Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Planning 101’

frazzled………….. to say the least

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So I am halfway there…… and I am feeling it.  Run down, ragged, stressed, and ready for this to be done.  I feel like I have planned just about enough details, and it is wearing on my patience.   Not just that, but my sobriety.   Right now I have about 90 days clean time…… which is awesome, but everyday is a battle.

As far as my 90 days go, I could not have accomplished it without God and the help of my awesome friends, and of course- Mr. Culberson.  (Mostly God though……. to stop using after a 14 year streak honestly requires a miracle)

Bands are slowly coming together, however I just found out that the one we were relying on for a good majority of our entertainment for the evening only has about an hour set list.  So it’s back to the drawing board to get yet another band to add to the nights festivities.  I need someone that can play for a good two-three hours.  Hopefully I can find that band soon, in my budget.

We do have three bands booked right now though, which is awesome………….  one of my favorites Mue Sephei (you can check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/muesephei ) they are going to do the ceremony music and some light reception music , Mr. Culbersons band- Dreams Scar Reality (check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/dreamsscarreality ) and our third band is a cover band made up of the guitar player & singer from Dreams Scar Reality, and a girl named Jessica on bass.  They are pretty cool too.  So it looks like one of my top priorities is finding another band.

Moving on…………….. I picked out some bad ass tuxes.  They are a Calvin Klein 2 button shadow striped with teal vests and ties and black shirts.  Shoes are black & white patent leather.  The great debate now is weather the guys want to rent the tuxes I picked out.  Or go out and  buy a pair of black dress pants & a black shirt, ditch the vests, and wear a turquoise tie.  Then wear a pair of zebra stripe slip on Vans.

Here’s the tux:


Granted they look slick, but I know the jackets & vets will be ditched right after the ceremony.  If we do rent tuxes, we will be renting them from the Men’s Wearhouse.  They are located all over the nation, your men can be fitted wherever it is convenient for them and pick up the tux in your wedding location.  They also have great deals like rent 5 get the grooms free.  Rentals include two shirts (in case guys sweat through one), suspenders, cuff links, ties & vests, and shoes.  Rentals also start as low as $49 and go up to $169.

Other stuff of randomness………………….

We started to register.  We’re going with Target & taking Mrs. N’s advice and going for Bed Bath & Beyond.  My dad & sister are also going in on a car for us as a wedding gift…… which is cool.  For the past year we have been a slave to car pools, public transports & taxis.  It will be nice to have our own set of wheels again.

I’ve made some other changes too- our guest list is ever growing.  We’re at about 110.  So the 80 invitations I had bought were just not going to cut it.  I decided to return them and go with printed post card invites from Vistaprint, and do all of my RSVP’s by phone or web to save on paper and postage.  Once I get them ordered I’ll put a sample up here to show the world.  They’re much cheaper- and postage is cheaper.  Then for out of town guests, all of our lodging, directions, maps, areas of interest, general stuff will be on our website.  (I am working on a wedding website right now…… more details on that to follow…… stay tuned)

Anyway………………. I have about ten minutes to get my stuff together before I have to run out the door.   Thanks for reading my rant……. and if you have any ideas of what you think we should write about- let us know in our comment section.  We’d love to know.  Feedback is always appreciated.


the search for the perfect centerpieces

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I keep searching on-line for the perfect centerpieces…………. something whimsical, something fun, something that captures us as a couple.  Nothing with flowers, mirrors or candles.

I’ve found some cool ideas.  Old books, you could even use books of quotes about love and place empty journals with pens around for loved ones to write in on your special day.

Then the idea of beta fish came about (gold fish usually go belly up in a plain bowl mid reception, so it is best to use something a bit heartier), with stones to match our wedding colors.  That is fun, but I wanted something a little more personal.  Note- if you do decide to go with fish and not all of your guests take them home after the night is through and you don’t have a use for ten fish with bowls; offer them new homes on CraigsList, FreeCycle, or even call local nursing homes & adult foster care homes and ask if some of the patients would be able to have a fish in their room and donate them.  There are people out there just waiting to give your fish a loving home.  Please find them homes if you are going to use them for centerpieces.  Do not buy fish just for looks then flush them.

Nothing really hit me………… so I kept looking, and thinking………….. and then it dawned on me…….. PEZ dispensers and travel board games! Yes, I’m serious………… there’s a method to my madness.   Read on.

I have been collecting PEZ dispensers for almost 15 years and I have hundreds, I could display some of my favorites as table centerpieces.  Then around candy filled dispensers we will place travel size board games.  I’m thinking the classics…….. battleship, finger twister, uno, cribbage, scrabble, yatzee, chess, checkers, hungry hippos.  Just a warning to Mr. Culberson……… I am totally going to rule the tables in a game of bride vs. groom wedding night battleship, you’re going down.

My objective ——–>To bring tables of people together.  To break the ice a bit…… and most of all to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who don’t want to dance.  They can sit and just chill, enjoying the music, playing a game or a hot game of cards.   I think if it is done right, it will be pretty cool…… and it is something our guests will definitely remember.

So that is my new mission, the search for cheap travel games for the tables.  I have already bought the finger twister game.  Found that bad boy on E-Bay for $3.99 with $1.99 shipping.  Not too bad for a game brand new in box.  I have posted wanted ads on both CraigsList & FreeCycle.

If you haven’t heard of FreeCycle & CraigsList or checked them out, they are a must for anyone looking for deals.  CraigsList is a local on-line market place for buying/selling/trading  (great place to resell your wedding stuff when you’re done) http://www.craigslist.com you find your state and closest city and get started that way.  Both buying & selling are free.  FreeCycle is a group where everything is free, that is the one rule- everything must be free.  You can post things you are giving away, or things that you want/are looking for.  Check out http://www.freecycle.org for more information and to find a group near you.  I find this to be a great way to recycle unwanted items.

Also, if you haven’t heard of it (but really, who hasn’t?) check out E-Bay http://www.ebay.com .  I have bought so much for our wedding there.  It is the ultimate on-line marketplace with sellers from all over the world.  I love E-Bay.  It doesn’t cost anything to become a member and buy things, all you pay for is your purchases.

Thoughts?  Tacky?  Creative?  Clever?  Boring?  I’d love some feedback.  My bridesmaids think it’s a great idea…………. but something tells me their job is to think all of my ideas are great ideas.  After all, I am the bride.

Anyway- I am off…………. my lady is on her way and we’re having a fun filled weekend.  Going to be doing some baking, and we’re going to go see the new Alice & Wonderland.


The beat goes on……. and this time I have new shoes to dance in

Friday, February 26th, 2010

All day long I have been rotating between two jobs, cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes…………. and looking for the perfect reasonably priced $200-ish wedding venue.  I think I just may have found it.  I have called galleries, campgrounds, VFW, UAW & K of C Halls……………  e-mailed private homes, ski lodges, recording studios………….. and relief seems to be coming in the form of a small American Legion Hall in town.   I think I’ll confirm the date tomorrow and get it set in stone.

As far as bands go, they seem to be coming together.  We have one already lined up.  Super excited.  This band is one of my favorite local bands.  I wear their t-shirt on a regular basis and see them at every opportunity.  More details on that to follow……… I’ll let the suspense build a little bit.  We are still looking for a good cover band that we can dance all night to.  If you are in the Traverse City, MI area and know of one, give me a shout.  I’d love to check them out.

Other wedding related nonsense…………..

I think I found my shoes.  At least I ordered my shoes.  Hopefully they will fit and everything will be good, so I won’t have to return them.  Also, I had a coupon…………. so I saved $8!  Here’s the shoes……

It was a strong tie between the turquoise and a pair with buckles on the toes in zebra print……………. but the turquoise pulled through because they matched the invites and will match the tux vests.  (I’m getting matchy on this here occasion)

Good news, if I do have to return them I can return them in store.  I ordered them from famous Footwear http://www.famousfootwear.com/  I found my $8 off coupon on this great website- retail me not.  On-line coupon codes for over 50,000 stores.  All you have to do is search by store name.  Check it out, best of all, it’s free http://www.retailmenot.com/

Moving on to other great deals…………

I was on E-Bay the other day looking for a Russian veil, and I happened to find one, with feathers & flowers for cheap.   So I bid on it.  I was outbid, so I bid again.  I won!  I got my veil!  It is on its way right now from Brighton, MI.  I am so excited.  This veil is exactaly what I was looking for.  It had never been worn, and originally purchased for $125.  I won the auction at $22.  With out further ado………….. here are pics.  Glorious pics.

Russian blusher veil................. some think they're tacky & dated...... THEY ARE! That's why I love them <3

Close up of feathers & flowers

I went and did a little shopping today, at one of my favorite on-line printers, Vista Print.  I was able to pick up 100 save the date postcards, a big vynal banner, a 2 sided yard sign & stand, custom letterhead, custom notecards, a stamp with our name & address, 250 businesscards for Mike, magnets (large & even larger), and return address labels WITH shipping for under $40.

Here’s a peek at some of the stuff I was able to pick up……….. as long as you can pick out one of their pre-made designs to work with, they have a ton of free stuff.  Want to use your own design or have them custom make one for you?  They do that too for pretty cheap.  These were all one of their presets though, and in our colors.  I was happy.

vynal banner

Yard sign with stand

I have had them print business related stuff for me too, it always comes out nice.  Check them out.  http://www.vistaprint.com  Be sure to sign up for their e-mail news so you get all of the free news sent to your e-mail box.  They will send you all of the specials that you can’t always find on the website.  You can also find coupons on the coupon site listed above.

Other than that, still waiting to hear back on the hall.  The little art gallery that used to be a church ended up being out of our price range.  Still more reasonable than many places we’ve checked out, but at $70 an hour for the entire place we can’t swing the length of reception we want there.  So, the search continues.


………the whole nine yards………..

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hi- I am the future mrs. culberson.  I am moving over from another blog site, so I will post a brief version of what has been posted on the other site.  I will warn you-  I am a broke ass bride (total budget around $1,000), very DIY, and I am totally in love with the man of my dreams.  Almost everything I write about in regards to our wedding is either second hand, homemade, or talked down from the original price…….. cause’ that’s the way I roll.

So sit back, relax, put on your sexy specs………… and here we go………….

Woah………….. here we go!  My first real blog. “Like a virgin…….. “ Everybody- sing it together!

Ok, I’m quite over that.   Moving on…………..

I have always wanted to write………….. about everything.  My life, the chaos, art & love I create………….. more recently my family, my engagement & wedding planning, finding God in a devil driven society, and what it’s like to be bi-polar trying to hold it all together while staying sober.

I am recently out of rehab, and almost two months clean……………  and everyday is an adventure.

I invite you to join me in this journey I call life.  See things through my eyes, and together we’ll take it from there.

P.S.

Comment…………. give me your feedback.  Tell me what you like, what you don’t like……….. what you’d like to see, etc.

 

I went to one of my favorite stores the other day (TJ Maxx http://www.tjmaxx.com/ ) and was pleased to find wedding invites, favor bags, and a batchlorette party in a box all on sale for under $10!  In our wedding colors none the less.  (We are going with turquoise, white & black with hot pink accents)  I was able to get all of our invites, and other goodies for under $30!  What a steal.  I love that store.

Here’s the goods:

Invites- Retail $19.99, I paid $9

Favor boxes- retail $9.99, I paid $4

Batchlorette Party in a Box- Even includes the rhinestone tiara! Paid $4

I am so thrilled with the way the little things are coming along, this week I am going to look into renting our venue.  I have about $200 to work with.  (I warned you, I am broke ass)  I am also going to look into booking the two bands I want……… hoping to get them.

I was browsing CraigsList (one of my guilty pleasures) when I came across a size 8 first communion/flower girl dress.  My curiosity got the best of me and I checked it out.  Only $15 and this dress was beautiful.  I called and talked to the lady, and we agreed that maybe I would find a way to pick it up later this week.  In my mind I could not fathom a way to make this happen though because she lived out of town, and I don’t drive or have access to a car.  So for me to get out there is near impossible.

Anyway………………

Fast forward two hours ————>

I am napping and the phone rings.  It is the woman with the dress.  She is coming into town and wants to know if I would like to meet her.  I am psyched.

We end up meeting within the next thirty minutes at my house (I am so low on cash I have to use laundry quarters to buy the dress, lol) and the moral of the story is that it ends up being mine!  I walked away with Jades dress for our wedding, and for only $15.  The dress is beautiful………… and is everything I had ever wanted.

The beautiful $15 treasure

She is going to look so beautiful walking me down the aisle with my father in this dress.  All I can say is God is good….. and boy does he ever work in mysterious ways.

new day-

SO I had an hour to kill this afternoon.  I was waiting for the bus and there happened to be a resale store near the bus stop.  I figured I’d take a look.  Last time I was in there I found a hair crimper from the 80’s………. God only knows what I’d find this time.

I ditched my latte’ on the curb (no food or drinks) and worked my way into the store.  Something told me to look at dresses, though I never find cute dresses in my size at a reasonable price.  I pushed through the racks and worked my way back to formal gowns, then to wedding dresses.  Then I found one stuffed way in the back that actually was pretty cute, and the tag……….. well the tag must have been a misprint.  The tag said a 20.  It was a gorgeous halter style white Davids Bridal wedding gown,  and it was clearly marked as a size 20.  Odd, because I am a size 20………… and I needed a weeding dress.  Fate?

I figured it was just the dress size, and that it was maybe a 14/16 actual size….. but I’d try it on for shits & giggles.  I picked it up and worked my way towards the sales counter with the bulky dress bag.  I asked the ladies, did they know if it was a street 20, or a dress 20?  They weren’t sure, but they were confident that if I just tried it on it would fit.  I figured, why not.  I had an hour to kill and nothing to loose.  I ditched my street clothes and got out the dress.

It was as if that dress was made for me.  It fit perfectly.  It was even the exact length……….. and usually everything is too long for me because I am only 5′6″.  This was too bizarre.  The first dress I try on, and it fits.  Under the dress in the bag I find another bag, in it contains the crinolin slip…… everything to complete the look.

I had to call my friend who was going to make me a dress, Rochelle.  Could a dress be made for $$ (what this cost)?  It would work out to be about even.  Surely it would be cheaper to make a dress……….. not really.  The two worked out about equally.

I need a 2nd opinion…………… another girls opinion.  My friend and her mom will be getting out of work soon.  I call Karla and ask if they can stop by the store and give me some feedback.  They agree.  I am relieved……. and feeling a bit like a princess all dressed up in a wedding gown in the 2nd hand store.

Fast forward about an hour and a half ————>  I wait while they run a couple errands around town…….. just chilling at the store, donning full out bridal gear.  At this point I am in jewelry too, and heels……. just waiting.  La-tee-dah.

Finally they show up, and exclaim that I look beautiful!  Exactally what I needed to hear.  Music to my ears.  Now my soul could rest and I could buy the dress with ease.  Someone that knew my personality say a bit of myself in it.  This I like.  This makes me happy.

I undress quickly and put back on my jeans…………… and pack the dress up to head to my house.

Another thing on the to-do list crossed off…………… another day down, another day closer to wedded bliss.

To see pics of the dress, copy & paste this link in a new window……….. will post actual pictures later……….

http://www.davidsbridal.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplayView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051&categoryId=-49995489&currentIdx=21&subCategory=-49999486|-49998998|-49995489&catentryId=6096907&sort=

trust me…………… you want to see it, it’s beautiful!

 

Last night Prince Charming & I stayed the night at our friends Rochelle & Matt’s house.  It is beautiful……….. and we had so much fun!  Imagine the eccletic contemporary, mixed with everything vintage, splashed with bold colors, and chalk board walls………….. toss in a lot of owls and vintage deer, and you get amazing wonderment that is their home.  To top it off we did some beautiful bridal dress pictures in their home.  I will be posting them as soon as they are edited.  Vintage hats, a turquoise vintage typewriter, brass knuckles, a silly mask, unique umbrellas…………… toss in my tattoos and the wedding dress & crinoline underneath.  With bare feet and pearls.  They are great.  I can’t wait to show you folks!

Bad news on the venue…….  the hall I was hoping for is booked on the weekend we want.  I am moving on to choice number two, playing a vicious game of phone tag hoping for a call back soon and an open space.  maybe this one won’t be zoned residential and noise won’t have to stop at 10pm.  One can only hope.  I am also waiting for a call back from a small art gallery in town.  It used to be a church, so it is a big two story building with the cathedral ceilings and such……  but it is decorated fun & funky like.  I’d really like to have it someplace like that if it will fit the budget.  Time will tell on that one.  If I can’t get it, we’ll make the hall look bad ass.

Other than that, not much is going on………… just another manic Monday…………… er, wait…………. it’s Friday.  My lady is coming this weekend………. super excited.  I haven’t seen her in about a week and a half and I miss her like crazy.  This weekend is also Taylor’s birthday party.  My other lady is turning 6! Woo-hoo! Time to celebrate.

So many wonderful things happening this year, one can’t help but feel blessed.

Anyway- I am off to take a bubble bath and think about doing the dishes.  Somehow in my own little world, that counts as housework.  After all, they always say it’s the thought that counts.


I said "Yes to the Dress" and then Changed My Mind!!!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

I am THAT girl.  The girl who had thought about her wedding since she knew what a wedding was, and who had already planned all of the details by the time she was 15 (of course, at 15 years old, it did seem pretty cool to have the New Kids on the Block play live at my wedding!).  Needless to say, when I finally got engaged, I was super excited to start the planning process.  More than anything else, I could not wait to go dress shopping!  I will admit, that I was a little bit nervous because I LOVE to shop and I LOVE clothes, however, I am a little quirky when it comes to certain things.  I knew all along that I wanted something that would be jaw dropping, but really unique.  And I worried whether or not I would find what I was looking for.

When it finally became time to look for my dress I went to the mecca of wedding dress stores: Kleinfelds!  That’s right, the actual “Say Yes to the Dress” store.  Keeping with tradition, I brought along my mom and my sister for support.  My mother…not much of a help.  After all, she would tell me that I looked beautiful wearing a burlap sack.  My sister, on the other hand, was more the voice of reason, being somewhat of a style guru.  The only problem was that my sister was very much a traditionalist, and tended to stay away from dresses that were even remotely “different.”  Her own beautiful Ream Acra wedding gown with the beaded bodice and satin A-line skirt, was totally her, but totally NOT me.

Dress shopping, as it turned out, became the thorn in my shopaholic side.  Nothing bummed me out more than trying on hundreds of dresses and never once getting that feeling that you are supposed to feel when you finally found “the one.”  I wanted chills, goosebumps – to never want to take my dress off and wear it out of the store!  But all I ever felt was “blah.”  Not only did my heart never skip a beat, but it sank! And I actually started dreading going shopping!! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely found some beautiful dresses that looked fantastic on me – but they just were not “the” dress.  Eight stores and at least 8 dozen dresses later, and I had just about given up!

During this depressing process I had found one dress that I absolutely fell in love with!  Just a few issues:  1) It was $10,000 dollars.  Yes, you read that right!  2) It was very slinky and almost nightgowny, which was beautiful, except a part of me kinda thought that on the day of my wedding, the one day that I could go over the top and be a total princess, I wasn’t sure if that was the direction that I wanted to go in (now if I was rich enough to afford TWO dresses, this would have totally, without a doubt, been my second dress of the night!).  3) You fully needed the body of a runway model to pull it off, and lets just say, my daily forced gym routine did not have me in that type of shape quite yet (if ever!).  Nonetheless, the Badley Mischka gown sat in the far corner of my brain, but eventually I realized that it, too, was not “the” one!

THE dress

Badgley Mischka

Eventually, what began as my most exciting quest,  finding my wedding dress!!! became the most annoying and miserable experience of the entire wedding planning process.  I should have known – everything else had gone so smoothly; the reception hall, the band, the florist – all fantastic and EASY experiences.  Clearly something had to go wrong at some point.  And so, here I was, having looked in every single store in the NY area, and I had nothing!

I eventually decided to go back to Kleinfelds.  After all, it had been my first stop and it had the biggest selection, and now so many dresses later, at least I had a better idea of what I was looking for, so why not go back to the place where they had everything?  My appointment was for Tuesday night at 7 pm.  The last appointment of the day.  I had work (I am an elementary school teacher) and then I was working the after-school program until 5 pm.  My mom was going to pick me up from work and my best friend was going to come into the city with us (this was the only appt that my sister was unable to attend).  By the time I was headed into the city, I was exhausted, had a migraine, and apparently (as I would later find out) a slight fever!

They don’t rush you at Kleinfelds, but obviously I felt like I could not spend 2 hours there and force them to stay open for me.  Besides, I was STARVING and feeling ill.  I wanted to go home, badly.  At this point, I really and truly just didn’t care.  I let my mom and my friend go to town and pull dresses for me to try on.  Ugly, ugly, uglier.  Finally, the last dress of the night, and I was ready to put it on, take it off, go eat something and succumb to the fact that I would be wearing a t-shirt and jeans down the aisle.  I was d-o-n-e!  The rest is a blur.  I remember putting the last dress on.  I remember my mom and best friend oohing and aahing, and I remember thinking “I seriously do not give a shit anymore” and the words “fine, I’ll take it” coming out of my mouth.  Tears were flowing (my mom and friend of excitement, me of relief to be getting out of there) and next thing I knew, my measurements were taken and down-payment made – and I had my dress.  Relief!  Now I never would have to look at another dress again.  Thank goodness!

Or so I thought.

Weeks started to fly by and before I knew it, I was approaching 6 months until the big day.  During this time, I began to have recurring nightmares that would literally make me jump awake covered in sweat!  Every nightmare featured me at my wedding in a horrendous wedding gown.  Eventually I started to panic.  Deep down I knew that I had made a mistake.  What was worse, was that I didn’t even have a picture of the dress I had bought.  The designer was exclusive to Kleinfelds and they did not have a picture of this specific dress on their website.  I didn’t even remember what it looked like!!  The bits and pieces of the dress that did stand out in my mind formed together to create what I imagined was a Madonna “Like a Virgin” dress, circa 1985.  I felt bad saying anything to my mother since she had paid for my dress, but after months of nightmares I finally called my sister hysterically crying and told her that I was pretty sure that I hated my dress.

My sister tried to calm me down and suggested that I make an appointment to go try my dress on again and she would meet me there.  She was certain that I was just having cold feet, and that upon trying on the dress again, I would realize how much I loved it.  I told her that I knew for a fact that it was a disaster, but that I would meet her there just to prove it to her.  Unbeknowest to me, my mother had given my sister specific instructions that she was to tell me the dress was stunning and convince me that it was perfect.

It was a beautiful day in April when I went to meet my sister at Kleinfelds.  I had arrived a little before her and was waiting inside for her when I saw it.  My Dress!  No, not my dress, not the one I had already bought, but MY dress, the one I was destined to own.  There it was, adorning the mannequin and calling out to me.  Everything I had been looking for was right there!  I needed to try on that dress.  My sister had barely made it through the door and I was pulling her towards it: “That’s it, THAT is the dress I am supposed to wear.  Look at it!!!”  I was giddy!  The woman came to get me for my appointment and I told her that I wanted to try on “that dress right there.”  This did not immediately go over well because apparently the appoinment that I had was just for me to try on the dress that I had already bought, and not for me to “try on a bunch of new dresses.”  Apparently the craziness in my eyes began to show because after I told them that I was, in fact, going to be trying on “the ugly dress that I had already purchased as well as the beautiful dress on that mannequin”, they relented and allowed me to try on just that one.

In the dressing room, with my sister next to me, I satisfied everyone and tried on the dress I had already purchased first.  Upon seeing the lace, beading, and overall matronly shape (which did look very much like the Madonna dress, if Madonna had been in her 60’s when she had taped the video) I began to cry hysterially.  It was everything I had imagined, and worse.  I would NOT be wearing this dress to my wedding!  My sister tried, pathetically, to tell me that it was beautiful, but even i could see the absolute horror in her eyes.  I could not get that dress off of me fast enought.  With a little sigh, they helped me into the other dress I had demanded to try on.  As they laced up the corset back, i felt it.  IT.  That feeling!  The feeling of numbness in my fingertips, intense excitement and goosebumps.  This was it!  There was no denying it.  This was the dress I had been looking for.  One look at me in the dress and my sister picked up her phone and called my mother.  “I can’t even lie to her, mom”, she said, “there is just no comparison.”  We both knew it.  I had to have this dress even if it meant that I take out a loan and buy both of them!  Luckily the dress I fell in love with was made by the same designer, however, they would have to get in touch with her to see whether or not they had already began cutting and putting together my original dress.  I would have to wait a week to find out whether or not I was out of the money we had put down already.  Fortunately, everything worked out, and 6 months before my wedding I picked out a brand new dress that I loved!!

(I tried to find a picture online of the dress that I had originally bought, but STILL can’t find one!  But here is a picture of the dress I fell in love with…and eventually wore to my wedding!!)

The dress I fell in love with!

So girls – TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and never, ever settle!


2010 wedding trends to follow and to avoid

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Okay, so we have all been victims, at one time or another, of getting sucked into believing that certain trends are must-haves.  Check your closets and you will find that you did, in fact, drink the kool aid at some point.  I can bet that you  have at least one of the following items:  high or low waisted jeans, skinny jeans, leggings, biker boots, huge over-sized bags, huge over-sized sunglasses, anything sequined….well you get the point.  Don’t be ashamed – I have most of those items myself, and more.  Point being, fashion trends have the ability to make us feel that we need to have certain items.  And in every day life that’s fine – but on your wedding day, falling victim to the latest trend can be something that you regret for years to come, or at least for as long as you have your wedding album.  Here are some of the most talked about wedding trends for 2010:  the good and the bad.

The Good:

  • Green weddings: This is something we can definitely stand behind.  Environmentally friendly weddings are becoming a huge trend.   LED lighting, candles, seasonal flowers, organic food and invitations and party favors made from recycled paper/products are definitely “do’s” this year.  It is also in our humble opinion that you once and for all ditch the tree killing, 3 ring wedding binders, to get a more Eco-friendly online wedding planner – My Wedding Binder for example….
  • Going retro: We love the retro trend – up until a certain point (see more under “the bad”).  Retro themed engagement shoots (picture a 1960’s diner), glamorous 1940’s old Hollywood hair, and fun additions like Polaroid photo booths, retro decorations, or 1930’s art deco invitations can add a fun, quirky, or glam feel to your wedding.
  • Alternatives to flowers: If done right, this can be a great trend to incorporate.  We are digging the fruit themed centerpieces, candle lit aisles, and even (when done right) the non-floral bouquet (we happen to be a big fan of the button bouquet – although we realize it takes a pretty daring bride to pull it off).

    Floral Bouquet Alternative

  • Eclectic: Mixing verses matching is a refreshing change.  Allowing your bridesmaids to wear different variations of the same dress or of the same dress color has been the going trend for several years now.  An emerging trend is having your girls wear completely different colors as well.  This can be especially cute when the dresses are the same and each girl can pick the color that suits them best.  Mix it up for the reception as well and have a variety of tablecloths, centerpieces, or even plate patterns for a fun and festive look.

    Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

  • Motion picture videos: We are loving the idea of revamping the traditional wedding video and making it unique.  Using a super 8 for that grainy old fashioned look, or having your videographer create a cinematic experience or a wedding documentary can be a fun alternative to the stale digital wedding videos that we have been seeing over the years.
  • Unique registries: More and more couples today are living together before marriage and therefore have more kitchen appliances than they know what to do with.  Alternative registries are popping up more and more, allowing the bride and groom to get things that they really need or want.  Register at Home Depot for home improvement items or even register for your honeymoon and save yourself some of the cost.
  • The after wedding photo shoot: The latest in wedding photography trends has brides saying “no” to paying hundreds of dollars to clean and preserve their dress and saying “yes” to a post- wedding photo shoot of them, for lack of a better term, destroying their dresses.  All in the name of art, of course.

    Trash Your Wedding Dress

    Trashing Your Wedding Dress

The bad:

  • Wedding gowns that take inspiration from current trends: In particular ruffles and asymmetrical (one-shoulder) neck lines are being seen on all of the runways.  But wearing the latest trends out and wearing them on your wedding day are two totally different things.  That’s not to say that ruffles and interesting necklines can’t be worn at all, but try to keep the look elegant rather than over-the-top.

    A Ruffle "Don't"

  • Shorter hemlines: When it comes to wedding gowns, there are some things that you just don’t want to mess with – particularly hemlines.  The latest trend, allegedly, is the mini dress.  This is just a big no for me!  Unless you are doing a Wedding Singer themed wedding, there is just no way to pull off a mini dress without looking totally tacky.  I’m not even a big fan of the tea length wedding gown, but I am way more likely to get behind that than a mini dress.

    Mini Dress

  • Birdcage veils: Now hear me out.  I know people are just raving about these things, but lets be honest for just a second.  How many people are going to look back on their wedding pictures in 10 years and be happy that they chose to wear a small hat/flower/feather/piece of fabric with a short veil attached to it on their wedding day in 2010.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there might be some regret.  Forget the fact that some of these “headpieces” are just plain ugly, even the nice ones are really hard for the average woman to pull off.  Unless you are quirky and offbeat all of the time, your wedding is not really the time to go out on a fashion limb.  I’m all for ditching the veil, but I am just not feeling this alternative.

    Birdcage Veil

  • Skyscraper cakes: Does having the tallest cake make you the better bride?  Do people even care?  Perhaps worse than a gaudy cake are the cupcake wedding cakes.  Do yourself, your guests, and your wallet a favor – get a normal cake.  Personalize it by putting a modern spin on it or by decorating it to match the theme of your wedding.  Then leave it alone, you have more important things to think about!

    Bigger Does Not Equal Better

  • Sit where you want receptions: It is becoming more popular these days for brides to forego the traditional assigned seating and to let their guests seat themselves.  Now I know that putting together the seating chart can be, perhaps, the biggest pain of your entire planning process, however, it needs to be done.  Not having assigned seats means that your close friends may end up stranded at a table with your great aunt or your 12 year old cousin.  And that,  is NOT ok.
  • Quirky groomswear accessories: These are just wrong on so many levels.  If your not into flowers, its probably cooler to pin a piece of asparagus onto a lapel than it is to put a baby birds nest…or hotdog…or banjo.  Just saying.  There are times when you have to just leave well enough alone…

    What Not To Wear

    And there you have it!  Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts of these 2010 wedding trends.

Happy Planning!

Mrs. N


and away we go….

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Hi there!  Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Mrs. N and I am the co-creator of www.myweddingbinder.com.  I often get asked about the inspiration, or driving force, behind starting this website.  What people really want to know is what on earth possessed me to spend our savings starting this site,  when I am already working full time as a teacher, and with my own wedding a thing of the past.  Sometimes, when particularly frustrated,  I ask myself those same questions.  But then I remind myself of what did inspire me to commit to this huge undertaking… I had found something that I was surprisingly really good at, that I enjoyed, and that I wanted to share with others.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy teaching, but after a day spent with 24 eleven year olds, it becomes a nice welcome to talk about weddings with adults…But I digress.

I’ll never forget the mixture of emotion that I felt after Mr. N proposed.  I won’t pretend that it was a surprise, since I had been hounding him about it for months and we had looked at rings together.  Needless to say you can imagine that there were many days spent mindlessly checking student work while visualizing my centerpieces and writing my song play list in my head.  I absolutely could not wait to start planning.  I even had to be talked out of secretly calling venues to find out about available dates.  So you could imagine my surprise when after I finally becoming engaged, how utterly disappointed and frustrated I became when I started the actual wedding planning process.

As a self proclaimed disaster when it comes to organization, I knew that I did not possess the necessary skills to efficiently plan.  However, along with my horrendous organizational ability comes an ironic need to do everything by myself because lets just be honest – if I don’t do it, it just won’t get done right.  What a combination!  It doesn’t help that I have the attention span of a 3 year old when I have to spend more than 10 minutes at a time concentrating on daunting tasks.  Clearly I was in need of help.  Of a professional wedding planner who would listen to all my wants and needs and do things exactly as I wanted!  Well – need I remind you of what teachers are making these days?? Clearly hiring somebody was not going to be an option.  Instead I decided to search the wonderful world wide web to find my solution!  There must be a site out there that will act as my little assistant and help me stay organized and on task.  Thus the search began.

I will tell you that there are in fact several sites out there that are dedicated to helping brides plan their special day.  My problem with all of those sites, however, was that none of them met my particular needs.  They gave me a headache just looking at them – 7 million advertisements and pop up ads.  Pictures of dresses that I would never be able to afford.  Tips a mile long about anything and everything.  It was completely overwhelming.  All I wanted to do was create a guest list!! Do do that I would have to search through a dozens or more pages until I found planning “tools” only to then find out that the planning tools were nowhere near as advanced as the rest of the site.  In fact, they kind of sucked!  That’s when I realized that I would need to suck it up and take matters into my own hands (and put my business degree to some use).  I spent days creating documents and spreadsheets customized to meet my needs.  I quickly found out that with the perfect tools, wedding planning could not only be easy, but also fun.  And after all, aren’t we supposed to ENJOY this time in our lives.

Mr. N and I had the most perfect wedding!  I received so many compliments from our guests about even the most minor details.  Little Miss Unorganized had planned an unforgettable event and didn’t forget one appointment or one detail along the way.  While I should have been relaxing on the plane ride to Mexico for our honeymoon, I was instead panicked.  What now???  My life for the past year had been spent planning and being “organized” – and now it was all over.  Mr. N told me that I should put my new-found talents to good use – and that, my friends,  was the inspiration behind My Wedding Binder.  Our goal is for every and any bride (organized or not) to have a clean and unchaotic space to plan and organize every detail of their big day.  You deserve it!

We hope you will take the time to check out our website and that you will follow our blog!

Happy Planning!

Mrs. N