Archive | October 2012

Because I’m a nanny, that’s why.

The title of this blog post is an answer to a question.  That question is, WHY, Miss Sword, why have you watched (more than once) “Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses?”

image via Wikipedia

The answer is because I’m a nanny, that’s why.  Littlest C LOVES this movie and I have to admit it’s not that bad!  Truthfully I enjoy kid movies.  And while I’m not that into Barbie in general, if Barbie is going to pretend she is a princess and have 11 sisters, I’m GAME.

So, what if I told you I was going to include the intro music from “Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses” in my wedding processional?  What if I told you Mr. Sword has approved this as well as Mom Sword?  Would you believe it?  Because it’s all true.  I showed them this song a few months ago and was shocked that they both thought it worked for our wedding.  Just goes to show ya, it never hurts to ask!

This song just spoke to me and I’m seriously considering having my sexy kilt-wearing groomsman and my gorgeous long dress-wearing bridesmaids walk into this song.  Isn’t it pretty but also kind of dark and romantic?

I also like it because it will be a nice contrast to the bagpipes that will mark Littlest C’s entrance followed by Dad Sword and myself.

Are you having any unusual wedding processional music?  What do you think of this song?

Secret Life of Bees: Sword Edition

I love this series!  It’s so fun to learn more about each Bee’s life outside of wedding planning.  🙂

As I started thinking about this series I began to curse myself for being such an open book.  Don’t I over-share already?  Won’t everyone know this or that by now?  Of course that’s a silly way to think, because there’s always more to share!

And then I stumbled on the real reason I don’t have many secrets: I’M LAME.  I don’t have a tattoo, a strange addiction, or a unique talent, or a weird family situation, but luckily I’m a trooper and I was able to scrounge up three embarrassing tidbits to share with the Hive.  You’re welcome.

1. I have “chronic bitch attitude” when I walk down the street alone.  It’s a bit like chronic bitch face, and please reference the ever-hilarious Mrs. Unicycle for her take on chronic bitch face.  Have I said chronic bitch enough times yet?  Geez.

The thing is when I’m walking with Mr. Sword, my nanny kiddos, or a couple of girlfriends, I’m one happy gal.  I’m friendly and I smile; life.is.good.  But for some reason when I walk alone I encompass this rude big city ‘tude and I’m kind of unpleasant.

To make matters worse, I walk around Chicago daily.  I mean, I do a lot of walking.  And because I walk by a ton of people, I end up getting hit on a decent amount.  It’s bizarre but true, I still get hollered at despite looking like I’m walking around with a stick up my ass.  Instead of feeling complimented (like I am when I’m not alone) I usually make the “Eww” face and continue on my way with a shudder.  HOW DARE THEY HIT ON ME!?!?!

If people try to ask me for directions (a bad idea in the first since I barely know where I’m going half the time) I am really hesitant and unsure.  Who are you?  Why are you talking to me?

I’m also really bad at making small talk in general but I’m especially bad at it on long elevator rides.  I would never intentionally talk about something as boring as the weather, so if I bring it up you know I’m desperate.

Social skills FAIL.

2. I have a small obsession with the Amish Culture.  When I say small, I really mean, huge.  First off, I’ve read about ten books by New York Times Bestseller, Beverly Lewis, author of Amish novels inspired by her experience growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Lewis writes these dramatic and spiritual books about her mother’s Plain heritage and I literally can’t put them down!  She writes about their struggles in such a personal way, and to be honest, I find a forbidden Amish love story to be way more intriguing than any vampire, zombie, or werewolf version of the same.

I haven’t read any of her books in a while (been planning a wedding yo), but recently my favorite TV channel, TLC, premiered a new show, Breaking Amish,  and it’s rocked my world every Sunday for the past few weeks.

image via TLC

Now I know there are some rumors floating around about the show, and I understand that reality TV is often times scripted, but watching their stories unfold and hearing about their life growing up in the Amish community is really interesting to me.

I’ve always been fascinated with history and learning about other cultures.  And for the record, just because I’m intrigued by different lifestyles doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with them.  I do think we can all be respectful of each other’s differences, and educate ourselves to be less ignorant.  When you know more about where someone comes from, it’s harder to judge them.

3. My friends and I always have the most INAPPROPRIATE nicknames for each other.  Like, it’s bad, super embarrassing, and I can’t believe I’m sharing this with the world.

High School: DGLB’s (Damn Good Looking Babes)  While DGLB didn’t stick around after leaving high school, a few of our individual nicknames DID stick.  See, we made these names for each other and it’s still fun to use them to this day.  In the picture below, the friend on the left is Crabby and the friend on the right is Fatty.  (My name is long forgotten although I’m pretty sure it was equally as disturbing.)  And yes, we know Fatty isn’t fat.  That’s why it’s funny.  (Please don’t send me hate mail.  We were all stupid when we were younger.)

These two girls were my best friends from middle school to high school and we’re still friends now.  We’ve been though so much together, and I love them to the death.  This is the three of us in LA and that’s me in the middle with a spray tan.

Crabby, Miss Sword, Fatty

College: STD’s

Clearly this name gets us a lot of attention and not the good kind.  But it doesn’t mean what you think it means.  It was actually a group of girlfriends that I met through my campus ministry.  See, Christians can have fun too!  STD is merely an acronym for “Stomach Touching Damsels,” because we all used to touch tummies like Karen and Jack on the hit show, Will and Grace.  Does anyone remember that episode??

While we never touch tummies anymore (thankfully), we still use the STD name quite often when referring to the group.  So much so that when I was emailing H Bomb about my Save the Dates for the wedding she thought I was referring to our group of friends.  Oops.

In a large group of girlfriends (I doubt men do this!), it’s always easier to have a group name instead of saying everyone’s individual name each time you are referring to the same group of people.

And it doesn’t seem weird to us anymore, I swear!  The STD’s were such an important part of my early 20’s (that sounds weird), and the friendships I made in college helped shape the woman I am today. AWW.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of STD’s and it’s proving too difficult to find a semi-recent, good quality (not embarrassing) photo.  So instead I leave with you with me and H Bomb.  She’s one of my besties and you’ll see her face around Weddingbee in the future as she’s also one of my honor attendants in the wedding!

Post-College: Sister Wives

I (we) named us after the TLC show Sister Wives because we used to get together to watch every episode as sort of a weekly Sunday night treat.  I know what you’re thinking, polygamy!?!  Again, I can explain!

The concept of women helping each other care for each other’s families and be supportive fans of each other’s lives is the concept that I enjoy from that show. Thus, Sister Wives is a pretty decent name for a group of friends that care about and support each other.  And NO, none of us share men.  That would be weird.  It’s just a funny name!  (Note: Please see my paragraph on respecting the Amish before saying anything bad about the Fundamentalist Mormons.)

It’s hard to get all of us in one photo, but here are most of S Wives in two photos!  These girls and I have navigated this city together for many holidays, birthdays, girls nights, engagements, and four weddings by the time March rolls around! It’s been a blast.

At church

Out in Chicago

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

So, there ya have it.  A  few of my secrets.  Does anyone else walk with an attitude, have a love of the Amish, or weird nicknames with their friends?  Do share!

Cinderella Thinks She Can Do Better

So I went shoe shopping, and frankly, it’s about time!  To be honest, I feel a wee bit behind on my overall bridal look.

I still need to purchase shoes, jewelry, figure out all my “something”s, and decide on a veil.  But it’s not like I don’t want to go shopping (because I do, I definitely do), it’s just that I’m afraid to commit to anything.  I’ve never been someone obsessed with the accessorizing an outfit, and suddenly I need to choose items that will be showcased in my photos for years to come.  This is the big leagues baby and I’m scared!

Booking vendors and even choosing and ordering Evie all went pretty smoothly because I knew I had a timeline and I was able to make quick and smart decisions without second guessing myself.  For some reason I’m convinced that there are just too many options for shoes and jewelry; thus I’m overwhelmed at the thought of making a selection!

Like I said last week, I did end up checking out the Glass Slipper Collection at DSW, but I’m sorry to report I just wasn’t feeling them.  Sadly, there were no butterflies or giddiness.   They have a shoe that is Cinderella-inspired and it is beautiful but it’s not quite special enough.  The display was nice though, and I didn’t have to look far when I entered the store!

Please excuse the crappy photos and the fact that I’m wearing the little nylon footsie things.

I can see the nod to Cinderella, but I’m still thinking I want more of a clear or nude colored heel in a very simple and classic style.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to beading, and the beading on this shoe wasn’t cutting it.  Plus, they were very tight and uncomfortable.  The final result is, I’ll be looking elsewhere.

That same day I did look elsewhere, at a glittery gold  peek-a-boo shoe:

It’s glittery gold yumminess means I should definitely buy it for fun, but I don’t think it’s right for my bridal look.  Back to the drawing board!

I do wish the Glass Slipper Collection shoe had worked out for one major reason though!  On the bottom of each shoe is a carefully placed blue rhinestone.

So lovely and so sweet and SO SOMETHING BLUE.  I’m actually having trouble with my something blue because while it’s a very popular color, I don’t feel strongly about blue.  Now, “something purple” I could live with!  (Note my pants in these photos.)  I might end up adding my something blue to the bottom of my shoes anyway, so I just liked that they had already taken care of it!

Finally if I were to get any shoe from the Glass Slipper Collection I’d totally snag these Royal Pumps because they definitely give me butterflies!!

image via DSW

(all photos personal)

What do you think of the Cinderella-inspired shoe?  Am I being too picky?  Anyone else having trouble accessorizing your bridal look?

Ooh-la-la!!

Let’s talk about panties!  Because I got a crap load of them at my shower and they’re all adorable!  It was all part of a game/poem that my hostess’ read to me.  It was so fun to open each pair as they read each stanza, and I think it was a real-crowd pleaser as well!

I LOVED the games at my shower, they were so fun but at the same time didn’t put anyone on the spot.  I thought I’d share what we did for those who are interested and those planning a shower in the near future!

The first game was on-going throughout the shower.  When you arrived you were asked to pick up two clothespins and place them somewhere on your clothes.

If you said one of the three off-limit words, someone could steal your clothespin and whoever had the most on by the end of the afternoon won a prize!  The three hot words were “wedding,” Mr. Sword’s real name, and “Chicago.”  I thought this was hysterical because my family often complains about how often I talk about Chicago while in Minnesota.  For example, someone will say, “The traffic is so bad today!”  And I’ll say, “Well, you should see the traffic we have in Chicago.  Chicago is way worse.”  Needless to say, I lost my two clothespins right away and then spent the rest of the afternoon saying Mr. Sword’s name and Chicago quite frequently!

The second game was the panty poem which has been featured on WB before by Mrs. French Bulldog and others!  I won’t write out the poem again as it’s pretty easy to find online if you search “panty poem,” but I will show you all the beautiful panties I received!  I love Victoria’s Secret underwear, do you?

Panty 1: Bridal White- First Night, Panty 2: Sexy lace panties for Honeymoon, Panty 3: Red- Valentine’s Day, Panty 4: Leopard or Purple for 1st anniversary

Panty 5: Pink and Blue for first baby, Panty 6: Sexy full cut pair for 25 years, Panty 7: Big Giant Pair (granny panties)

Here’s hoping I never fit into those!  I have a big butt already but YIKES!  At least they’re granny panties in my favorite color.  🙂

Finally, the third game we played was a concentration/memory game.  Our hostess’ split us up into three groups to make it more interactive. I’m going to write this one out because it’s not super long, and there seem to be a few variations of it online. This version was perfect for us!

Candy Match Game
Butterfingers = First Date Interaction
Hugs = Warm Embraces
Pay Day = Wedding Ring Purchase Date
Twix = Bachelor Party Pranks
Mounds = Gifts
Hot Tamales = The Bride
Sweet Tarts = The Bride and Groom
Lifesavers = The Parents
100 Grand = The Reception
Skor = The Honeymoon Night
Starburst = Groom’s Honeymoon Reverie
Baby Ruth = 9 Months After the Honeymoon

This game was amazing because when you matched a set, you got a full-sized version of the corresponding candy bar. I LOVE sweets and luckily for me I had bridal luck on my side as I kept winning candy bar after candy bar. I tried to give a few away so I didn’t end up eating them all thankfully!

The below photos are courtesy of Meagan Maue.

Ok, I promise I’m done talking about my shower!  I’ll be back to regular wedding planning stuff next week.

First up, I was able to check out the Cinderella shoe line at DSW so I’ll fill you in on whether or not those shoes were fit for this princess!

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

What games did you do at your shower?  Did you get panties or candy bars like me?  Did you experience any “bridal luck?”

…What a Weekend Baby: Miss Sword Has a Meltdown

This is the last installment in my series (my apologies if you’re ready for me to move on by now).

That said, if you want to read what else happened during my “My Wedding Dress Doesn’t Fit and I Feel Crazy But My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby” posts, then you can catch up now!

First, I showed off my White House Black Market shower dress, then I booked a florist and forced Sister Big Eyes and Mom Sword to make tartan fabric boutonnieres, and finally I shared all about my shower!

As I’ve already shared the good, it’s time to progress to the bad and the downright ugly.

My dress, lovingly referred to as Evie, arrived in late August, but I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment to pick her up until October.  NO PROBLEM.  Mom Sword and I showed up at 5 PM snagging one of the last appointments of the day.  I was a wee bit hangry which put me off to a bad start but BM L Dawg had encouraged me to skip on a  pre-fitting snack and I’m glad she did!

This is what I looked like before my appointment:

This is what I looked a mere ten minutes later:

Evie didn’t zip up Hive.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Here’s the whole (ugly) story:

When I first ordered my dress I was encouraged to buy a strapless bra that would be sewn into the dress to keep the MN twins in check.  Well, both bra and dress were in my room when I arrived so I put on the strapless bra first and slipped into my gown.

But when the girl tried to zip up my dress, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.  She tried really hard but there was no way it was going to zip up to the top.  I feel like I’ve lived through every bride’s worst nightmare and I’ve come out a better person on the other side (said in a sappy, melodramatic voice).

The thoughts running through my head were, This isn’t happening to me!  MY dress is a size bigger than the sample dress which FIT LIKE A GLOVE.  Could the sample have stretched out that much?  Damn my huge boobs, back fat, and wide Scandinavian rib cage!  Damn them all!  To make matters worse I was having my monthly girl thing and I’m sure the extra bloating wasn’t helping my case.  Ugh.

The panic started to set in as the girl helping me went to get the alterations lady.  Mom Sword was sitting quietly on the couch feeling terrible for me, and that’s when the tears started to fall.  There was no way I was going to ask them to take out my dress!  When the alterations lady arrived she suggested we try it without the strapless bra saying that it was a terrible bra with really weird cups that were most likely adding to the problem.  So we went bra-less and relief upon relief, Evie zipped up!

But it was too late to stop the meltdown, because things got even worse.  As I stared at my dress it struck me how wrinkled disheveled it looked.  In my hangry, fragile, and period-driven state, I was starting to doubt why I’d chosen this dress in the first place!

Then I noticed A FLAW.  On the right hip of my dress a small part of the ruched fabric was puffing up.  It looked like there was extra fabric there or that it had been stretched or pulled because while the left hip lay flat, the right side looked like crap.  Of course the alterations lady didn’t believe  me at first and kept trying to calm me down instead.  I’m sorry, but I hate being told to relax, it’s my pet peeve!  I’m an emphatic and intense person, and people have been telling me to me to relax my entire life and all I wanted was some compassion, not someone glossing over things and making me feel like a freak for getting upset!

Anyway, she started to say that a good steaming/pressing would fix the problem on the right side.  On the exterior I was trying to be understanding but on the interior I was getting even more upset!  It’s a flaw!  How could she not see it?!?!  I begged Mom Sword for some support but Mom Sword doesn’t know dresses all that well, and said from far away it wasn’t visible, but as she got closer she could see the imperfection on the right hip.  Just when I was beginning to feel like I was in a dream and clearly imagining things, the alterations lady said she’ll pin the fabric in question down and then sew it, and we’ll be able to pick up the dress in a week’s time.

Excuse me?  Does this mean you’re agreeing with me?  She even went to steam the dress to show me how the wrinkles would come out (they were so bad), and my guess is IF she could have steamed out the flaw, she would have, but it looks like she couldn’t.

When we went to the front desk to schedule the pickup they asked when I could come back and I said, “I can’t!  I live in Chicago; I won’t be back until December!”  We decided Dad Sword and MOH/Sister Big Eyes would pick up the dress the following week.  I asked Sister Big Eyes to try it on for me so she could assess how it looked even though she hadn’t been there to see the flaw in the first place.  It was my best option!

**********

I’m happy to report that the dress was picked up this past weekend and it looks beautiful.  I wish I could say I was 100% happy now, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve fallen out of love with my dress.  I just feel so annoyed with myself for barely fitting her, and I’m frustrated with the delicate fabric and its haphazard look.  I’m sad that I didn’t smile very much when I was wearing her, I’m pissed I started off on such a terrible note, and I’m angry with society (and myself again) for all the pressure I feel to love my dress.

I love my groom more than anything and that’s all that matters, right?  My relationship with Evie is a work in progress, like any relationship I guess.  In the end it was a bit of a blessing that she didn’t fit me well, because if she was too loose, I’d have gotten overly comfortable and relaxed. I would have become less diligent about what I ate, and I might not have had a good fitting come December.

While that whole experience was really difficult, I feel like I learned a lot.

1. Don’t go to your appointment hangry.  Or bloated (although there’s not much you can do about that).

2. Try to look your best so you FEEL your best.

3. Set the expectations bar super low.

4.  Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is super tight and tiny in the bridal industry.

5. Remember your groom loves you for the size you are, and that size is not just a good size, it is the right size for you in that moment.

Mom Sword even got me to chuckle during my meltdown because she started laughing hysterically at me when through my tears I asked her to get a few photos for the blog.  I knew this would be a good story and I want to make a real effort to share the not-so-good parts of wedding planning as well as the sunshine-y moments.  So yea, I was thinking of Weddingbee during this moment:

The good news is I am going to have a family friend do my dress alterations and that already makes me feel more comfortable!  Evie is currently hanging in a closet in my parent’s house and I’m hoping our next meeting goes a lot smoother!  🙂

(all photos personal)

So, that’s my story.  What’s yours?

…What a Weekend Baby: Bridal Shower Photos!

Remember how I said I was waiting on something before I could recap my MN bridal shower?  Well, it’s here!  MY SHOWER PHOTOS!!

So, part of BM L Dawg’s shower gift to was hire her friend to take photos!  Such a great idea, especially, since I was worrying about who would take photos at the shower and didn’t want anyone to be stuck behind the lens the whole time!  BM L Dawg knew it’d be the perfect gift for me so she asked her friend (who does photography as a hobby) to capture all of those special moments and now we have tons of great detail, candid, and posed shots!  (This is a photo heavy post BTW, in case that’s not obvious yet.)

All of these lovely photos are courtesy of Meagan Maue.  (thank you Meagan!)

My bridal shower was held at my home church up in suburbs of the Twin Cities and the day turned out to be pretty rainy and gross but that didn’t stop us or the guests from having a wonderful time!

The black and white theme was incorporated EVERYWHERE which made me so giddy and excited when I first walked into the room!  I was given a corsage to wear which made me feel even more special!

There is a funny story attached to the pine cones… since I got engaged in Feb. of 2012 I have been talking about incorporating pine cones into my decor because my March wedding is at the tail end of winter, and their natural brown color would go well with our centerpieces, plus I just really like the look of pine cones!  Well most of my family did not like this idea (Mom Sword was very verbal about her dislike of pine cones at a wedding) so you can imagine my surprise when I saw a bowl of them at my shower!  Yay, I finally got my pine cones!

My shower hostess’ are some of the best people I know.  I wish there were enough words to thank them for everything!  My two aunts, cousin, and BM L Dawg really out-did themselves!  And since the shower was Black and White themed, my beautiful and AMAZING hostess’ all wore a splash of red to make themselves stand out.  Brilliant.

BM L Dawg, Auntie B, Cuz-E, Miss Sword, and Auntie N

Of course I had to get some photos with Mom Sword.

And of course MOH/Sister Big Eyes had to photo bomb us!  It was pretty hilarious.

I thought there was the perfect amount of games (another post on that coming soon) and the perfect amount of eating and chatting.  Opening gifts was a blast although I sort of rushed through them because I was worried about people getting bored!  I guess I over-compensated a bit and soon MOH Big Eyes and BM L Dawg were telling me to slow down!  At least I entertained everyone with my dramatic and exaggerated faces.

Even the food was black and white and red.  Can I just say they did a fantastic job considering the options out there?  Pretty sure I’m the only person who had jicama at their shower.

Auntie B did a great job creating these letters to highlight my princess theme.

After gifts and games, it was time for toasts and champagne!  I love this photo below of my adorable hostess’ getting ready in the kitchen!

 

Hearing the heartfelt toasts was such a beautiful way to end the event.  I am so blessed to have such great family and friends!

And then Mom Sword said I should speak!  Normally I’m a bundle of nerves when I have to say something off the cuff (yes I know, despite being an actor), but instead of freaking out, I took a deep breath and thanked everyone from the bottom of my heart.  It looked a little something like this:

Finally, because no one had to play photographer, we were able to get a group shot at the end!  Everyone was asked to wear black and it looked really great!

Sorry for the wait, but I hope you enjoyed photos!  Did you have a themed shower?  What was it?

Up next, my dramatic dress appointment story.  Get ready.

…What a Weekend Baby: 3, Miss Sword Pretends to Craft

OK, so I’m doing this series and I’m holding out on you guys because I have sort of a surprise coming when I recap the shower, but I have to wait a bit longer before I start sharing what happened, so in the meantime, I’m jumping a bit out-of-order to show you an evening of wedding planning in my parent’s home.  Sit tight while we watch (through photos mostly) the Sword women do a bit of DIY.

I decided a long time ago I would make our guy’s boutonnieres (since they wouldn’t be made of real flowers) many months before the wedding to minimize stressing about them as much as possible.  I wanted to make sure we started far enough in advance because  A) What if they looked terrible and we had to start all over? and B) What if this DIY thing is harder than it looks? (it is.)  So after gathering a bunch of supplies, Mom Sword, MOH/Sister Big Eyes and I all set to work making a few prototype bouts.

This is me working slowly hard.

After one pathetic attempt I gave up and Sister Big Eyes (aided by Mom Sword) gave it a whirl.

Below you will see what I came up with next to what Sister came up with.  My version is the sad piece on the left, hers is the one that looks like it will stay together for the duration of a wedding day.  Clearly, we had a DIY limitation on our hands.  CLEARLY.

Needless to say we’ll be going with MOH Big Eyes’ prototype, which started off with a bit of ivory ribbon placed behind the flower to make the tartan pop out, but in the end we decided it looked a lot “cleaner” and “finished” without the ribbon.  What do you think?

With this wedding decision tackled all we need is a few more tartan scraps and some free time so we MOH Big Eyes can get started on the rest of them!

But don’t worry, I definitely redeemed myself by showing off my scissor skills and cutting flowers to fill Littlest C’s flower girl basket with petals.  We plan on spraying them with perfume for a nice feminine touch.

Isn’t Fibonacci the best helper EVER?  He’s also Littlest C’s understudy…

(all photos personal)

What do you think of our hard work?  Do you like how the tartan is popping up everywhere?  Isn’t Fiblet adorable?!?!

My Wedding Dress Doesn’t fit and I Feel Crazy, but My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby: 2

The second edition of my awkwardly titled series is about FLOWERS!  (This is Part One, in case you missed it.)

Back when I started planning, I was in the “I don’t know what the hell to do about flowers camp,” and was waffling between hiring someone to do my bouquets and having a friend arrange them for me.  Then there was the whole flower alternative idea floating in my head where you make flowers out of paper (thank you Miss Gray Wolf and Miss Panda for the awesome inspiration), but considering I gave up on making boutonnieres after a whole 1.5 minutes,  I think I lack both the desire and skill to DIY anything so grand.  I also decided that I’d rather have my friends simply be guests on the wedding day instead of friendors.

Consequently, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and order my flowers through a flower shop.

And boy, was it EASY.  Too easy.  In fact, maybe it was all dream.  No wait, the crappier part of the weekend most DEFINITELY happened so then all good stuff must be true as well!  🙂

My flight into the Twin Cities landed at 9:30 AM and by 10 AM I was seated at a table with BM L Dawg and meeting with C for our first appointment of the day.*

C was a dream to work with, and as L Dawg told Mom Sword, “we were a bit high maintenance” and she still gave us great customer service.  She hopped up so many times to show me flowers that I finally told her it wasn’t necessary, and she could just stay seated!

Get this Hive: I went in with ZERO inspiration photos.  BRIDE FAIL.  But it wasn’t a big deal, I did have a vision and I had a budget.

I’m actually going to share our budget with you because not only is it a great point of reference for those in the Midwest looking for flowers, but it’s also nice to know the actual numbers sometimes if only for comparison sake and curiosity!  In case you’ve forgotten, our centerpieces will be flower free, which means we only needed 5 bouquets and four corsages.

The budget Mr. Sword and I decided on pre-MN trip was 500.00 dollars for all things floral.

When we first sat down I turned to C and said, “I know very little about flowers and what they cost, but our budget is 500.00 dollars, can you help us get all that we want for that amount?”  And she said, “yes.”  Immediately, my heart soared and we got to work picking flowers.

Umm, I think I’m holding stock but don’t quote me on that!

For my bridal bouquet BM L Dawg and C helped me choose white hydrangea, ivory roses, white heather (as a nod to Mr. Sword’s Scottish culture), and mini calla lilies in eggplant as accents.

image via Fifty Flowers

I’m also incorporating some fiddlehead ferns in my bouquet to add in some darkness and drama (they are the curly-q things sticking out of the bouquet shown below).

Source: luxefinds.com via Jessica on Pinterest

 And finally we decided to cradle the flowers in these big leaves known as aspidistra (I’d never heard of it before).  The bouquet featured below has leaves at the bottom of it that appear to be aspidistra (although hopefully they’ll be a bit darker), and this is the overall look we are going for in all of the bouquets.

image via The Flirty Guide/ Photo by Karen Hsu

Suddenly, all four wedding colors are represented in my bouquet: eggplant purple, chocolate brown, forest green, and ivory.  Insert happy bride dance here!

Cut to the maid’s bouquets.  Since the bridesmaids are wearing the color eggplant…

Thank you MOH Big Eyes for modeling

it didn’t make sense to have their bouquets dark purple as well, so instead they are going to have a mixture of different shades of purple flowers (I love purple so much), ranging from really pale to lavender to the  dark eggplant calla lilies like in my bouquet.  MOH/Sister Big Eyes will also get a splash of spray ivory roses in her bouquet to make it stand out.

Finally, we ordered wrist corsages using what else but a purple flower (of which I have forgotten the name).

Here is our numbers breakdown in case you’re interested (while calla lilies are expensive, we also incorporated some inexpensive flowers so all in all I think we did good):

Brides bouquet                                                                                                 135.00

Bridesmaids (3) ea, 80.00                                                                              240.00

Maid of honor (1)                                                                                            95.00

Wrist corsages (4) ea. 20.00                                                                         80.00

This comes to $550.00 less 15% discount (-82.50) = 467.50 x 7.775% sales tax 36.35 = 503.85

Did you notice the 15% discount?  Isn’t C amazing?  I can’t speak highly enough of her as she worked within my budget, was flexible in offering different types of flowers, and super easy to converse with!  We even showed C some of the tartan fabric and she agreed to wrap all of the bouquet stems in it as well!  Success!

Table of my stuff including a swatch of the tartan

After BM L Dawg and I left the shop, we promptly got into the car and canceled our next floral appointment (this was pre-estimate btw) because we were confident with C and lesbihonest, we just wanted to get to our movie.  (Random movie plug: Go see Pitch Perfect, you won’t regret!)  Aca-believe me.

(all photos personal)

*I have no problem sharing my vendors and linking back to their websites once everything is fully signed and dotted, but private message me if you are a MN bride in need of great service!

What do you think of our floral prices based on our Midwest location?  Am I crazy for not getting a second opinion?  What can I say, I was going on instinct!

My wedding dress doesn’t fit and I feel crazy but my shower rocked, what a weekend baby: 1

Hive, how’s it going!?!  Hopefully you’ve picked up on my “Call Me Maybe” reference (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself).  I just got back from Minnesota and what a whirlwind trip it was!  I got a BILLION things done, well almost.

I was able to book two new vendors (flowers and hair/makeup), pick up my dress (sort of), and attend my very own bridal shower.  Mom Sword and Sister Big Eyes and I even had to time to do some DIY’ing of boutonnieres.  Well, I should say they DIY’ed and I sat close by drinking diet coke and offering moral support.

I have so much to recap from my short visit that I decided to make it into a series.  I love it when Bees name their wedding recaps, but also when they do pre-wedding series on invitations, showers or anything else for that matter!

I have lots to say because this weekend was full of so many highs and also a few lows (waahhh).  So hang on and enjoy the ride!

My wedding dress doesn’t fit and I feel crazy but my shower rocked, what a weekend baby:1

You might remember my when I got my invite to this shower, it was black and white, and hinted at a similar theme.  My invite specifically asked that I wear white to the shower and all of the guests were asked to wear black.  I knew immediately where I wanted to go to get my outfit.  Why, White House Black Market of course!

Lucky for me, I was shopping at the end of August, just when all of the summer dresses are going on sale and the fall dresses are coming out.  And really lucky for me was that white was going out of style with Labor Day right around the corner!  So I found a fabulous dress on sale for 60 dollars and I’m confident I can re-wear it again starting next summer.  Here is me posing in it a few weeks before the shower.

Naturally I HAD to buy the geometric matching jewelry set that complimented the dress so well.

(all photos personal)

Sorry that’s all I got for today!  Miss Sword needs to catch up on life!  But stay tuned…  🙂

On being a wedding guest

This past weekend I was at the wedding of a college friend of mine from U of I. They got married at a vineyard in Virginia and even though the weather was being a bit temperamental, the wedding was lovely and a real definition of love.  For those of you going with an autumn, rustic or winery themed wedding, take note!

the outdoor ceremony option

Mr. Sword in the reception space

the adorable sweetheart table

During our visit to the DC area and before my friend’s wedding, Mr. Sword and I were lucky enough to visit and stay with one of my high school girlfriends.  We met up with her for dinner and got to explore the city she calls home (for the time being anyway, her hubby is military).  Even though I was flying to Virginia for a wedding, it felt silly not to stop in and say hi to my friend when I was so close!  Not only did we get to catch up but she also did my hair and makeup before we left for the wedding, what an awesome friend.

Getting pretty

And we weren’t the only people making the most of our flights to the east coast, I would say at least 5 other friends (or more) were visiting other friends or in some cases, family, while they were in town for the wedding, which got me thinking.

Weddings have become such different beasts over the years.  Now more than ever, couples strive to make their celebrations as personal as possible, and there seems to be no limit on ideas.  If you can dream it, you can make it happen!  Locations are virtually endless with the ease of travel these days and with the added perk of seeing other people you know, destination-type weddings make great excuses for mini-vacations.  🙂

Once upon a time (back in the day) people used to go to college in their home state, buy houses near their parents, and marry in the town where they were born. Now this still happens of course, but not quite as often.  People are also getting married later in life after living away from home for years, after having established many different friend groups, after they’ve held “real” jobs and maybe even after they’ve been abroad.  Because of all this, people end up having friends splattered all across the country and lots of out-of-town guests by the time they get hitched.

I know for a fact that many people are going to use our wedding a way to either explore the US or visit family and friends and I’m more than OK with that!

Wee sis and her fiancé B will be hitting up New York before our wedding, and another groomsmen has plans to see Vancouver before making his way to Minnesota. I’ve heard plans of a few Chicago guests who are visiting Minnesota folks either before or after our big event, and my in-laws plan to take a mini-trip to Duluth for a few days following the wedding before flying back to Scotland.  We have about 75% of our guests* coming from outside of Minnesota so I will be humbly and eternally grateful to those who make the trip and I encourage all of our traveling guests to make the most of their visit up North!  🙂

I love attending my friend’s weddings, no matter where they are located.  It’s always worth the trip. 🙂

Happy Swords!

(all photos personal and used with permission)

How many weddings would you say you’ve gone to that are out-of-state or out-of-country in the last few years?  Do you think weddings have changed much over the last few decades?

*For those of you who like numbers (I don’t, this is all courtesy of Mr. Sword), this is our guest break down pre-invitations going out:

image courtesy of Mr. Sword