is a skill that I'm not going to have time to pick up and perfect before the cake toppers need to be done. I never practiced, and my crochet books are sitting by the bed, oh-so-lonely.

This weekend, my pal Beverly and I hit up JoAnn Fabrics while we were waiting to get massages (oooh, heavenly!), and we sat down to look at patterns. I was flipping through a Simplicity book when I came across these:

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before. I sew. That's my strength. The sewing machine and I could rule the world if we tried hard enough. So why aren't I SEWING the cake toppers?

My favorite pattern is the top one with the cow, pig, and horse. It would be really easy to turn one of the designs into a squirrel for Dr. Light, and if the stuffed animals are too big, I can take the pattern to a copy machine and re-size it. These, I can do. As soon as Simplicity has another pattern sale (or I get antsy and buckle down to buy it normal price), I'm picking up all the tools to sew us some adorable cake toppers.

Has anyone else had to re-evaluate a skill you wanted to learn for the wedding? Have you had to identify a strength you have and change a project to match it to get a task completed?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

I've spent this morning in a hotel/b&b-filled haze. It's been great! When I first started looking at hotel arrangements for the night before and night of the wedding, it was August of last year and nobody had any information for over a year in advance. I had to remind myself that Halloween weekend was not the largest hotel day in the year, so I was probably safe to refrain from panicking.

Well, it's 2011. Tomorrow March begins and I would like us to get our hotels booked for the wedding! Planning early means deals are available and hotels are probably hoping to fill spots for late October.

The night before the wedding, Dr. Light admitted he wanted to stay at The Westin Downtown Denver.

Image from The Westin website.

I've worked near this hotel for about eight years now; it's very nice! Despite that our wedding is 45 minutes away in Evergreen, being able to wake up and have a staging area in downtown is really great for a few reasons.

Click to read more.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mailed: Save the Dates

After hemming and hawing over if we should include our website in our Save-the-Dates this early on, we decided: WHY NOT? Folks will have the chance to see how far our venue is and allow them to figure out if they actually want to save the date.

We ended up printing out our website address on some business cards, then putting them in with the final product. I figure if people want, they can use our magnets to stick the web address to their fridge. Or, just, throw it away. Y'know, like you do.

Some photos, slightly edited for privacy:

Dr. Light informed me I spelled "Azeroth" wrong. Sigh. This is what I get taking pictures after a few beers.

Everything looks rather red next to the envelope, but it's really white. Truth!

Dr. Light is SUCH an invite hog! See how many more he has than I do? His are blue.

We used these cute king/queen stamps. I took all the queens, he took the kings. In case of a mutual friend, we divided it up according to who had known them the longest.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beating Sickness, aka Things My Pharmacist Told Me

One of the most annoying things about being a woman is your period. Aside from the crap we can all agree on, the thing I'm touching on in this post is the fact that just before her period, sometimes a woman is more susceptible to getting sick.

I'm pretty sure this very thing ailed me the past couple of days, as I had body aches without fever and a runny nose that wouldn't quit. Yesterday I went home from work early just because I couldn't concentrate. To make myself feel better, I took a picture of my new kangaroo onesie.

I'm so not kidding. Isn't it awesome?

That aside, it got me thinking about how much I'd dislike being sick for the wedding. Here's a bit of advice centered around minimizing a cold that I've gotten while dating Dr. Light, who is a pharmacist and has a pretty good head for this kind of knowledge.

1. Drink lots of water. Despite this being an age-old adage, I never really understood the advice. Ok, yeah, we're always supposed to drink a lot of water, so why would this be any different when you're sick? Well, the last time I had a nasty cold, Dr. Light gave me a good reason why I should do this. Drinking a lot of water helps thin out the mucus in your system, meaning that if you have a really nasty stuffed up nose, you can have an easier time blowing it out. Thinning the mucus and getting rid of it will also keep you from getting a sinus infection. THAT, my friends, was really great advice for a girl who likes to know the reason behind things. And who hates sinus infections nearly as much as she hates her period.

2. Dr. Light always recommends Airborne when I catch a cold. I'd never paid the stuff too much mind, but he practically swears by it. If you've never heard of it, Airborne "contains 16 vitamins, minerals and herbs – including Zinc, Echinacea, and a blast of Vitamin C" (I cribbed that all from their site). You can read up on the specific ingredients on your own, but Zinc, Echinacea, and Vitamin C are things that people from different parts of my life have always recommended to me in times of sickness, and Airborne combines them into an easy-to-drink dissolving tablet. Plus, it travels easily (think: honeymoon). It's a simple way to fortify your system and help you get back on your feet.

3. Definitely use an expectorant when you have a cough and you are awake. Expectorants help you get all the crap out of your lungs and system by forcing you to cough. If you are trying to sleep, it's ok to use a cough-suppressant, but avoid buying an expectorant and cough-suppressant combination - they work against each other. It's like asking your body to cough and not cough at the same time. So keep that in mind when you read the packages at the store.

That's my small bit of advice. I wish I could tell everyone how not to get sick in the first place, aside from minimizing stress and sleeping more. Since I can't, all I can do is point to the stuff you probably already know, but now can back up with a pharmacist's blessing!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photography: I'm so glad there are professionals!

On Saturday my friend Beverly invited me to her house with the request that I take a few photos of her and her fiancee, Nick. I hopped over with my trusted Canon Digital Rebel t2i, and snapped away at them for about 20 minutes.

I learned a few things.

Wedding photographers are awesome. They're not only used to helping couples express their love in front of a camera, but they've got a ton of ideas (both for look and positioning) that I just don't have in my repertoire.

Right now, Dr. Light and I only have the kit lens for our camera. It's an all-around ok lens to use for photography, but it doesn't make up for the fact that we don't have a portrait lens or something that can take landscape photos. Because of this, I ended up switching back and forth between my Canon and Nick's Sony, which is also a great DSLR. I really wanted to give the two of them some amazing photos that would make them both just die. I couldn't.

I also don't know how to use all the manual parts of the camera. When I shoot, I just set the thing on automatic and go for it. I don't know how to adjust aperture. I kind of suck, a little. Someday I'm gonna try to take a class on how to use this fancy beast with all the amazing features!!

Beverly and I got to chatting the other day, and she admitted that photographs probably weren't as important to her in the wedding process as they are to me. She and Nick don't have the same emphasis on the engagement photos and such. I couldn't live without mine. :) Ok, I could, but I'd probably stomp on the floor a little and be grumpy. In any regard, I find it interesting to see the different priorities one bride to another has regarding to her wedding.

I gotta say, it's not easy to get the photos that we're used to seeing in the blog-o-sphere. Those photographers carry SUCH good cameras with SUCH good lenses - and they know how to make the lenses sit up and bark! So I say to any couple that is pondering having a professional vs. winging it - get the professional. They are expensive, but you're not only paying for their time, you're paying for the creativity, the editing, the knowledge on how to use their hardware (which itself is a pretty penny!)

If a photographer is not a priority to you, I'll never totally get it, but it was fun to be out there snapping pics and watching two great friends celebrate their love. :)

So, Bev and Nick, I wish I could have given you OOOOH and AHHHH photos, something that was better than my meager self can do. Or at least a photo of a unicorn with a rainbow shooting out of its butt to best represent your love.

(Although the pictures of you smooching on the rock were awfully cute.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Choosing a Bridesmaid Dress - Part 2: Color

After a couple of intensely busy days because of work and social functions, I'm back and am going to talk about the color aspect of the bridesmaid gowns.

Remember the pewter Bill Levkoff dress that I was hoping would be a slate blue color?

It was definitely not blue. In fact, below the cut I've posted the most true-to-color picture of the color card that I could get photoshop to produce (since there was yellow light in the shop).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Choosing a Bridesmaid Dress - Part 1: Fit

Boy am I ever glad we went to check out bridesmaid dresses. The shop we went to, Amanda's Bridal, was kind of a zoo, considering they didn't require appointments, but they did allow photos. Armed with pictures of the two dresses I wanted to see, I walked in hoping they'd have one of them.

Alfred Sung & Bill Levkoff, respectively.

Happily, they had both. We snagged them and then hauled butt into the dressing room to try them on.

Now. Let me tell you. My bridal party consists of five women - 2 MOHs and 3 bridesmaids. Three of these women are around 5'3", two of them are about 5'6" (which is an inch taller than me). Naturally, this means that different items of clothing look VASTLY different on all the girls. Let me show you photos to compare.

I decided to cut everyone's head off because I love them so much!