Don’t you wish you were an out of town guest! My almost-mother-in-law put these welcome bags together for guests that are traveling to be here. Each bag has a map of Olympia along with some other attractions the guest might enjoy. Then they have some little treats including locally made cookies! We’ll be dropping them off at the hotel for the guests to pick up when they check in.
Category Archives: Planning
I picked up my dress yesterday! It’s beginning to feel real. The 10 day forecast says mostly sunny and 73 degrees with 0% chance of precipitation. It’s a little cool, but I can deal with that. It just means I should probably try t find a sweater. However, let’s be real here, it’s still 10 days out so things could change.
I am now in possession of 120 herringbone kitchen towels with a red strip. It has been a bit of an ordeal to find myself in this place, but I feel it has been worth it. You see, I have a pet-peeve about napkins needing to being absorbent, unlike the starched polyester things you can get from a rental company. So, I decided to find my own napkins for our guests to use at the wedding.
I decided on the white towels with a red strip from Ikea, but ever since Gwyneth Paltrow said they were her favorite kitchen towels in the June issue of Bon Appetit, Ikea has been sold out world wide. So, I took my quest to the internets. I found what I thought was the perfect towel with the help of a delightful southern young lady, only to be back at square one when they arrived at my doorstep with a green stripe! After a few deep breaths and the owner of the kitchen supply shop stopped laughing at me (apparently they don’t work with many brides) I returned my almost perfect towels and scoured the Internet for plan… (what letter am I on now?)
I finally found “my towels” and after much assurance from the sales representative, was sufficiently convinced they would arrive with a red stripe and placed the order. Yesterday they arrived, as promised, with a red stripe. Good lord and thank god!
With two weeks left (!!) I’ve decided to put the formal blogging on hold in exchange for daily photo updates. I have quite a list of projects that need to be finished and am very distracted by family and friends as they begin to arrive from out-of-town. With my trusty iPhone by my side I will take a photo a day to share with you. I want to keep you updated on the process but know that I don’t have time for full length posts. After the wedding I will recap all the DIY projects and details of the backyard wedding in great detail with my added personal experience from the day off. This week however I also plan to share an extensive post about my amazing bridal shower and will probably find a reason to throw a stressed rant in the mix too, just for good measure. Look for the first photographic installment Monday morning!
To all of my August bridal buddies, I hope things are going well. We’re almost there!! Breathe and celebrate well.
My dinning room table has been transformed into wedding craft central. Alaina and I spent yesterday afternoon crafting away with my maid-of-honor, and my wedding-buddy whose wedding is now two weeks away (YEA Ashley!!). We passed the one month mark this week, and boy did things shift into high gear. I spent most of that day a stressed out wreck. I feel like I’ve been doing really well in keeping an even keel and a level head, until Wednesday. The day ended with Alaina and I fighting about table linens and vegan entrees, and me storming out of the bedroom saying “I’m not trying to be rational!” Clearly that argument wasn’t going to go anywhere. The next morning she asked me if I remembered what I said. I told her that of course I did, because it was exactly how I felt. She fully admitted to being unable to understand irrationality and I said that there will be some things that I do, in wedding planning and in life, that don’t make any rational sense but that you have to just know to hug me and tell me it will all work out. Life lesson #42, learned.
Since Wednesday, things have been going along quite quickly. While crafting yesterday I was talking to bridal-buddy-Ashley who is two weeks ahead of me in the wedding world, and she is at the calm and acceptance stage. She is finishing up the last few things, but is totally okay letting things go and accepting that what will be, will be. Oh, how I want to be there. I want to be able to just accept, but I have a few more things to do before I can get there, though the last couple days have given me a considerable start in that direction.
I ordered flowers from a local dahlia guy, my sister and I covered my parents’ dinning room table (there is just something about dinning room tables that are perfect for wedding crafts) with silk flowers to make mock bouquets to get an idea of how many stems we would need. I found, and ordered, cotton herringbone tea towels to use as napkins. This was one of my irrational wedding details. I have a thing about polyester rental napkins that don’t absorb anything; they are completely pointless. Alaina’s solution: to use paper napkins. I think this would be a good illustration of how opposites attract, or something like that. I also ordered our wedding certificate, along with ties for our pants-wearing bridesmates, and red barber striped straws. Alaina made arrangements to get her outfit tailored and ordered her vest. Check, check, check!
Thinking about it, the stress I felt this week was probably coming from the realization that the wedding is actually going to happen. I don’t mean that in the “holy sh*t this is real and I can’t get out of it”, but rather in a “this huge, far-off thing that I have been working on and thinking about for months is actually going to happen, really, really soon”. Since it is going to happen really, really soon, there were some detail decisions I was intimidated to make so I kept putting them off. Rational? No. Very valid and real? Yes. Sorry ‘laina.
We made it home safe and sound this week and had to jump right back into life without even a moment to adjust to the three-hour time change. As of Saturday we are six weeks out. Rarely do I count down to any event with the verve I am the wedding. Perhaps it is the extensive amount of work and energy I’m putting into the preparations, but each day I think it’s one day closer and there is still so much to do. For the most part I am proud to say I am keeping my cool and the bridezilla under wraps, but as Alaina will attest, even I have my moments.
We spent Saturday at my parent’s house doing more serious yard work. When I approached my parents a little over two years ago about having the wedding in their backyard we made a list of the projects that needed to be done. We’ve had many parties and family gatherings in the backyard and it is always lovely, but it still needed some serious overhauls to be ready for a wedding. We’ve built new garden beds, completely gutted others, and planted more plants than I can count. If you look back to the beginning of my wedding blogging you can find “before” pictures. Today I took an in progress 360 view of the yard. We where in the middle of mostly gutting a flower bed so we can replant it with other plants.
I’ve realized that redoing a backyard is a huge DIY (or really Do-It-Together) project. I’m not doing as many other DIY details because so much of our physical energy and weekends are spent digging and planting. Now that most of the beds are done, or almost done, we are going to build a deck too. Whew! I would encourage anyone who is thinking about having a backyard wedding to go for it, but know that there is a lot more preparation needed to get it ready to host your guests. I’ll put together a post about all that we have done and the details of a backyard event. My Mom was telling me yesterday that when her brother got married her parents built on a whole new extension on their house. While our project isn’t that extensive it really quite a transformation.
There are several things that have been very serendipitous throughout the wedding planning process. Things that make me feel amazingly, incredibly lucky. Things like our location, my dress, even my shoes. Pieces of the wedding that are so important but somehow just feel into place in a really incredible way.
Soon after I started planning I realized I was going to need a day-of-coordinator. I knew I had the skills and organization to plan the wedding and all the details, but I knew I would need someone to execute it on the day of. After several weeks of scouring the internet and making phone calls, I posted on Facebook that I needed help finding someone who was responsible, together, reasonably priced, and not homophobic. Alaina’s sister shared my plea on Twitter, and much to my surprise several people responded. We met with a couple of them, but knew the moment we met Briana that she was just who we needed.
Briana Saunders has a plethora of event planning experience but is new to weddings. She recently teamed up with Seattle-based Unzipped Experience where she brings tasteful creativity and passionate dedication. She is totally responsible and has her stuff together. She is thoughtful, kind, and supportive. I completely trust her, and have absolutely no worries about handing off my wedding for her to bring to fruition.
Yesterday she came down to Olympia to meet me at my parent’s house, where the wedding will be, to go over some on location details. As we were talking I mentioned how many wedding vendors I talked to treated me like I was only a bride. They assumed I was going to be a bridezilla and treated me as such right from the get-go. I really appreciate that Brianna treats me like a person, a person who is in the middle of planning a huge party that is, at times, overwhelming but is still just a person. She helps me to remember to think about the whole picture, and to not get hung up on one minor detail. While I am constantly thinking about napkin color and RSVPs she helps to make sure that we actually measure the tables in the yard to see if they will fit and to realize that it will take longer than 1 hour to take the amazing pictures I’ve been dreaming of.
If you are considering a day-of-coordinator, first I highly recommend you decide to have one then I strongly encourage you to talk to Briana. Having someone else to handle all the last-minute details of the day will allow you to be fully present on your wedding day and will help to alleviate the stress of months of planning. I’m so looking forward to handing Briana my big green wedding notebook and allowing what every will be, to be,so that I can be fully present in the day.
Two months! Two months from today I will be marrying the most amazing person. How cool is that!? Time is flying by faster than I thought it would. I knew it would happen, but it’s still freaking me out. I feel very confident that the big things have all been figured out and arranged. I talked with a local “meat guy” Todd from Oakland Bay Farms who sells locally raised and butchered beef, pork, and chicken at the Olympia Farmers Market. He has a guy who makes a mean BBQ. So, the plan is that I will call Todd at the beginning of August, let him know how much pork we need and he will take it to his guy for barbecuing. It seems a little relaxed, but I know this is how Olympia works and it will truly be amazing. Alaina and I are meeting with the duo who are behind the Bearded Lady Bakery who also happen to be amazing caters and of course specialize in vegan dishes. We’ve asked them to prepare our side dishes. My original plan was to make them myself with some help from friends and family, but I realized that while I’m pretty sure I could pull it off it would probably be stressful and it would be best to hand off my recipes to someone I trust. With the Bearded Ladies on board I know it will be amazing.
Alaina more or less has a wedding outfit. We are still on the hunt for a blue vest and everything needs to be tailored a few weeks beforehand. Shopping trips have been planned for some of the bridesmates. Apparently summer is not the time to be finding grey slacks. The perfect pair at Gap is sold out and they won’t get more until the fall collection comes in, hopefully. I’ve seen some very cute summer dresses online lately so we’ll have to start ordering some to get a fashion show going!
I’ve been busy working on DIY projects in the evening after work. I’m making a crazy long bunting banner so have spent quite a few hours pinning triangles to sting and then taking my sewing machine out to the patio to sew them all together. Its turning out really fun and I’m excited to get a DIY tutorial together for you all. I have a couple other friends who are getting married this summer too so we are starting a craft group to get each of our big projects done. It will be an opportunity for us to work together and help each other get everything done in time and also provide some addition experience and extra eyes when we need a little extra guidance. I’m quite excited. The first one will be later this month after one of the brides return from her Irish elopement!
Alaina and I will be heading back east to Ohio at the beginning of July. This will be Alaina’s first trip to the mid-west and I’m really excited for her to meet my family and see where I come from. It will be quite the whirl-wind trip since we will only be there for a few days but I think it will be a great visit. Oh, and she will be able to see fireflies for the first time! I haven’t seen them for so long since they don’t have them out here, I guess they never made it over the mountains.
This post is quite ramble, I suppose that is what I get for writing late at night. Many apologies, photos and a DIY coming later this week! Happy Monday!
If you do a Google search for “lesbian wedding attire” or “butch bride” you’ll find several websites and blogs that have written about finding a butch bride suitable wedding attire. It is not a challenge for the faint of heart or the fearful of online shopping. Finding a non-dress option for a pants-wearing bride is a considerably harder than finding a wedding dress that doesn’t make you look like a cream puff, since at least with a dress you know where to start looking. There are whole stores dedicated to cream puff and non-cream puff dresses. No one, as of yet, has jumped at the opportunity to outfit pants wearing brides (Hint..hint…).
I started searching the internet and taking notes on other lesbian weddings as they would appear on wedding blogs a couple of months ago. Alaina and I talked about some options; custom suit, flowy linen, vest (!!) and I saved images we liked to my Pinterest account to get a visual idea of the look Alaina was going for. Since we’re having a relaxed, backyard wedding we knew we didn’t want anything to formal, but something that was still nice and most importantly, made Alaina feel comfortable.
There are a couple of things you need to know before you embark on a shopping excursion. First, know your size(s) in both men and women’s clothes, even European sizing could be helpful. You will also want to have measurements for your bust, waist (at the belly button), and hips. Even the most sporty and rectangular body type has more curves than their male counter part. Because of this, buy pieces that can be tailored for an accurate and flattering fit. The woman in a over-sized man’s suit look from the 1950’s is a particular style, but if that isn’t what you are going for find a good tailor to work with.
When we first started looking we were really overwhelmed by even where to begin looking. The posts by other butch bride bloggers were helpful, but what we really needed was a list of places to start browsing. So, while I know styles change and not everyone has access to the same stores I wanted to give you a list of some of the places we look and had the most success that might be able to point you in the right direction.
JCrew The JCrew store we went to in Downtown Seattle didn’t have a suit shop, which would have more vests and dress pants but we had pretty good luck since they are also the leaders in laid back men’s clothes. They had a lot of fun shirts and nice pants, though sizing was a bit of a challenge.
Club Monaco This was one of the first places we looked and Alaina fell in love with a white button down shirt. They tend to be a little on the pricey end, but they have really nice clothes.
Banana Republic We didn’t find much in the men’s department, but online in the women’s department I found and ordered a light grey pants suit and a really cute linen vest (The one pictured above). The pants and jacket are fairly basic and not overly feminine so it might be a good option, especially since they are already fitted to accommodate breasts and hips. The vest is perfect!!
Nordstrom Men’s Suit Department We had amazing service from the associates at the Downtown Seattle store. The sales associate who worked with us positively squealed when I told him we were looking for a wedding outfit for my female bodied fiancée! (He may or may not have been gay…) They were respectful and worked really hard to find Alaina something she liked. They kept reassuring her, and us, that their tailors would make it fit, no matter how huge it looked on her. In the end we decided that it just wasn’t the style we were going for, but if you are looking to wear a suit I would give Nordstrom a try.
Alaina has another shopping trip with her sister this weekend and I’m going to be shopping with one of my pants wearing Bridesmates soon too. So the saga isn’t over, but we’ll keep you posted!
Alaina really should be the one writing this since she is in fact the non-traditional, non-dress wearing bride, but she has 20 more teaching days left in the school year and we all remember what the last month of 8th grade was like, don’t we? I’ll have her recap in a couple of weeks.
This week was hard. The transition from graduate student to part-time academic librarian with free time to blog, cook, and think didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had anticipated. And, well if you’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately you know that it sucks to work in higher ed right now, really, really sucks. So, thanks Mr. Greedy-Wall-Street for that. I’m hoping next week goes better. Alaina is flying to California today to visit her brother and I am heading up to Seattle to hang out with friends and be a markedly less-than-uptight Seattlite for the weekend. On my way to Seattle I’m meeting my Dad at Costco to pick-up my reward for making it through this week and being approved for graduation by my department. I’m very excited!
I’ve been browsing around the inter-webs looking for wedding style inspiration this morning and I feel in love with this backyard wedding featured by Martha Stewart Weddings all over again. It was published in the magazine shortly after we got engaged and I tore out the pages to add to my notebook. I still love the clean, classic, and rustic look. Alaina and I are meeting with our rental stylist again next week so I’m going to take these photos to show her our desired look.
I also had coffee this week with our good friend who is a comic artist, well he is a cool artists whose medium of choice just happens to be a Capitol Hill based web comic. Chris is going to add come creative illustrations to our wedding map which will help people find the school parking lot where they can catch the trolley to my parent’s house. I’m super excited about it. We spent about an hour driving around looking for cool buildings and unique trees for him to add. Something like this, but adding some seagulls and without the tank.
Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and get to enjoy a taste of spring!