Monthly Archives: November 2009

Blue Saturday

Everyone – or at least everyone who owns a television, a radio, or a computer and doesn’t live under a rock – knows about Black Friday and all of its craziness, but have you ever heard of Blue Saturday?  Neither had I.  Until, of course, I went veil shopping with Sister Library this past Saturday.

I figured the hunt for a veil would be pretty painless.  After all, the hunt for the dress had gone so smoothly and I already knew what I wanted:  a single layer white veil with simple pearls and a thin edge.  Simple, right?  The bargain hunter in me wanted to check prices, though, so off on the hunt we went.

First stop:  Scarborough to check in on a little bridal/tailor shop.  I had seen the website and knew that I might not find what I was looking for, but it was worth a shot.  I like to support independent stores, anyway.  Unfortunately, all of the beading on the veils was gold, the veils were too short, and the prices were too high.  In short, it was a no-go.

Second stop:  David’s Bridal in Portland.  I have typically heard nothing but complaints about this store, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.  Not everything can be bad, right?  So Sister Library and I scoured the parking lot for a spot, telepathically arm wrestled a large, rather hairy looking man in a gas-guzzling SUV for a tiny spot, won, and squeezed in.  Once in the store, we skirted around the salespeople to really get a feel for what we were dealing with.  I find that it can be hard to make a decision with someone constantly making suggestions and trying to get you to buy, buy, BUY!

Since she is my sister, Sister Library went straight for the clearance rack.  We chuckled over some of the leftover dresses and tried to think of any appropriate weddings someone would dawn them for (honestly… neon yellow with maroon?).  We even took a few spins in the “fur” capes set up for winter weddings.

A fur wrap in July, Sister Library?  How mean do you think I am?

After a few passes through the clearance dresses, one caught my eye.  It was Sister Library’s bridesmaid’s dress, only in orange.  What was it doing on the clearance rack?  Did this go for hers as well?  I went down a few sizes to my own size to scope out deals, and there it was.

Her beautiful dress was DISCONTINUED!  A little shocked and confused, I picked up the dress and asked a sales associate for help.  They checked into the computer and, sure enough, it was discontinued.  I asked why I wasn’t contacted, and they said they had called everyone.  A month and a half ago.  Wow… talk about a time to be nobody special.  I’m sure they could see the look of “oh God, I have to find something else that works perfectly with all of the other bridesmaids’ dresses?!” on my face, so they gently asked how many I needed.  One.  Just. One.

“Oh, why didn’t you say so?  Of course we can get you one!  What size?”  With that, the crisis was averted and Sister Library was thrown into a dressing room to find her size.  A few trials and tribulations later (DB bras add a LOT of padding), we were in business.  As our sales helper went off to find where our amazing dress could be shipped from, we went to try out some veils.  It took me no time at all to find the category I wanted, and with a little help and some consideration for the details in my dress, I picked out my veil.  It was exactly what I wanted and had planned on getting!  Plus, the price tag didn’t break the bank.

Away went our sales helper to find the veil.  Away went Sister Library and I to the shoe department.

I have commented on numerous posts about how I want blue shoes for my wedding.  It’s the color of my girls’ dresses, my favorite color, and is pretty symbolic for an art lover.  I had mentioned this to Sister Library and to the sales helper, and before I knew it, I had these on my feet:

For some, they may have been a bridemaid’s worst nightmare.  Who wears print shoes?  Well, I do!  They were the perfect size, and, like Sister Library’s dress, they were on clearance!  You cannot argue with $65 shoes marked down to $30.  Sister Library loved the ones in silver (all of my girls are wearing silver shoes), so she picked those up as well.  It’s kind of special that we have matching shoes for the big day.

What could have been a blue day for depression due to lack of dresses turned into a blue day filled with wonderful blue bridesmaid and bridal apparel.  Have any of you had nail-biting moments with details you have fallen in love with?

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Something Else to be Thankful for…

After posting the last entry, I figured I was done listing what I was thankful for.  I made my yearly list, I had it mentally prepared, and I remember it every day.  What else could I really add to it?  Let’s face it, the categories were pretty broad.

Yeah, so much for that sweet thought.

I am so thankful for my family and Mr. Library’s family living so close together.  I cannot imagine not being able to celebrate the holidays with both families so easily.  Now, I know I can hear some people who have been married for years snickering and whispering in their minds about how naive that sounds (just wait until she really has to spend all holidays with both sets of parents!), but there is nothing better than feeling connected to both sides of the family on a special day.

Mr. Library and I spent the morning with his family, eating a delicious french toast breakfast and catching up with their lives.  FFIL Library was in a band when he was younger, and feeling the need to make a nostalgic comeback, the band played a recent gig at a local restaurant.  FMIL Library had hilarious video to prove it.  Nothing says rock ‘n’ roll like a bermuda hat and the Brown University polo I gave him last Christmas!  FMIL Library is a jack of all trades; she has been redoing their computer room.  When I say “redoing” the room, I don’t mean changing the slipcover on the couch or adding some colorful trim; I mean REDOING.  Top to bottom.  She tore off the wallpaper, the rug, and the window moldings.  She primed the walls, painted them, and added new tile flooring.  The molding is brand new and looks amazing.  Her goal, when I spoke to her in September, was to have the whole project done by Christmas, but I really think it will be done in a week or two.

As soon as we were showered and his parents left for Thanksgiving at FGrandmotherIL’s house, Mr. Library and I jumped into our separate cars and headed to Aunt Library’s house to celebrate with my side of the family.  My family is, to say the least, big and loud.  A typical Library holiday includes at least 13 people around the dinner table.  Mr. Library comes from a small family where he doesn’t have any cousins.  Needless to say, my family can be a shock to the system for those who aren’t used to it.

Our infamous pickle tray face.  What can I say?  We’re an original family!

This year, Mr. Library turned to me at the dinner table and said, “I am so thankful to be part of your family.  I really love them.”

This is what I am thankful for.

Mr. Library and I hanging out before our turkey comas

What surprises were you thankful for?

What I am Thankful for

It is a happy, albeit gray, Thanksgiving morning here in the state of Maine.  While some hunters’ gun shots woke me up (along with my alarm clock set for 6:00 AM – sometimes the “weekday” setting isn’t a blessing), there was a special feeling about curling up with Mr. Library on our last Thanksgiving as an engaged couple.  After having been separated for about three weeks, this was our chance to just be alone and be with each other before our families pulled us in a couple different directions today.

Before Mr. Library fully came to life, I thought about what I am thankful for this year.  It’s typically a question posed around Mother Library’s sister’s Thanksgiving table, and not wanting to repeat Cousin A’s response of “Uh… I guess my boyfriend Pete?”, I set out to make a mental list.

1) Mr. Library and his sense of calm when I get anxious.

Photo by Greg L. Strom Photography

I tend to get worked up over “what ifs”; Mr. Library just takes it as it is.  I suppose that’s why we balance each other out so well.  I’m a little uppity, he’s a bit more chill; I’m more of a social butterfly, he’s a more private homebody; he’s typically punctual, I’m… well… I take a bit longer.  We fit.

2) My family (and my friends, as they are extended family anyway).  Where would I honestly be without them?  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  It’s cliche, and I would make my students change that sentence in any of their writing, but it’s true.  Sometimes commonplace just fits.  They are supportive, loving, truthful, and real.  And they are mine.

Sister Library posing at our reception site.  Yep, we get a bear and all!

3) My job.  I love being a teacher.  People cringe and bless me when I tell them that I teach eighth grade, but I am more blessed than they think.  Not only does this job supply me with the ever-popular income, health insurance, and life purpose, but it allows me to share my passion, share my books, and share the laughter over what really happens in middle school.  Let’s just call it penance for how I acted to Mr. Library in middle school.  Plus, I get the summer off to marry Mr. Library and go to Europe.  Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

4) The Internet.  Sounds silly, yes, but it connects me to my friends across the country and to bigger and better wedding ideas.  I’m not sure we would have been able to pull off a wedding on our budget without a little help from wedding websites.

Friend C (Rhode Island), Miss Sox in the City (Massachusetts), Friend A (Washington state), and me (Maine)

5) Less than eight months before I get to marry the love of my life.  Eight months may seem like a lot of time now, but when I look back at the eight years Mr. Library and I have been together, it will feel like just a wrinkle in time.

6) Vacations!  As much as I love being a teacher, it’s nice to have a break from the “what’s for homework?”s and the “Oh, that was due?”s.  Ahhh sweet peace!

I hope that all of you have wonderful Thanksgiving Days and that you, too, find the things that you are thankful for.

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

I have done it.  I have finally sent away to become (dun dundun dun ddduuuunnnnn!) a Bee on Weddingbee!  I am so excited!

Weddingbee

This could be me!

The perimeters of the application were pretty straightforward, and it was actually fun to answer their questions.  You know me, I could ramble on and on about what makes our wedding unique!  When I told Mr. Library about this, he laughed and said we would have to do something really bizarre to be more creative.  Let’s see… perhaps some circus animals?  Squirrels as ushers?   Well, we may have those happen without intending it!

What will happen if I become a Bee?  Well, you might expect something like this face:

Crazy surprised face!(I’m sure good friend A will be excited that her super surprised face made it to the blog too…)

…to a little bit of this…

Freak out face(Oh hey, Miss Sox in the City!  Then again, this face might be toned down a little, as this face was taken at 3:30 AM during the last all-nighter of graduate school.)

…and will finish with a grand one of these:

Big Smile(Mr. Library never leaves home without his shades.)

In short, I will be ecstatic! I will definitely keep you updated if I get any emails.  In the meantime, I will keep buzzing through life, collecting the honey and ignoring the drones!

Bride Brain

Mr. Library claims he has the memory of a goldfish.  Three seconds later, everything is jump-started all over again and the old information is gone.  Okay, so maybe it’s more like ten seconds.  Yet, now that I am in the midst of fully planning a wedding, I am suffering from total bride brain.  Ask me anything about the wedding, my vendors, times and dates, anything and I will remember it, but don’t ask me to remember anything having to do with meals, bringing supplies to work (my sincerest appologies, co-teacher of mine!), or packing my bags at night to be ready for the morning.  Mrs. French Bulldog posted about this one before, and I think it should be clinically labeled.  Let’s have some aids put in place for those of us who have frosting and frills on the brain.  Who’s with me?

Something Blue

Our wedding centerpieces were the first wedding-related purchases Mr. Library and I made together.  Doing what I tend to do the most these days, I was browsing through different centerpiece ideas that fit into our tiny budget and worked with our vision.  We both agreed that it would be nice to have fantastic ambiance within the room, even if we did end up with a large ballroom, to help people feel together and connected.  After having been to a few too many weddings where you couldn’t see the person across the table from you, I also wanted short centerpieces where people could carry on a conversation without craning their necks.

We ended up finding these on eBay:

Moroccan Ble Glass Lanterns

(Source)

Our color palette works amazingly well with these, so I was excited to have something that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg with flowers from the florist.  When we opened the boxes, however, they were a bit smaller than I would have thought.  The measurements were to the top of the circle, not to the top of the actual lantern.

I am hoping that some of you out there may have some design ideas for what we can add to make these a bit more interesting.  Mr. Library and I thought about adding a few tea candles around the base and having a circle of ferns underneath (almost like a charger plate for the lantern).  Any ideas?

What Rhymes with Free?

Save the Dates!  Well, okay, not really, but hey, they were practically free anyway!  I know people like to go to wedding printers who specialize in wedding invitations, but I wanted to go down a cheaper road.  After a few Google searches, I came across VistaPrint.

Business printing?  Why one earth did you do that, you may ask?  Well, think about it this way.  Because they don’t specialize in weddings only, the markup is really low.  The word “wedding” does present an additional price tag.  They also make these in bulk, which keeps individual costs low.  The products are great quality and they run specials all of the time, especially if you sign up for email offers.

My 100 Save the Dates were on special when I ordered them, and with 140 return mailing address labels, the grand total came up to (drum roll please!):  $9.46.  Yep, you read that correctly.  $9.46!  I could hardly believe it.  The patterns were pretty, they matched almost exactly to what we had picked out from a more expensive catalog, and the price… well, I couldn’t beat it if I tried.

Save the Date

I would really encourage people to check out this website if you are looking for something not so expensive.  It has really saved me a bunch!