Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Feeling "Crafty"

To save some dough and appease my control freak ways, I have opted to do and plan a lot of the wedding myself. I'm at a place in my life where I have both the will and the time to plan this little gala.

Let me say, I love this stuff: decorating, planning, drafting a look. Believe it or not, after a stint as MVP in my sorority, I feel adequately prepared. Being in charge of recruitment entailed decorating a house, picking attire, training 80+ girls, delegating, throwing a "mini wedding" for pref night, and a host of other things. For just pref night, I designed centerpieces, wall hangings, plating of desserts, mantel decor, etc. It was so much fun even when it was overwhelming. You
learn how far you will go for the perfect silk carnation and the wonders of velcro. I couldn't have done it without my A-Team of helpful alums, day chairs and my lovely Pres Heather. So I mean it when I say I feel ok when taking on my own bridal shindig, especially when I still have people willing to help out.

As part of my DIY trend, I'm making my own boutonnieres and wrist corsages for the bridesmaids. Mommy and I have made a handful of the main elements, pictured above and to the right. I
also intend on making "reception flags" via Martha Stewart.

These will be fun for the bridal party (or whoever) to wave and keep everyone updated. I may make one that says "kiss" because waving that will be a lot less potentially destructive than the traditional tapping on the crystal glasses.

Also there is the matter of decorating the tree where I want to get married and the aisles. While I don't care for paper lanterns (everyone and their mother has them) I do like some of the creative twists on them pictured below. I wonder how long it will take to hang them? I only have so much time to do all this and a rather limited pool of helpers. I've recruited two sorority sisters Connie and Lindsay and my family friend Yvonne is being immensely helpful making centerpieces and such. I don't doubt my mom and my bridal retinue will help too. This is the benefit of having 7 bridesmaids, odds are better that someone will rise to the occasion ;-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Invitations

After being stuck in a parking garage for 45 minutes with nothing but a bridal magazine and my thoughts, I think I have a clearer vision of the vibe I want for my wedding. I'm returning to my original conceptions but keeping the dashes of what I've picked up since the wee hours of my bridal brainstorming.

The next big task on my plate is the invitations. I need to get them designed, printed and mailed, stat. I want them to look like an old fashioned bookplate with a male and female silhouette.

The invites also are a prelude to the wedding's color scheme, so I want to bring in raspberry, persimmon and pinky coral elements. Thus far the aesthetic vision is Pride and Prejudice meets a whimsical garden of orange blossoms and roses. Not the most succinct tagline, but it fits.

There is also the challenge of fitting everything in the invitation. Who, what, where, when and I want to ask guests to wear some aspect of the wedding colors if possible. Perhaps in a tie or dress shirt for the men. The women have a dozen ways to incorporate it. How lovely would it be to look out at a sea of candy colors.

I'm also pondering custom made stamps. What says "Maiwage" more than smarmy photos of Chaz and I? There are various websites for this, the most legit seems to be here.

Additionally, I am told I can get a good deal on Carlson Craft invitations through a printer my Dad works with. Maybe I can find a fairly plain one and have my design printed on them? I've been browsing the designs, and plan on ordering at least some fancy envelopes. I love it when they have color inside, it reminds me of this cereal from back in the day. It had a yellow pseudo wheat color on the outside and inside a pop of bright frosting that was certainly not a color found in nature. Needless to say, it was delicious.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lights! Camera! Wedding!

A wedding is a bit of a production. There are costumes, sets, props, directors, producers and a cast of characters. A familiar plot runs through it and the boy (almost always) gets the girl.

I intend to make a bit of fun by turning my wedding program into a script of sorts. Not a micro-managed you-say-this-now, sort of thing, but a whimsical guide to help everyone get involved. Think of the possible structure and tropes I could use.

I could start with the prelude of how boy met girl, and set the scene thus far. Imagine it something like this:

Bride Enters Downstage
(Theme Music: "Liz on Top of the World" Plays)

Guests: "Oooh, Aaaaw"

Bride Joins Ecstatic Groom

Brother: "Let's have a moment to pray..."

Godfather: "A reading from..."

Officiant: "MAIWWAGE, maiwwage is what bwings us togeder today. When wuv, twue wuv..."


~ Cast ~

Brother: Played by Sean Coyne. Previous projects include starring roles in "Surfers at San-O",
"I Just Had a Baby", and "Street Carnage"

Officiant: Josh Sisco in his debut role. A friend of the couple and cousin to sister-in-law. Before the wedding, Josh plied his talents as a youth pastor.


A little cheese, but see what I mean? I think it's fun for everyone to feel a part of and be familiar with who is who. What I dread about weddings is either being bored to tears or feeling completely isolated because I know nothing about most the people around me. (That and the marathon ceremony, by the time they bring out the unity candle I want to kill someone. This is also due to the fact I usually haven't eaten yet.) Maybe a little guidebook with some light reading and an acknowledgment of your role in the wedding would help bring a sense of participation.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Photos

(Photo credit to Stephanie Tracy)

Okay, I fibbed. I said this post would be about wedding schedules and day of coordinators, but what's really been on my mind lately is photographers.

I've scoured the net, looking at photos from makeup artists sites, knot reviews, venue recommendations, etc. To be honest the makeup sites were the best resource. They often have a gallery of past faces they've done and usually credit the photographer. With venues I never know if the venue is getting a kickback or a favor for recommending the vendor.

So, here's my approach to wedding photographers.

1. Look at their website

2. Ask for pricing and availability

3. If a larger company, ask who will be your photographer on the day

4. Ask said photographer (and assistant if applicable) for a complete wedding album they have done. You don't want to judge them from their "best of" highlights. I prefer if they have a wedding they shot at my location so I can see how they approached the venue.

5. Read lots of customer reviews from more than one site. Business are not above having friends rate them highly or offering a discount for a review.

6. Meet with your photographer in person. They will be around all day and you will be spending lots of time with them. If they're annoying, attention stealers, tortured artists or plan to treat your wedding like an avant garde project, you want to know before you make a booking.

There, my recipe for picking a photographer. Thus far I have mine narrowed down to a few people.

1. Stephanie Tracy at Portray Life: Wedding 1, Wedding 2 and Wedding 3.

2. Shawn Kloster: His Photo Blog

3. Lori and Keith Anderson. A website collage. They did my free engagment shoot and *update* I have all the charming pics from it. I'm looking forward to sharing a few.

4. Memories by Michael: A Nixon Library Wedding

I'm not going to mention pricing or goodies, but purely on visuals who do you guys like best? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, May 3, 2010



If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit of a nerd, and the queen of random facts. Before Wikipedia this talent was a lot more impressive, and before the internet, I was a marvel. I'm still a decent source for word etymology and "why do they do that?" inquiries. So in true Heatherly fashion, I bring you today's post of interesting wedding traditions.

Why Brides Carry Bouquets

For the same reason we have them at funerals: to fight the stink. Or as Nacho would say, "They are eh stinkeh."
Back in the day, people didn't bathe all that much. Cram them in a little space for a long, sweat inducing ceremony with layers of clothes and the wedding party's ripeness can overwhelm their loveliness. Solution: include some nice smelling flowers to mask it.
I also would wager that some cultures had them for the fertility symbolism that flowers represent, but this is more speculation.

Why the Groomsman Stand Where They Do

It seems that the secret Vegas run wedding isn't a new tradition. Save when you ran off with a lady in days of yore, there were consequences. Some weddings included such dialogue as:

"I challenge you to a duel for that lady!"

"What ho, knave! She is mine."

"Nay I say! You absconded her and I will not let her be taken!"

"Then prepared to be run through by my best man while yon priest finishes my hasty nuptials!"

[Best man draws sword and proceeds to defend groom]

Hence the groomsmen stand on a side where it is easier to draw a sword from their left hip and begin to battle for their mate's right to keep the lady. Talk about wingmen.

Why Brides Throw the Bouquet and Garter

A bride's clothes and bouquet were considered good luck, so after a wedding people would be eager to tear off a piece of the bride's outfit. To distract the dress-mongers, the brides began throwing bouquets and garters. The luck seeking guests would now have something else to gather without taking the bride's gown apart.

For the record, if anyone tries to tear a piece of my gown off after the ceremony, I will distract them with a punch to the face instead of a group of posies or lace.

Why We Have Honeymoons

Much like our duel situation, sometimes the bride's family and friends weren't real big on the marriage. After couples married in secret, the bride would be absconded for a month (a moon) to a hidden location. The honey part might be from the tradition of drinking honeyed mead during this time to celebrate and increase fertility.

Why We Wear the Ring on the 4th Left Finger

This one has a little more debate. The explanation I like best is Ancient Egyptians believed this finger/vein was the one that ran directly to the heart.


Well, that's all I have thus far, but I hope you enjoyed today's little history lesson. Especially you, Kappa Katie, my homegirl who has been reading my blog religiously. And Kaitlynn, the only soul who comments and makes me feel special.

If you feel you deserve a shout out for being a devotee, let me know why ;) .

Next entry is going to be about my day of planners and schedules, so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Flowers

"Fame is the scentless sunflower,
with gaudy crown of gold;
but friendship is the breathing rose,
with sweets in every fold."

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

(Father of the illustrious judge and a known poet)

When it comes to weddings, little else make me giddy like flowers (save maybe dresses). Due to a rather organic name change as a little kid, I got to choose my middle name. While wandering Roger's Gardens, it dawned on me. Why not my favorite flower: the Rose.

Hence today we have, Heatherly Rose. Together my first and middle name mean "a field of heather and roses". I don't care if their soil and climate is incompatible, they're in a field and it's awesome. Taking on Chaz's name "DeNaranjo", of the oranges, makes the field a bit more crowded, but all the more fragrant. So what flower and fruit I'm going to favor in my decor will be no surprise. (Hint: it's not daisies).

I also have a love for peonies. Candy colored, full petaled, sweet and en vogue all at once. They remind me of a fluffy petticoat. With this and my scrumptious color palette in mind, I have been fixated on wedding flowers lately.

I have ideas for the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, drawing from an old centerpiece I did where I put in feathers for filler. I made a little photo collage (surprise, surprise) of ones I liked. I'm sorely tempted to have corsages instead of bouquets, because you put the bouquet down anyway.

As for tables, my approach thus far is to treat each table uniquely. The room is my garden and each plot will be a little different. I want people to want to look around to move through the room a bit. Different arrangements might encourage ladies to do so.

So here we have centerpiece brainstorming: illustrated.

I love the goldfish here, but I can only thing of them dying mid ceremony. Floating lifelessly and milky-eyed instead of swimming about happily. I appreciate the lesson in life and death they offer, but my wedding isn't the place for it.
Worse yet, what if five beers in, swallowing a goldfish seems like the BEST DARE EVER or if the kids "want to pet it" ?

This illustrates one idea I had to copy the style of one of my favorite art styles: flemish vanitas. However, vanitas tend to have skulls and hourglasses with the flowers to show the brevity of life and its riches. Once again, I appreciate the lesson but may save that for a different party. Anyhoo, note the loose elegance of some of the arrangements. I love that. Like they were gathered by a genteel woman from her garden and thrown together.