It's been almost two and a half months since Antoine and I got engaged and there hasn't been nearly enough wedding talk on here. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of subjecting you delightful folks to inspiration boards and various other forms of wedding porn. Because, that's just not my thing. Weirdly enough, I went through a spurt way before we got engaged when that shit was my drug of choice. But then, all of sudden I cooled the f#@k down and now I really could care less about that stuff. Since I've been engaged I haven't bought a single wedding magazine, mainly because I'm not a magazine person. But also because...meh. And I really have no intention of ever buying one. And as far as blogs go, I only read one wedding related blog and that's A Practical Wedding. The most grounded and significant wedding/marriage blog EVER! Or at least in my opinion. It talks about the important stuff, the stuff that goes beyond wedding favors and matching bridemaid's dresses. You know, things like emotional connections, commitment, and not losing your sense of sense. It's the shit, you should check it out.
When A and I got engaged we always thought we'd like a long engagement, for several reasons. A long engagement gives you time to save up money and, for me in particular, save up vacation time for the honeymoon! It gives you time to plan and decide on things without being in such a hurry. My sister and brother-in-law had a long engagement, about as long as ours. Michelle always told me she liked the extra time to plan, that she felt like she didn't have to rush. I thought, "Sweet! That makes perfect sense!" Only thing I forgot, my sister and I are totally different. She's known to be indecisive. Actually, her inability to make decisions is quite legendary. Me, on the other hand, I like to make decisions at the drop of a hat. I tend to go with my gut, and I tend not to second guess those gut reactions. That's something Antoine and I have done throughout our relationship, even with the big decisions, and they've all worked out. So, what's my point. We're only 2 1/2 months into our 1 1/2 year long engagement...and we've pretty much got everything figured out. And no, I'm not exaggerating...
Photographer: CHECK! One of my high school friends, who lives and shoots in Cleveland, has a agreed to photograph our wedding and do our engagement shots. And it won't cost us nearly as much as most wedding photographers our there. And bonus, I know her, she's super nice and talented, and will make us relative shy people feel super comfortable!
Guest list: CHECK! There was a some brief arguing about this, but we came to a good compromise and ended up with a nice, balanced guest list of about 50 people...the smallest we could get without seriously offending my parents and without leaving out some important people to us. 50 guests will keep it fairly intimate and hopefully not make me too uncomfortable...I have socially awkward tendencies when I'm in front of a group of 5 or more.
Ceremony: All figured out! We know exactly where we want to get hitched, it's within our budget, and since we've still got over a year to go it shouldn't be difficult to reserve! More on that later...
Reception: We've decided to have our reception at Arnold's Bar and Grill downtown. Lucky for us, our date was free and everything sounds perfect. As far as wedding receptions go, it's going to be relative inexpensive, cozy and laid back, just how we want it! Since they've written us in their books and we're planning a meeting in October to discuss specifics, I think that might count as a CHECK!
Music for the ceremony: CHECK! My wonderfully talented cousin and her equally talented boyfriend have agreed to perform a couple of our favorite songs, songs that mean something to us as a couple, at the ceremony. It won't be your traditional wedding processional, but that's what we like about it! And we like that family is involved.
Invitations: We found the perfect invites on Etsy, and what do you know, they are just the right price! Another big decision made! One that we happened to make one weekend afternoon, just after we got engaged.
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen: CHECK! This was obvious to us when we first got engaged. We knew we didn't want a ton of people in our wedding party, just the select few that are super important to us and have meant something to our relationship. For me, I knew without thinking, I wanted my best friend in the world, my hlp Amanda, and my dear sis standing up next to me on that important day! And for Antoine, he knew he want his best bud Cory and his brother. Easy as pie.
Bridesmaids dresses: I've been in a wedding before, I've worn the traditional bridesmaid dress from David's Bridal...and then, after the wedding, I've donated it to Good Will because I obviously was never going to wear it again. That's the nature of most bridemaids dresses...and it's not cool. So I knew from the beginning that I wanted my bridesmaids to pick out their own dresses, dresses that didn't match each other and weren't from some bridal store. Dresses that hopefully wouldn't cost them anywhere near $100 or more. And most importantly, I wanted them to wear a dress that they would actually wear again...and not as some zombie bridesmaid Halloween costume! I gave them a couple guidelines, knee length with a slightly vintagey feel, and gave them a color palate to work with...the rest is up to them.
Officiant: We've got a little idea in our heads that we think will be pretty perfect, but more on that later...
Cake: Sure, wedding cakes are pretty, but that's about all they're good for...to look at! I've never eaten a piece of wedding cake and said afterwards, "Oh my, that was absolutely delicious!" And I'm not a huge fan of cake, in general. Antoine and I thought, "Who says we need to have a traditional wedding cake!? We could care less about the whole cutting the cake and feeding each other thing!" So, we decided to to change it up and go with something we know is delicious, something locally produced by people who know their stuff, and something that has warm fuzzy relationship memories tied to it. When we thought about all these things two places popped into our heads...Dojo and Abby Girl Cupcakes. These are our two favorite places to get a sweet treat in Cincinnati. We're going to have a couple Dojo gelato cakes and a variety of our favorite Abby Girl Cupcakes. The cupcakes will double as our favors, since we'll have single cupcake containers and enough for everyone to take one home! So, yeah, that's pretty much another CHECK right there!
Flowers: I've always kind of wanted to do my own flowers, for some reason. I love flowers and I like being crafty, so the idea of sitting around with my bridesmaids and my mom the day before the wedding, putting together bouquets and tiny centerpieces sounds awesome to me. After some research, I've decided to go with Blooms by the Box, and narrowed down the colors (lavendars, light greens, light pinks, creams and little pops of purple...think Larkspur) and a basic idea of the types. So, I guess that's a CHECK!
Dress: Umm, CHECK! (Shh, don't tell my mom...I've promised to go dress shopping with her, because it's one of those things that's important to her.) So, I've always had my eye on this one J. Crew dress, since forever, or at least the last couple of years. So, when it went on sale just after we got engaged and had an additional limited-time extra discount on top of that and free shipping I jumped on it. I had never tried it on before (or anything J. Crew for that matter), I totally guessed on the size, but I got it and I'm kind of in love with it! It's going to need some alterations, mainly in the hem, but that's no big deal. So, yeah, that's done! And it only cost me $250...which is pretty cheap, as far as wedding dresses go.
Registry: CHECK! I get the point of registries, I do. They make sense, some of the time. But you gotta admit, they've become something of a wedding beast monster! I mean, really, do you think someone is going to buy you that $600 flat screen tv? Really!? And for Antoine and I, who already have a house full of pretty much everything we need (a lot of it fairly new), it seems a little like a waste. So, what we've opted to do is a relatively minimal Amazon registry with some of those things that we do need for the house (all of our selections being ones that offer free shipping or Super Saver shipping), and we also created a Honeymoon registry. We opted to go with a homegrown honeymoon registry through my lovely sister, the travel agent, instead of one of those online honeymoon registries that charge fees to either the bride and groom or their guests. And speaking of honeymoons...
Honeymoon: CHECK! It's pretty much planned. Down to where we're are staying every night of the trip. We'll be spending a little less than three weeks exploring all the awesomeness of the West Coast, from Seattle to L.A. It is going to be magically, deliciously spectacular!! I'm so excited!
To say things are coming along nicely might be a bit of an understatement. And I know that things will not always go as smoothly as they have so far, I'm not a complete fool! But so far, things are pretty peachy! And I'm really digging the progress we've made!