Thursday, August 6, 2009

I've known since early-on in the planning process that I wanted a photo booth. And that a real one is not in the budget. So I've been excitedly following each new, creative fauxtobooth idea that has come out.

I loved the classic look of the pro-manned Mrs. Avocado black and white booth - especially the use of the whiteboard!

How could I resist the photo frame wall?!?! I seriously spent an entire day brainstorming ways to adapt this to make it easy for volunteers/friends to set-up before admitting that I just couldn't do it.
And Our Labor Of Love's SmileBooth always has great results...
I considered creating a whole photo booth set-up, a la Mrs. Fondue, but started to get overwhelmed by the idea. Then I started to think about just setting up a backdrop, and having a designated photographer (slave/cousin). In the end though, it was just too hard. The only place where there is really room at the reception is on the front porch, and I just couldn't come up with anything that wouldn't look icky as people walked up.

I knew I wanted people to be able to leave messages, but I thought that a whole printer set-up would be way too complicated. I was convinced for a long time that I'd just provide white/chalkboards and have people write their message in the photo, and then print out the pictures as a book after the wedding, to serve as the guestbook. I'd post the photos online for everyone so they could see them all and order any that they wanted. It was such a good plan.

I just couldn't figure out where to set it up.

And then came pogo. Thank you, Polaroid, for coming out with a digital camera that prints 2x3 stickers! New plan: Just a general area with no backdrop. Slave/cousin takes photos or hands camera to guests (and makes sure that the battery stays charged and the film stays full). Guests take pictures, print them directly from the camera, and stick them into guestbook. Colorful pens provided for them to write notes/doodle/etc. Pictures are still uploaded for them to look at/order later!

Of course, the camera didn't come out until this summer, and is constantly sold out, so it was hard to track down, but it is on its way to me *right now*! (And thanks to my employee discount, I got 10% off by ordering it from - I am seriously using every discount before I leave this job!) I can't wait to take it out and play around with it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Engagement photos

Our wedding photographer, Beth Harris, also did our engagement shoot. We met with her at Maymont Park in Richmond, and had a great time getting some shots in. She was super-quick about getting the digitals to me (I was just slow in posting!)

My favorite:

Want to see the rest? Click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I know, I owe a million posts!

Here's what I owe you, but am not going to talk about right now:
  • bridesmaid dresses came in
  • rsvps have started coming back
  • I did a trial run of the chocolates
  • I'm not baking cupcakes
  • our engagement photos
  • other photos
  • the band!
  • hair and make-up trials
  • shoes
  • programs
  • photobooth planning

Instead, I'm going with something that requires no uploading of photos (because I'm lazy). I got a job offer! Actually, I got two job offers, and turned them both down. Now, if you are paying any attention to the legal market right now, you realize that I'm completely stressed out about finding a job. You realize that I'm applying for everything that I might even conceivably have a chance at, and that's only about 2-3 jobs each week (that's not many). And I'm not getting interviews.

In light of all that, you may even think that I've lost my mind. How on earth could I turn down two actual, real job offers?! Well, largely, it's about priorities. Getting married is changing my priorities. I can no longer make choices just based on what seems best for me. I have to actually take another person into account! And what's more, he reminds me to take my own sanity into account instead of just following the money.

One of the jobs would have been a temp job that required traveling 2/3 weeks. I think I would have been a perfect fit for the type of work - just not the schedule. It would have started two weeks before my current position was over (and that first 2 weeks of traveling would have ended the day before the wedding). So, without a regret, I said no.

The other job was part-time, and not in a town we want to settle in. The work would have been fine, but wasn't exactly what I'm looking for. And again, I felt good about saying no.

...but there is a small part of me that feels ungrateful. I mean, who complains about finding a job and then turns down two job offers?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Invitations are out!

A few weeks ago, while MOH and I were both visiting home (and each other), we had an addressing party. My mom and I went over the the maid-of-honor's mom's , and the four of us (MOH, MOB, me, and MO-MOH) put the invitations together. MO-MOH owns a business that is largely based on her ability to write beautifully, and MOH has been helping her mom with that for longer than I've known her (and that's more than 10 years now). So they took over the main task of addressing the envelopes (and I did a few, mostly out of guilt over the fact that they were being so sweet!).

My mom pitched in as the official stamper and stuffer. We used forever stamps that I bought right before the prices went up (for both the invitations and the RSVP envelopes). They may not be the most wedding-y, but I am proud of the money I saved by doing it this way.

So I've been patiently waiting to send them out. And I think it's close enough now! Last night, Mr. L and I finished everything up. I re-addressed envelopes to a few people that I know have moved, and to my grandmother (whose husband recently passed away). Mr. L was sweet enough to tackle the unfortunate duty of licking all the envelopes (I do love him). Some of them weren't very sticky, so he actually licked and glue-sticked most of them. It makes me wonder what other DIY projects he could be helping out on!

This morning on my way to work, they all went in the post box! Suddenly, it feels like the wedding is very soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why I love Etsy (so far)

I really do love etsy. I have lost count of how many gifts I've bought from etsy vendors, and I know that the homepage always has great inspiration when I'm at a loss. So it was a logical choice when I started wedding planning. Of course I'd use alchemy/custom to find things when I knew what I wanted but couldn't find it, and of course etsy would be an easy choice when I wanted quality that I shouldn't be able to afford!

First, I went to etsy for invitations. I found an amazing letterpress printer who worked with me (and that's a major accomplishment, considering how many revisions I made!) to design exactly the invitation suite I wanted, and then ran half of the set through the letterpress twice, just to make sure it looked perfect! He was absolutely amazing, and less than half the price of even some of the DIY kits I looked at!

Then I turned to etsy for wedding bands. I am super excited about this one (as I have mentioned before). I love our bands. I love that they were custom-made for us (even though they don't have an inscription). I love that they are titanium, so they feel a little special to me. I love the price (and I'll love the price even more if we ever need to replace one). And I love that the seller has an easy exchange policy in case we change sizes (since titanium can't be re-sized). I sooo couldn't be happier about this purchase!

I also bought Mr. L's wedding present on etsy, but that's a surprise! The seller was, as usual, great to work with, and I got a great deal on something totally personal.

The fabric that I was desperately looking for to cover the cupcake tower? Someone on etsy had some that was perfect (read: exactly what I envisioned), and for a steal! They were uber-responsive, and I had exactly as much as I needed, pronto! I think one of the best things about etsy is that the quality of the items I order consistently surprises me by being even better than I expected. This was a great example of just that. This was wonderful, heavy fabric!

Most recently, I had someone one etsy create the design that I printed on my cookie bags! I put up an alchemy request, and ended up with a design I love for a great price with great customer service. I also discovered the work of a great graphic designer, and I'm convinced that I'll come up with some excuse to buy something from her again in the near future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cupcake Tower

I finally made the cupcake tower. I hope that it'll work out as well when there are actually cupcakes on it!

I used the tutorial here as a guide for making the foam core tiers. I did make each tier shorter so that it wouldn't seem so overwhelming (mine are only 2" each instead of 6" tall).
Then I had to figure out how to stack them/what to use to separate them. I was inspired by round gift boxes used for my mom's mothers' day gift. They were just about the right height, and it seemed like we could attach the lid to one box and the base to the other so that they could be taken apart, but would fit nicely together. There was a little evolution from there, and I ended up with these foam core tubes made from the scraps left over from making the tiers.

There are cross supports that fit snugly in each tube attached to the tiers so that the tubes slide onto the cross on the top of one tier and the bottom of the next. The result is a tower that collapses to a relatively small pile but should be pretty stable when assembled (and should be super-simple to assemble). I think. I even labeled the support tubes on the inside so that it'll be easy to see which one fits best where (because I'm only so exact, and each is a little different from the next).

Finally, I covered it all in pretty striped fabric from etsy.

The fabric (with enough left over that I think I may be able to use it to recover the seats of my dining room chairs), incl shipping, etc.: $16
The glue gun, tons more glue than I'll ever use, and foamboard (with about 3 boards left): $12.22

total cost of project: $28.22

Monday, May 4, 2009

A San Francisco Treat

I will always associate trolleys with San Fran. It was the first place I saw one. And from that first trip on my childhood, I was delighted. It's perhaps the only form of public transportation that I think of as cute and adorable and nostalgic (trains just seem dirty and loud to me). And I LOVE wedding pictures featuring trolleys!

Our reception location is in a historic neighborhood, and the only parking is on the street, so I wanted to make sure to offer some sort of transportation for our guests if at all possible. I was debating exactly what kind of transportation to provide (will a full-sized charter bus fit on those little streets, or should I go with multiple smaller buses), when I discovered that there is a transport company in Richmond that rents out trolleys! They have two, which I think will be just enough for us (hopefully everyone who wants to ride will be able to).

This is the interior of the trolley we'll be getting! I am a little worried about the fact that they don't have A/C - it will still be earlier September. I'm hoping that a cooler filled with ice-cold drinks will make up for it.

So far, it seems like Winn Transportation is really easy to work with. I can't wait to see the trolley on The Day!


We went ring shopping this weekend, and I ordered our wedding bands this morning!

We checked out all the options - titanium, gold, platinum, tungsten, and even black ceramic. Gold and platinum are pretty standard, but it was neat to look into the less-standard options too. Ceramic and tungsten are great, economical options, but both can shatter, which scares me a little (and Mr. L didn't like the look of the black - he preferred more of a traditional metal look.
Titanium was by far the most economical. Although it can't be re-sized (neither can ceramic or tungsten), we found a great, creative etsian who has a policy of allowing exchanges for a different size as long as there is no custom engraving. Perfect! I perused mostly etsy sellers (WAY cheaper than the jewelry store we checked out, and more variety... not to mention the awesomeness of getting a custom/handmade item direct from an American crafter), and really feel in love with the highly polished stuff. TitaniumKnights was our guy! Here's what we ended up getting (mine will be a little thinner than Mr. L's):

I can't help but boast; we're getting BOTH for a total of $94!!! I think this is the budget move I'm most proud of right now. I would have been willing to pay gold or platinum prices if there was a ring that we liked better, but we are both really excited about this ring! The price is just a wonderful bonus!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save the Dates!

Yes, these went out a while ago. But, I did take a bunch of pictures, and I finally got them all uploaded. I ordered all of our invitation stuff from smallprinter. He was so easy to work with, and his prices are unbeatable (especially for letterpress!). In spite of all the time I spent working on the design with him, the final design is incredibly simple. I love every bit of it!
The invitations and save-the-dates all came the same day (I'm just waiting for printing of the directions and RSVP cards). They are beautiful!

While I was at the post office, picking them up, I went ahead and opened them up and had the nice postal employees weigh them for me, so I could go ahead and buy stamps. As it turns out, I won't need extra postage for any of it! YAY! So, I went ahead and got Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis stamps for the save the dates, and forever stamps for the invitations and RSVPs (they'll be after the postage rates increase, and I am that stingy). Don't the Frank stamps match nicely?!

My mom was awesome enough to turn my scattered pieces of paper with addresses into an easy-to-use mail merge document, already formatted to the perfect size envelopes. And yes, I printed out the addresses. Straight to the envelopes, with no regrets. Because of that, I was able to get them all addressed, stamped and stuffed in one night! That's my kind of project.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cupcake presentation

Generally, I've been pretty laid-back about wedding stuff lately. I feel like the pressure is off.
I've finalized or near-finalized:
locations (ceremony and reception),
invitations (and sent out the StDs),
bought my dress, and
decided on rings! (more to come on many of these things soon)

I feel good. I feel like I've got the major stuff taken care of. What's left seems manageable, and doesn't seem too urgent. And the stuff that I know I was procrastinating on because I didn't want to deal with it, I've delegated to my mom. Perfect.
So now, I feel like I should be tackling the stuff that isn't urgent, but can be done ahead of time. Since I'll be baking cookies (more on this to comme, too) and cupcakes for the wedding, I would like to only have to worry about those two things (and the unexpected things that I'm sure will come up) for the last couple of weeks before the wedding. So I've been trying to figure out what I can go ahead and take care of.

And so began the cupcake tower project. I found a great tutorial online for making a tower out of foamcore. Sounded prefectly budget-friendly, and like something that my limited craft skills could handle. Right? Well, it actually is. However, after building two of the levels, I'm not sure that it's really the scale that I had in mind. I mean, it's GIANT. I guess that's OK. It just isn't what I was expecting. I read the directions and didn't think anything of 6" high sides on each level - but in person... that's really high! So, I guess I could just cut the sides shorter. I can figure that out, right?

And the way it's designed, so that the sides of each level are the supports, doesn't actually leave a lot of area for the cupcakes. But I'm sure I could modify that too, right? Maybe do an x-shaped support that leaves the whole bottom open for cupcakes, like a friend of mine did. Or just move the sides in, so that there is a partial overhang above each level. Or use regular wedding cake pillars for support at each corner. There are definitely options.

Maybe some pillars like these guys?

But then I started thinking about other options, and came across an old copy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

How cute would the cupcakes be in their own little boxes, just stacked into a tower shape? And even though it would mean that I'd have to individually box them, it would also mean that I wouldn't have to build a tower. Not a bad trade-off. But then the questions becomes whether to use clear boxes and show off the cupcakes, or cute boxes like Martha's favor boxes, that are their own display, and have the pretty cupcakes as a nice surprise when people open them? Or round boxes? And will boxes discourage people from digging in? Or make it too hard to tell what kind of cupcake is in each (I plan to have 3 different flavors)?

So many choices.

Friday, April 3, 2009

First Wedding Present!

I got my save-the-dates and part of my invitation suite in the mail this week! But even more excitingly, I checked with the post office, and neither will require extra postage!!!!!! That is a present that I can get excited about! So, I went ahead and bought all the stamps (invitations and RSVPs will be forever stamps), and it all came out to only $100.80!

...I remember a time when I would have had trouble spending $100. The wedding perspective has fully kicked in now though, and it feels incredibly cheap.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The hotel details

I reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown. It's a brand new hotel in the building that used to be Miller and Rhodes - it's where Mr. L always went to see THE Santa as a kid.

The "Legendary Santa" who was at Miller and Rhodes for years.

It's also a straight shot down the street from the reception venue, and within walking distance of several great restaurants and bars. So, it should be easy for people to get back, whether they are coming from the reception of or the after party. Perfect.

The rooms are only $99/night. Go here to reserve a room. The discount rate is good as long as you make the reservation by August 5.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Save the date magnets?

Originally, I had in mind that I would do postcard STDs with a business card-sized magnet attached. But then, while working with the stationer, it was easy (and I was happy) to do letterpress STDs that matched the invitations - simple, classy, and in an envelope. And I'm really excited about them. I had completely dropped the idea of including magnets (thinking that they wouldn't really match the new style).

...and then I found marble magnets! (see Mormon Chic,, and NotMartha, et al.)
So I did a test run. As it turns out, my graphic design skills are seriously lacking. But here's what I came up with. I'm still not sure if it's worth including with the save-the-dates or not. They are way easy, so that's not a problem, at least. I'm just not sure if they are pretty/cool/neat enough to make it worth including. I guess I have to decide sometime this week, because I should be sending them out by this time next week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

wedding bells at every price point.

I fully intend to stay until the end of our reception. If I put this much time and money and thought into an event, I want to enjoy every moment of it! So I don't see any need for a send-off from the reception (ie. sparklers, rice, etc.).

And I plan to take photos at the church after the ceremony, so no big send-off there either. Just a receiving line and then sneaking off to get down to pictures.

But I do like the idea of guest participation in something. Enter, bells. I'd like to have bells for people to ring as we exit the church. I figure I'll let my immediate family know the plan so that they can start the ringing, just in case other people aren't 100% of when and where to use them. but what kind of bells to hand out?
This is what I had in mind before I started looking. A simple, classic silver bell. Beautiful. Unfortunately, at >$2 each, this looks like a less-viable option unless I can find someone reselling theirs for cheaper. So far, no luck. (Her Wedding Favors, $2.75 each; Open Tip, $2.80 each; Favor Favor, $1.85 each; Amazon, $3.14 each (incl. organza ribbon and printed hang tag))
Then I saw these. Beautiful, classy, and perhaps even easier to ring? And way cheaper. Thank you, Martha. But I'm just not sure that I can get over the fact that they remind me of Christmas. It would be an easy DIY project though - I could feel like I was actually DIYing something for the wedding. (Wedding Bee Classifieds, 150 bells with ribbon and bag for $50; This and That 4 You, 144 plain bells for $28.79; PaperMart, 25 velour bags for $3; PaperMart, 50 yards of 1 1/2inch double-faced satin ribbon for $7.95 (That's $54.74 to DIY 150!))

Then there are these guys. They are ity-bitty, and definitely look cheaper to me. And the cheapest of these come with a card with some sort of kissing poem (that I don't want). But, they are <$1 each, and I'm sure I could remove the cards. And they come in both silver and gold (I'd go with silver). (Oriental Trading Co., 50 for $4.99; Century Novelty, 24 for $8.98; Future Memories, 24 for $10.65 )
I just can't bring myself to commit to the cheap ones. I love the price. I do. Maybe I'm just being snotty. Or maybe, I should run my A.C. Moore (I think I've seen them there), and at least test run the tiny bells and the jingle bells and see if I even like the way they sound - that's what really matters, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

For the record...

exactly 6 months remaining. Eeep!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I found out that I may put signs on the U of R campus to direct people to the chapel. Thank Goodness! I've been on the campus a few times now, and I think it's incredibly confusing. And I'm pretty sure that I got my awful sense of direction from my family, so I feel the need to help them find it however I can.
I'm including directions in the invitations, but I really wanted to make sure that everyone could find it ok, even if they left them at home or had trouble following my detailed directions.
So, obviously that means that I get to shop for signs!

I've only just begun looking at pictures, but I think this is my favorite so far. Of course, the chances of me paying over $40 per sign are pretty slim, but I really think that this is something that I could make (I'm just not sure how much it would cut the price to DIY this). And if I made it myself, I could paint the background navy AND I'd have the option of putting our names on it too. Very tempting.
This is another good bet, and at $25 for six signs (complete with ribbons and balloons), the price really can't be beat. And although it's cardboard, I don't think it looks cheap. But it definitely looks like it will catch people's eyes, which is really the point, right? And as a bonus, I don't have to figure out what to do with a bunch of wooden arrows after the wedding. Oriental Trading to the rescue!

And there are these cute coordinating signs for the reception. I find it all very tempting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For reals, this time

We have a venue!!!! It's real and almost official!

September 5, 2009 at 6pm, we will wed in Richmond!
The ceremony will be at the University of Richmond Chapel, and the reception will be at The 2300 Club! tada!

Also, while working on that, I found an organist for the ceremony. Elliot Bromlee was recommended by the woman at the chapel, and I totally trust her. We're meeting at the end of next month to decide on music. Yay!

The manager at the 2300 Club has also started doing event flowers in the past few years, and it looks like he does a good job, for what I think is a reasonable price (flower prices are so hard to compare before you have a real quote!). I'm also meeting with him at the end of next month. He has 5 reviews on, and they are all glowing recommendations, so I take that as a good sign.

Also, since we aren't going to have tables for people to sit at, I don't have to worry about centerpieces, so I'm hoping that will free up some of the budget and make room for some decorations for the entrance. Since it's in a residential neighborhood, I'd love to make it stand out a little for our guests. I'm imaging some sort of lanterns hanging from shepherd's hooks lining the walkway, and maybe a little something along the fence too. And maybe a wreath for the front door? (That makes me wonder if I can do something to mark the path from the parking lot to the chapel too...)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reception venue hunt, and learning to make decisions together

First, I was completely set on the 2300 Club. I knew that Mr. L liked it because he raved about the wedding he'd attended there, the price was perfect, and it was terribly historic and charming. Sure, it didn't have a true dance floor, it was split into rooms, and we wouldn't be able to have everyone sit down, but it was charming enough to make up for that. And there was that great price. That totally made up for the lack of off-the-street parking.

But I was looking at heavy hors d'oeuvres there, and Mr. L really just wasn't OK with that. OK. We can handle that. Onward, to find another venue that worked for him in Rich.

I found the Colony Club. It too, was pretty perfect. It was within walking distance of three great hotels, was another historic row house, and was run by an amazing caterer. I sat with her and came up with a menu. We'd have food stations upstairs and people would mingle, and then we'd adjourn to the ballroom downstairs. Sure, the ballroom was kinda lame, but it had a real dance floor and everyone could fit in the same room for dancing and cake-cutting. The cost-estimate came back, and we realized that we'd have to cut back to make it work; a little less food and a lot less people, but I thought it was do-able. Mr. L was again worried about providing plenty of food, and didn't like the idea of having to move everyone downstairs. Fine. Keep looking.

This time, I wasn't limiting myself to Rich. Sure, we had reserved the chapel there, but there was not deposit, and we wouldn't really lose out if we changed our minds. So I looked all over. He thought that it had to be somewhere that we had ties to - OK, that takes a lot of places out of the running. So, I found two places that looked promising around Lex. The Stoneridge Inn, and the House Mountain Inn. I found out that a few of the people I graduated from law school with used House Mountain, and they all said it was great. And there was the great price. So, while we were in Lex for the (failed) e-shoot, we also stopped by both places to have a look.

House Mountain Inn was lovely, in a brand new, huge hunting lodge sort of way. It came highly recommended, and it had great views. There was even a pond by the ceremony site, and there are hiking trails all around. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. But... we just weren't feeling it. It was too new.

So, the next stop was the Stoneridge Inn. It was everything that was missing at House Mountain. It was a historic plantation home, filled with antiques. There was a spring house and a small family graveyard in the back. But, everything (not just the ceremony) would have to be held outside, and the road up to it was gravel. Small details, as far as I was concerned. It was historic, near Lex, and affordable. And we could have the ceremony there, overlooking the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sigh. Enter Mr. L. He thought it was too far from civilization and wasn't really the Lex that he felt connected to. But he did like the ambiance. He also suddenly started to care about the possibility of rain.

And then he brought up the idea of having it at the 2300 Club again. I was more than a little upset. But I took a step back. We definitely had it narrowed down to two locations - 2300 Club or Stoneridge. Richmond or Lexington. I made it very clear that I wasn't going to look at anywhere new. I had exhausted every place that I knew how to find. (And the wedding planner that I would have trusted to take all of this out of my hands was completely booked for our Richmond date.)

And so, we're learning to make this decision together. We have very different decision-making styles (and I've known this for a while). I take in all the info I can get for a limited amount of time. I look at the info I have at that point, and then I make a decision based on what looks best at that point. I eliminate what I can easily (like places that are booked or way out of our price range), and then pick from what remains based on their known pros and cons. And then I'm done. Once I've made a decision, I feel good about it. I know that I looked at many options, and I know that it was the best one. I like to think of this as "the best way" to make a decision.

Mr. L, on the other hand, feels like he must have all of the information before he can make a decision. He worries/is convinced that there is one perfect answer to each question, and he is sure that he'll eventually find it. This is great in many ways. I know that when he gives me a gift, it is well thought out, and absolutely perfect. He also rarely makes impulse purchases, and the vacations he plans really are absolutely amazing. He finds the best hotels/restaurants/recipes and because of this, I have really been able to experience amazing things that I never would have known even existed. I'm really not complaining. Exactly.

The problem is that once I've made a decision, he starts questioning it, wondering if it is the absolute best. It drives me crazy! It makes me think that he doesn't trust my decision making skills, that I really did make a bad decision and he'll never be happy with it, and that I'm a giant failure because I can't even make these decisions! Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, but really, it's not much of one. I'm an emotional creature.

And so, I am now trying a new technique. Now that we have it narrowed down to two places, I have let Mr. L know which way I'm leaning, and that I think he's leaning the same way, and that I'm giving us another day (today) to think about it. If we still feel good about it tonight, I'm going to sign the contract tomorrow. And I'm therefore going to have all of the info for our invitations and save-the-dates in to our stationer by the end of this week. And I have hope for this new method. If it works, I'll have a lot of updates this week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

e-pics that weren't

Saturday was going to be a productive day in Lex. We had engagement pics scheduled with our craigslist, student, free photographer. After many emails and a phone call, we had it all set-up... or so I thought. We got there at 2. I realized that I'd accidentally left my cell phone at home. Oops. Not that I had her cell phone number anyway.

At 2:25, there was no sign of her, and no voicemail from her. Damn. So, we opted for lunch and going to check out a couple of venue options (more on that later).

When I got home, I had 3 voice mails from said photographer. The first one was at 2:50, saying that she was running late, but was on her way. Another at 3:10 saying she was there, and another even later, that was the first to leave her actual cell phone number. Seriously? I'm assuming that she thought we were meeting at 3. Lame.

and now, someone else's e-pic, as gratuitous eye candy from the remarkable Scott Hayne.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We spent Sunday morning starting our registry. I opted for Bed, Bath, and Beyond because I knew that they had a large selection of actual china and silver, as well as nicer pots. It also helped that they have a reputation for having a good return policy, they have stores all over, they aren't going bankrupt (that I know of) any time soon, we can edit the registry online, and guests can purchase online. Generally, prefect.

We spent about an hour. We picked out a china pattern, Mr. L vetoed any more catalog pattern shopping (ie. for silver), and we made it through most of the big kitchen stuff. And then we realized that we have no idea about decorating stuff, because we have no idea where we'll be. Awesome.
Generally, it was pretty easy. I think we both have similar taste, and it was easy to agree on most things. There were a couple of things that only one of us wanted, but none of them were things that would bother the other person (like the pot I wanted. It won't hurt him to have an extra pot in the cabinet).
And Mr. L bought an onion keeper. Apparently he felt that he needed one.
Now, I realize that I really wish I could register with etsy and anthropology. If only.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Over the course of my search for the perfect venue, I have actually looked into over 50 different locations. Is that normal? I wanted a place that was

a: affordable (this proved one of the most challenging criteria, not surprisingly)
b: historic (I wanted it to at least feel historic)
c: unique to Richmond (see b)
d: fairly close to the chapel and to hotels, and that had it's own off-street parking.
e: I wanted it to have a dance floor. I am really excited about our first dance, so a place where it couldn't happen, or where people couldn't see it just wouldn't do!
f: Also it had to be able to accommodate 150 people, seated. (We did end up cutting the guest list considerably, when I realized that feeding 150 people directly conflicted with (a) on this list.)
g: And it had to be available on our date.

Here are the places that didn't make the cut:

2300 Club
Agecroft Hall
Ash Lawn Highland
Bear and Bull
Bellwood Club
Berkeley Plantation
Berry Hill Estate (although, seriously, this place is beautiful!!!)
BlackFinnBoathouse/Gardens at Sunday Park
Carillon at Byrd Park
Carnegie Institution (DC)
Celebrations at the Reservoir
Commonwealth Club
Country Club of Va
Dellwood Plantation
Dominion Club
Gallery 5
Hermitage Country Club
Historic Long Branch
Lee Hall
Legend Brewery
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Linden Row Inn
Mainstreet Station
Maymont Park
Meadowbrook Country Club
Montpelier Center
Morven Park
Oatlands Plantation
Old Original Bookbinders
Raspberry Plains
Richmond Country Club
Science Museum of Virginia
Shirley Plantation
Stonehenge Country Club
The Armour House and Gardens at Meadowview Park
The Manor House
The Place at Innsbrook
The Women's Club
Tobacco Company
Tuckahoe Woman's Club
VCU Scott House
Virginia House
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Westover Plantation
White Hall Manor
White House of the Confederacy
Winterham Plantation
Woodrow Wilson House

Yes, I considered adding pictures, but... really?!

I'm really excited about the venue that we finally decided on! Not only did it meet all of the above criteria, but it also is owed/run by a caterer who is very well-known locally for doing an amazing job. And even more than that, I really liked her! I felt like she understood what I was going for, and really had the expertise to make it happen (and to make it better than I would have been able to come up with on my own). I am soooooo excited about our menu!

However, like any good thing, there is one little detail that I would change if I could. The set-up is such that the guests will eat upstairs (on the main level), which is absolutely beautiful. It's a restored row house, so there are separate rooms, but they are all pretty open to each other, and I think that there is still a good flow between the rooms and the patio. So that's great! BUT, after people eat, everyone will move downstairs to the ballroom, where the dance floor is and where the band will be. It's more open (and there is another bar downstairs), and this is where the 'stuff' will happen - first dance, cake cutting, assorted tosses, etc. Which is fine. But it is very plain. It's everything I was trying to avoid. The walls are bare. The ceiling is a drop ceiling. The dance floor is just kinda there, and there are (currently) some columns draped in fabric and Christmas lights that I totally hate. HATE.

So what do I do with this space to make it tolerable?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Mr. L is a (surprising) big fan of wedding cupcakes. He has suggested before that I make our cake, and I wasn't so sure about that. But now that he wants cupcakes, there is a real chance that this could be my DIY project. And think about how cute they would be with fantastic cupcake wrappers like these:

Or lacy ones!

Don't they just make you swoon? I just wish they weren't over $1 each. :(

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I found a dress!!!

After the three shops that I've already chronicled, I hit up a local bridal shop, Amhrein's. I thought the lady there was very helpful, and I must have tried on another 20 dresses. I narrowed it down to two dresses there that I liked, and I could fit in both of them, and could get a really good deal on either of them. I called up RoaMaid*, and had her run out to look at them. She was wonderful, and helpful, and brought a little perspective. I liked both of them, but neither was absolutely perfect.

After the first four stores, I knew the things I wanted in a dress. So, today, I went to Lynchburg. I'd heard about a charity bridal store there run by the YWCA, Church Street Bridal, that has dresses donated by stores all over the area, all for $200-350. Pretty amazing. We even saw a Monique Lhullier Scarlet! Unfortunately, most of the styles that they had today were far from what I was looking for. So no dice.

But we did see another boutique in Lynchburg. RoaMaid was amazing and called over as we waited for a dressing room at Church Street Bridal. They said that no appointment was needed and that they weren't too busy. So, after a great lunch at Hot and Cold, a great local Mediterranean place, we headed over to Celebration Bridal.

And that's where we found the dress! We couldn't get the attention of any of the salespeople at first (because they had definitely gotten busy since we'd called!), so the two of us wandered the racks, and pulled out three dresses that seemed to fit my criteria. We finally found someone to help us, and I started trying them on! The first one was it. I finally made myself change, and try the other two, but I knew I didn't even need to show RoaMaid. I wanted to put the first dress back on. After hanging around in it for a while, I ordered it!!!!I love it. It's perfect.


*RoaMaid - my one and only bridesmaid who is here in Roanoke with me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I take back all the mean things I said about Bella Rosa

The girl there sent me an email following up today, and when I actually asked for the styles that I liked, she sent them right away!

So here they are, in all their modeled glory (and I'd want them in white, not ivories):

Mikaella style 1367

Pronovias Harlem

Can't you just imagine either of them with a viel with stand-out trim like this one?!