Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dress me up in your your love...

...all over my body from my head down to my to-oes...***

So I’m a two wedding bride. I’m a two wedding band bride. But will I be a two dress bride?

Going to Connecticut this March leaves me with only 4 months to find and order a gown. I’ll have to take this dress on a plane. I might spill something on it or step on it or fall in a giant mud puddle. These things happen to me when I’m wearing white. And I could get TWO dresses! Something delightfully retro with like a little pillbox hat and veil.

I’m SUPER excited about the photographer we’ll be having. It would be cool to have pictures in the ‘fancy’ dress. Also, it saves that much money not having to purchase a second dress. And finally, my hope is to find the perfect dress. You know what I mean, the dress that has me twirling in front of a mirror and giggling. Most women only have 1 day to wear that dress – I would get to wear it twice!
So I am leaning heavily towards trying to find the dress and wearing it both days. I just won’t eat the entire time it’s on lol. I’ll pack straws and an apron and bibs. :)

Here are the dresses I’m absolutely loving right now…

(From top left:)
  • Faviana Style 6395. I adore this dress. It's traditional yet whimsical and looks totally fun. And under THREE HUNDRED dollars. But the largest size is a 14. Which is not my size.

  • Rina di Montella Style RB2950. OMG. Heart stopping. Also 3,100 dollars. Which is not remotely within my budget.

  • Jacquelin Exclusive Style 9802. I'm not crazy about the sleeves. And I'd have to go to Savannah or Orlando to try one on. But the price is hovering around 1k which is closer to sanity. Still not fully certified as sane though.

  • Martina Liana Style 260. Also beautiful...I tagged this dress from a magazine ad. I notice though that it has a much fuller skirt than the other dresses I've favorited. I hate that the skirt comes off because I know I would never use it as a cocktail dress. I LOVE the lace bolero jacket.

  • Jacquelin Exclusive Style 9532. This dress is perfect stylistically for how I envision our wedding.

Now. Battling all common sense, these are the dresses that threaten to make me a 2 gown bride.

Argh they look so classicly elegant courthouse elopement. They SCREAM elopement. More than that, I can tell I would twirl for hours in these dresses. I would happily stand in front of a mirror and just swish my hips in these dresses. Especially the middle one.

So I don't know. I have to get into some bridal shops and start trying stuff on but I've been strangely reluctant. I'm anxious about having someone help me get dressed. And I know I'm supposed to be wearing the shoes and undergarments I plan to wear with the dress. If I have those things any time in the month before our wedding, I'll be shocked at my togetherness.

***Sidenote*** If I could, our reception would be a full-out Madonna-Rama. Nothing but Madonna all night long.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Two Wedding Bride

Okay wow so things are finally starting to come together...we're making decisions! :) We are going to elope to Connecticut on our 6 year anniversary and have a wedding here in Jacksonville this summer.

I'm writing this and I realize I still don't know where in Connecticut or Jacksonville we'll hold our weddings. But just deciding on states has been an enormous happiness for me. No longer will I have to search venues in Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania. Not to mention all the times, I thought I was looking in the 'right' state but had actually fallen into the 'right across the border' hell of NH or NY. Now it's Connecticut and Florida. That's it. :)

March 21st is the first big day - only 4 months away...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Proposal Story...

Elissa and I actually met in a Women & Gender Studies class at Sweet Briar College the 2nd semester of my Freshman year. I thought she was amazing and will readily admit to having had a crush on her. We debated things in class together, often on completely opposing sides. I was more apt to quote Wendy Shalit than Kate Bornstein. At any rate, it made for lively discussions.

Fall Semester of 2003, we both attended the Women & Politics Semester at American University in D.C. A.U. is where we became ready friends. We did everything together. We stayed up for hours just talking until we fell asleep on the sofa. We met each other for lunch every day. We vandalized furniture together. And we had a dedicated Face Mask Night. Every Tuesday was 'Face Mask Night'. We'd get together, order a pizza, rub mud all over our faces and settle in to dry. I'm not sure how it started or when we realized this was a Tuesday night tradition but there you have it.

This past Sunday (Oct. 18th), we had a supremely average weekend day. We met her father & step-mother for lunch, we went sofa shopping, E did work for school and we had dinner at O'Charlie's. When we got home, Elissa asked me if I'd like to put on face masks. This is a weekly tradition that has long since fallen by the would be more fair to call it a bi-annual traditon now. Anyways, we had fun putting on our masks and were giggling and taking lots of pictures and just being silly. I glanced over at Elissa and realized that she was holding my ring! My beautiful ring!

She said simply, "I knew when we were first putting face masks on at A.U. that I loved you. And I love you today. Will you Marry me?"

And I said "oh wow! yay!!!!" Or something equally inelegant. :)

I evidentally teared up. Photographic evidence.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Organza Flowers

I keep seeing these beautiful button bouquets and handmade flowers but I hadn't yet seen a tutorial. Luckily, the other day I found Reese Dixon's tutorial on making Organza flowers and was super impressed. So last night, I went over to Hobby Lobby (which already has Christmas displays btw!) and got my supplies. I got a shimmery ivory organza and today, I picked up a yellow organza from JoAnne's. You can't really see much of a color difference in the picture but it's there! :)

Anyways, I ran into a few little problems while making the flowers. First off, I can't free-hand cut flowers from Organza with ease. And when I tried to make a little cutting guide, it kept sliding out of place. Luckily, the organza appears to be pretty forgiving once it's been melt and all put together. I've made two different flowers so far. The first, I used more of a starfish-flower pattern. This flower looks a little more island exotic to me than the second flower. I'm embarrassed to admit that the flower shape shown on left is one of the better ones I managed to cut!

For the second flower, I used more of a circle shape with small petals. I think I like it more because it seems more 'English Garden' like. For this flower, I just cut out 6 squares all the same size (roughly). I lined them up as best I could and cut away. Organza is slippery!

I had a bit of a Goldilocks issue with my candles. The flame on the left was too small and the flame on the right was too hot. So I had to choose between holding the organza forever to coax it into melting OR hold it briefly and then cut off the portions that turned black from burning. Yeah. I went with the small flame but it seriously tried my patience. I'm not making any more until I have another candle! :) I'm thinking the one candle is just so old that the wick is burnt down and the other is cheap.

So anyways, for each flower, I mainly used the ivory organza with only one yellow layer. I might swing by JoAnne's and pick up some green organza to play with as well. My beads were yellow and green. Sewing them on was very simple.

I had originally been imagining that I'd make my bouquet, a boutennere, bridesmaids bouquets and maybe a pomodar for the flower girl but now? I don't know if I have the patience for that! I still want to make about 10 more though so I could get an idea of whether they'd look good as a bouquet.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Somebody's Getting Married Todaaaaaaay!

:) I love this! Talk about a blast from the past. I've been humming it all morning.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DIY Fabric Luggage Tags Save the Dates

Okay so one of the projects I have been relatively obsessive about are these luggage tags made by Sarah over at Craftini. I have this total picture in my mind of these nicely mounted on a post card with an insert reading 'We're Heading to a Wedding!' above the normal address lines. Corny? Why, yes! But I love it. :)

So here's the small, itty-bitty hiccup...I've never used a sewing machine. I mean I've sewed all my life. Counted cross stich, embroidery, hemming, name it. Buuut I've never used a machine. And perhaps more importantly, we don't own one.

So today, I dragged E through Jo Anne Fabrics with the promise of coffee and Yogaberry treats. We looked through a lot of fabric but didn't find anything just right in the yellow & green family. (Or sunshine & clover when I'm being particularly bridal lol)

We looked at machines too but I think I'm going to buy a cheapie one for like $80 from Target or Wal-mart. The reality is that any sewing I ever do is going to be beginner projects like draw curtains or an apron. No bridal gowns are coming out of my hands lol.

These are some of the prints I love from

I'm not completely in love with any of these options though. And for as much work as this project is going to take - I need to LOVE the fabric.

The colors are still negotiable at this point. For some reason, I really have yellow stuck in my mind as a prime color choice. This is totally odd because my favorite colors are ALWAYS jewel tones. I like teals, purples, fuchsias, etc. But a sunny yellow & grass green are the two colors that I keep imagining when I picture our day.

I think this would be a really fun option for our Save the Dates. And probably the only project I can be completely OCD about because as we get closer to the date, I just won't have time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I haven't posted in awhile...

I just got back from Puerto Rico. E was there for a conference and phoned me that she had a room to herself after all. 5 hours later, I was driving to Miami to make my flight the next morning at 6:30. :) Spontaneity like that is why I love E and us.

We had no idea I'd be going to Puerto Rico too or we might have tried for Proposal 3.0 lol. It's coming.

I'm still reading my wedding blogs all the time. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed now about the whole thing. A lot of my wedding planning is stymied by not really knowing how many guests we can expect to attend.

So anywhoo, being that it's a destination wedding, can we expect 20 people or 40? I want to invite my entire family but if only 20 people are going to be able to attend in the end...that's a very different venue option from 40.

We're both really clear on the sort of language semantics we want to use. Wedding. Marriage. You won't see the word 'union' anywhere near us. Which is crazy ironic because if this were a hetero-wedding, I know I'd be all over 'union'. I like the meaning of the word, the imagery...but I want to be crystal clear for everyone. We're having a wedding to celebrate our marriage. A big gay wedding for our big gay marriage. :)

I rented 'First Comes Love' from Netflix. It's a reality wedding planning show on LOGO hosted by Elvira Kurt. Loved the show. Loved some of the one-liners...especially from Mandy & Danika. Our favorite was that they didn't want any bastard children. Also awesome because these couples were like a few weeks out and had very little planned. :) This made me feel slightly ahead of the game lol.

Yeah so anyways, I haven't been posting blogs because for now, they'd be relatively boring 'non-planning' blogs. Where I'm just chatting about my anxieties about trying to plan something for an unknown number of people 1000 miles from my home.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


So Weekend 2.0 didn't really work out. We had gone back to Orlando for the weekend (we have disney tickets that are about to expire, that's why we keep going lol) but it turned into a family trip celebrating E's birthday. "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." We OWN that statement. :-)

And now it's all turned a bit silly - which is totally who are are as people. For instance, I'll be like toting laundry somewhere and scratching my butt and E will be like: "Now?" hehehe - love it! Or I'll be like "let's go somewhere romantic like Waffle House so I can propose to you..."

I've researched a LOT of bed and breakfast inn's in Connecticut & Vermont...nothing screams out at me. It's either a bit more than we want to spend, a super far drive for guests or really Victorian Burgundy in decor. I've decided Victorian Burgundy is better than Shaker empty though.

Now I'm kinda waiting for a few more weeks until we pull it together and can start announcing to family. Because I so want their thoughts. Is it reasonable to expect people to drive 5 hours? Would it be better to choose a place near an airport? Am I right in thinking summer time would be convenient? I know in the end that it's all up to us and people will try to come no matter what. But I don't really care. It's going to be just as complicated planning a destination in New Haven as Burlington to me.

So I'm just waiting...and doing little bits of research here and there. I recently discovered which I LOVE. I think it's kinda new because there aren't a plethora of articles but I've had a lot of fun going through the site.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Save the Date...

Okay so I am a little obsessing over our save the dates. Most of our guests will be from out of town so no matter where we hold our wedding - it's a destination wedding. Ideally, I'd like to send out save the dates no later than 9 months before the event.

And I know my limitations. While it would be awesome to DIY everything about our day, I know I'll start to get crazy overwhelmed. A bunch of half-started messes are in my future. But the Save the Dates? That's my chance to DIY. It's the first project and I have 3 months to come up with and execute something we'll love.

Okay and so I might be making this crazy more complicated than neccessary. But I feel the need to 'define' our wedding before making the save the dates. So I can stick to some sort of same vibeness throughout.

Last week, I spent more time than I'm going to admit on here perusing Flickr. I bookmarked all my favorite save the dates. Catagorized them. And printed to show E. She was like "OMG - I do not care."

But she's tricky like that because here's the secret...She DOES care. It's not like other couples who really may have a partner who could care less. So I have to get her on board before beginning any projects. Otherwise, mid-way through, she'll be like 'Wait. You're using that ribbon?' I know these things. So after being reminded of that fact, she sheepishly admitted I was right and pointed to these inspiration options.

Behold! :) I've developed a bit of a faux bois obsession in recent months. And this brings in that element but isn't so overwhelming that I'll look back on it and think 'why?' :)

This photo is just beautiful to me. It makes me want to run out and buy fabric and start stitching a banner. Of course actually having a DATE will help in this exercise! :) Which involves finalizing on a location. Which means choosing a state. Which is a giant big ARGH.

If I thought there was even a small chance of marriage being legal in Florida or Pennsylvania (where I'm from) any time would be such a huge happiness to me. Not just for civil rights and equality but for the selfish reality that planning would be simpler. I still really like the idea of spending our wedding money in a state that will recognize our wedding. I want to be able to say that $5,000 plus travel/vacation costs for our guests were lost to Florida. Okay -*reeling back in* - kinda went off on a tangent. Back to save the dates...

This is just a plethora of 'stuff we like'. It all looks pretty discordant here but you know - ignore the colors as they'd be personalized. The upper left example is adorable and totally who we are buuuut I want to move in a slighty more traditional direction. I love, love, love the idea of luggage tags. Our wedding is pretty small and I think I could make 50 luggage tags. Having NEVER used a sewing machine lol I may be moving too fast. :)

I'm excited though because after looking at so many examples and printing x-number of possibilities for E...we're definitely on the same page when it comes to this day. What more could I ask for?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Almost-Proposal

So my ring was due into the shop on Friday BUUT we didn't have a chance to pick it up because the SECOND, I got home we went into whirlwind-mode with packing. We were going to Orlando - Whoohoo!

On Saturday, we went to Lake Eola to rent swan boats which has been a long held dream of mine. Swan Boats! Seriously - I thought they were only in like Vegas and cartoons. Well, we rented our little boat and I pulled out Flat Stanley.

My little cousin's kindergarten class is doing a project with a book character named Flat Stanley. Basically, it's a little boy who was flattened but realizes that isn't so bad because he can travel places in the mail now. They made Flat Stanley's and then sent them to family or friends who are out of town who can show Stanley a good time.

So anyways, I'm pulling out Flat Stanley to take his picture. Like so... When E got all testy and was like 'Would you put Flat Stanley away?' which I did but I was like ???. So we finished our little ride sans Stanley.

Well, I found out that she had run over and secretly picked up my ring on Saturday! On the drive home, I didn't realize she already had it and she asked me a general proposal 'envisionment' question. And I was like "oh I don't know - those swan boats are a cute idea!" She was like 'AHHHH.'

:O) I guess it just hadn't felt like the right moment since I was being goofy and not really picking up on any cues. In retrospect, we were naming our favorite memories together and everything. I totally get it!

But since it didn't feel right for her yet, I'm very glad she waited. I feel so happy that she secretly went and got the ring for me. It would have been a total surprise since I didn't even know she had it! It was such a sweet idea. I can't wait to see 'Proposal 2.0: Mission Accomplished'. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So today, I was all excited to go to work with my little cake from cake class. (It turned out muy pretty if you ignore my malformed ribbon.) On my way there, I go to change into the left lane and hit a car in my blind spot. Total shocker. I've never been in an accident before. I immediately burst into tears. Seriously for the next 45 minutes, I just sobbed. Bizarre. The cop was practically rolling his eyes at me.

It's relatively minor. We'll need to get a new rear driver's side door but that's about it. And it's totally my fault so no insurance assistance. *Poof* $500. Could have been worse though. No one was injured and it only affected one panel (the door) instead of multiple ones.

This part was kinda hilarious though. So both drivers (me & Big Jeep Guy) immediately pulled over after we collided. I'm sitting there in the car, sobbing, trying to collect myself. I realized I didn't even have a cell phone because E left hers in her dad's car and took mine to work. I realized I didn't have a copy of our insurance card in the car because we had changed companies recently. And at that moment as I'm like 'FUCK. What now?' - the ding sounds and the light for having no gas comes on. The universe was all like 'challenge issued & accepted.'

Argh. This post isn't really wedding related but as I was staring at the damage, I kept seeing different ridiculous elements of a wedding floating away. Like custom ostrich feather fans for all my guests. *Poof* gone! Or a bounce house...just gone. I love this picture. I found it here. Doesn't that look crazy fun? E would say 'just crazy'. She's a bit of the traditionalist...but that's good because it it were just me planning it, we'd have cotton candy favors (in our colors of course!) ...funnel cakes, karaoke, funky colors everywhere, banners...etc. etc. etc. And all of those things are completely cool but I could not pull it off. It would just look like a mess. Or a family day picnic in a church parking lot. So we're going to focus on timeless...with a few funky things thrown in. Like cotton candy. I'm still of the opinion that that's kick ass. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Money, Money, MON-NAY!

Hmmm well it's a bummer about California...luckily, my expectations were pretty low. Here's to 2010...

Anywho, I'm waiting on a cake to cool so that I can ice it for my class tonight. I have to say cake decorating is not as much fun as I imagined. I'm usually really into crafts of all sorts but I'm just flat out too lazy for this. All these different consistancies, tips and arm positions. I think I'd rather color.

So in short, whatever insane dreams I had of being able to make my own cake are *Poof!* out the window. Luckily, a cake was never really a big deal for me. I suppose we'll have one. I'd rather eat a Lemon Tart personally. Mmmmm or lemon squares. We have a really nice Publix bakery with example cakes that to my untrained eye are gorgeous. Works for me!

Here's what I wanted: a simple, elegant but casual wedding. Ceremony in a garden. Reception either in tent or inside small bed & breakfast type deal. Around 25-35 guests - mainly just our closest family & friends. I hoped to spend about $5,000. Seems reasonable, right? We are talking MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. I feel ridiculous saying that but there you have it. My vision is more than 5K.

At this point, I just want to find a situation where the venue, food & music are around 5K. Everything else, I can start getting here and there. Like E's suit doesn't really count toward expenses because I know she'll rewear it. Or at least that's how I'm beginning to arrange things in my mind lol. Soon I'm going to be like: "Weeell, the DJ doesn't really count because we'd probably be listening to music this weekend aaanywaays. Sooo really it's like going to a club with a slightly more expensive cover." Yeah. Watch me do it. :-P

But in seriousness, there are a lot of things we want in the next 5 years. A house, new car for E, going back to school, babies...a really elegant garden party wasn't on that list 6 months ago.

I wish I lived in the same town as everyone. Part of the problem is that I feel pressure to have an event 'worthy' of everyone having to drive or buy plane tickets. Money saving tips like 'Have a brunch!' don't really feel right for that reason. ARGH.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I hate Prop 8...

So tomorrow's the big day...the California Supreme Court is going to release their decision regarding the legality of Prop 8. At 9:30 am. Pacific Time. I'm going to go nuts. I can't help but be hopeful...buuut...I'm not feeling it's likely to be a positive decision.
Above is my post from November when Prop 8 was voted into effect. You can click it to read it. I'm sorta steeling myself to not be morose tomorrow. I take this very personally...who wouldn't? My personal philosophy can be summed up in a lot of ways as 'Be Nice.' And this is so strangely the opposite. People do things in the privacy of voting booths that they'd be ashamed to do directly to another human being.

Anyways, I'm sending positive thoughts toward California. I promise I am! I know it's already decided, whatever decision it may be...but still positive energy can only help. If nothing else, I hope the court recognizes the 18,000 marriages that took place before Prop 8 passed. Here's to equality...


Okay so today while we were out, I picked up two calligraphy pens. I don't really buy into calligraphy as being a 'MUST HAVE' buuut it's something simple and FREE that I can do to add a touch of luxe to our event. Commence serious practicing!

I think I need a book. I just ended up writing the names of everyone we plan to my normal old handwriting. I have to say that just adding the calligraphy pen to the mix seriously improved my handwriting though! I don't think I could do this if we were planning on sending out a lot of invites but for the 50 odd envelopes we'll send...I can do it.

I found that I kept misspelling my own last name. I never write in cursive except when scrawling my name hurriedly at the bank. So my last name goes pretty much like this "Keis-scribble+flourish". Sorta humbling to be so bad at writing my own name lol.

I looked over and this is what Elissa had 'practiced'. Maybe we'll DIY the invitations too? Um yeah...I think I've just been made Head Addresser. :)

This is what I wish my handwriting could look like. It just looks so light & an envelope of happiness has just been delivered your way.

It seems like most of the brides I've been reading are either doing labels or hiring someone to address their envelopes. But at $2 a pop - I think that might be more expensive than the invitations I hope to send out! Alas, letterpress is not for me...still figuring out what exactly will be but more on that later. :)

Anyone else trying to relearn their signature scrawl into an elegant loopy-de-loop?

***Just in case anyone else has the wherewithal for custom calligraphy, the one pictured is Betsy 2 by - lucky you! :)***

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where to?

So one of the biggest questions we've been sorting out is 'where to?' Planning a queer wedding is made slightly more complicated due to marriage being legal in only a few states. Getting an actual marriage license is insanely important to me. Knowing that Canada or Vermont or Iowa recognize our union means a surprisingly large amount to me. I mean, why should it matter, we're still not eligible for the hundreds of federal benefits. But it really, really does. So given that, we have two options.

Option A) We elope to Vermont, Montreal, etc. and have an intimate ceremony with just the two of us. We host a ceremony here in Florida where we say our vows in front of friends and family, followed by a reception.

Option B) We do the all thing as a destination wedding in afore mentioned progressive states. We'd invite everyone to join us there.

I worry that if we did the first option, people would be offended that they weren't invited to the first ceremony. Or that it would be seen as some sort of present grab since we were *already* married. Also, it would be nice to have people witness our legal ceremony instead of staging a repeat.

I think right now, we're leaning toward the 2nd option for that reason and a few others. I kinda favor spending our money in a state that recognizes our right to marry. I really like the idea of a 'wedding weekend' where our families can come and just spend a few days relaxing together.

The downside, of course, is that fewer people are going to be able to randomly fly to CT for a weekend. And the general difficulties of planning destination weddings. It's at least a 16 hour drive from us sooo we won't be going up more than once before next summer.

Is it as difficult for other people to pick the wedding location?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Viva La Marriage!

So today, Elissa and I headed over to do some shopping at the Avenues Mall. I wanted to see if Belks had these really cute red shoes in my size (11!) because the one near us did not. We never made it that far. Somehow we veered into Heltzberg Jewelry store and started looking at engagement rings.

The people there were amazingly helpful and they had a lot of different rings. My favorite thing was that the 2 women who helped us understood that Elissa & I were a couple and didn't weirdly skirt around that fact. They asked when we were thinking of getting married, they congratulated us, they were joyful with us! I loved it.

I was looking at my standard selection of rings - .75 to 1 carot, high quality solitaires. And as normal, not LOVING anything especially. I had somehow come to some decision in my mind that I needed to find a classical ring around the 7K price bracket. I have been STUDYING the '4 C's' very carefully. Also, I have big fingers (size 9.5) and I thought that anything less than a large diamond would look puny on my sausage fingers.

I just happened to notice this sweet little set (engagement & wedding band) that I asked to see. And as soon as it was on my finger, I knew. I don't know how else to say it. I am in love with this ring. It was delicate, dainty and sweet. It just felt like this feminine antique or something. I am in love with my ring.

And it was shockingly less than $2,000.

Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected to find a ring I ADORED in that price bracket. I know that will sound silly to some people but I'm truly amazed.

Elissa was really worried that I was 'just saying' I liked it because, well, I like to save the moolah. I am a bargain hunter to my core. But I wouldn't do that with something so important as a ring I hope to wear for the rest of my life. This was just je ne sais quois. I knew.

Bonus? I don't have to feel insanely guilty for walking around with a used car hanging off my finger. I really try to steer clear of a lot of consumerist stuff and this feels a lot closer to who I try to be. I want to make sure in the next year that I don't get lost in the 'wedding' and stay focused on our lives together.

Viva La Marriage!