Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am so in love with my friends right now

One of the things that didn't make it into our wedding budget was a videographer. While I understand that wedding videos probably never get watched more than a few times, and it really isn't worth the expense (and they are expensive...whoo boy), after our AMAZING and totally unscripted ceremony, I was feeling very bummed out about not having captured it. A few people responded to my request to send me what they said, but several just spoke from the heart and didn't have it memorized or written down.

So, I was beyond thrilled when I was handed a dvd of about an hours worth of wedding footage today! Apparently one of my friend's husbands videotaped most of the ceremony and a few other snippets of the wedding with their digital camera. Because it was taken with a digital camera, it isn't the best quality video ever, but he did a great job putting it together, and the footage of our ceremony is so precious. Both my husband and I were practically in tears watching it again.

Bottom line...Our friends continue to amaze me with their awesomeness and how much they pulled together to help make our wedding happen.

And if you think you might regret not having video, find someone to take footage with their digital camera or their phone or whatever. This was one of my few wedding regrets and I am so, so happy to have this video.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Budget: The Details, Take 2

Since I've been using Grab for everything else, I realized I could take a screen shot of the budget and post that. I know these don't totally equal out, but they will give you a general idea. Also, one of the things I let go of in the last few days before the wedding was entering my receipts. Because really, at that point, who cares? And I know I didn't spend more than a few hundred in the last week pre-wedding.

**Since we were looking good on our budget, we ended up helping pay for the hotel for our friends who stayed with us since we are all poor and we made them stay in an expensive B&B with us.

Budget: The Details

I cannot for the life of me, figure out how to post a table on blogger. The table posts, but with a giant space before it (about the size of the table). Odd and frustrating. Anyway, the table I was going to post contains the details of our budget. What we actually spent where, and all that. So if anyone would like to see that (or can tell me how to post a chart/table) I'd be more than happy to share!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wedding Recap: Pre-Wedding Week

Since I have word that I'll have the rest of my professional pictures next week I thought I'd start writing up my recap of the wedding week.

Our wedding was at my parent's home in Palo Cedro, California (the far Northern part of the state). We live in Sacramento so I went up there on Wednesday to start working on things. I initially thought that was way too much time, but it ended up being necessary to get stuff done in a relaxed way.

On Thursday my mom and I drove around buying food supplies. We also stopped at a few farm stands to pick up produce for the salads she was making for the wedding. This was also the day I'd planned on picking up the free flowers we'd been offered, but lost the address.
My best friend, and one of my brideswomen came into town on Thursday afternoon so we spent the afternoon working on finishing up DIY projects with my sister (who made those signs with wood we found in my parent's burn pile) and setting up the yard as much as possible. It was so, absolutely wonderful to have her there. We've been friends since we were toddlers and she's such a relaxing person for me. My husband's mom and stepdad arrived on Thursday evening so my parents had them over for dinner and we all hung out for a bit until they got tired and went back to their b&b. A short while after that the husband-to-be got into town (he had to pick up the dj equipment from his old college radio station and that was the earliest he could get it). We all went to the bar near my parents house and played a few rounds of pool. For some reason my friend and I, normally horrible pool players, rocked the table that night.
On Friday morning we had the port o' potty, rental tables, chairs, and dance floor delivered. It was due to rain on Friday afternoon so we avoided setting stuff up for as long as possible. We spent a lot of the morning prepping the flowers while my parents worked on their yard.

Friday afternoon my friend and I disappeared for a few hours to get our nails done. Totally unnecessary, but it was REALLY REALLY nice to just SIT for an hour or so and not have to think about wedding stuff. People kept calling me to ask me silly questions (Like where my dad should put the pots of flowers he'd purchased, that I had no idea he'd purchased). I basically decided from that point on that I did not care how things happened and let go of being hung up on any details. It felt really awesome to do that.

Friday night we did a really informal dinner at my parents house. While I'd originally wanted to do a more formal rehearsal dinner, I realized a few weeks before the wedding that there was going to be enough left to be done Friday afternoon, that leaving the house would be stressful. My parents bought a bunch of tamales from farmer's market and we had people bring beer, chips, salsa, etc. People who came over helped set things up and I didn't feel bad for hiding out with my sister and friend finishing up flowers while other people kept themselves busy.
After dinner we drove to the B&B we were staying at and met the rest of our wedding party friends (who were driving up from far away places and missed dinner). We all hung out in our bedroom, amazing wine, and wrote ridiculous journal entries in the hotel room journal for a few hours before heading to bed.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I hate the way I look with makeup on...

I almost never wear makeup. Occasionally, if I'm going out in a city larger than my own, I'll throw on some mascara and colored lipgloss. But those occasions are few and far between and I tend to feel gross if I add anything extra like eyeshadow or foundations.

My sister, on the other hand, loves makeup. She's one of those people with a giant case of Mac shadows and knowledge of pigments and stuff that I don't even comprehend. So my basic wedding makeup plan was to take her to Sephora with me, have her help me pick out makeup, and then have her do the makeup day of. We ended up scheduling a makeup consult at Sephora. They are free and while there is pressure to buy something at the end of it, you wouldn't have to. My sister ended up buying some eyeshadow foundation for herself and I bought the foundation she showed me because I didn't hate it (which is rare), and that was about it. For the cheap folks out there she also gave me little shaving size samples of the lipstick I liked so I could try them on and decide between them. I actually intended to go back and buy one of them, but never got around to it and ended up using a combo of the samples on our wedding day.

Since I never ended up purchasing all the kinds of makeup I needed, and I knew I wouldn't use a lot of it again, I had my brideswomen bring their makeup and we kind of mixed and matched stuff.

I used...Smashbox photo finish primer (purchased from Costco a few days before the wedding for much cheaper than i saw it elsewhere), Cargo oil-free foundation, Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. All of those were applied with my fingers despite the Sephora lady saying I needed special brushes.

My blush was Besame in warm. I applied it with a blush brush. I used a tiny bit of Besame loose translucent powder on my forehead and nose with a powder brush.

My lips had my facial foundation rubbed over them and then mystery Benefit lipstick from the samples the lady gave me.
I borrowed eyeshadow from my friend and can't remember the exact brand, but it was shades of brown. Mascara was Smashbox in black (it came with the primer).
The best makeup tip I figured out that day was to have a camera on hand while you are getting ready. The one that will be taking pictures of you all day, if you can. I had my photographer there while I was taking pictures so I just had him show me what I looked like as I was going. That way I could adjust according to what I thought looked good in person and what was showing up on camera. I highly recommend that if you can.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

diy flowers: the process

I knew from the start that we weren't going to be paying anyone to do flowers for our wedding. While I love flowers (love them), professional arrangements just weren't in our budget. And on top of that I'm married to an anti-pesticide activist who really wanted to avoid having tables full of chemically treated flowers.

In the end our budget, my crappy planning, and poor service & selection from California Organic Flowers ended up winning out over totally green flowers. A few weeks before the wedding I posted an ad on Craig's List asking if anyone in the area had local roses they would let us pick. I thought it was a long shot, but a woman who grows roses and other flowers for floral arranging competitions responded and said we could pick whatever we wanted from her yard! She was going to be on vacation, but she left out buckets and clippers and everything for us. Unfortunately, I'm a spaz and lost her address. And since she was on vacation I couldn't get in touch with her. Seriously. So it was a good thing I'd already ordered backup flowers from The Flower Exchange. The flowers we ordered from them held up beautifully and were very affordable. To make up for the flowers we didn't get from the nice CL lady, the rest we bought from a farm stand down the street from my parents for almost nothing (both pesticide free & local).

We stripped the stems of all the flowers, cut the bottoms under running water (apparently that is important) and stuck them in big buckets from the hardware store. We stored them in my sister's freezing cold bathroom. I did not put any sort of plant food in with them and they sat in the buckets from Wednesday - Friday night with no problems. And they still looked great on Saturday and Sunday and Monday and about a whole week after that.
Friday night (the night before the wedding) my sister made the bouquets and my friend and I stuck flowers in vases for the tables. Here we are working on my bouquet and looking overly excited.

We used the French spiral method for my bouquet, and wired three pretty flowers together for each of the brideswomen. Later in the night, over a glass of wine I wrapped the stems in ribbon I bought from The Ribbon Jar.

We left the stems long overnight so they could sit in water and I cut them short the next morning, as we were getting ready.
My bouquet...

And the other three all together...

While our hodgepodge way of acquiring flowers did not lend itself to me having exactly the flowers I'd always dreamed about (though I was never sure exactly what that would have looked like), I was very happy with the results. In total everything was about $200 including all the flowers, floral supplies, and ribbon, though not including the vases. And we had a great time working on them!

One thing I realized after the wedding (and after looking at the pictures today) is that I really could have done without bouquets at all. I hate holding things. I'm the kind of girl who orders gimlets when we go out drinking, not because they are my favorite drink, but because I can drink them quickly and then not have to hold anything anymore. Carrying around a bouquet all day got really old, and I can tell from the pictures that I felt awkward holding it. Just a thought for those of you considering going without.

pictures are here!

The first batch of our pro-pictures were posted on Pictage this morning! There are 506 of them and they aren't even up to the ceremony yet. Overwhelming but awesome!

Pictage doesn't really like you downloading their pictures, but with my handy Grab application I've snagged a few really poor quality screen shots for y'all until I get the disk of pictures from my photographer.

These are all from our walk around the old motels in downtown Redding.

Our friends/wedding party
Us, at the Stardust

Walking past the Americana Lodge

I am so happy that we ended up just walking around downtown instead of taking the car from place to place. The pictures of us just walking and hanging out are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What do you want to know?

While I'm getting back pictures next week, and will do more detailed wedding day recaps then, does anyone have specific questions they'd like answered about my wedding projects?

Also, it feels pretty crazy to see yourself on someone's blog who isn't related by blood or close friendship.

my dress

Several people have asked, so I thought I'd make a general post about it instead of emailing individually. My dress is Casablanca # 1816. I bought it in champagne.

Here it is on the scary model:

I'll be selling mine in the next few weeks (once I get it cleaned), so if you are interested let me know. I'm 5'1" and around a street size 2.

I also found out yesterday (from my friend who has recently hired my photographer), that I'm getting my pictures next week! So I'll post more pictures then.

Monday, October 13, 2008

the budget

We had a $10,000 budget for our wedding, and I'm pretty sure that we stuck to that, within a few hundred dollars. I am certain that we were no more than $200 over due to the set amount of money in our wedding account. While I started out wedding planning with $30,000 set aside, during our engagement we decided that our priorities did not include having a typical, blow out wedding. We paid for my midwifery program with some of the money. A few months before the wedding we bought a house. And next month we will use some of our money to take a much needed three week vacation in Argentina.

That being said, we tried not to feel like we were being limited by our budget when planning. We made our big choices count: having our wedding in my parents backyard instead of the barn we'd originally planned on renting, picking a photographer who could work with us on pricing, and doing some of the catering ourselves. I also bought my dress used, I made things that I'd originally planned on buying (like my hair piece modeled after the lovely k.autumn), and we asked friends and family to help with things like flowers and music.

Being smart about the big things allowed us the freedom to splurge in some areas. For example, we bought all the dishes we used at the wedding from thrift shops. While I had a rule that each dish had to cost less than it would cost to rent it, I occasionally bought things that were more expensive--particularly since I knew those pieces would end up being used in our house. My husband also had his suit made after months of trying to find one in thrift shops, but we still came in on budget and we know he'll use it for years to come.

Monday, October 6, 2008

what was happening with the shoes?

I have no memory of what I might have been doing in this picture (during the ceremony). It's funny how that happens.

Escort Cards

While we had originally thought that we'd do the relaxed thing and avoid assigned tables, after a quick poll of our friends we realized that most people would prefer being told where to sit. So we ended up with assigned tables, though not assigned seats.

This added an additional project at the last minute--figuring out how to let people know what table they were seated at. I decided right away that names were going to be on leaves. I bought appropriately colored paper from an art store and cut out two leaf shaped patterns from cardboard. I enlisted the help of a bridesmaid who traced the leaves, cut them out, and wrote names on the front and tables on the back.

My original thought was to have them hanging from a branch, but after realizing that would involve more work than I was prepared to dedicate to this project, I looked around for an alternative. I'd already requested that people collect acorns for me (they were originally going to be scattered on the tables) so I dumped all the acorns in a basket I found in my parent's laundry room, stuck in a few mushrooms I had lying around from Small Stump, and used the acorns to prop up the leaves.

Ta da! Project done in less than 2 hours. Total cost: $5 for the paper.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

counting cards

I was browsing around crafting websites today and came across these adorable counting cards on eeBoo. They are meant for kid's rooms, but if you had 10 or less tables, they would also make great table numbers. The animal and bird sets seem most wedding appropriate, but they also have trains if that's your thing.