Monday, September 29, 2008

Wedding Envy

The main objective during the planning thus far is to attempt to restrain our wedding from turning into a three ring circus by getting rid of some of the frills and only including those details that reflect our tastes and styles. We want our wedding to still be nice but without all the stressful hoopla. But even with my practical side I have to admit that I am envious of the girls who get the wedding with all the details coordinated down to every bow and sash. Lately I have been finding that my bratty side wants to stomp my feet and insist I get it all. Luckily my inner voice reels me back in before I actually act on those fleeting feelings. I truly am happy with all the choices we have made and the direction our wedding is taking but you can't blame a girl for every once in while wanting it all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Wedding Details

As I have posted before fall is my absolute favorite time of the year! We got the fall decorations out this weekend which got me wishing again that I was having a fall wedding. Unfortuneatly this fall was too soon and next fall was too far away. But I will be a newlywed next fall past the stress of planning a wedding and able to enjoy the season. Since I have been in the spirit here are some fall wedding details.

How to Change Your Name

Since I had been posting about the choice to change your name I thought it would be useful to post a link that contains information about how to actually change your name. There is a very helpful complete checklist of all the places to change your name starting with the social security office. Additionally it includes links to the social security name change application, passport and such. You can find all of this here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Choice

So even with my concerns about changing my name I have decided to take on Andy's name. The big exception is that I am not going to drop any of my current names. Yes I will have a really long name considering I am keeping my maiden name and I currently already have two middle names, but I like it, it's unique. I am excited about my choice since we will have a shared last name but at the same time I will keep my name. The icing on the cake is that Andy has decided to take my maiden name as his second middle name. He won't use the name publicly but it is his gesture to me so that we both will be taking on each other's name.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hyphenated Names

A second choice for those who don't want to lose their maiden name is to hyphenate their name by adding his to yours. I have known many people with hyphenated last names and never thought twice about it. Yet I am just not keen at all about this idea. I would like to stay as far away from an uber long last name as possible. I don't want to deal with frustration of having to fill out a registration form with not enough boxes for a hypenated last name. And lets just be honest not all last names sound good when paired together. Really I just don't like hyphenated names, at least not for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Keeping It the Same

The most obvious option if you are having trouble with taking on your husband's name is just not to take his name and keep your name the same as it is. This is an option I considered but it wasn't for me. Getting married is the ultimate commitment a couple can make. This commitment is made to each other but is also a public statement to the world and higher beings. Our first and foremost reason for getting married is to make this commitment to each other. But as much as I hate it we are also making this commitment because it validates our relationship to society. Some people might scoff at that statement but it's true. We have been together for 8 years but a couple that has been together for 2 years who married after a year of dating is given more importance because they are married and we are just dating even if our relationship is just as or more loving, stable and committed. If we didn't care about this commitment/statement we wouldn't get married and we would go on dating as we have but obviously this commitment is important to us. Carrying a shared name is one way the world recognizes this statement made by a couple. It might be silly and I am a bit ashamed of it but I want the world to recognize and value our relationship the way the two of us have for the last 8 years. On top of it all if we have children then we will be confronted with the issue of whose last name do we give the children. One of us will end up not sharing a name with our children which will cause people to question if they are both of our children and will confuse more people than it's worth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Name Game

Traditionally when a woman got married she took on her husband's last name. Growing up I never thought I might have issues with changing my name until I officially was confronted with the reality of being expected to change my last name. I have to say that I am having major identity issues and finding a bit of my feminist side. My entire life I have been known as Vanessa and identified myself with that name. While my name didn't dictate who I became at the same time my name became tangled up and inseparable from my identity beginning with the day I was born. It would be odd to call me Melissa, Sarah or Katie because I am Vanessa, I act like Vanessa, I look like Vanessa, I am Vanessa.

The same goes for my last name and is just as an important part of my identity as my first name. To just change my name and no longer have my maiden name seems wrong. I have been mourning the possible loss of my current last name. I am not becoming a different person when I get married, I will still be me. So to be identified as a completely different person is just strange.

The most interesting part of all of this is that so many people seem horrified by my difficulty with this issue and act as if I am hurting them. I wonder how my personal decision of what to do with MY name is so controversial? Women have been bucking tradition for years making decisions to have children on their own, becoming the family bread winner, speaking their minds and thinking outside of the box. However I have quickly found that there is a stigma for not sticking to tradition when it comes to your name. Most men would be offended if you asked them to change their name and would absolutely refuse to because it's their name. Why is their name any more important than my name? If you would ask them why they won't change their name they would respond because it is tradition or normal for the woman to change her name. Again, why and who says so? During a time when women have so many choices and the ability to make decisions for their own lives without any repercussions the same should go for our decisions about our last name. There is nothing wrong with a woman who decides to stick with tradition because it is her choice but to do so blindly is to put it bluntly, stupid.

Unsurprisingly I have more to say about the name change issue but way too much to say in just one post. All week I will be commenting on different name possibilities and the personal choice I finally decided on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

Today was the first day of fall, my absolute favorite season. I love everything about fall! The leaves changing colors, pumpkin pie, crisp apples, hay rides and jack-o-laterns are just a few of my favorite things about fall. I am looking forward to fully enjoying all that fall has to offer this year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taking A Break

I appreciate all the people who regurarly read this blog and wanted to give you a heads up that I am going to be taking a break for the rest of the week. My grandmother passed away on Monday and today I am heading up to Cleveland for the funeral. I will be back next week and hope that everyone from Cincinnati who reads this has their power up and running by then!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alternative Guest Book

Originally I thought I would make a Blurb book using our engagement pictures and include plenty of white space for people to sign and write messages. It would in a sense be like a wedding yearbook only with pictures of just us. But I came across this idea on snippet and ink that another couple recently did for their wedding. Instead of pictures of themselves they included ticket stubs, receipts, and other artifacts from their six year courtship. Being that Andy and I have been together eight years and it will be nine by the wedding we have plenty of things to include in such a book. Additionally I actually have a box where I have stowed away such artifacts that is brimming with ticket stubs, cards, notes, momentos and such. This is definitely a fun idea worth considering!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why DIY?

Our power was out for a good portion of yesterday and most of today but after 26 hours our power is back on! Unfortuneatly most of the Cincinnati area is still without power and won't be up and running until the weekend. Who knew Ohio could have level 1 hurricane winds. Because of the outage I didn't think I would get to post today but since I can I wanted to leave you with something to read.

Over on In this Instance Tara posted about why DIY (Do It Yourself) for weddings has become so big and how it is about more than just saving money. I couldn't agree more with her opinion and think you should check out what she has to say.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So Lucky!

I have been contemplating hiring a Day of Coordinator since we got engaged. I want to plan the wedding but the day of the wedding I don't want to worry about a thing, call vendors, or boss anyone around. I want to enjoy the day I have spent a year planning. A Day of Coordinator is an insurance policy that there will be someone to take care of everything so the bride, groom, bridal party and family don't have to worry about a thing but someone will still be making sure that all the plans are executed.

My only problem with a Day of Coordinator is that they cost money, money that is not in my budget. Not all Day of Coordinators are super expensive but when you are on a budget you are constantly thinking about if you could do something more valuable with the money. And lets face it a Day of Coordinator is not necessary. However to me it is very worthwhile because it will help keep me peaceful and stress free considering I am an anal retentive, control freak.

Over the weekend I was showing one of my friends pictures of our centerpieces. When she heard that we were going to DIY them she offered to help arrange them and to lend her help for any other day of projects that might need attention. I told her about my intentions to hire a DOC and she then offered to do the job for me instead of hiring someone else. I must have asked her at least ten times if she was sure and then gladly accepted her offer. I was concerned that she wouldn't be able to enjoy herself and just be a guest but she assures me that she will still have fun and that she wants to do it.

This friend is a planner like me and very attentive to details. If I had to ask any friend to help me out she would have been my number one pick so the fact that she wanted to help and offered thrills me! I am so lucky to have such a fabulous friend who wants to fill such an important role. I really appreciate it Heather more than you will ever know, thanks again!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Floral Covered Initials

I finally was able to find a picture to show the ceremony decor idea I was talking about. For us we would do the same thing but with a V and an A and hang them from the pulpits in the front of the church. The only difference is that we would use the tissue flower idea like in the pomander below instead of silk flowers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yay Purple and Orange!

I love finding pictures of purple and orange details since so many people are skeptical about my color scheme. The Knot did a photo shoot using blue, purple and orange but I couldn't find the pictures online and I finally came across one of them! See they look awesome together (at least to me) and I'm not so crazy.

My Wedding Cynicism

Most people who know me will tell you that I love all things wedding. However planning a wedding and writing this blog has made me start to question some regular practices of weddings. In this I have found a bit of my cynical side towards all things useless after the wedding, which you can read again here, here and here. Now I realize there are some things that after the wedding will hold sentimental value and you will want to hold onto them even though they no longer have a use, which is ok. But there are some things that will be absolutely and completely useless with no value. What do you do with these things afterwards and if you are just going to get rid of them is it worth spending the money on them in the first place? The new motto when deciding if we really need something for the wedding is when everything is over will it have a purpose or sentimental value, if not well then it’s just not necessary.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Earlier I posted about a video tutorial to making your own monogram in power point. It seems that link no longer works or at least not on my computer. I found two other video tutorials one for Microsoft Word and one for Power Point. You can find them under the DIY resources. I left the previous link up just in case the error is fixed and it starts working again. Then new Power Point tutorial is labeled number 2.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not Really Getting It

There are some wedding things that I have completely fallen victim to but there are other things that I just really don't get. One being an aisle runner. I understand that they are used to protect the aisle if petals are being tossed. An aisle runner also is used to define an aisle in places where there really isn't one such as conference rooms, outside locations, etc... But in a church if you aren't doing the petal thing what is point? This is one of those items that I just wonder what the heck you do with after the wedding and is it really worth the money?

I can understand slightly if the church has dingy old carpet and you want to try to make the sanctuary a bit more classy. I will say aisle runners can add that bridal/wedding affect. Aisle runners just aren't my thing and I would rather spend the money on something else. Luckily for me I can't be suckered or pressured into buying one since they are explicitly not allowed by my church. Why? I have no idea, but it was good news to me.

Even though I'm not crazy about them, aisle runners can be pretty and a way for you to include your monogram or personalize your ceremony location. For those of you who really enjoy the look an aisle runner adds here are step by step instructions to five different DIY aisle runners.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wedding Rice

Nothing is more nostalgic when thinking of weddings than to think of throwing rice as the couple leaves the church. This long time tradition started as a blessing of fertility and prosperity for the couple. Somewhere along the line an urban legend started that throwing rice was not environmentally friendly and people started throwing birdseed, flower petals, or blowing bubbles. Flower petals are beautiful but expensive, bubbles are also pretty but they just float away they don't have the same effect, and birdseed just doesn't have the same feel.

Now that rice is acceptable again I was excited to participate in a long standing tradition but our church will not allow rice or seeds to be thrown. Most likely this rule is in place so that rice isn't left all over the entry way to the church that people could slip on. One option we had been looking into was the designer rice in heart shapes that easily disolves when wet and is flat so it won't roll when walked on. However we still would have to clear this with the church.

Recently I came across a solution that I think will solve the rice issue: lavender. Lavender is the exact same shape as rice and has the same effect when thrown. Lavender would easily blow away in the wind, is a plant so environmentally friendly, and is slip proof since it crushes when stepped on. Additionally lavender is wonderfully fragrant so as it is being tossed into the air and when crushed under people's feet will release its wonderful aroma around everyone. Lastly the icing on the cake is that lavender is purple and fits perfectly into our color scheme.

You can buy lavender wedding rice but I am hoping to try to find bulk lavender somewhere to dry for the wedding toss and also maybe for extra details in other places.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Resources for a DIYer

To piggyback on yesterday's post I thought I would provide a few other resources with more templates for a Bride who is looking to DIY projects.

For helpful wedding links, templates, resources and such check out the helpful page created by knottie jumpingthebroom2008

Shanbrite Designs provides lots of templates, links and ideas.

I am sure that there are many more helpful websites out there with resources and please feel free to let me know what they are, these are just the ones that I have found to be the most helpful.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DIY Bride Online

I posted a few weeks back about the DIY Bride book and how it has great projects to do for your wedding. Another resource from the same company is DIY Bride online. The websites has lots of great ideas and downloads. You have to register but it's free and takes just a minute. Once you register then you can download lots of directions and templates for free. This is perfect for someone who needs a place to start or if you really don't want to do much and just want to change the info. I love it because I am so surprised they are willing to give anyone all this stuff just for free. It proves you don't have to spend big bucks for everything wedding related.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Church Decor Changes

Yesterday I returned all the silk florals. The pew decorations I had in mind won't work and to try to use them in other ways just might look pitiful and well just not worth the added expense. I would rather not do decorations than have something that looks well, cheap. We will have the wrought iron candle sticks at the end of the pew provided by the church and might add a simple bow which I think that will be enough.

For the idea of the letters on the pulpits instead of the silk florals I am entertaining the idea of using the method that many have used for tissue pomanders. This method will be a bit more cost effective and since the letters will be far away and not up close people most likely from the pew will not be able to tell that its tissue paper. And even if they do notice I still think they look good. To see what I am talking about you can check out one of my new favorite blogs VintageGlam. She has directions on how to make the tissue flowers and pictures of how she used them to make pomanders, originally from Martha Stewart. I can use the same method but just to make a different shape with the same effect.

Here is the result from Vintage Glam and the same method but in a wreath shape from knottie likefrankiesaid to give you an idea that they can definitely be used to make various shapes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Music to Our Ears

Over the weekend I sent in the contract and deposit for our ceremony musicians! Some of you might be aware that were having trouble finding musicians for our ceremony since I wanted string instruments and Andy wanted just a piano. Finding musicians over playing recorded music was important because I like the sound/quality of live musicians and our church will not allow recorded music as indicated by their wedding handbook. We found a great compromise in the Piace Duo which includes a piano and a cello. The duo is a married couple who are both classically trained from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music so obviously very capable of playing beautiful music.

I was also concerned about being able to pick music that I haven't heard over and over at weddings and found that some musicians only offered a small list of those traditional songs. While many traditional songs are beautiful we wanted to pick music that would help to personalize our wedding and make it different from others. Well problem solved with this duo since they have a huge repetoire of wedding appropriate music and are willing to learn new songs if the sheet music is available. We are very happy about this choice and excited to have found some musicians that fit both of our preferences.

If you would like to hear some of their music samples you can go here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happiness in a Vase

Flowers make me gloriously happy. I would chose a bouquet of fresh flowers over chocolate and jewelrey any day of the week. So the thought of not being able to have fresh floral centerpieces bummed me out a bit. Not having an unlimited budget meant floral centerpieces weren't high on the need list and in fact aren't on the need list but I really really really want list.

A few weeks ago I was on the west side of town and near a store that sells glass pieces and candles at a discount. I thought I would browse through the store just to see what they had and thought maybe I would find something that would spark some ideas. As I walked up and down the aisles I came across these cute mini huricanne glasses that are in the perfect shade of purple to go with our colors. I turned the glass over to be only more excited that they are just $0.75 a pop. Instantly my brain was buzzing with different ideas of using them with candles on the bar, on the guest book table or even maybe with flowers too. I bought only one because I wanted to take it home, get opinions and try a few things out before I was stuck with too many mini hurricanes glasses that I couldn't return.

A week later I was grocery shopping at Fresh Market when I passed by the floral department. Even if I am not going to buy flowers I always stop and look at them just to enjoy their beauty. As I was looking I came upon a dozen orange unique roses, most likely the orange rose we will be using in all of the bouquets. I thought back to the mini hurricane vase sitting on my counter at home and scooped up the dozen to see if just maybe my mini purple vase/candle holder would work with the orange roses.

Well when I got home and put the roses in the vase I was absolutely delighted! My preference for centerpieces are low (so you can see everyone across the table), tight, lush and full. One dozen roses fit perfectly into the mini vase, looking full and lush. I loved them but made sure to get a few other opinions before settling and well everyone else loved them too! Andy even made a comment at how nice the flowers looked before I told him they were our centerpiece mock-up. The flowers are going on a round mirror provided by our reception venue and surrounded by 5 votives. Even though in all the pictures the vase looks black it definitely isn't and when on the mirror with candles lit they illuminate the vase showing off the purple hue. The pictures aren't great but they give you a good sense of what it looks like.

I have since been back to the store to buy many more mini purple hurricane vases. I have some different options of where I will be able to wholesale order orange roses at $6-7 a dozen. I plan on buying votives from Hobby Lobby during their next half off sale. All combined I we will be able to make the centerpieces at just under or at $10 each. I am giddy with delight that even on a budget we are going to get real floral centerpieces that are still gorgeous, classy and if I must say elegant. I am quite possibly in love with the centerpieces and have realized: yes, you can find happiness in a vase.