Monthly Archives: June 2012

Picking our guests

I have to say… the creation of our guest list was definitely unorthodox. It seems that McGlovin and I have approached our guest lists with much different parameters in mind- sort if. I mean, I wanted a wedding with fifty people, he knew that his family could fill the Cathedral if we invited them. But even after we settled on a ~120 guest wedding, we still made decisions regarding who was invited very differently.

Mr G’s sister was married five years ago, and her mom still had the guest list of well over 200 people {I think nearly 300 people were invited}. A few days after we were engaged, his mom gave us the spreadsheet and said that we could invite, essentially, whomever we wanted. Mr G’s parents are divorced, and his mom doesn’t have very much family, so we pretty much gave her free reign to invite whatever relatives she wanted. McGlovin’s dad, on the other hand, has a huge Italian family that can trace its roots back to the boat they came over on, and every person that they’ve ever met was to be given an invitation to our wedding. {Not really, of course, but our ‘possible’ list started out pretty expansive.} His dad was pretty reasonable, though, and we cut out several ‘levels’ of invitees, based on how closely they were related.

McGlovin’s half was pretty cut and dry {until recently- another story for later}. My half was a little…different. To start the process of choosing our guests, my mom and I made a list of everyone that we would ever think of inviting, through obligation, or propriety, or because we actually like them 🙂 One evening, when I was at my parent’s house, everyone was sitting in the living room {read: my sisters, my brother, various boyfriends and fiancés}. What happened was a little cut throat, a little stressful, but overall pretty effective: I read down the list of people and, essentially, we voted on who was invited- some people got yes’s immediately, some people got no’s immediately, and sometimes someone had to make the case in support of someone who otherwise would have been rejected.

There’s not a particularly good way to clarify the what’s or why’s for this process was effective. Suffice it to say, both of my parents have large families, and we get along with some of our relatives, we don’t get along with others, and many of them we’re just not close to, for whatever reason. There are also a number of people who I really enjoy and think of as family, but am not related to. Our general rule was this- all aunts, uncles and grandparents were invited. Everyone else had to meet at least two of the following qualifications: a) if we loved them, and knew they would actually care about being part of our day, b)  if McGlovin had some idea who they were, or had ever conversed with them, or c) if we thought they could pick me out from my sisters {we look a little alike, and I would be willing to guess that we have some cousins who don’t know who is who}. Honestly, I just wasn’t trying to fill my half of the guest list with people we invited because we thought we had to, rather than people we really wanted to be there, and who wanted to be there with us.

Personal photo of sisters 🙂

As you can see, the guest list was pretty subjective for my side. Some of my cousins were invited, but not all. Some of my mom’s cousins were invited, but not all. We didn’t go by levels or circles or anything, we just chose the people who we wanted there, and tacked on some extra people that anyone really made a case for. I know that it’s not the normal way to choose a guest list, but…it seems to have worked out for us, so far!

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Makeup Trials and Tribulations

I know that everyone says this, but I truly don’t usually wear makeup any more. In high school and college, I had great skin and usually put on a full face of makeup before I left the house- foundation, bronzer, mascara, eyeliner…plenty-o-makeup. Then, after I spend some time abroad, I came back with an unpredictable and terrifying allergic reaction to…something. {I kid you not, four years later we think that I’m allergic to a specific pesticide or preservative that’s used on some produce from other countries…we think.} When I had a reaction, my face would swell, I would get blistery little hives on my mouth and eyes, and have trouble breathing- for days. The only thing that would kill it was prednisone, a steroid, which cased a terrible adult onset acne.

Moral of the story- I had great skin as a teenage, and my face was a hot mess as an adult.

So, this January, I decided to stop using foundation and makeup to cover it, and I gave my skin three months to breathe without makeup. Things improved, but now I’m left redness and scars that I usually smear tinted moisturizer over, but am usually too lazy to bother with anything else. So that’s my makeup situation.

When Evan learned that I was having professional makeup done for our wedding, he was terrified. He has a lotion phobia {I’m not at all kidding, and will talk more about that later} that extends to nearly anything liquid-y on skin including, but not limited to, foundation and lipgloss. I love Evan, but I also wanted to look pretty for my wedding, so I told him I would tread lightly {I did not, in any, shape or form, tell the makeup artist to tread lightly}. I gathered a few fiance-approved photos of Carrie Underwood, handed them to my makeup artist, and this is what she came up with:

Personal pic, outdoors

Personal pic, indoors

When I first saw myself, after my makeup was done, I didn’t know what to think- I mean, I really didn’t think that I looked like myself at all. Evan {after he got over his disgust at the copious lipgloss, which I promptly wiped off} said that it looked like a very pretty person, it just didn’t look like me. So, some mixed reviews, and we agreed to wait until the professional pics came out to see what we thought. So, here we are:

I kind of…love it! The eyelashes might be a bit much, and I’ll probably ask for a set that doesn’t have the super-long outer lashes for the wedding, but overall I think its good. Thought?

***top two photos are personal, and the bottom three are care of the amazing Barefeet Studio

Engagement Photo Session

Blarg!! I arrived home this evening to find a present waiting for me:

And, when I unwrapped it, this is what I found:

{Aside: Isn’t her branding crazy beautiful? Between the kraft paper packaging, the letterpressed logo, the velvet belly band, the amazing image on the disc…I love getting things from Lauren 🙂 }

A very brief background on our photographer search- it was long and extremely frustrating. After a few failed meetings with various photographers {one told us to use money we got as wedding gifts to afford a more expensive package- wtf?}, I spent an entire day doing research. I found the top hundred or so wedding photographers in Columbus {how is it possible that there are over 100 wedding photographers in C-bus??}, and put their names in a spreadsheet. I added a few other columns: pricing, package, reaction to portfolio. I went to every. single. website, checked out their pics, and made notes on my reaction to their photos: good, bad, or ambivalent. For anyone that was good or ambivalent, I also marked down pricing and what their package included, and what their style was like.

Where did that leave us? Nowhere. Anyone whose photography we loved was more than our two thousand dollar budget, and the people who we could afford did extremely irritating things, like use selective color or over process photos. I really, really thought we were going to have to settle for a photographer we didn’t love when, miraculously, I found a studio whose photos I loved. The only problem? The photography team had only technically shot one wedding. But that wedding was really, really good.

When we met with Lauren {we met for ice cream at Jeni’s- immediate bonus points} she let us know that she had done a fair amount of second shooting for an extremely well regarded local photographer before she decided to open her own studio with her husband, Andy. McGlovin and I were a tiny bit skeptical at her tiny portfolio, so we told her that we would let her know in the next week or so. On the drive home, though, we agreed that her photos, as few as there were, were really amazing and Lauren and Andy had a really great vibe that we would love to have around on our wedding, so….I emailed them from my phone while we were still driving to ask them to be our photographers!

A month or so later we had our engagement session in Dayton, both at UD and at a local fire station {McGlovin is a firefighter} and a few weeks later we got that package above. Right, so let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s a tiny bit of what we saw on our disc:

I had so, so many reactions to these pictures, but the overwhelming reaction was l.o.v.e. We didn’t get any portraits, which I didn’t really realize that we would want until later, but overall our photographers were amazing, and managed to capture Evan and I so perfectly! Most of our photos are laughing, and I feel like you can really, really tell that we love each other. So…yay!

***the top two photos are personal, the amazing engagement pics are courtesy of Barefeet Studio!

A panic-y bride?

I have a panic disorder, and it’s perfectly fine, and most people that are close to me have no idea. I mean, just to get that out there, so you don’t think I’m a freak of nature or anything 🙂

The thing is, I get panic attacks occasionally- I’m talking maybe 4 times a year, at max. Panic attacks are different than being stressed out, or having anxiety or anything. For me, they’re relatively unpredictable, but are usually related to the idea that I have lost control- whether I’m without physical control of my surroundings and feel physically trapped, or just generally feel like I’ve lost some amount of control in my life, or over a particular situation. Making it a little more complicated, these can be real situations or just my perception of things- I can panic over being trapped in the grocery store, even though I’m perfectly fine and have plenty of personal space and exit strategies, just because my mind has decided that it is a good time for a panic attack.

When I have a panic attack, it comes on super suddenly and usually involves intense terror, certain doom, inability to breath or I’m breathing way too fast, leading to hyperventilating, heart racing, dizziness, shaking…pretty much, all the worst things you can think of, all at the same time. While some people tend to succumb to these attacks and kind of wallow in them, I can usually recognize that the problem is not real and everything is fine and talk myself out of them. The problem is, talking myself out of them takes a solid twenty minutes freaking out and gasping sobs before I can move on, and even then there’s a period of a few hours where I still feel kind of out of it, so if my mind wanders backwards, I could totally be sucked back in. It’s really awesome, as I’m sure you can tell.

Anyway, for as bad as it can seem to just lay all of this out there, it’s really not a big deal. It’s so rare, and I know what’s going on so I can work myself out of it, and it’s not like it prevents me from going out into public or anything…mostly it’s a nuisance. But…I’m really, exceptionally concerned that an attack is going to manifest itself at some point during our wedding, either at a shower, or the rehearsal, or the wedding itself. I’m an epic planner, to avoid as much stress as possible, and going to yoga on the regular keeps me pretty mellow, and I keep mentally walking through everything so I feel very prepared (and therefore, in control) but I just wonder- is something unanticipated going to trigger an attack?

So, does anyone else worry about this kind of thing? Or maybe I’m just nuts 🙂

Twin Weddings

True Life: one of my best friends and I are having the exact same wedding- in a really awesome way.

Backstory- Rachael and I met in Hawaii, when we were both taking a semester away from the University of Dayton. I think we were each pretty conservative/quiet/infrequent-alcohol-consumers before we got there, but something about being on island time inspired the best in us, and we spent most of that semester looking like this:

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Normal.

I’m pretty sure that our friendship was not love at first sight, but over the six months we were in Hawaii, we realized that we are actually very close to being the same person and, since then, have been relatively inseparable {never-minding the fact that we live two hours away from each other}. We’ve been planning our weddings for the past two years, I would say, and we definitely did Running of the Brides last year before either one of us was engaged {hey man, they had just announced that it would be the end of Running of the Brides. It’s not really that crazy, ok?} 

Anyway, when Rachael’s fiance proposed last summer, I was thrilled! Then Evan proposed in December, and now we’re planning weddings that are six months apart and, roughly, the exact same wedding. I know that it’s not completely kosher with many brides, but I have to say–I could not be happier about this situation! We tend to have extremely similar tastes and want similar things, and it’s been really helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of, because I know that it Rach likes it, I’ll like it and vice versa.

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Just some wedding planning, nothing to see here.

Some examples: I wanted to do a ring blessing, but knew my church wouldn’t allow it during the ceremony, so Rachael suggested that we do it at the rehearsal, which she and her fiance are doing. Also, we have a similar budget, so when I found the perfect photographer, I passed her name along, and now we’re both using her {awesome!}. We’re both doing family style meals, with Italian menus, we have very similar princess dress, and we both reject the idea of garter and bouquet tosses. Of course, there will be many differences, most especially our guest lists and venues, but it’s pretty sweet to have a best friend to help with the wedding planning.

Anyway, so Rach is getting married in about a month, so this weekend we threw her a shower. I did the food, which was pretty well received.

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                                                   Nom nom nom

In addition to what’s pictured there, we also had a waffle bar, which was awesome! There were a few waffle irons and batter, so everyone could make a fresh waffle, then a variety of toppings like compound butter, syrup, fresh fruit, and whipped cream. It was so much fun to help her celebrate her wedding, and I’m pretty excited to attend next month!

Let them eat cake {among other options}

As you are certainly already aware, there is a tiny bit of cake drama in our wedding celebration- McGlovin is super for having a traditional, multi-tiered wedding cake, and I am super against paying an alarming sum of money for cake, which I never find to be particularly good and usually eat the obligatory two bites that I am served.

Well. At lunch this week {because Mr G and I occasionally have the luxury of eating lunch together, due to his having two out of every three afternoons off} we discussed {I made Mr G aware of} a poll that was currently taking place on twitter- pretty much, I requested friend feedback on our dessert debacle.

{Sidebar: Mr G hates twitter. Although our entire friend group is on twitter, and we communicate there regularly to keep everyone up to date and make plans, he won’t even entertain the thought of using it. He especially hates when I share G-related information with twitter. In fact, when Mr G and his dad were installing new appliances in our house, I live tweeted the afternoon-long hilarity and, when he found out, he was infuriated to the point of evening-long silence. As a result, I’m usually a little hesitant to share twitter info with G- but we really needed a tie breaker in this situation, so to the polls it was!}

Anyway, there we were at Bob Evans, since we’re elderly, and I let Mr G know that I had requested an outside opinion on wedding dessert and…he was amused, much to my relief. We had suggestions of pie, tiramisu, cheesecakes, ice cream, and a few traditional cake hold outs. After a relatively painless discussion we came to a decision…wedding pie it is!

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Photo taken by Jessica Watson, featured on Ruffled Blog

Mr G really does want a cake, so we’ll probably end up with a small {maybe two tiers?} cake, but then we will also have a pie option. Here are a few things we thought about:

1. In my mind, pie usually means fruit pie, and fruit pie should always be served warm, with the optional {optional? Are you kidding me? Necessary, is more like it} scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mr G suggested that we look beyond fruit pie, into the world of pecan pies, peanut butter pie, key lime pie, etc. {If you pour cheesecake into a pie pan, that’s still pie, right?} We will still have fruit pies, but there are plenty of other flavor profiles that fit nicely into pie pans.

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Peanut Butter Pie: Source

2. We {I} have been reading and re-reading A Practical Wedding, and I’m {we’re} trying really hard to delegate, and let go of some control so that our wedding really can be a ‘community’ celebration- we’re trying to follow advice to be generous with our wedding, so that people can feel like they’re really a part of it. This is hard, especially with cooking endeavors, because I am usually the go-to chef among friends and family. With a tiny bit of convincing, though, Mr G reminded me that our moms, grandparents, aunts/uncles and friends are really good cooks as well, and some of them would probably love to contribute a pie. {This tactic did seem to backfire this weekend, when we mentioned this plan to his mom. She makes a remarkable ‘cheese pie’ with ricotta and pine nuts, very Italian. When we asked her if she would consider making it, she was shocked and let us know that she would probably be too busy to make pie. So…we may need to rethink this.} If there are still a few pies left to be made, I’m sure I would love to make them the week of- I seriously use baking to relieve stress, so it might be nice.

3. And finally, displaying the pies. Mr G mentioned that he would like to see a general dessert table, with the cake in the center and raised, then pies all around it. Maybe we use cake stands, maybe we create differing heights by putting risers under the table cloth, but I’m sure it will be lovely.

So, wedding cake and wedding pie! I’m pretty thrilled to have this decision made 🙂

I’m officially a bride!

How was your weekend? Oh you know, it was whatever….I bought my wedding dress!! And I’m in love with it! And I keep forcing my co-workers and friends to look at pictures of it!

Right, so. I got an email that a local boutique, which I hadn’t been to yet, was having a Mori Lee trunk show that week and I knew that I loved Mori Lee dresses- most of them err on the side of dramatic, especially in the skirt region, and they tend to be pretty reasonably priced. So I made my appointment and called my mom, since I figured she would want to come with me.

When we arrived, I told our consultant exactly what I was looking for- simple top {my lady bits tend to draw enough attention as it is}, drop waist {because my torso is approximately four inches long}, epic skirt {the most epic of epic skirts}. We talked about a price range, we talked about how my mom was going to deal with dressing me, and off we went.

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Image via Mori Lee

I tried this dress on solely because of the skirt, and it was…weird. The skirt ruffles were all attached really close to the edge, so there wasn’t any movement and it was pretty stiff {not to mention super heavy}. Everyone agreed that it looked like winter, if that makes sense, but it wasn’t the dress for me.

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Image via Mori Lee

Dress #2 was actually a huge let down. You can’t really see in the picture, but all the beautiful ruffles on this dress are actually just little tatters of tulle! Although it was fun and soft, up close the dress just looks really unfinished…like it got dragged around outside, but then cleaned up really well. Needless to say, Mama Gloves and I were not prepared to lay down a grand for some tattered fabic bits.

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Image via Mori Lee

This dress. Just give me a minute for my heart to slow to a normal pace again.

This was the dress that made my mom weep, and made me giddy and say that I would buy it. This is the dress that I pictured at the very beginning of my dress search, and the dress that made me look like I had a tiny little waist and a perfect figure and was amazing. {McGlovin had originally expressed a distaste towards mermaid dresses, so I gravitated away from this style.} This is the dress that cost twice what I named as my budget.

Say what?

For real, guys, I was completely prepared to buy this dress based on my mom’s reaction, and the fact that it really made me look amazing. But wtf? Why on earth did the consultant put me in a dress that cost two times as much as I was prepared to spend? I was pretty infuriated when I realized what had happened, and my rage was not eased in the slightest when the owner came over and started saying things like, “What’s a few hundred dollars on your wedding day?” “What is you dream wedding worth, after all?” Well, lady- it’s worth the original amount that I told you when I walked into the store, that’s how much.

I was so angry at this situation that I had to go back into the dressing room before I said something I would later regret. And of course, as the nicest human being in the world, my mom was telling me that we could find room in the budget, if this was the dress that I wanted. And later that night, when I was telling McGlovin, he said the exact same thing, that we could rearrange the budget to make my dream dress work.

Here’s the thing, though…I was the one who made the dress budget, and I wasn’t about to change it! I knew that there were plenty of dresses in my price range, and there were plenty of dresses that would look awesome on my wedding day and frankly? I was prepared to buy that specific dress largely on the fact that I approved of it and my mom’s reaction was amazing. My wedding dress isn’t an aspect that I’d been prepared to obsess over, so I wasn’t particularly tearful or heartbroken about not being able to afford this dress- I was mostly incredibly irritated to have been treated to those kind of sales tactics.

So…want to see my dress? Too bad, friends…for my eyes only 🙂 For now, at least.

And now…progress!

I know that last week I was complaining about my lack of perceived progress. Over the weekend, though, I seem to have accomplished ALL THE THINGS! A quick rundown: I had my makeup trial {I loved it and hated it}, we took engagement pictures, and I bough my wedding dress. What’s that, you ask? Yes, friends, I have purchased my gown, and I’m officially a bride. All the excitement!

And now, since I’m at work and can’t really get into everything all at once, I’ll leave you with a picture that I feel like perfectly summarize’s Ev and my relationship.

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So another month has come and gone, and my wedding planning has been a bit…stagnant. According to my Google Docs chart {appropriately titled ‘All the Things’} I accomplished more in May than any other month so far- I chose a hair person, makeup artist, ordered Save the Dates and Invitations, started registries and finally finished asking our entire wedding party. When people ask me what’s new with the planning, though {and ask constantly, they sure do} I don’t really have anything new to add. Well, anything they want to hear, anyway.

 

Best friend: So Erin, how’s the wedding planning?

Me: Well, we’re still working on making some cake decisions. I mean, my fiancé really wants cake, but I don’t really like cake, but if the man wants cake, he gets cake. But then, cake costs about $600, and it isn’t really even good- I mean, $600? It’s cake, not something amazing like tiramisu or anything. Plus, I mean…I bake. I could bake a cake. And it wouldn’t cost nearly $600. Maybe I’ll bake our wedding cake…in fact, you once did a cake decorating project for 4H, so you can probably decorate our wedding cake, right?

And by that time, she’s walked away and talking to someone else about how nuts I am.

Or…

Mom: So, have you guys started registering yet?

Me: Yeah, we started registries at Macys and Crate and Barrel. We registered for house things at Macys and dishes and things at Crate and Barrel. But then it seemed like things at Macys were really kind of up charged, so we added in Target, where the same things were cheaper. But there aren’t really a ton of things that we like at Target and, I know I really hate Bed Bath and Beyond because it’s so big and cramped and has too many options and I feel a little panic-y when I go in there and sometimes have to give myself a pep talk to calm down, but it seems like they have all the things that we want, in one location, and they always have those coupons so our friends could get a deal on presents….but I really hate that store. Oh, and Evan wanted to register at Sears, so we have that too.

And by then, my mom is kind of staring at me in shock, with a little bit of a worried frown.

So, to summarize- April and May don’t seem like they included a lot of progress, but I did a ton of research {pinterest}, considering {tuxes or suits?}, worrying {I hate BBB, but I think we need it} and making rash decisions {I’ve never seen the work of my hair or makeup people, but booked them anyway so I could stop thinking about it}. So, I mean…that’s definitely something, right?

Another Month Closer

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