Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Veil

Ah, the veil. Such a simple, seemingly insignificant, little piece. But without it, we wouldn't have had the incredible moments of spontaneous laughter during the ceremony, and I wouldn't have ended up with the photo above--my absolute favorite.

As you can see, the wind and my veil weren't exactly cooperating during the ceremony! It had to be reigned in on multiple occasions, throwing off my uncle (the officiant) in the most hilarious way.
For brides out there trying to get a handle on the budget, know that the veil is a great place to save. I considered skipping it completely, but there's a reason those sales girls insist on putting them on you in the bridal salons--it completes the look. You go from "yeah, this is a pretty dress" to "OMG, I'm getting married" with the addition of one little piece of fabric.

If, like me, you can't skip it, there are options other than forking over a couple hundred extra dollars at the salon. Borrowing is, of course, a favorite. Making your own is also quite popular, and you can find instructions on blogs everywhere. But I was making so much myself that I really needed to limit my projects. And it's so inexpensive to by a handmade veil on Etsy, I figured this was one area where it made sense to spend and support a handmade business woman.
Here's my advice--don't object when the sales girls want you to try on various veils. Let them help you find your favorite style. Make note of what they call it for future reference. Don't give in! Then when you get home, try to find that same style being sold on Etsy. Can't find it? Convo the seller and see if they can custom make one for you. Chances are they can--and it will still cost significantly less.
I found my veil on Etsy at BellaBridalVeils. Mine is a one tier, ivory, fingertip length veil, with a pencil edge, in a cascading waterfall style. The same style can be found here. It's very simple, and exactly what I was looking for. In the salon, it would have cost me over $200; on Etsy, it cost me less than $30, including delivery!

BellaBridalVeils has an extensive selection and welcomes custom orders, so I highly recommend checking out their shop before splurging elsewhere!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stupid Stitch

Sometimes crafts are so aggravating. Like today. I'm about ready to throw the sewing machine out the window.

I think it's officially time for a new one, so I can actually do the recommended stitch, rather than the weak substitute that keeps making my machine seize.


Free Kid Room Art!

I realize that I don't have a kid room to decorate, but I assure you I've tucked wonderful little Etsy artist tidbits away in the back of my head--ready to start shopping when the time comes. I have this vision of the room being an ever-changing gallery of whimsical prints. (Cross your fingers for a girl--there's not alot of whimsical truck and train prints!)

And while I may not have any current need for great kid room art--plenty of my friends do! So, when I stumbled across this post on How About Orange last night, I got SUPER excited. Wait...the art I want--for FREE?! Even better!

The goodness can be found at Feed Your Soul--The Free Art Project. All you have to do is download to PDF, print, and hang as you wish. So easy! Be sure to check back often--it looks like they add new prints each month. Such a great find!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

State of the Yard

Now that I've finished Twilight, I've decided it's time to take a break from book series so I can start getting some things done! (Unless you all know of some incredible series I haven't heard about, of course...) So, with my mind clear of vampires, werewolves, and wizards--this is what I've been thinking about: The Yard!

As I was doing some organizing in the room-o-boxes last week, I came across Animal, Vegetable, Miracle--a favorite from last year that I've been craving lately. I've been wanting to re-read it, not only for the reminder of their Italy trip, but also because I was so inspired to start gardening after reading it. Now that we've got the dirt to cultivate, it's time to find some motivation!

That pile of books got me thinking about this plot of dirt. I'd like to garden the closest half of the circle to get my feet wet.
I'll have to figure out how to safely transplant these loves:
But won't be the slightest bit sad to rip out these crispy critters!
While out back contemplating the garden circle yesterday, I was surprised to discover this madness:
Raf's been watering faithfully since we returned from our honeymoon (like a good little homeowner), but I had no idea that the "pond" in the back had gotten so green! (This thing has been nothing but dirt, concrete, and a border of dead grasses since we moved in.) Here's some of the random greenery up close:
How great are these little flowers that come out to greet us in the morning?! (Disregard the chewed up leaf--that seems to be one of the many plagues of our back yard.)
Across the path, these succulents are getting big!
And check this out--these vines came out from under the deck and are beginning to climb up the outside of the fireplace!
My favorite bush (that we promptly annihilated) appears to be making a comeback. This would be great news, except we're not sure if it's because of the times that we watered it in a different way (at the root, under the leaves) a while back, or because we're not watering it at all now. (It seems like it died after we started watering it originally...)
The state of the front yard is, quite surprisingly, a similar story. We bought a sprinkler a couple weeks ago. I think Raf used it once before reverting back to watering by hand. Kind of a waste, but the good news is something clicked and now he's out watering regularly. And thank goodness for it--I can't even remember the last evening I was home, let alone with watering top of mind!

So this is the macro view of the front yard. Pretty terrible, I know. The 2 plum (?) trees on the left are completely fried--they lost all their leaves a couple months ago--way too early to be normal. And all those rosemary bushes and other randoms in the front have definitely seen better days.
While the plum trees have lost their leaves, one does have this interesting new addition: pitch. In spots all over the trunk. Weird. I wonder what it means when a tree has pitch? Something tells me I don't want to know...
And while the majority of the rosemary bushes are still scorched, there are some very exciting new signs of life. Honestly, I thought these guys were irrevivable goners--but check out that one on the left--it's almost fully green!
And look--even on the brown ones, these little signs of life are sprouting up!
Elsewhere in the front, much is status quo. I continue to be grateful for all the drought tolerant goodness to be found, like the big bush outside our bedroom window...
...and my best friends: the wispy grasses.
The olive tree in the side yard shared with the neighbor is looking best. (I'm pretty sure they water over there!)
This fun little family of succulents seems to be looking up everyday:
And, to my amazement, I noticed some brand spanking new random green cropping up in the front yard. Maybe these guys are in the agapanthus family? Those seem to be the only flowers with a fighting chance with us as owners!
Special note for mom (who I'm pretty sure is the only one who read/was interested in this entire post): I planted the tuberose bulbs in a pot out front last week. Cross your fingers I didn't completely destroy them while breaking up the rootball! They seem to be growing (though I know they won't flower til probably 2011!), so I guess that's a good sign.

Long story short: evidently water really does do a yard good! I was really just hoping I could have the best of both worlds--water conservation and a thriving green space! Oh well...balance right?

The Shoes

Let's be honest--no conversation about the dress would be complete without mention of the shoes! I love these shoes. They're comfortable, they're romantic, they're pretty, and, of course, they're RED!

Most people fretted when they first heard my shoes were red. Some didn't realize that it's now considered perfectly acceptable to wear non-white shoes. Others were comfortable with color...just maybe not red!

But not me. I knew the minute I chose the dress that I wanted red shoes. Not patent leather, cherry-red, street walker shoes, mind you. Deep red ones, in a romantic fabric, with a girly twist.

I found the perfect ones at Nordstrom. Thank goodness for prom! Oh, just admit it, you still shop in the Junior's section there too. Who doesn't love a little BP goodness?! What I didn't know is that they have BP shoes...score! I still can't believe how squishy and silky and comfy these were. Perfect find, to be sure.

To any brides out there shoe shopping, I highly encourage colorful shoes! It brings an element of fun and a dash of style. I love photos like the ones below, where the shoes weren't the focus of the shot--but the unexpected splash of red still catches the eye.

And, of course, best of all is that you can wear them again and again! You better believe you'll be seeing these babies over the holidays!

The only problem with the little beauties is that they had a good 3.5" heel. That's an average heel height for me--but at 5'10", I'm no average sized girl! Raf maintained good posture throughout the day, so we did alright, but when it came to dancing with Pops, the shoes had to go--I just couldn't handle towering above him!

After that, the shoes found their home on top of the Sweetheart Table for the rest of the night, while I enjoyed flip flops and grass dancing!

You might also remember the Bridal Brigade woes over finding the perfect yellow shoe. I'm happy to report that we found the perfect little Marc Jacobs number at Macy's. Amazingly--each and every one of them loved them! (That was a feat I was sure would be impossible!)

Don't let this photo fool you. While they may look like flats here (with everyone sunk into the dirt), these puppies had a 4.5" heel! Thankfully, each of them mastered the walk up the aisle, and the dance down it, without injury--before quickly switching into flats! True heel height seen here:

Yay for wardrobes full of re-wearable, colorful, peep toes!

The Dress, Unabridged

Raf is off hiking with the boys this morning, and I have a stack of sewing to work on...hence--a perfect time for blogging!

Evidently a glimpse of the gown on TFOW wasn't enough for my more demanding blog readers (Jordan), so here's the dish.
My gown was the Oceano by Pronovias, and it was perfect in (almost) every way. It was lacy and sparkly and girly (as I'm told a wedding gown should be), but there was nothing about it that felt over-the-top to me. I loved having the vintage feel with the layers of lace, without having to pull off vintage lines. I loved that it had straps and no volume, making it comfortable and mobile. I loved being able to slip in and out of it without it being a 15 minute extravaganza.

The only thing I didn't love about it was paying full price--then paying yet another outlandish amount for alterations. Was it worth it in the end? Of course it was. It was the only dress I put on that I knew I could never sell--thus leaving me completely aggravated, and simultaneously totally sure that it was The One.

I did search high and low for a better price, but to no avail. Being a 2006 design, I'm sure it can be found on a discount rack in some obscure boutique somewhere, but not here. There was one website selling it at a discount--but it was one of those shady looking sites that doesn't look or function well enough to give you confidence that it's legit. And with my height and shape, buying second hand is almost never an option.

The one thing I would have done differently--and would advise of any brides-to-be who are currently out gown searching--is to not have your dress altered at the boutique where you purchase it. Rather, shop around. Get recommendations for a great seamstress in your area, and hopefully save yourself a couple hundred bucks (and stupid tears) in the process!

While we're on the subject of alterations--when your seamstress tells you to bring a friend with you to your final fitting to learn how to bustle the gown--she means it! I didn't listen--I picked up the dress while everyone else was at work. And I paid for it, most hilariously!

This little button search with the full Bridal Brigade (plus Raf) went on for a good 10 minutes at the cocktail reception...right out in front of everyone! It was classic.

And I can't finish a post about the dress, without a note about what made the dress better--the sweater! My sister made this sweet yellow find in downtown SLO the day before the wedding. And thank goodness she did--otherwise I'd have hundreds of photos of me swimming in Raf's suit jacket all night! I love San Luis weather, but when the wind picks up at night--it's cold!
She keeps making blatant remarks about how I was "borrowing" it and when she'll be "getting it back"--to which I say: HA! You wear it on your wedding day--it's yours, buddy! :)