26 November 2008

schizoid thoughts on a Wednesday night

Is it normal for me to be spending every waking hour pouring over sites & blogs that are wedding-related, in an attempt to educate myself on the fly? Yesterday I didn't leave to pick up my friend Tolley for dinner until 5 minutes before I was supposed to be there. Not possible, even with my lead-foot tendencies. Thankfully she's a forgiving soul, but still .... Also I was 10 minutes late for an audition because I was going down the rabbit hole of "ooh, what's that link?" I'm going to have to self-impose some time limits here before I flub too many committments &/or become unable to converse about anything else. (I refuse to become that girl.)

I'm off to S.F. for the annual family Turkey Day shindig. My sister is bringing her dog, Remy. This is a blurry cell phone photo, but he's still adorable. The last time I stayed at my sister's place, Mr. UB & I played with him so much that the day we left he searched the whole house looking for us. Yay, Remy!

While I'm up there, I might make a run into the city to see just how "under renovation" the POFA really is. Plus, I want to take my own pics if I can get anywhere near the place. Driving up to SF on Thursday + driving back to LA on Friday = hooray for This American Life podcasts!

Next on the Non-Sequiter List: one thing that I've noticed about containers for favors -- surprise, surprise, they're over-priced. Thank goodness for my little jewelry enterprise, Jessica Rabbit Jewelry ... because if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't know about Bags & Bows. They sell retail supplies, like these cute little bags in tons of styles ($9-12/100) plus just about every kind of ribbon, paper & tissue imaginable. And because it's called "retail supplies" they actually want you to get some bang for your buck -- oh, the novelty of it! You have to buy big quantities (usually 100 units minimum) but for those things you need lots of, it's a great resource.

Finally, during a random errand to Ikea today, I saw some great decor ideas. As soon as I get the color thing nailed down (or even before that, if I just stick to the neutral stuff) I might have to raid their tent full of cheap holiday stuff for some garlands & ornaments. And inside the Big Blue & Yellow Box I found these ideas for reception decor:

The two on the sides are candle holders. The middle one is vases. All have Ikea prices, and are clean enough to work with any decor. Now I just have to figure out where I'm having the damn reception, so I know what/how much I need. But it's a start.

24 November 2008

one thing done!

The first concrete idea that I had about this wedding is going to happen! Even we were just talking about getting married in the abstract, I thought of asking our friend Julia to do our ceremony.

Mr. UB & I were lucky enough to go to Julia's wedding to Adam this past January down in Mexico. (It was beautiful, and the reason I started to consider doing at least the ceremony away from L.A.) The three of them have been close friends since college, and I knew that Adam was going to be one of our groomsmen. Then I found out that Julia is getting her Master's in Divinity at Harvard. A) wow! and B) perfect!

Neither Mr. UB nor I are religious-type people. His dad is Jewish, but they celebrate Christmas, too. And I'm a lapsed Methodist -- which is a pretty laissez-faire religion to begin with. So no church or preacher for us. The idea of having a close friend bless our vows, though = exactly right.

Not only is Julia able & willing to marry us, but I think that her personality will gel really well with ours when it comes to planning the ceremony. To wit: at her wedding, her college roommate gave a toast. She said that she knew Adam & Julia were perfect for each other because when Adam used to come over to their apartment, the two of them would sit on either side of her on the couch, then fart and laugh. Her story was met by loud laughter & huge, proud smiles from A. & J.

I'm not saying that I want our vows to make mention of Mr. UB's occassional gastro-intestinal gymnastics ... but that's my kind of clergy.

in case anybody wants to join us

At least now I have something to do when I can't sleep: I surf wedding websites & look at pictures. Hunting for inspiration, ideas, or something I can just rip off completely. As I look & learn, I'm currently figuring that the things I should be working on right now are: (in order of magnitude)

1) Location. Found one I love, and it might just be suitable for human habitation by the time I'm ready to do this thing. Status: Check-ish.

2) Dress: Obviously this'll inform the look of everything else I choose. I have color ideas, but if I end up grabbing that lavender Cavalli number, there might be some adjustments to be made. (I mentioned that dress to Mr. UB, and he objects to it on principal -- but that could change if my boobs look good in it.) Status: In progress.

3) Invitations: Once I get settled on the two points above, I'm gonna have to see if anybody wants to come to this shindig I'm planning. And since I've never considered what kind of wedding invitations I like before, I'm clicking my little heart out doing "research." (That sounds so much more productive than "wasting time" or "just plain fucking around.") Status: Pre-planning.

One of the sites that my sis recommended, TheKnot.com, sent me an email today about ... something. Who knows what it actually said -- as soon as I clicked on the link and saw all the categories & pictures, my ADD kicked in and I found myself looking at all sorts of things. LOTS of stuff to file under "I Know I Don't Want That!", but a couple of useful things, too. (In the category of Awesome Because It's Awful, please check out CakeWrecks.blogspot.com.)

This was the first thing that made me perk up. Simple, elegant, and unpretentious. I might tweak the details a bit, but the basic idea here is beautiful.

I also really like this idea. I'd have to find a design/motif that I'd want to use throughout the whole wedding, but there's still time for that. Also, I'd use a much simpler font.

Oh, and the best part of all, as relates to this particular category: Sarah, my uber-cool upstairs neighbor, is a graphic designer. She's really excited that we're getting married, and she's offered to help me do this stuff. Special bonus points because she just got married 3 years ago herself, so her brain is already programmed with all of this nonsense.

23 November 2008

two day planning "break"

If you can call it a break ... I've had two whole days of not doing anything related to researching/planning a wedding. Well, technically I bought a magazine, but I haven't had time to read it yet. I've been teaching at the studio (S Factor, which is my "other" job that brings in 90% of my income -- ahh, acting,) all weekend. Four classes yesterday (personal record) plus two today, and now I'm leaving for the theater. Good news: we "get to" do 2 shows tonight. Woo. Hoo. This is my relaxing weekend.

If I keep this up (and my bank balance says I will) AND add in planning a wedding, AND start looking for a place for us to live in wedded bliss (because he hates his apartment, and I don't have the closet space) ... I suspect I'll be dead within the year.

Tomorrow, I may not get out of bed. I'm sure as hell not getting dressed. I'll just lay here while The Cat walks on me & bookmark/print/three-hole punch things.

21 November 2008

what (not) to wear

I've started making tentative little steps toward finding a dress. By which I mean I'm looking at dresses. Online mostly, though I did manage to set foot in a store today. No, I didn't try anything on. I figure since I don't even know a) where it's going to be & therefore what would be "appropriate" (yes, I only use that word in quotes), b) how much the total budget will be (I'm going to force myself to have that conversation soon, I swear) or c) whether or not all that creamy silk would burn my heathen skin ... I'd better stick to just looking.

Unsurprisingly, I'm thinking "Less is More." Even without financial restrictions, I flat-out refuse to look like I belong on the top of a cake. Here's what I've seen & liked so far:

My favorite bride blog, Broke-Ass Bride, found this in the J. Crew catalogue, of all places. It's not only beautiful, but it's on sale for $300. Heck, even at full price it was $395. Of course, it says "catalogue only", so there's no trying it on first, but I highly doubt that J. Crew wildly alters their return policy just for long white dresses.

Further investigation of their website led me to this. Also $300, and also very pretty. I'm not sure that I like this variation quite as much as the one above, but I'm happy to know that dresses like these exist. Of course, if I go this low-key with the frock it's pretty much gonna have to be a daytime wedding, but I'd be fine with that. Especially since the reception isn't going to be right after the ceremony. Come to think of it, I wouldn't feel like nearly as much of a fool putting this dress back on, on a 2nd day, as I would a cake-topper. Plus, Mr. UB could go with a dark suit instead of a tux ... hmmm, indeed.

Another source of good ideas: Rodeo Drive Resale was kind enough to remind me of their existance this morning, with a happy little email announcing New Stuff!

So, I just have to put it out there: ... too much? I mean, I know it's lavender, but one of my b-maids has already informed me that she's going to laugh if I wear white. And it's a freakin' Roberto Cavalli for $499!! There's no threat of us getting married in a church, so the quite-a-bit-o'-cleavage factor isn't a problem. I'm going to have to drag myself over to the valley to check this little gem out in person -- thank goodness RDR has an actual bricks & mortar store. Hopefully it's not filled with the creepy Titus Andronicus mannequins, though. I mean really ... who thought those were a good idea?

On a slightly less ... purple scale, RDR also has these to offer: Either one of which could work. They're $189 and $169 respectively. I'm gonna have to get some cash on hand quickly, just in case one of these we-just-have-the-one dresses really grabs me.

The store that I checked out today is one that I read about on ... somebody's? blog. I promise I'll start doing a better job of noting where/when so that I can give proper credit, but meanwhile: I found this snazzy little store on La Brea called Glamour Closet. They're a San Francisco store that just opened up a location down here, and they sell designers' sample dresses for a BIG discount. And I'm not talking David's Bridal here. I actually laid my hands on dresses by Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, etc. (Thank god I'd just purelled.) Now, these are serious Wedding Dresses, not the "that'll do" category like my examples above. And some of them can still lighten your wallet to the tune of a year's college tuition (at a UC school, anyway.) But I did see things that were as cheap as $500, and the staff could not have been nicer. I'm going to go back with girlfriend(s) in tow ... hopefully, since all my b-maids are non-local, I can get some of my S girls to lend a hand.

formal invitations

Something ELSE I didn't know existed: Bridesmaids invitations. (Really? Sheesh.) And here I thought I would, you know, ASK the women I want to stand up for me. Besides, I have an extreme aversion to anything cutesy, and I don't have the time right now to search for a style that I don't hate. I think my time might be better spent on things like a location, or a dress that won't break me.

So anyway, if I stumble across an invite of this type that I like, I might grab it & mail it out. It could make a nice keep-sake/scrapbook item. But in the meantime, I just emailed them:

Hello, my favorite females. I am sending this email to forewarn you all that you're on my list to be bridesmaids. And although I know C__ is going to be disappointed, there will be a distinct lack of pastel satin in your futures, despite this assignment. I've come the the conclusion that I don't want you wasting your hard-earned cash on such nonsense, wherever it might be located on a monstroso-meter. If you feel an uncontrollable urge to part with another couple hundred dollars to celebrate this blessed event, I'll let you know where we're registered as soon as that happens.

At any rate, I'm letting you off the hook & opting for the LBD of your choice. You can thank K__ when you meet her (that's Mr. UB's sis, btw), because I'm blatantly stealing this look from her wedding. S__, please don't think this means you have to wear something that's already in your closet ( ... like you would.)

I have no idea which one of you I'll stick with being Maid of Honor (and gosh, how excited am I to even be thinking about this stuff) -- I'll let you know when we've found a location & see who needs the extra hassle in her life the most at that time. However, if you don't think that this is the thing for you because a) you're just too busy, b) you never liked me any way, or c) you're pissed about the No Chiffon policy, please let me know. I promise not to hold a grudge. But I do know where all of you live.

For the record, I've never spent an hour imagining my wedding day, and after a single night of perusing websites + a few magazines on loan from my upstairs neighbor, I'm already queasy. And you have my absolute permission to quote me on that if you see even a hint of Bridezilla behavior.

It worked! They've all said yes (!) with 1 exception: I haven't heard back from my sister. I hope she didn't take the part about "wasting your hard-earned cash" on a dress personally ... oh dear.

In better news, K__, the sis of Mr. UB, who just got married herself this March (in a fantastically low-key yet meaningful affair) has already started sharing her anti-bride advice. Yay K!

I think Emily Post would be pleased.

oh where, oh where ...

I've decided that the first order of business is figuring out where to have this little shindig. (See? I'm being decisive!) After discussing with Mr. UB the merits of both local & non-local weddings (we're in LA, by the way), we lighted upon the idea of having the ceremony in San Francisco. We're both originally from the Bay Area -- I'm from the SF 'burbs, he's from Oakland -- and we both love the beauty of the city. (San Francisco, that is. Not Oakland.)

My first thought was the Palace of Fine Arts:

Residual effects of my "I'd rather just be alone on a beach" idea, perhaps, since it's right off the bay. It also has a killer view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Mr. UB shuddered at what that might cost, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. Turns out, it really can be quite painful sometimes. But not in this case! GOOD NEWS: They rent the Rotunda (the round building in the pic) for $150/2 hours! BAD NEWS: It's being renovated & construction is estimated to take until 10/9/09. At least. Well, phooey.

Another place that I stumbled across online as an alternative to the POFA is the Legion Of Honor:

It's also got a killer view of the Golden Gate, but it's a little more militaristic than I'd like. Also the cost & set-up make more sense for a ceremony and reception, which isn't what we want. Basically, we're looking to do a very, very small ceremony with just immediate family & our closest friends, and have a much bigger reception closer to home. My head's already spinning with what that part is going to cost ... but I digress. So I don't think this is going to work, either.

I've been surfing all over HereComesTheGuide.com, which has tons of info on locations all over California. Holy crap! I must have REALLY good taste ... but as soon as I see "deposit is $6000" I cannot physically make my eyes focus on any of the words after that. On the off-chance that we'll end up doing the ceremony in LA, I've been looking at some of their listings down here. I found this place:

It's called the Butterfly House, and it's in Topanga Canyon. It's pretty, but the layout of the place seems a little goofy, at least in the pics on their website. GOOD NEWS: $1500/8 hours. BAD NEWS: No view of the ocean, and I'm pretty sure there's no chance of seeing the Golden Gate from there, either.

So, either I grab some plaster & terracotta paint and go fix the POFA my damn self, or it's back to the drawing board. Grrrr.

20 November 2008

Vocabulary Horror #1

I have a feeling there will be quite a lot of new terms I come across here that frighten me. For starters: WIC, or the Wedding Industrial Complex. I had no idea such an entity existed. It sounds like something dreamed up by Dick Cheney & Karl Rove. Which makes sense, because I find this whole process almost as terrifying as the Bush II reign.

Even worse, though, is the Save The Date announcement. Not because I think it's a terrible idea to let people know as soon as possible about the date you expect them to show up & give you stuff. Not even the actuality of said announcements, which can be kinda cool & creative -- at least on some of the other blogs I've been perusing. My quarrel is with the abbreviation, widely & unironically used by everyone who's in a position to think about such things: STD. "Oh, we made the cutest STD!" "I'm really happy with how our STD turned out." "Take a look at my STD!" Um ... hello?!?! Am I the only one out here who finds this alternately laughable/gross? I'm not normally given to puerile humor, I swear. It's just that I'm pretty sure that acronym is already taken. And it's nothing I want associated with my wedding.

... does that make this the "un-blog"?

So my fabulous boyfriend of 2+ years finally got around to proposing last week. (Which is another blog altogether - especially since I'm tired of repeating myself.) My last several days have been spent in a happy fog, productively staring at the sparkly new addition to my left hand ... which I violently snapped out of 2 days ago with a horrible realization: now I have to plan the wedding!!!

Before I go any further here, let me be very clear about one thing: I am thrilled to be marrying this guy. Seriously - I didn't wait (*cough) years, and put up with all the sideways stares at my much younger sister's wedding two summers ago, just to hook up with some loser. I found a really good guy. A saint, really. I publicly call him the Most Patient Man in the World. And I'm so looking forward to the Being Married. But the Getting Married ... ?

I am not the girl who's been planning her wedding since she was 5 years old. I never even wanted one -- I always thought that all I'd need was the person I'm marrying, someone to say the ceremonial stuff, and a beach somewhere. But when I floated this idea to Mr. UB, he said his family would never go for it. And when his parents heard that we were planning a 2-day getaway to Vegas recently, his mother absolutely insisted (well, threatened, really) that we stay far, far away from all officiating Elvises. Of course, on that same trip my now fiancee (!) said that he'd gotten up the guts to ask me -- his work was done. All he's going to do now is remember when & where to show up.

So: great. I get to plan a wedding ... how, exactly, does one do such a thing? I emailed my sister the following question: " Where the heck did you even start looking to plan a freakin' wedding?" (Even though she's a Republican, I adore her, so I try not to swear too much.) She called (called! meaning there's too much info to be contained in an email! gulp ...) me back and gave me some advice and 2 websites.

After one night cruising around those sites, and flipping through the 3 wedding magazines that my recently-married upstairs neighbor, Sarah, gave me, I was already nauseous.