Sunday, October 31, 2010

Joel the Jeweler

Put on your coat! It's about to get chilly in here from all this ice!

We had a date yesterday - with Joel the Jeweler! Mr. P bought my engagement ring from Joel (a friend of a friend) last year. According to my timetable, it's time to start shopping for wedding bands. I left the ring file at home; I've got it all stored in my bride brain.

Walking hand-in-hand to the store, I was a touch giddy. Which faded into nervous-giddy as soon as we walked over to the first jewelry case. Peering into the cases, all of the rings seemed pretty similar: simple bands with a row of diamonds that either went halfway or all the way around the ring (eternity). None of them were really singing to me.


Joel asked which I'd like to see. (My brain: "None of them" is not an appropriate answer, Miss P.) Long pause, then unconvinced pointing. We tried a few "plain" delicate bands that matched the band on my e-ring. Nothing. It's too early to settle so I held out for something different, more artsy.

Moving on... Thicker plain bands, pave, channel set, and detailed scrollwork designs also failed to impress.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Registering Review Rewind

Registering over a three-day holiday weekend is a productive use of time... except when everyone else has the day off and is hiding from the 100 degree June heat. You can escape the heat, but not the crowds. We had a whole day with nothing planned and just two store registries to tackle.

(if you're into consumer behavior, the linked article is interesting)

1. Macy's: Basics with a little luxury
We didn't have an appointment. Correction, we didn't know we needed an appointment. We loitered at the registry desks, waiting for two couples to complete their initiation. The black lacquer walls, soft lighting, muzak and cubby-holed fine china tried really hard to demurely whisper, "You know you want this" but those marketing efforts were lost us on us. We were anxious to get scanning as we'd squirreled away a stack of dinnerware and serving pieces that were probably being restocked as we sat idly. Which reminds me, Macy's needs mock-entertaining spaces, like mini dining rooms, where you can lay out selections to see how they look together. At the very least, they need a table at the registry desks for this.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready, set - no, no wait!

It was when we found ourselves standing among 10 different sets of pots and pans at Macy's that we realized we were woefully under-educated. Coated non-stick or stainless steel? Copper core or aluminum? Three-ply or five-ply? All-Clad or Calphalon? Woah... I'm feeling a little dizzy.

Who knew copper could be so sexy?

This is pretty much how our first pre-registering trip started. If we're going to look like idiots, I prefer we look like idiots at Macy's instead of Williams-Sonoma. But that didn't happen. After a long, careful study of the various WS cookware lines, things weren't much clearer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And the skies clear...

All morning long, it rained and I anxiously watched the clock. Once noon rolled around, we had a decision to make. Would the rain hold off for our Brandywine Creek State Park shoot? Or would we be forced to reschedule if none of the Plan B's panned out?

Just as I was ready to leave the office for the make-up appointment, my phone rang. It was Mr. P. And he had good news. Really good news. I squealed (quietly) and left in an excited flurry with a stupid grin on my face. The rain didn't stop. In fact, it poured on the hour drive to and from the make-up appointment. But it didn't matter - I was so thrilled it was all working out.

(I heart this shot.)

My car practically came to a screeching halt outside the house with 10 minutes to spare. After a quick change of clothes, inhaling some nachos and maybe half a Captain 'n Ginger, we grabbed the props and rain gear and were out the door.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring

After spending two hours last night auditioning engagement shoot outfits (very full and semi-drunk – not recommended), it was all for naught – it looks we’ll be rained out. If you recall, we chose Brandywine Creek State Park to showcase the fall color peaking thisveryminute. All the locations were outside: fields of grasses, a meandering stone wall and sweeping views of the rolling countryside. I had even planned framing for certain photos and props.

I knew the weather wasn’t guaranteed. The only explanation I can offer is that I stuck my head in the sand and pretended bad weather wouldn’t foul our plans. So now with a 50% chance of thunderstorms, a chance we're not willing to take, so we’re exploring other (inside) options. Big pouty face. It’s my fault. I’m a planner who failed to plan.


Not in the face!

That's what Mr. P asked of the other black belts in his morning karate class in the weeks leading up to our engagement shoot. (Isn't that more encouragement to deliver a hard blow somewhere else?) He got popped when sparing last week; I couldn't tell, thankfully. Our close up with the camera is tomorrow. Fingers crossed he is untouched when he returns from class later.

Mr. P in 1984, yellow belt

Update: No boo-boo's! Mr. P thanked them by saying they could resume "disfiguring him on Thursday." Lovely sense of humor.

Do your or your future spouse participate in an activity that could make you less than camera-ready? What is it and would/did you change anything in the weeks leading up to your wedding?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cheap, even with other people's money

We (read: mostly me) began brainstorming for our registry in early 2010. Thinking with the registry in mind, we paid attention to what kitchen items received heavy or little use. Our nicked paring knife that's always dirty? Put two new ones on the list. The rattling, sucky (in a bad way) vacuum cleaner on its last leg, thread bare sheet set, torn guest comforter, hand-me-down flatware and Teflon pan losing its coating - all gone.

Sad, sad knife

They still make it? (source)

Emphasizing that we are not being greedy, I've been able to convince Mr. P that broken, worn-out or less durable items are all acceptable to replace/upgrade. We're planning a lifetime together and our stuff should stick around for at least half that time. He laughs that even when he isn't buying, he's cheap. The months of careful cultivation and detailed research will hopefully yield a solid housekeeping foundation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lego Love

We may combine furniture, household goods, and even finances but our Lego collections will never be combined. At least that's what Mr. P has jokingly maintained for the last few years. He claims his Legos are superior to mine and co-mingling would be disastrous (for his).


Both of us grew up with a fascination with the tiny bricks. When I moved away from home, my Legos were packed up for the trip. Every once in awhile, we'll drag the storage totes out and start construction projects. My foreman does a poor job of planning since my projects inevitably run out of bricks and I eye his pile. Man, it would be nice if I could just borrow a few.

See what I could accomplish if I had more bricks?

You can tell whose Legos are whose; our sorting styles are a microcosm of our personalities. Mine are grouped by color and size into large chunks. And his, well... they're dismantled with lightning speed and unceremoniously dumped back.

Thing whole Lego thing got me thinking... How can we incorporate this quirky shared interest into the wedding? Cake! It's the most obvious and tastiest, of course. The internet is awesome. Ask (search) and you shall receive.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It all works out

So... I got an email from my bridal consultant that basically said the information we were given a few days prior was wrong. Wrong as in the dress BM R picked out doesn't come in yellow. She apologized (wasn't her fault) and suggested I come in again to look at the other options.

I shouldn't have picked up the iPhone while on vacation. Blah.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just a snip

In preparation for next week's engagement shoot, I stopped in to see my hair dresser for quick cut. Even though it was cut less than two months ago, it was losing shape and getting leggy. Now, I'm the type of girl who goes once every 4 months... about the time when I notice it looks shaggy, procrastinate, then forget to schedule an appointment for two more weeks.

Yes, that's the Flowbee. source

I feel more polished and know that confidence will carry over into our shoot.

What beauty touch-ups did you take care of before your shoot?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet and Greenville

Family visit to our venue! I scheduled a summertime scoping-out session so Mom, Dad and Sister L could see our lovely venue in person.


Grand foyer and ornate brass chandelier

We toured the grounds with our coordinator as she pointed out the areas for prep, cocktails, ceremony and dinner/dancing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Almost famous

Browsing through wedding blogs, I cam across a particularly lovely wedding on Style Me Pretty. The sneak peak of the ceremony showed a yellow stucco church that looked like nearby St. Joseph's on the Brandywine, but I couldn't be sure.

source for all

Then... I saw photos of the reception venue and fell in love. Sure it looked like the Greenville Country Club (our venue), but what's the likelihood of a national blog featuring little, ol' Delaware. It was probably someplace down in the Carolinas.

Tented reception on a brick patio with views of a rolling lawn... Hmmm.

Until I scrolled down to the vendor list, I still wasn't sure.


If you're going to rifle through 40 year old photo albums, do yourself a favor. Don't do what I did. Wear a dust mask or run an air purifier. I don't have allergies but managed to inhale enough particulate to irritate the heck out of my nasal passages and throat.


No wonder my throat feels like sandpaper. Does this mean I can eat ice cream for dinner?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Old, embarrassing family photos...

Back in town after a weekend trip downstate to see Mr. P's mom. Since he would be working around the house, I had to find something to occupy myself. Something productive. She has a (treasure) chest filled with old family photos, many of which I haven't seen. Scanning in all the photos sounded like a reasonable project. Except there are close to a thousand images...

We brought six albums home for me to work during the week.

Say hi to baby Mr. P!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shop til you drop

My family arrived for their much-anticipated vacation to tropical, sunny... no wait, they came to Delaware to spend their well-deserved vacation week with me! The last week of June was hot. Like heat index pushing 100 degrees, melt your face hot. We spent three days in a row in air-conditioned shopping bliss (King of Prussia, the flagship Anthropologie in Rittenhouse Square & Christiana Mall); ideal for the ladies, not so ideal for Dad and Mr. P.


The non-stop shop-a-thon included knocking a few items off the wedding to-do list. Our first wedding stop was bridesmaid dress shopping at the Ardmore (read: upscale) Priscilla of Boston. BM R and I had the advantage of previewing gowns so we came prepared with a list since it worked well before. We were not missing any good ones due to sensory overload! (Ooooo, foreshadowing.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paper bag breathin'

Oh, I have plenty of time. The wedding's about 9 months away.

Umm, I'm not sure where my brain wandered off to because 234 days / 30 days is NOT 9 months. It is in fact 7.8 months! Commence paper bag breathing. Further proof I am not good at math.

I know what's next: lists, checklists and brainstorming bubbles!

eeny meeny miny moe: Uma, Fiesole or ??

I had been eagerly anticipating the bridal appointment like a little girl for over a week! Can't believe my good fortune in spotting gowns I adore and can afford (with a small budget stretch if need be). BM R and I hiked 45 minutes in rush hour traffic for our evening appointment at Priscilla of Boston. The salon attendants told us we could look around, but there was no need to since I had a list of gowns on my phone. This list ensures I don't overlook any in my excitement.

Priscilla of Boston - Ardmore

We were ushered into the dressing room lobby, which we had all to ourselves! Erika, my consultant, explained the process and gathered a little information about me and the wedding. One of her questions, "What do you do for a living?" was interesting. This telling question predicts with some accuracy what type of gown a bride will prefer. When she asked if I knew which gowns I wanted to see, I hesitantly explained that I had a list on my phone, if that was easier. She was impressed with the organization as she skimmed the list, noting none of her brides had ever gone quite this far before.

Friday, October 8, 2010


MUA? Love you too!?? I'm actually talking about make-up artists.

I've procrastinated long enough. Now that our engagement shoot is scheduled, I need to find someone to do my make-up and hair. ASAP. I'm not clueless about make-up but would feel much more confident if a professional helped me out. We're not taking our own pictures because that wouldn't turn out so well... so why approach hair and make-up any differently? It'd be a waste of good money to show up to our e-session with unkempt hair and work-day makeup.


Sooooo, I've contacted a few studios to get an idea of costs and availability. I know the number they're going to email back will have three digits. I just don't know what that first digit will be... Looking good is gonna cost me and I'm fine with that. Just don't make me look like a clown.

Did you use a make-up artist for your wedding or engagement shoot? Any regrets or words of advice?

Long-distance dress discussions

Mom and Dad live 8 hours away. It is so frustrating to go gown shopping without her! I had to devise a way to include her in the experience without her physically being there...


It's a long drive between here and there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easiest bridesmaid shopping trip ever!

Not content with visiting just one bridal store, BM R and I spent the rest of the day (about 8 hours - we're hardcore!) shopping in Suburban Square in Ardmore. We found new stores and old favorites with good deals. We stumbled upon a Priscilla of Boston store and had to scope out the gowns. It is a mere two blocks from the salon where we started the day -- I had no clue it was nearby, as I uncharacteristically did not research the area ahead of time!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sticker Shock

I like to punish myself... because I kept the Saturday appointment with the expensive dress.


BM R happily volunteered to be my extra pair of eyes and an expert opinion (ahem, Miss 27 Dresses). We giddily discussed dresses for the 45 minute drive to the Ardmore salon (just outside of Philly proper). I had no idea what to expect of the town or bridal store, but R felt if it was anything like the bridal store there before, we would be in good hands.

Bijou Bridal - Ardmore

Monday, October 4, 2010

Doin' it in Dewey

The tropical storm left just in time for the start of the wedding weekend festivities. Friday night kicked it off with a rehearsal welcome dinner. We spent a lazy, chilly, windy Saturday morning relaxing on the beach before the beach ceremony and bayside reception. The rain returned with a vengeance after we walked to Sunday morning breakfast, stranding us until BM R rescued us. It was a fun weekend that we'll two weeks to recover from (coincidentally, the length of their honeymoon).

Teaser pics begin... now!

Relaxing on the beach the morning of the wedding

What irks me

I have a newfound pet peeve: wedding guests posting pictures on Facebook (or some other public site) without running it by the bride or groom. And this new pet peeve runs counter to my previous position. Before we got engaged and I started paying attention to what is/is not polite, I didn't think anything of uploading wedding pics. (In fact, I did it as recently as New Year's Eve 2009.) So what changed my hypocritical mind?


Friday, October 1, 2010

K + M's Wedding Weekend


Mr. P and I are off to Dewey Beach for a fantastic beach wedding weekend. We're doing a house share with group of friends -- so the fun won't stop until we go home! Looking forward to being a wedding guest as a newly engaged couple.

Maybe we'll have some teasers to post after we return!

Did you attend any weddings while engaged? What did you take away from it?

Engagement shoot - inspiration

I'm not one to go into things blindly. I like to research. Given the opportunity, I over-research. So when I came time to brainstorm our fall engagement shoot, I turned to other wedding bloggers' engagement shoots as a frame of reference. No need to reinvent the wheel when other (smarter, more creative) women have been through it already!

The Wedding Bee engagement session wiki is chock full of helpful posts. There's lots of beautifully styled shoots with a similar location or look that we're going for. Some of my favorite engagement shoots:

Mrs. Dolphin - Pure Photography

Mrs. French Fry - MThreeStudio