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!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses! Computer Monitors! OH NO!

Tomorrow I'm going to stop by a shop called Amanda's Bridal to check out my top two favorite Bridesmaid dresses. If they don't have the dresses, at least I can see the fabric colors.

I mention this because at first I was sold on a bridesmaid dress that I had not seen. I e-mailed my girls to get their opinions (good news: everyone seemed to like it!), but one of my Maids of Honor asked me yesterday if I'd seen the dress in person.

Part of the trouble of shopping online is the fact that monitors display colors differently than they actually appear. And you can't actually see how the dress hangs on a non-model body.

One of the dresses I'm admiring, the Bill Levkoff 569, comes in a pretty color called Pewter, that I'm secretly hoping is not grey that looks blue on my computer screen. I'd like it to be a bluish slate in real life, so if I pick this dress, the girls can wear purple AND blue!

I wish the model didn't look so bored.

My other choice of dresses is the Alfred Sung D416, which was the one I was first hoping my girls could wear. Although I hate sashes on me, I apparently find them fricking adorable for my girls to wear. I like that this dress is a bit longer than the other one. Since it'll be October, it wouldn't be bad for everyone to have something longer than a short cut dress!

I wish this dress had a good blue that matched our palette, but the purple was the best choice.

What do you think? Do those colors look like a deep concord purple and a slate blue to you? I'll post some pics of the adventure when I get back, but for now, here are the top contenders!

Have you ever ordered something online for your wedding and have something of a completely different color show up because of the monitor/real life difference?

All images from the Bill Levikoff & Dessy sites.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dr. Light-free post!

Sorry to be obscure, but I don't want Dr. Light to know what this post is about. Click below for more!


Monday, February 7, 2011

What are you waiting for?

I got to talking with a newly-single coworker the other day. She's young and just got out of a marriage with a guy who was unfortunately tumbling deep into alcoholism. Now that she's free, she's taking up several classes - things she's wanted to do, but never really had the time or freedom to pursue. One of them is piano.


Our conversation got me thinking. I took piano many years ago - from about age 4 to 14. At 14 I decided everything I played was boring and I switched to art lessons instead. But having a friend talk about taking classes on an instrument I sometimes wish I hadn't given up really made me consider tying to incorporate piano back into my life.

There are two things stopping me.

1. No piano. To be a good student, I'd really have to focus on my playing, and right now I can't afford something like a keyboard. I wouldn't want one of those inexpensive keyboards that only covers the middle of a piano's range. If I'm going to play, I want to be able to hit ALL the keys.

2. Money. This links to #1, but only in the fact that a lot of my money is currently going to our wedding fund.

In a way, I find this conundrum to be kind of fun. It means that once the wedding is over and we're able to pay off our debt, I'll have some extra money to put away to afford a keyboard and lessons. It's kind of like a little boon waiting for me after the wedding planning is over - something to look forward to when all the DIY and projects are done.

I'm someone who likes to have something to do, so I know I'll miss having this big event to plan. I'm going to treat piano lessons as a reward for getting it all done, and doing it well.

What are you waiting to do after the wedding expenses are finished?

Friday, February 4, 2011

DIY - ribbon pomanders

I know there are a ton of pomander DIY tutorials out there, but I thought I'd add a few pics of my own to the knowledge base, as well as some observations about the process.

1. While working on my first practice pomander (a Halloween themed one that is not yet finished), I spent a lot of time stressing out over white spaces showing through. I've learned, though, that after all the ribbon goes in, the fit is tight enough to make sure those little gaps of styrofoam are nearly invisible. This has helped me increase my pomander-making speed since I'm not scouring the ball to figure out what teeny tiny gap I have to cover.

2. I've been using 5" round styrofoam balls with 4" lengths of ribbon. Because of how I pin them in, I'd say that the ribbon sticks out about 1" in its circle form (look at pictures below for examples), so the bouquet will end up being about 7" round. It felt like a good size. My practice Halloween pomander was a 6" round ball, and has started feeling really huge as I work on it. I know many brides have bouquets of flowers that are much bigger than what I'll have, so it's really one of those "your mileage may vary" type situations.

3. The pins I'm using are packs of 350 applique pins from Joann Fabrics. The pins are less than an inch long, but are a great length for pomanders. I find I go through just over a pack per pomander.

4. My ribbon spools are 18 feet long, cut into 4" segments. It takes me about four spools of ribbon to cover one 5" round styrofoam ball.

Pictures below the cut!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Save the Dates: Arrival!

We received our Save the Dates in the mail last night! I promptly stuck one to our fridge in excitement. They turned out perfectly!


On a friend's advice, we ordered them from The site is a bit more geared toward the business side of things, which was totally fine for the magnets we decided to go with. When I look into our invitation suite, I think I'll look at a few sites that are more wedding/paper oriented, such as or I'm really loving the tiered invitations right now.

Now to face two challenges: picking out some envelopes that will fit our 4"x6" magnets and our theme, and to acquire all the necessary addresses so we can send these suckers out. Dr. Light has this weekend off from the hospital, so I think I'll push him into tackling his half of the guest list while I tackle mine.

I'm pondering the idea of sending out a little form through Google to our Internet-savvy friends, but there's always a few people who completely fail at online things. I suppose I should have gotten on this address thing a bit sooner, but we've been dragging our feet on finalizing our guest list.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bouquet Update!

One more pic of bouquets, but with two bridesmaid bouquets ribboned. I've decided that instead of having them just orange/purple and blue/green, I'm going to try for a few other combinations of purple/blue, purple/green, and green/orange. SO MUCH COLOR. LOVE IT.